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Tyson Scholar FAQ

Tyson Scholar Program Frequently Asked Questions

  • What topics does this fellowship support?
    We encourage and support scholarship that seeks to expand boundaries and traditional categories of investigation into American art and visual culture. Applicants may be focusing on art history, architecture, visual and material culture, American studies, craft, Indigenous art, Latin American art, and contemporary art. 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.
  • 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. The Tyson Scholars Program looks for 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; and applicants should speak to why residence in the Heartland will advance their work. The applicant’s academic standing, scholarly qualifications, and experience will be considered, as it informs the ability of the applicant to complete the proposed project. Letters of support are strongest when they demonstrate the applicant’s excellence, promise, originality, track record, and productivity as a scholar, not when the letter contains a commentary on the project. 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.
  • Who qualifies for application?
    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.
  • I was a Tyson Scholar previously. When am I eligible to apply for a second term?
    Former scholars are eligible for another term 7 years after 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, programs 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.
  • 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 1, 2021—May 15, 2022)
    • Fall (September 1—December 2021)
    • Spring (January —May 15, 2022)
    • Other (Scholars may propose their own schedule)
  • 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, position as senior scholar, post-doctoral scholar or pre-doctoral scholar, and range from $15,000 to $30,000 per semester. Crystal Bridges does not take taxes out of scholar stipends. Additional funds for relocation are provided, and research travel funds are available during the residency upon application. Scholars are also provided with housing at one of the Crystal Bridges residences, within easy walking distance from the museum via wooded trails and approximately 1.5 miles from downtown Bentonville. Crystal Bridges does not provide insurance benefits to Tyson Scholars.
  • What 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, so any books you retrieve from the shelves will need to be checked out to you and remain in the museum. 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: To broaden your search to include the University of Arkansas catalog, simply change the default search setting from “Crystal Bridges Library” to “All Libraries.” Pending a background check, scholars have special access to the museum’s galleries during non-public hours. Objects not on public display 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.
  • 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 faculty and 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 education department, Tyson Scholars will lead one public program, such as a gallery conversation.
  • Are there additional research funds available?
    Yes. Scholars are able to apply for additional research funding up to $500/semester to supplement costs associated with archival research, and/or regional travel costs related to their projects as a Tyson Scholar.
  • What amenities are available in the housing provided?
    Crystal Bridges manages three properties within walking distance from the museum and approximately 1.5 miles from Downtown Bentonville. Scholars will be housed in one of these residences. Crystal Bridges residences have many comfortable indoor and outdoor common spaces. All participants will have a dorm-style, private bedroom and bathroom.

    • Simple bed and bath linens will be provided, including a pillow and blanket. The linens provided are of modest quality, so you may want to consider bringing or shipping your own bed and bath linens. Furthermore, if you are often cold when you sleep, consider bringing additional bedding. All mattresses are full to queen size.
    • There is a common TV with basic cable in each residence.
    • For your use while in the residence, we advise that you bring a laptop computer or tablet. There are no computers provided. An open wireless network will be available. You will be able to access this network on your laptop throughout the residence. Please note that the wireless internet at the house is not secure.
    • Bi-weekly housekeeping includes cleaning bathrooms, restocking paper supplies, trash removal, and light surface cleaning of all common areas. We will let you know housekeeping’s schedule during your stay and will never have someone working at the house without your knowledge.
    • Cleaning supplies are available at the house if needed. There is a laundry facility on-site with a washer and dryer, free of charge.
    • You will be responsible for your own meals. There is a large, well-equipped kitchen in the Farmhouse for your use with all of the typical conveniences.
    • There is uncovered parking available in the driveway.
    • Bikes are available upon request for scholar use during the residency.
    • The scholars’ residence is designed for individual scholars. While visitors are permitted for 2-3 day short-term visits (and in conversation and respect of other residents), extended stay by visitors is not permitted.
    • Smoking is not permitted inside or directly adjacent to the Farmhouse.
    • Sorry, no pets.
  • 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 in the Farmhouse.

About Crystal Bridges

Opened to the public on November 11, 2011, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation. Since opening, the museum has welcomed nearly 5 million visitors with no cost for admission. The museum is nestled on 120 acres of Ozark landscape and was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. Crystal Bridges offers public programs including lectures, performances, classes, and teacher development opportunities. Some 280,000 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. Through the Tyson Scholars of American Art program, Crystal Bridges encourages and supports pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships that seek to expand boundaries or traditional categories of investigation into American art.

On February 22, 2020 Crystal Bridges opened the Momentary, a satellite space. The Momentary features today’s visual, performing, and culinary arts in a space that champions contemporary art’s role in everyday life. The Momentary also supports an artist-in-residence program.

Crystal Bridges’ collection spans five centuries of American art from the seventeenth century to today and is comprised of 3,000 paintings, works on paper, sculpture, photography, and new media. The collection development focuses on artwork that expands American art, including artwork by artists with diverse backgrounds, working in a wide range of media. Special interests include craft, Native American art, and art that addresses multiple perspectives and stories. The collection is available online. Crystal Bridges’ research library consists of approximately 60,000 volumes as well as significant manuscript and ephemera holdings. The library also houses a comprehensive collection of American color-plate books from the nineteenth century.

The Tyson Scholars of American Art Program supports full-time scholarship in an expansive definition of American art and 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. Since its inception, the Tyson Scholars program has supported the work of 46 scholars, attracting academic professionals in a variety of disciplines from across the country and internationally.

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: