Smithsonian American Art Museum Fellowships, 2016–17

Posted in fellowships, graduate students by Editor on October 6, 2015

Smithsonian American Art Museum Fellowships, 2016–17
Applications due by 1 December 2015

The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) and its Renwick Gallery invite applications for research fellowships in the art, craft, and visual culture of the United States. Fellowships are residential and support full-time independent and dissertation research.

Each scholar is provided a carrel in SAAM’s Fellowship Office, situated across the street from the museum. Available research resources there include a 180,000-volume library that specializes in American art, history, and biography; the Archives of American Art; the graphics collections of SAAM and the National Portrait Gallery; the Joseph Cornell Study Center; and the Nam June Paik Archive, as well as a variety of image collections and research databases. During their stay at SAAM, scholars will be part of one of the nation’s oldest and most distinguished fellowship programs in American art and will have the opportunity to attend a wide variety of lectures, symposia, and professional workshops. Short research trips are also possible.

Qualifications and Selection

Predoctoral applicants must have completed coursework and preliminary examinations for their doctoral degree and must be engaged in dissertation research. Postdoctoral fellowships are available to support specific research projects by scholars who have earned a PhD or equivalent. Senior fellowships are intended for scholars with a distinguished publication record who have held their doctoral degree for more than seven years or who possess a commensurate record of professional accomplishment at the time of application.

Applications will be evaluated on the quality of the proposed research project and the applicant’s academic standing, scholarly qualifications, and experience. The project’s compatibility with Smithsonian collections, facilities, staff, and programs will also be considered. A committee of curators and historians will review the proposals.


SAAM hosts fellows supported by the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program and also offers the following named fellowships:

The Joe and Wanda Corn Fellowship is endowed by their former students Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan and supports scholars whose research interests span American art and American history. The recipient will be jointly appointed at SAAM and NMAH (National Museum of American History) and will draw on the resources of both museums.

The Douglass Foundation Fellowship in American Art is given for predoctoral research in American art.

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Fellowship is offered to support research in American art and visual culture.

The George Gurney Fellowship funds a one- to three-month research appointment in American art, preferably sculpture, in honor of the distinguished career of SAAM’s former curator of sculpture.

The James Renwick Fellowship in American Craft is available for research in American studio crafts or decorative arts from the nineteenth century to the present.

The Sara Roby Fellowship in Twentieth-Century American Realism is awarded to a scholar whose research topic is in the area of American realism.

The Joshua C. Taylor Fellowship is supported by alumni and friends of the fellowship program.

The Terra Foundation Fellowships in American Art seek to foster a cross-cultural dialogue about the history of the art of the United States up to 1980. Three twelve-month fellowships will be awarded annually, one each at the predoctoral, postdoctoral, and senior levels, to scholars from abroad who are researching American art or to U.S. scholars who are investigating international contexts for American art.

The William H. Truettner Fellowship supports one to three months of research, in recognition of Mr. Truettner’s career of nearly fifty years as a curator of painting and sculpture at SAAM.

The Wyeth Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship is awarded for the advancement and completion of a doctoral dissertation that concerns the study, appreciation, and recognition of excellence in all aspects of American art.


The stipend for a one-year predoctoral fellowship is $32,700 plus research and travel allowances. The stipend for a one-year postdoctoral or senior fellowship is $48,000 plus research and travel allowances. The standard term of residency is twelve months, but shorter terms will be considered; stipends are prorated for periods of less than twelve months.

Applicants are encouraged to share their research proposals with potential Smithsonian advisors before submitting applications. For research consultation, contact Amelia Goerlitz at GoerlitzA@si.edu or Emily D. Shapiro at ShapiroED@si.edu.

For Applications or General Information

Call SAAM’s Fellowship Office at (202) 633-8353 or e-mail AmericanArtFellowships@si.edu. A link to the online application for the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program can be accessed via our website. Applicants should propose a primary advisor/supervisor from SAAM to be eligible for a fellowship at this unit. Only one application is necessary; applicants will automatically be considered for all relevant awards. December 1, 2015, is the application deadline for fellowships that begin on or after June 1, 2016. Awards are based on merit. Fellowships are open to all qualified persons regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or condition of handicap. The Smithsonian Institution’s Office of International Relations will assist with arranging J-1 exchange visas for fellowship recipients who require them. For other Smithsonian opportunities, visit the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships webpage or e-mail siofi@si.edu.

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