Tyson Scholar FAQ

1Who qualifies for application?
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. 
2Does my research have to be oriented to the Crystal Bridges collection?
We invite applicants working on object-based projects as well as those with theoretical approaches. We encourage scholars to intersect meaningfully with aspects of Crystal Bridges’ collections, architecture, or landscape. To access the Crystal Bridges collection online, visit: Explore the Collection.
3What topics does this fellowship support?
Crystal Bridges takes an expansive approach to American Art. We invite applications addressing aspects of art history, architecture, American studies, visual and material culture, craft, Indigenous art, and Latin American art from all time periods. Projects with a synthetic, interdisciplinary focus that seek to expand boundaries of research or traditional categories of investigation are particularly encouraged.
4How 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.
5Is 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. Scholars are given the opportunity to select from the following terms:

  • Academic Year
  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Other (Scholars may propose their own schedule)
6Are 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.
7What 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: 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.”

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.

8What resources are available to Tyson Scholars through the University of Arkansas?
Crystal Bridges has a close relationship with the University of Arkansas art faculty. The faculty are interested in connecting with Tyson Scholars in meaningful ways. To learn more about faculty members at the university, visit the U of A art faculty page.
9What type of housing is provided for Tyson Scholars?
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.
10Do I have to live in Crystal Bridges housing?
No, you do not have to live in the scholars’ residence. Housing is provided as a perk of the program, but if you need housing for your family, pets, or have any other special circumstances, you are welcome to find your own housing. Stipends will not be adjusted if scholars choose NOT to live in the Farmhouse.
11How 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.
12Is there a Travel stipend?
Yes. Scholars are able to apply for a travel stipend to supplement travel costs related to their projects as a Tyson Scholar.

About Crystal Bridges
Opened to the public on November 11, 2011, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by philanthropist Alice Walton. The Museum takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building design by architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, a restaurant, museum store, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum's 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.

Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American art ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. It has particular strengths in colonial through early twentieth century painting and a growing collection of post-war and contemporary art in all media. 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.

In 2020, Crystal Bridges will open The Momentary, a contemporary-arts venue in Bentonville. The Momentary is a multi-disciplinary space for visual, performing, and culinary arts, as well as an artist residency program.

Information 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 http://bentonvilleusa.org and www.northwestarkansas.org.

Bentonville: http://www.downtownbentonville.org/

Rogers: http://visitrogersarkansas.com/

Springdale: http://www.springdaleark.org/

Fayetteville: http://www.experiencefayetteville.com/ or http://www.fayettevilleflyer.com/

Eureka Springs: http://www.eurekasprings.org/

Arkansas State Parks: http://www.arkansasstateparks.com/


Nearby Airports: