Clark Fellowship in Visual Arts, USA

Publish Date: Aug 27, 2016

Deadline: Oct 15, 2016


The Clark offers between ten and sixteen Clark Fellowships each year, ranging in duration from one to ten months. National and international scholars, critics, and museum professionals are welcome to propose projects that extend and enhance the understanding of the visual arts and their role in culture.

Stipends are dependent on salary and sabbatical replacement needs. Housing in the Clark's Scholars' Residence, located across the street from the campus, is also provided.

Fellows are furnished with offices in the library, located in the Manton Research Center, which contains a collection of 200,000 books and 700 periodicals. The Clark is within walking distance of Williams College, its libraries, and its art museum. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) is a ten-minute drive away.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. or equivalent professional experience. The Clark does not award pre-doctoral fellowships, and given the intense competition for fellowships, awards are not normally made to those who have received their Ph.D. within the last four years.


Scholars may propose topics that relate to the visual arts, their history, practice, theory, or interpretation. Any proposal that contributes to understanding the nature of artistic activity and the intellectual, social, and cultural worlds with which it is connected is welcome.

Subjects of investigation might come from any period, from prehistory to the present, and from anywhere in the world. Projects can be focused on works in any medium and can employ any methodological approach. Attention, however, will be given to proposals that promise to deepen, transform, or challenge those methods currently practiced within art history or that have the prospect of enhancing an understanding of the role of images in other disciplines in the humanities.


Applicants should hold a Ph.D. or demonstrate equivalent professional experience. They may come from the academic or museum worlds, or from other professional backgrounds, and may be residents of any country. They may be employed, full- or part-time, or be independent historians, curators, and/or critics.


All applicants must complete an application form, available on this website.


Fellows may come to the Clark for any period between one and ten months. Between six and eight Fellows are in residence at any one time.


Fellowships are awarded on a scale related to need and earnings, up to a maximum rate of $60,000 per year. Travel to and from the Clark will be reimbursed for the scholar and an accompanying family member. Clark Fellows’ tax liability to the United States government will be considered in accordance with the tax regulations of the Internal Revenue Service on a case-by-case basis.


It is expected that all Fellows be in good standing with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service and have authorization [a J-1 Visa] from the INS that permits a Fellow to engage in the activities for which he or she has been designated a Clark Fellow. In applicable circumstances, the Clark can facilitate this standing by providing Fellows with the documents required to initiate the authorization process.


Fellows are normally provided with an apartment in a recently refurbished and expanded late-nineteenth-century house across the street from the Clark campus. Six apartments are available, ranging in size from one to two bedrooms, with additional common spaces. Each apartment is fully furnished and linked to the Clark’s computer network. Accommodation and services, except long-distance telephone, will be provided by the Clark. Pets are not permitted in the Scholars’ Residence. No smoking is permitted inside any Clark building.


Fellows are provided with an office in the Manton Research Center, accessible from 8 am until 11 pm (early closing times on weekends). In addition to having telephone, fax, and photocopy equipment, all offices are connected to the Clark’s computer network. Information technology support for the Clark network is available in-house. Each Fellow’s workspace includes a computer and the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).


Fellows have access to the Clark Library which holds 200,000 books and 700 periodicals as well as extensive slide and photograph collections; the library features considerable holdings in post-medieval European art. Fellows also have access to libraries across the country through the Interlibrary Loan and Electronic Document Delivery. Fellows will also have a borrower's card for the libraries of Williams College, a half-mile away.


Fellows have access to the Clark’s collections of paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, silver, ceramics, and furniture from 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. Objects not on public display can often be viewed by appointment. The Williams College Museum of Art is nearby, and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) is located in North Adams, a short distance away.


With advance planning, fellows may request the assistance of a student from the Graduate Program in the History of Art, co-sponsored with Williams College.


Fellows are expected to reside in Williamstown, to have lunch or dinner with other Fellows twice a month, and to participate in the intellectual life of the Clark, typically presenting one public lecture and/or a small individual seminar during their stay (those Fellows who stay a month or less may be exempted).


Proposed projects may include contributions to a seminar in the Graduate Program. Fellows will be able to take advantage of the opportunity for exchange with a number of associated institutions, which include the Williamstown Art Conservation Center (housed at the Lunder Center on the Clark campus); Williams College; and MASS MoCA.


In conjunction with the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences at Williams College, the Clark offers an academic-year fellowship for a scholar in the humanities whose work takes an interdisciplinary approach to some aspect of the visual. The selected fellow will have an office at the Oakley Center, be housed at the Clark scholars' residence, and participate fully in the rich intellectual life of both advanced research institutes.


Endowed by the Florence Gould Foundation, dedicated to French-American cultural exchange, the one semester Gould Foundation Fellowship is awarded annually to a senior scholar or curator, with priority given to an applicant from a French museum or institution of higher education or to an individual pursuing a project in the field of French art and visual studies.


Funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, this fellowship is particularly directed to a scholar whose work engages critically with the literature of art “before the era of art history” (i.e., before the formation of a discipline of art history in the mid-nineteenth century). The Clark seeks applicants whose focus might be theoretical or aesthetic treatises, anecdotes, histories, translations of texts, artists’ writings, or other material that might broadly be described as part of the literature of art or the pre-history of art history, with priority given to those projects focused on Western art.


The Mellon Decade Fellowship, sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is awarded to a scholar, curator, or art practitioner in the middle stage of his/her career, approximately a decade after receiving the doctorate. As a further acknowledgement of the changed professional landscape for humanities Ph.D.'s, the appointment is not limited to university-based academics.


The Mellon Network Fellowship supports a Clark residency of one semester for a scholar at any stage of his/her career involved in a project addressing communication and technology – of all eras – across the visual humanities. The award also supports critical thinking about the changing states of media in art-historical research today.

In addition, RAP awards the following fellowships:


The Beinecke Fellowship, endowed by the former chair of the Research and Academic Program Trustee Committee, Frederick W. Beinecke, is awarded to a noted senior scholar for one semester.


This fellowship has been named to recognize and honor Michael Ann Holly, eminent art historian and Starr Director Emeritus of the Research and Academic Program. The Holly Fellowship is awarded for not less than one semester, with priority given to a project that engages a senior humanities scholar in an exploration of the visual from a critical or historiographic perspective.


We also invite applications for the Clark’s Summer Collaborative Working Group (SCWG), a Williamstown-based gathering intended for group projects—a book, an exhibition, a work of art, etc.—which may (but are not specifically required to) take advantage the resources of the Clark Library. The collaborative project occurs over a four to five week period during the summer months. Group size is normally between three and five individuals. The Clark provides housing, transportation, and a modest stipend for each participant. Applicants for the SCWG must submit a single, three-page double-spaced statement of purpose (and abstract) accompanied by individual CV’s for each participant.


Applicants are required to complete an online application form, available below. All materials must be submitted in English.


All application materials must be received by October 15.

For more information click "Further official information" below.

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