Crystal Bridges Museum and the Tyson Scholars Program encourages and supports scholarship that seeks to expand boundaries or traditional categories of investigation into American art. Crystal Bridges invites applications addressing a variety of topics including art history, architecture, visual and material culture, Indigenous art, American studies, and contemporary art. Projects with an interdisciplinary focus are particularly encouraged.
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. Scholars will be selected on the basis of their potential to advance understanding of American art and to intersect meaningfully with aspects of Crystal Bridges’ collections, architecture, or landscape.
Three Scholars may be in residence at a time, with terms ranging from six weeks to nine months. To support their research, Tyson Scholars have access to the art and library collections of Crystal Bridges as well as the library at the University of Arkansas in nearby Fayetteville. Housing is provided at the Crystal Bridges Farmhouse, within easy walking distance from the Museum via wooded trails and approximately 1.5 miles from downtown Bentonville. Scholars have private bed- and bathrooms in the house, and share comfortable indoor and outdoor common spaces including an expansive yard, patio, and swimming pool. In addition to housing, Scholars are provided office or carrel space in the curatorial wing of Crystal Bridges’ Library. Stipends vary depending on the duration of residency, and position as senior scholar, post-doctoral scholar, or pre-doctoral scholar and range from $15,000 to $30,000 per semester. Additional funds for relocation are provided, and research travel funds are available during the residency upon application.
Who is Eligible?
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. Scholars will be selected on the basis of their potential to advance understanding of American art and to intersect meaningfully with aspects of Crystal Bridges’ collections, architecture, or landscape. Projects with a synthetic, interdisciplinary focus that seek to expand boundaries of research or traditional categories of investigation are particularly encouraged.
Applications for 2018-2019 are open October 15–January 15.
- A statement of purpose (limited to 1,000 words) outlining the aspects of the work to be accomplished during the residency period and the specific benefits that the residency program would provide. If you plan to use objects from the Museum collection and/or materials from the Museum archives in your research, please provide a brief listing.
Note: Pre-doctoral applicants should also include a detailed statement of their dissertation project outlining its contribution to the field, methodologies, and overview of relevant literature (limited to 1,000 words).
- Curriculum vitae (limited to 10 pages).
- Two letters of recommendation, to be sent directly to Crystal Bridges.
- For pre-doctoral applicants, one of these letters must be from the applicant’s dissertation advisor or professor.
2017-2018 Tyson Scholars
Andrus received his Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016. His focus is on American art of the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His research interests include the relationship between realism and abstraction in theories of painting and sculpture. Andrus is currently working on a book examining painter Stuart Davis’s art and theory of the 1920s and their relation to cubist, dadaist, and anarchist ideas.
Applebaum’s research focuses on the intersections of American visual and material culture with histories of technology, media studies, and communication practices. Her current book project examines how traditional forms of creative expression, from landscape and genre paintings, to quilts and decorative desk sets, were used to integrate and understand new communication technologies and their social implications during the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century. Before completing her PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017, Lauren’s work was generously supported by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship in American Art, and The Huntington Library.
Hernández is an Assistant Professor of English at University of California, Riverside, focusing on Latina/o literary and visual culture studies. His first manuscript “Finding AIDS: Archival Body/Archival Space and the Chicano Avant-garde” examines alternative archive formations generated around the AIDS crisis in Latina/o artist communities in Southern California. Hernández’s articles have appeared in Aztlán, Collections, MELUS,Radical History Review and the exhibition catalog for Art AIDS America edited by Jonathan Katz and Rock Hushka. He is curating Mundos Alternos: Art and Science Fiction in the Americas with UCR ARTSblock for the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time II: LA/LA Initiative scheduled to open in September of 2017. During his residency, he will be working on his next book project examining transplanetary performance art in the Americas.
Sands is a PhD candidate in the history department at Yale University specializing in the history of photography. Her dissertation on Lisette Model examines the artist’s pivotal influence on American photographic modernism. Her research has been supported by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Council of Learned Societies, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, and Peter E. Palmquist Memorial Fund for Historical Photographic Research. She has held positions in curatorial departments at the Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, and Pulitzer Arts Foundation. Audrey received her B.A. in art history from Barnard College and an M.S. in the history of art and visual culture from the University of Oxford.
