Tyson Scholars

Tyson Scholars

The Tyson Scholars of American Art Program is a residential program that supports full-time scholarship in the history of American art, visual and material culture from the colonial period to the present. The program was established in 2012 through a $5 million commitment from the Tyson family and Tyson Foods, Inc.

To support their research, Tyson Scholars have access to the art and library collections of Crystal Bridges as well as the library at the University of Arkansas in nearby Fayetteville. Scholars will have the opportunity to interact with Crystal Bridges’ curatorial and research staff, as well as the community, through lectures, symposia, and collaborations with the University of Arkansas.

Up to three Scholars may be in residence at a time, with terms ranging from six weeks to nine months. Housing is provided at the Crystal Bridges Farmhouse, within easy walking distance from the Museum via wooded trails and approximately 1.5 miles from downtown Bentonville. It features comfortable indoor and outdoor common spaces including an expansive yard, patio and swimming pool; scholars have private bed and bath rooms.

In addition to housing, Scholars are provided office or carrel space in the curatorial wing of Crystal Bridges’ library. Stipends are variable depending on the duration of residency, need, and professional rank, ranging from $30,000 to $60,000 for a nine month term. Additional funds for research travel during the residency period are available upon application. Bicycles, donated by Phat Tire Bike Shop of downtown Bentonville, are provided for use by Tyson Scholars during their residency.

Read the Tyson Scholars FAQ

Who is Eligible?

The program is open to scholars holding a Ph.D. (or equivalent) as well as to Ph.D. candidates. Applicants may be affiliated with a university, museum, or independent. Scholars will be selected on the basis of their potential to advance understanding of American art and to intersect meaningfully with aspects of Crystal Bridges’ collections, architecture, or landscape. Projects with a synthetic, interdisciplinary focus and that seek to expand boundaries of research or traditional categories of investigation are particularly encouraged.

To apply, candidates should fill out the application form and submit it along with the following additional materials.

Deadline for application for the 2015-2016 academic year is January 15, 2015.

  • A statement of purpose (limited to 1,000 words) outlining the aspects of the work to be accomplished during the residency period and the specific benefits that the residency program would provide. If you plan to use objects from the Museum collection and/or materials from the Museum archives in your research, please provide a brief listing.

Note: Pre-doctoral applicants should also include a detailed statement of their dissertation project outlining its contribution to the field, methodologies, and overview of relevant literature (limited to 1,000 words).

  • Curriculum vitae (limited to 10 pages).
  • Two letters of recommendation, to be sent directly to Crystal Bridges.
    • For pre-doctoral applicants, one of these letters must be from the applicant’s dissertation advisor or professor.

Download Tyson Scholar of American Art Application Form

Current Tyson Scholars


View Past Tyson Scholars

Lacey Baradel

Lacey Baradel specializes in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American art. Her current book project traces the emergence of geographic mobility as a central theme through which genre artists probed the politics of modern life in the United States after the Civil War. A portion of this research, which examines the tension between mobility and domesticity in Eastman Johnson’s The Tramp (1876-77), will appear in the Summer 2014 issue of American Art. Lacey’s work has been generously supported by the Wyeth Foundation/Smithsonian American Art Museum, Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art, and Baird Society of Fellows. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2014.

Breanne Robertson

Breanne Robertson was recently Visiting Assistant Professor of American Art at Wesleyan University, where she taught courses on art and material culture in the departments of Art History, American Studies, and Latin American Studies. Her research interests focus on cross-cultural exchange between the United States and Mexico from the eighteenth century to the present. As a Tyson Scholar at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Breanne will complete work on her book manuscript, which analyzes pre-Columbian imagery in U.S. public art to elucidate U.S.-Latin American foreign policy and domestic race relations during World War II. A second project examines nineteenth-century artist George Martin Ottinger’s “Old America” history paintings and the beliefs and missionary efforts of Mormon Utah. Breanne received her PhD from University of Maryland in 2012, and has held fellowships from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Annie Ronan

Annie Ronan is currently a PhD candidate in Stanford University’s Department of Art and Art History, and formerly the 2013-14 Douglass Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. A specialist in 19th-century American art and visual culture, her dissertation project, “Beauty and the Bestiary: Animal Art and Humane Thought in the Guilded Age,” examines how American artists like Winslow Homer, Astley D.M. Cooper, William Holbrook Beard, and Edward Kemeys represented animals at the turn of the century, an era during which humanity’s relationship with and responsibility to the natural world was being radically reevaluated.