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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Opens Applications for Tyson Scholars Fellowship Program

New scholars will have the unique opportunity to be published or receive financial support to implement a public program of their choice.

Mindy Besaw (Director of Research, Fellowships, and University Partnerships; Curator, American Art); Anna Tsouhlarakis (Artist); Matthew Limb (Tyson Scholar 2022-2023); Marin R. Sullivan (Tyson Scholar 2018); Klinton Burgio-Ericson (Tyson Scholar 2016-2017)

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art today announced that applications for the 2024-2025 cohort of Tyson Scholars of American Art are now open. Dedicated to an equitable and diverse cohort of fellows, the Tyson Scholars Fellowship Program seeks to expand the boundaries and traditional categories of researching American art from any period. PhD candidates, postdoctoral researchers, and senior scholars from any field who are studying American art are encouraged to apply. Crystal Bridges also invites applications from scholars approaching US art transregionally and looking at the broader geographical context of the Americas, including Latinx and Indigenous art. 

The museum is expanding the program this year and will offer the 2024-2025 applicants two new opportunities. Scholars seeking to mobilize art historical research in new ways, or to connect their research to the community, can apply for a competitive supplemental programming grant up to $10,000 to cover the costs of a program of their creation. With the assistance of Crystal Bridges and University of Arkansas staff, the recipient will realize the proposed program, during or following the fellowship term.  

Additionally, applicants will automatically be considered for the Tyson Prize in American Art. The prize includes a cash award, a publication agreement with the University of Arkansas Press, significant support for image costs and image rights acquisition, and a manuscript review. 

“Now in its eleventh year, this program has truly found its footing,” said Mindy Besaw, PhD, curator and director of research, fellowships, and university at the museum. “As a signature offering from Crystal Bridges, it is designed to support an inclusive group of fellows who are eager to mobilize art historical research in new ways and intersect meaningfully with the dynamic arts ecosystem here in Northwest Arkansas. And we’re absolutely thrilled to offer new initiatives this year – both opportunities are extremely rare among Art History fellowship programs.” 

Since its inception in 2012 through a $5 million commitment from the Tyson family and Tyson Foods, Inc., the Tyson Scholars Program has championed the work of 67 scholars, attracting academic professionals in a variety of disciplines nationally and internationally. Combined, former scholars have written more than 10 books, 14 dissertations, and numerous articles based on their time at Crystal Bridges. Members of the program’s alumni have also participated in countless speaking engagements and panel discussions with artists and other professionals in the art field. 

“The Tyson Scholars program provides a close-knit community and ideal environment to accomplish writing,” said Matthew Limb, PhD, 2022-2023 Tyson Scholar. “The Crystal Bridges’ collection and library, in combination with the region’s resources, made this fellowship program one of the most productive and beneficial that I participated in while completing my dissertation. Northwest Arkansas is a growing community with great potential to contribute to a robust dialogue on American art.”  

The Tyson Scholars Program Fellowships are residential and support full-time writing and research for terms that range from six weeks to nine months. Scholars may be focused on visual art, architecture, craft, visual and material culture, performance art, or new media. The fellowship offers quiet space for research and writing, as well as a community of scholars to help further develop ideas. Tyson Scholars will have opportunities to engage with staff at Crystal Bridges and the Momentary, the public, the University of Arkansas faculty and students, and each other while in residence. 

All scholars are provided stipends, housing, and workspace in the curatorial wing of the Crystal Bridges Library. In addition to access to the collections and library at Crystal Bridges and the Momentary, the 2024-2025 scholars will have access to the library and archives at the University of Arkansas. 

Applications for the 2024-2025 academic year open September 28, 2023, and close November 29, 2023. For more information about Tyson Scholars of American Art, or to apply, visit here.  


About Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

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. Since opening in 2011, the museum has welcomed more than 10.8 million visitors across its spaces, with no cost for admission. Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 as a non-profit charitable organization by arts patron and philanthropist, Alice Walton. The collection spans five centuries of American masterworks from early American to current day and is enhanced by temporary exhibitions. The museum is nestled on 120 acres of Ozark landscape and was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A rare Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house was preserved and relocated to the museum grounds in 2015. Crystal Bridges offers public programs including lectures, performances, classes, and teacher development opportunities. Some 300,000 school children have participated in the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. Additional museum amenities include a restaurant, gift store, library, and five miles of art and walking trails. In February 2020, the museum opened the Momentary in Downtown Bentonville (507 SE E Street), conceived as a platform for the art, food, and music of our time. For more information, visit The museum is located at 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712.