Sullivan received a PhD from the University of Michigan and is currently an Assistant Professor of Art History at Keene State College. Prior to her appointment, she served as Henry Moore Foundation Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on European and American modern and contemporary art, with a particular focus on sculpture. Sullivan recently published “Sculptural Materiality in the Age of Conceptualism” (Routledge, 2016), and is co-curating a major exhibition on Harry Bertoia, scheduled to open at the Nasher Sculpture Center in 2019. She is also working on a book project about the relationship between American sculpture and architecture during the mid-twentieth century.
Voelker is a historian of photography and nineteenth-century art and visual culture, with particular focus in transatlantic exchange and indigenous representation. Her first book project considers photographs of American Indians either sent to, or made at, Parisian exhibitions between 1870-1890. The study also examines the continued life and ongoing meaning of these pictures in the Native communities represented within them today. Voelker earned her PhD from Boston University in 2017, and her work has been supported by the Smithsonian Institution (NMAH & NPG), the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
2016-2017 Tyson Scholars
Camp is a PhD candidate in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Virginia. She studies 20th-century American Art, with a specific interest in the intersections of art, politics, and visual culture during the Great Depression. Her dissertation analyzes the “picture books” of New York City-based printmaker Lynd Ward within the context of an emerging enthusiasm for visual storytelling among leftist and socially-engaged artists during the 1930s.
Ericson is an art history PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His interdisciplinary dissertation explores cultural encounters in 17th-century New Mexico, focusing on the material expressions of everyday life among a community of Spanish Franciscans and Zuni Indians at the Purísima Concepción mission of Hawikku Pueblo. As a Peter Buck Fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, he has studied the archaeology of this site and worked collaboratively with the Zuni community. He is also a practicing studio artist with roots in the Ozarks, where he completed his undergraduate studies in 2006.
Gaudio graduated from Stanford University in 2001 and is currently a Professor of Art History at the University of Minnesota. He is interested in how the visual arts mediate knowledge. His publications have ranged across a wide temporal span, from the 13th to the 19th centuries, and include studies of visual ethnography, landscape representation, natural history illustration, cartographic practices, and the reception of religious prints. Currently, he is completing a book which investigates the significance of aural experience in relation to prints, paintings, and films created and circulated within the colonial Atlantic world.
Lee is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Delaware. His dissertation examines the aesthetic politics of outdoor advertising in 20th-century America, especially as it played out in the urban skyline. A secondary area of research investigates modern architecture in South Africa. He received an MA from the Bard Graduate Center and a BA from Dartmouth College.
Padgett is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Washington University in St. Louis. Her dissertation explores how modern artists worked across boundaries of fine art and design to envision a more dynamic interaction between aesthetic experience and everyday life in the early 20th century. She has previously held internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and has most recently received fellowships at the Wolfsonian-FIU and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
2015-2016 Tyson Scholars
2014-2015 Tyson Scholars
2013-2014 Tyson Scholars
2012-2013 Tyson Scholars
Dr. Weems is an assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside where he specializes in American art and visual culture from the colonial period to the present. He’s held fellowships from the Huntington Library, the College Art Association/Terra Foundation for American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies.
As a Tyson Scholar at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Jason Weems will complete work on his current book manuscript, which examines the development of modern aerial vision and its effect on visual expression during the interwar years.
Washington University in St. Louis
Matthew Bailey is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology and a Lynn Cooper Harvey Fellow in American Culture Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He has also held dissertation fellowships from the Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies and the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library.
As a Tyson Scholar at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Matthew Bailey will continue work on his dissertation, which examines the way artists conceptually and physically interacted with paint in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Rather is a tenured member of the art history faculty in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas, Austin. There since 1986, she has taught and supervised students ranging from beginning undergraduates to doctoral candidates. As a scholar, Rather first published Archaism, Modernism and the Art of Paul Manship. Her work then began to focus on artists during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, with resulting articles on John Singleton Copley, Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart and others appearing in such leading journals as Art Bulletin, American Art, William and Mary Quarterly, and Eighteenth-Century Studies.
As a Tyson Scholar at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Susan Rather will complete her manuscript for a book examining in depth what it meant to be an American artist during the colonial and early national era.