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Crystal Bridges Announces New Cohort of Tyson Scholars

Last fall, Crystal Bridges announced the formation of its Tyson Scholars of American Art program, a residential fellowship that provides for scholars from around the world to pursue essential research on the history of American art utilizing the museum’s collection and library. The program was established in 2012 through a $5 million commitment from Tyson Foods, Inc., and the Tyson family, along with the establishment of the Don Tyson Prize to be awarded to an individual for outstanding service in the field of art history.

Recently, the museum announced its slate of 2013-2014 Tyson Scholars, expanding this year’s roster to five fellowships. The new Tyson Scholars of American Art are: Emily Burns, Auburn University; Nika Elder, Princeton University; Jason Hill, Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in American Art; Katherine Manthorne, City University of New York; and Melissa Warak, Sam Houston University.

The scholars will be housed in Bentonville near Crystal Bridges, and will use their residencies to further their research. During their stay, scholars may also engage in public programs and presentations, either at the museum or at colleges and universities in the region.

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.

Emily Burns received her doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis. She currently serves as assistant professor of art history at Auburn University.
As a Tyson Scholar, Burns will expand on her dissertation, Innocence Abroad: The Construction and Marketing of an American Artistic Identity in Paris, which focused on the construction of an American artistic identity in Paris in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Nika Elder received her doctorate from Princeton University and currently serves as post-doctoral fellow/lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program.
As a Tyson Scholar, Elder will work on William Harnett and the Culture of Cognition in Late-Nineteenth-Century America, a book project which focuses on the American still life painter William Harnett. Elder’s research compares Harnett’s work to that of other artists of the period, many of whom are represented in Crystal Bridges’ collection.

Jason Hill received his doctorate from the University of Southern California and has recently completed a term as Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in American Art with the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris.

As a Tyson Scholar, Hill will work on Artist as Reporter: The PM News Picture, 1940-1948, a book manuscript that considers the impact of the 1940s New York tabloid daily newspaper PM, and how it impacted our understanding of mid-century American Modernism and the nature of its relationship to the wider media and public culture.

Katherine Manthorne received her doctorate from Columbia University and currently serves as professor of art history at the Graduate Center at City University of New York.
As a Tyson Scholar, Manthorne will be working on You Ought to be in Pictures: Film and American Modernism, 1896-1939, researching the influence of cinema in the 1870s and ‘80s on the work of American Modernists.

Melissa Warak received her doctorate from the University of Texas and serves currently as assistant professor of modern and contemporary art at Sam Houston State University.

As a Tyson Scholar, Warak will work on Made to Music: Music and Art at Mid-Century, investigating various cases in which artists used avant-garde music as major sources for American abstraction in the 1950s and ‘60s.

Learn more about the Tyson Scholars of American Art.


About Crystal Bridges
The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature.

Situated on 120 wooded acres in Bentonville, Arkansas, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation as a nonprofit charitable organization for all to enjoy. Philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton chairs the Museum’s board of directors. The building was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie and opened to the public on 11-11-11. Crystal Bridges’ growing collection spans five centuries of American masterworks from the Colonial era to the current day. The permanent collection is enhanced by a variety of temporary exhibitions. In addition to the art collection, Crystal Bridges also features a library housing more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material.

In its first year of operation, the Museum welcomed more than 650,000 visitors and garnered more than 7,900 households in its membership. More than 12,000 schoolchildren visited the Museum as part of the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit Program, and nearly 700 volunteers provided more than 24,000 hours of service. The inaugural year also saw the establishment of the Tyson Scholars of American Art, a residency program providing research funding for topics in American art history, as well as the Don Tyson Prize, awarded to an individual for outstanding service in the field of art history.

Crystal Bridges offers year-round programming for all ages, including lectures, art-making workshops, films, gallery talks, and special events. An award-winning app available free from iTunes features audio tours of current and past temporary exhibitions, and many of the Museum’s lectures and gallery talks are included in Crystal Bridges’ iTunes U site, which also features interviews with curators, artists, and conservators. In addition, Crystal Bridges offers professional development for teachers and educational programming for K-12 school groups designed to fit with Common Core standards.

Additional information about Crystal Bridges is available online at

About Tyson Foods, Inc.
Tyson Foods, Inc., based in Springdale, Ark, is one of the world’s largest processors and marketers of chicken, beef and pork, the second-largest food production company in the Fortune 500 and a member of the S&P 500. In keeping with the company’s core values, Tyson is committed to providing community support and charitable contributions that make a difference for its team members, their families, consumers, and the communities where it operates.

In addition to its philanthropic focus on hunger relief, Tyson invests in projects that provide measurable benefits in its plant communities. Tyson has a long history of supporting schools, educational programs and initiatives that give team members and communities access to quality of life amenities, such as parks, libraries, recreational facilities, arts centers and museums.