Skip to main content

Tyson Scholar FAQ

Tyson Scholar Program Frequently Asked Questions

  • When did the Tyson Scholars Program Start?
    The first class of Tyson Scholars was in residence beginning in 2012. In 2022, the program celebrated its tenth year with a symposium that put Tyson Scholars in conversation with contemporary artists and a series of workshops addressing important topics in the field today, such as: Landscapes: what do they tell us about society?; Queering Art History; and Arts Philanthropy in Turmoil. In its first decade, the Tyson Scholars program also expanded to include a short-term fellowship, the Tyson Think Tank.
  • What topics does this fellowship support?
    The Tyson Scholars of American Art Program supports interdisciplinary scholarship that seeks to expand the boundaries and traditional categories of investigation into American art from any time period. Scholars may be from any field who are researching American art. Scholars may be focused on visual art, architecture, craft, visual and material culture, performance art, or new media. We also invite applications from scholars approaching US art transregionally and looking at the broader geographical context of the Americas, especially Latinx and Indigenous art.
  • How is the application reviewed? What makes a competitive application?
    Applications will be evaluated on the originality and quality of the proposed research project and its contribution to a more equitable and inclusive history of American art. We especially invite (but do not require) research projects that will intersect meaningfully with the museum’s collections, library resources, architecture, grounds, curatorial expertise, programs and exhibitions; and/or the University of Arkansas faculty broadly. Applicants should speak to why residence in Northwest Arkansas and the surrounding areas will advance their work. The applicant’s academic standing, scholarly qualifications, and experience will be considered. The letters of support should be strong and specific with respect to the achievements, promise, originality, and potential of the applicant.
  • Who can apply?
    Crystal Bridges and the Tyson Scholars Program invites PhD candidates (or equivalent), post-doctoral researchers, and senior scholars from any field who are researching American art to apply. Crystal Bridges is dedicated to an equitable, inclusive, and diverse cohort of fellows. We seek applicants who bring a critical perspective and understanding of the experiences of groups historically underrepresented in American art, and welcome applications from qualified persons of color; who are Indigenous; with disabilities; who are LGBTQ+; first-generation college graduates; from low-income households; and who are veterans.
  • I was a Tyson Scholar previously. When am I eligible to apply for a second term?
    Scholars who attended during a previous academic year are eligible for another term seven years after the conclusion of their prior fellowship term.
  • Does my research have to be oriented to the Crystal Bridges collection?
    While the project does not have to tie directly to the Crystal Bridges collection, projects that intersect meaningfully with the museum’s collections, library resources, architecture, grounds, curatorial expertise, programs and exhibitions; and/or the University of Arkansas faculty and resources broadly are stronger than those that do not. To access the Crystal Bridges collection online, visit: Explore the Collection.
  • Can I access the Crystal Bridges collection?
    Pending a background check, scholars have special access to the museum’s galleries during non-public hours. Objects in storage and object files can be viewed by appointment with the Registrar. Close physical examination of objects, including supports and frames, may also be arranged through Collections Management staff. Scholars may also request access to the museum’s collection database and object files through Collections Management.
  • Is there a required term or is the timing flexible?
    Crystal Bridges tries to be flexible with scheduling residency periods based on availability of the residence and workspace in the museum offices, between the months of September and May. Summers are unavailable due to other museum programs. Scholars are given the opportunity to select from the following terms:

    • Academic Year (September—May 15)
    • Fall (September 1—December)
    • Spring (January—May 15)
    • Other (Scholars may propose their own schedule, please note that we are unable to accommodate Tyson Scholars during the months of June, July, and August)
  • How long is the term?
    • Partial semester = 6 weeks
    • Full Spring or Fall semester = 15 weeks
    • Full Academic year = 30-36 weeks
    • Stipend will be adjusted for shorter terms.
  • How are Tyson Scholars compensated?
    Stipends vary depending on the duration of residency and the applicant’s position as senior scholar, post-doctoral scholar, or pre-doctoral scholar, and range from $34,000 to $17,000 per semester. Crystal Bridges does not take taxes out of scholar stipends. Additional funds for relocation are provided, and research funds are available during the residency upon application. Housing is provided within walking distance of the museum and is considered part of the compensation package.
  • Are there additional research funds available?
    Yes. Scholars can apply for additional research funding up to $1,000/semester to supplement costs associated with archival research, and/or regional travel costs related to their projects as a Tyson Scholar. We encourage you to think about how you might use these research funds ahead of arriving. If you have any questions about how research funds may be used, reach out to TysonScholars@CrystalBridges.org.
  • The application mentions the Crystal Bridges curatorial team as a resource. How do I learn more about the team?
    Meet the Crystal Bridges Curatorial Team:

    • Austen Barron Bailly, Chief Curator
    • Alejo Benedetti, Acting Curator, Contemporary Art
    • Mindy Besaw, Director of Research, Fellowships, and University Partnerships & Curator, American Art (Pre-1960)
    • Victor Gomez, Curatorial Assistant, Contemporary Art
    • Jen Padgett, Windgate Curator of Craft
    • Taylor Pecktal, Manager, Curatorial, Fellowships & Research
    • Jordan Poorman Cocker, Curator of Indigenous Art
    • Larissa Randall, Curatorial Associate, Pre-1960
    • Xuxa RodrÍguez, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art
    • Laura Pratt, Executive Assistant to the Chief Curator

    If you have specific questions or would like to connect with a member of the curatorial team regarding your application, please reach out to

  • What library resources are available to Scholars?
    Scholars will have open access to the Crystal Bridges Library catalog and subscription databases. The Crystal Bridges Library is open stacks, internally circulating. Access to Crystal Bridges’ manuscripts, archival materials, and artist files will be available by appointment with the Library. Scholars will also receive affiliate status at the University of Arkansas Libraries, which will allow you to check out books and gain access to additional subscription resources and interlibrary loan. Please note that Crystal Bridges and the University of Arkansas may subscribe to fewer research databases than your home institution, so in some cases it may be best to access your home library remotely.If you would like to search our online library catalog, it is available through the “Library” page on our website or via this shortcut: http://library.uark.edu/search~S2. To broaden your search to include the University of Arkansas catalog, simply change the default search setting from “Crystal Bridges Library” to “All Libraries.”
  • What resources are available to Tyson Scholars through the University of Arkansas?
    Crystal Bridges has a close relationship with the University of Arkansas School of Art , as well as faculty across other disciplines. To learn more about faculty members in the School of Art, visit the U of A art faculty page.
  • Are scholars required to lead a program while in residence?
    Yes. There are many opportunities to engage with staff, the public, and the University of Arkansas faculty and students while in residence. All scholars will present their research to an internal staff audience. In addition, in consultation with curators, program manager, and the learning and engagement department, Tyson Scholars can lead a public program, such as a gallery conversation.
  • Where do Tyson Scholars live?
    Tyson scholars share a four-bedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom house, called the Crystal Bridges Farmhouse. Each scholar will be provided with a private bedroom and ensuite bathroom. Common spaces such as the living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchen are shared. The house is fully furnished with an onsite washer and dryer and a fully equipped kitchen. If you have specific questions regarding housing accommodations, please feel free to reach out to TysonScholars@CrystalBridges.org.
  • Do I have to live in Crystal Bridges housing?
    No, you do not have to live in the scholars’ residence. Housing is provided as a benefit of the program, but if you need housing for your family, pets, or any other special circumstance, you are welcome to find your own housing. Stipends will not be adjusted if scholars choose NOT to live at the Crystal Bridges Farmhouse.
  • Where can I learn more about the Crystal Bridges expansion?
    This is an exciting time to be in Northwest Arkansas, as a major expansion for Crystal Bridges is underway that will increase the size of the current facilities by 50 percent. You can learn more about expansion plans here.
  • I don’t see my question answered here. Who should I contact?
    Any questions related to the Tyson Scholars program can be directed to Taylor Pecktal at TysonScholars@CrystalBridges.org.

About Crystal Bridges

For more information about Crystal Bridges, please see our About Us page.

About Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas

Within approximately a four-mile radius of the Museum, there are a variety of businesses including coffee shops, multiple grocery stores, post office, bank/ATM machines, restaurants, and dry cleaners. Bentonville is fairly pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly. For more information on the local vicinity see the Visit Bentonville website and the Explore Northwest Arkansas website.

Downtown Bentonville website

Visit Rogers website

City of Springdale website

Experience Fayetteville website

Fayetteville Flyer news website

City of Eureka Springs website

Arkansas State Parks website

Nearby Airports: