The grant will support the museum's upcoming exhibition, "Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth: Ancient Near Eastern Art from American Collections," showing Aug. 31 through Dec. 22, 2013.
"We are honored to receive this NEA grant," says John Olbrantz, the Maribeth Collins director of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art and co-curator of the exhibition.
"It validates and supports this major exhibition, which features outstanding ancient Near Eastern artworks that are not normally available or accessible to audiences in the Western United States."
The exhibition features 64 objects from about 6000 BCE to 500 BCE, introducing visitors to the art, history and cultures of the ancient Near East.
The cultures gave Western civilization such concepts as cities, writing, literature, schools, laws, poetry, philosophy, medicine and the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Drawing from some of the most distinguished collections in the United States, the exhibition is bringing together works from such notable institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.
This year, the NEA awarded $26.3 million in grants, 11 of which to museums affiliated with colleges and universities. In Oregon, the NEA awarded $420,000 in funding. Other recipients include the Portland Art Museum, the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art and the University of Oregon.