The Tyson Scholars of American Art Program at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Tyson Scholars Program application instructions and more can be found in the program portal.
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, Latin American art, American studies, and contemporary art. Projects with an
The Tyson Scholars of American Art Program supports full-time scholarship and an expansive approach to 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 nationally and internationally.
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. 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.
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.
Fellowships are residential and support full-time writing and research for terms that range from six weeks to nine months. While in residence, 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. 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, plus provided housing. Additional funds of $1,500 for relocation are provided, and research funds are available during the residency upon application. Scholars are housed 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. Scholars have private bed and bathrooms in the house, and share comfortable indoor and outdoor common spaces including an expansive yard and patio. Scholars are provided workspace in the curatorial wing of Crystal Bridges’ library. The workspace is an enclosed area shared with other Tyson Scholars. Scholars are provided with basic office supplies, desk space, an office chair, space on a bookshelf, and a locking cabinet with key for personal belongings and files.
Further information about the Tyson Scholars Program, application instructions, and application portal can be found here. Applications for the 2021-2022 academic year open October 30, 2020 and close January 15, 2021.
About Crystal Bridges
As Crystal Bridges and the Momentary, we recognize our role as settlers and guests in the Northwest Arkansas region. We acknowledge the Caddo, Quapaw, and Osage as well as the many Indigenous caretakers of this land and water. We appreciate the enduring influence of the vibrant, diverse, and contemporary cultures of Indigenous peoples. We are conscious of the role in colonization that museums have played. As cultural institutions, we have a responsibility to engage in the dismantling of historical and systemic invisibility of Indigenous peoples past, present, and future. We choose to intentionally hold ourselves accountable to appropriate conversation, representation, connection, and education to facilitate a space of measurable change.
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 contemporary art satellite space. The Momentary presents 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 here. 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.
2020—2021 Tyson Scholars
Ariel Evans is a historian of American art and photography in the twentieth century. Her current book project, Pussy Porn and Other Arguments in American Feminist Photography, 1968-1988, studies how feminist artists shaped the theory and practice of photography in the United States. She earned her doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin in 2018, where she currently works as a postdoctoral research assistant in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department.
Jehan is an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersection of cultural anthropology, art history and criticism, and critical theory. Through her work, she often explores issues of memory, identity, erasure, and belonging in contemporary art and everyday life. Her current book project examines feminist interventions and aesthetic strategies in contemporary Arab American performance, new media, and installation art. Jehan is a recipient of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation Interpretive Fellowship at the Detroit Institute of Arts and has participated in the Smithsonian Institute in Museum Anthropology. She is currently completing her PhD in American Studies at Purdue University.
Abbe Schriber received her PhD in 2020 from Columbia University's Department of Art History & Archaeology. Her research analyzes the unconventional, genre-blurring practices of Afro-diasporic artists in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and asks how diaspora—along with its attendant dynamics of retention and loss—is integral to encouraging visual experimentation and innovation. Her current book project is a study of David Hammons amid a network of artists, alternative spaces, and legacies of the Black Arts Movement in 1970s-80s New York. Recent writing includes peer-reviewed publications in ARTS and Women & performance: a journal of feminist theory, and contributions to catalogs for the Museum of Modern Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem.
Joseph M. Watson is an assistant professor of architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at Kansas State University. He studies the architecture of the twentieth-century United States as a register of social, economic, and environmental change. He received a PhD in the History and Theory of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. His writings have appeared in the Avery Review, Journal of Architectural Education, Journal of Urban History, Planning Perspectives, and Thresholds. While at Crystal Bridges, Joseph will be revising his dissertation for publication.
Lesley A. Wolff is an assistant professor of art history at Texas Tech University, specializing in Latinx and Latin American art and critical theory. Wolff’s current book project examines how the visual culture of foodways became a critical lens through which Mexican anxieties of indigeneity and globalism were negotiated during the nation’s volatile post-revolutionary era. She received her PhD in art history from Florida State University where she held the Adelaide Wilson Fellowship, and her work has previously appeared in publications such as African and Black Diaspora, Athanor, and Food, Culture, & Society.
2019—2020 Tyson Scholars
Adepeju Layiwola is Professor of Art History and the current Head of the Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos. She works in a variety of media and addresses diverse strains of the postcolonial condition. In Layiwola’s teaching, writing, and art, there is continuous engagement with themes of artifact pillage, repatriation and restitution, history, memory, gender and the continually mutable processes of production. She earned her BA in 1988 at the University of Benin, Benin City; an MA and Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1991 and 2004 respectively.
Anni A. Pullagura is a PhD candidate in American Studies and an MA candidate in the History of Art and Architecture at Brown University. A specialist in modern and contemporary American art, her dissertation, “Seeing Feeling: The Work of Empathy in Exhibitionary Spaces,” considers how the contemporary art museum reinforces racial sightlines through the rhetoric of empathetic sight. She received her MA in Public Humanities in 2016, also from Brown, and a BA in Art History from Emory University in 2010.
Emily Warner is a historian of American and twentieth-century art, with a particular interest in the relationship between painting and architecture. Her research has been supported by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Dedalus Foundation. Her current book project, Abstraction Unframed: Abstract Murals at Midcentury, offers a novel account of American abstract painting and its complex ties to modern architecture and public life. She earned her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 and has since held positions at Vassar College and University College London.
Joseph L. Underwood is a scholar and curator whose research focuses on artists from the African continent and the Diaspora as they create networks around the globe in the 1970s and ‘80s. As an art historian of the modern and contemporary, his projects encompass themes including post-colonialism, (trans)nationalism, globalization, and biennialism.
Laura Minton is a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Kansas (KU) and Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Prints & Drawings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She specializes in twentieth-century American, global contemporary, and self-taught art. Her dissertation uses the theory of “sense of place” as a new interpretive approach to the drawings of Chicago artist Joseph E. Yoakum. She received an MA in art history from KU and a BA in art history from Wake Forest University.
Lesley A. Wolff is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Texas Tech University, specializing in Latinx and Latin American art and critical theory. Wolff’s current book project examines how the visual culture of foodways became a critical lens through which Mexican anxieties of indigeneity and globalism were negotiated during the nation’s volatile post-revolutionary era. She received her Ph.D. in art history from Florida State University where she held the Adelaide Wilson Fellowship, and her work has previously appeared in publications such as African and Black Diaspora, Athanor, and Food, Culture, & Society.
Melissa Messina is an Independent Curator and Curator of the Mildred Thompson Estate. Her exhibitions, site-responsive projects, and public programs have been presented throughout the United States and abroad, and she has authored numerous essays on contemporary American artists. She recently co-curated Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today, an intergenerational traveling exhibition and accompanying catalog that highlighted abstraction by 21 black women artists. In 2018 she served as consulting curator for Mildred Thompson’s debut solo exhibition at Galerie Lelong & Co., New York, and co-curated the solo exhibition Mildred Thompson: Against the Grain at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Vanessa Reubendale is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Minnesota, where she also minored in American Studies. Currently, she is working on her dissertation, which considers the turn to interdisciplinary performance from the late 1940s to mid-1970s, especially as it aligned with parallel labors in the telecommunications industry. In addition to her studies at Minnesota, she holds an MA in art history from the University of Delaware.
2018—2019 Tyson Scholars
Lydia Mattice Brandt is associate professor of art history at the University of South Carolina and an architectural historian and historic preservationist. Her current research focuses on twentieth-century popular architecture in the American South. She published First in the Homes of His Countrymen: George Washington’s Mount Vernon in the American Imagination in 2016 and has written multiple National Register of Historic Places nominations for districts in Virginia, South Carolina, and Illinois. Brandt earned her PhD in art and architectural history from the University of Virginia and her undergraduate degree from New York University.
Elizabeth Ferrell is a specialist in modern and contemporary art with an emphasis in post-war art of the United States. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley in 2012 and is currently an Assistant Professor at Arcadia University. Her book manuscript, The Ring Around The Rose: Jay DeFeo and her Circle, examines collaborations that took place around The Rose, a monumental painting created by the San Francisco artist Jay DeFeo between 1958 and 1966.
Jennifer A. Greenhill is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Southern California, where she teaches courses on American art and visual culture, and serves on the advisory committee of the Visual Studies Research Institute. She is the author of Playing It Straight: Art and Humor in the Gilded Age (University of California Press, 2012), and a co-editor of A Companion to American Art (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015). Her current book project, Commercial Imagination: American Art and the Advertising Picture, has been supported by fellowships and grants from the NEH, the Smithsonian, the Huntington Library, the Hagley Center for the Study of Business, Technology, and Society, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
Mickevicius is a PhD candidate at Brown University specializing in the history of photography and modern and contemporary American art. Her dissertation considers the reception of the 1975 George Eastman Museum exhibition, “New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-altered Landscape.” Her research has been supported by the Henry Luce Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, the Getty Research Institute, and the Center for Creative Photography. Emilia received her B.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago and has held positions in curatorial departments at the Art Institute of Chicago and the RISD Museum.
Rife is a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Toronto, working on intersections between art and land use in the American West. Her dissertation examines how representations of natural resources in turn of the century festivals and New Deal murals worked to enshrine extractive identities in settler communities, specifically on the Great Plains. Her research has been supported by fellowships at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the American Antiquarian Society, and a travel grant from the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at BYU.
A professor of Fine Arts at Brandeis University, Scott received her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where she wrote her dissertation under the supervision of Prof. H. W. Janson. In 2014, Scott held the Leon Levy Senior Fellowship at the Center of the History of Collecting, The Frick Collection. There she researched works by J. M. W. Turner collected in America, with a focus on The Slave Ship in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2015, she published Georgia O'Keeffe: Critical Lives. O'Keeffe's work in the 1940s to promote and secure the legacy of Stieglitz, including the 1949 gift of works from his “American and modern” collection to Fisk University, will be the center of Scott's ongoing project to be published.
Rachel Stephens is an assistant professor of art history at the University of Alabama. She received her Ph.D. in art history from the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on the antebellum period, including southern art, race and slavery, and Jacksonian-era portraiture. Her first book Selling Andrew Jackson: Ralph E. W. Earl and the Politics of Portraiture will be released June 2018 by the University of South Carolina Press. Her current book project, which she will be preparing as a Tyson Fellow is entitled Hidden in Plain Sight: Slavery and Suppression in Antebellum American Art.
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 of art 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.