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 one year. 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 $15,000 to $30,000 per semester. 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 PhD (or equivalent) as well as to PhD 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 that seek to expand boundaries of research or traditional categories of investigation are particularly encouraged.
Applications for 2017-2018 are open October 15–January 13.
- 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.
2016-2017 Tyson Scholars
Camp is a PhD candidate in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Virginia. She studies 20th-century American Art, with a specific interest in the intersections of art, politics, and visual culture during the Great Depression. Her dissertation analyzes the “picture books” of New York City-based printmaker Lynd Ward within the context of an emerging enthusiasm for visual storytelling among leftist and socially-engaged artists during the 1930s.
Ericson is an art history PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His interdisciplinary dissertation explores cultural encounters in 17th-century New Mexico, focusing on the material expressions of everyday life among a community of Spanish Franciscans and Zuni Indians at the Purísima Concepción mission of Hawikku Pueblo. As a Peter Buck Fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, he has studied the archaeology of this site and worked collaboratively with the Zuni community. He is also a practicing studio artist with roots in the Ozarks, where he completed his undergraduate studies in 2006.
Gaudio graduated from Stanford University in 2001 and is currently a Professor of Art History at the University of Minnesota. He is interested in how the visual arts mediate knowledge. His publications have ranged across a wide temporal span, from the 13th to the 19th centuries, and include studies of visual ethnography, landscape representation, natural history illustration, cartographic practices, and the reception of religious prints. Currently, he is completing a book which investigates the significance of aural experience in relation to prints, paintings, and films created and circulated within the colonial Atlantic world.
Lee is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Delaware. His dissertation examines the aesthetic politics of outdoor advertising in 20th-century America, especially as it played out in the urban skyline. A secondary area of research investigates modern architecture in South Africa. He received an MA from the Bard Graduate Center and a BA from Dartmouth College.
Padgett is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Washington University in St. Louis. Her dissertation explores how modern artists worked across boundaries of fine art and design to envision a more dynamic interaction between aesthetic experience and everyday life in the early 20th century. She has previously held internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and has most recently received fellowships at the Wolfsonian-FIU and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
2015-2016 Tyson Scholars
2014-2015 Tyson Scholars
2013-2014 Tyson Scholars
2012-2013 Tyson Scholars
Dr. Weems is an assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside where he specializes in American art and visual culture from the colonial period to the present. He’s held fellowships from the Huntington Library, the College Art Association/Terra Foundation for American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies.
As a Tyson Scholar at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Jason Weems will complete work on his current book manuscript, which examines the development of modern aerial vision and its effect on visual expression during the interwar years.
Washington University in St. Louis
Matthew Bailey is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology and a Lynn Cooper Harvey Fellow in American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He has also held dissertation fellowships from the Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies and the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library.
As a Tyson Scholar at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Matthew Bailey will continue work on his dissertation, which examines the way artists conceptually and physically interacted with paint in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Rather is a tenured member of the art history faculty in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas, Austin. There since 1986, she has taught and supervised students ranging from beginning undergraduates to doctoral candidates. As a scholar, Rather first published Archaism, Modernism and the Art of Paul Manship. Her work then began to focus on artists during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, with resulting articles on John Singleton Copley, Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart and others appearing in such leading journals as Art Bulletin, American Art, William and Mary Quarterly, and Eighteenth-Century Studies.
As a Tyson Scholar at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Susan Rather will complete her manuscript for a book examining in depth what it meant to be an American artist during the colonial and early national era.