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.
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.
2015-2016 Tyson Scholars
Amy Torbert is a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Delaware. Her dissertation studies the business of publishing prints in England and America from 1750 to 1840 and how representations of American rebellious acts in print shaped changing conceptions of nationhood. Her research has been supported by the American Antiquarian Society, Huntington Library, John Carter Brown Library, Lewis Walpole Library, National Portrait Gallery (Washington, DC), Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and Winterthur Museum and Library.
Susanneh Bieber’s area of expertise is modern and contemporary American art in an international context. She is particularly concerned with the relationship between art, architecture and the built environment, and has a professional interest in curatorial practices and museum studies. Before completing her PhD at the Freie Universität Berlin, she worked as curator at the Tate Modern in London and the Fresno Metropolitan Museum in California. Bieber is currently completing her book manuscript, Construction Sites: American Artists Engage the Built Environment, 1960-75, and will use her fellowship time to work on a second book that focuses on American Regionalism in art, architecture and urban planning. Her scholarly work addresses the social role of art within the broader field of visual and material culture.
Corey Piper is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Virginia. His dissertation project, Animal Pursuits: Hunting and the Visual Arts in Nineteenth-Century America, traces the ways in which representations of hunting functioned across diverse areas of nineteenth-century life, including the natural sciences, Western expansion, and refined urban recreation, and examines how such imagery structured humans’ relationship to the natural world and furthered a range of political and social ideals. Corey previously served as curatorial associate for the Mellon and European collections at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and has published research on a variety of topics including British sporting prints, Currier & Ives, and Édouard Manet
Leslie Reinhardt holds a PhD from Princeton University. She will be working on a manuscript adaptation of her dissertation, Fabricated Images: Invented Dress in American Portraits of Women. The study will focus on the work of John Singleton Copley, who used invented dress in about half of his portraits of women. The study will offer close analysis of dresses in images, which often yield specific evidence of how an artist worked, the sources and models he used. In addition, as invented dress often "anticipated" actual developments in fashion, the study shows how art often ended up shaping what women later really wore. This study contextualizes this Anglo-American practice within contemporary discourse on the ideal woman. Texas native, Harvard graduate, Reinhardt has most recently been Senior Fellow at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, and currently teaches Art History at George Washington University.