Call for Applications, 2022-2023: The Tyson Scholars of American Art Program at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The Tyson Scholars of American Art Program encourages and supports full-time interdisciplinary scholarship that seeks to expand boundaries and traditional categories of investigation into 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 57 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. Scholars may be focused on architecture, craft, material culture, performance art, and new media. We also invite applications from scholars approaching US art transregionally and looking at the broader geographical context of the Americas, especially including Latinx and Indigenous 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 Northwest Arkansas and the surrounding areas 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 and archives 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 $17,000 to $34,000 per semester, plus provided housing. The residency includes $1,500 for relocation, and additional research funds upon application. Scholars are provided workspace in the curatorial wing of the 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. Housing is provided within walking distance of the museum.

Further information about the Tyson Scholars Program, application instructions, and application portal can be found at https://crystalbridges.org/reports-and-research/tyson-scholars/. Applications for the 2022-2023 academic year open November 1, 2021 and close January 14, 2022.

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.

The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Since opening in 2011, Crystal Bridges has welcomed 5.6 million visitors to the museum, with no cost for admission. Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 as a non-profit charitable organization by philanthropist and chair of the museum’s board of directors, Alice Walton. The museum is nestled on 120 acres of Ozark landscape and was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A rare Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house was preserved and relocated to the museum grounds in 2015. Crystal Bridges offers public programs including lectures, performances, classes, and teacher development opportunities. Some 300,000 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. Additional museum amenities include a restaurant, gift store, library, and over five miles of walking/biking trails, as well as outdoor art installations. Through the Tyson Scholars of American Art program, Crystal Bridges encourages and supports pre-doctoral and post-doctoral research that seek to expand boundaries of American art.

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

Crystal Bridges’ collection spans five centuries of American masterworks from early American to current day and is enhanced by temporary exhibitions. 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 at CrystalBridges.org/art-galleries. Crystal Bridges’ research library consists of approximately 60,000 volumes as well as significant manuscript and ephemera holdings. The Crystal Bridges Library ibrary also houses a comprehensive collection of American color-plate books from the nineteenth century.

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