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Advanced Training Fellowship in Imaging Science Applied to Works of Art

With support from the Samuel H. Kress and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundations, the National Gallery of Art is offering a 13-month advanced training fellowship in imaging science applied to the study of works of art. The fellowship includes an annual stipend and allowances for research-related travel. The stipend is commensurate with the candidate's education and experience. The fellow will work in the scientific research department, conservation division, under the guidance of the senior imaging scientist, and is expected to collaborate with the Gallery’s conservators and curators.


The Gallery is developing and optimizing imaging-based, in-situ (non-invasive) tools to help address questions of material identification and construction methods in works of art. The spectral range and technologies being investigated are large and include:

  • High spatial resolution hyperspectral and multispectral infrared imaging to improve visualizing preparatory sketches and pictorial changes in paintings
  • Reflectance and luminescence imaging spectroscopy in the visible to infrared (IR) ranges to help in identifying and mapping artist pigments and materials such as binders
  • Spectral and spatial image processing algorithms

The results of these techniques are being evaluated by comparison with results obtained from more traditional analytical methods carried out by scientists in the Gallery’s well-equipped scientific research department. This evaluation is being done in collaboration with researchers at academic institutions and other research laboratories. The Gallery has several high-performance visible and IR monochrome and scanning hyperspectral cameras, a 2-D scanner, a diffuse reflectance visible to infrared fiber spectrometer, as well as transmission and luminescence spectrometers. The Gallery is also actively collaborating with the Applied Science and Engineering School at George Washington University, especially in the area of advanced image processing. See the publications list below for examples of the recent and ongoing research.


The fellow will receive training in the systems approach to spectral imaging and in the use of such methodologies in support of conservation treatments and the study of works of art.

The fellow will help in the design, construction, and testing of instrumentation and in developing analytical procedures and tools. The fellow will produce written reports, present research results at scientific and conservation meetings, and publish at least one paper in a scholarly scientific journal.


Candidates should have a graduate degree in one of the physical or applied sciences or in conservation science. The degree must have been obtained within the last five years. Candidates must be familiar with relevant scientific methods and instrumentation. A strong interest in art conservation is required, and previous experience in art conservation is desirable. English-language skills and a proven record of research and writing ability are required. Fellowships are awarded in conformity with EEO policies. Finalists who are not United States citizens must provide proof of their own health insurance coverage before starting the position.


Interested candidates must submit the following materials:

  • Transcripts of both undergraduate and graduate courses of academic study (unofficial copies are acceptable)
  • A curriculum vitae including basic biographical information and current and permanent addresses and telephone numbers
  • A short statement of the candidate's interests and intent in applying for the fellowship
  • Copies of publications
  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the candidate's work

All application materials, including letters of recommendation, should be submitted electronically to [email protected] and received no later than May 1, 2016. Please use [email protected] to request a copy of the guidelines for electronic transmission of application materials.

All applicants will be notified by June 10, 2016 of the selection committee’s decision.


Dooley, A. Kathryn, Damon M. Conover, Lisha Deming Glinsman, and John K. Delaney. “Complementary Standoff Chemical Imaging to Map and Identify Artist Materials in an Early Italian Renaissance Panel Painting.” Angewandte Chemie International Edition 53, no. 50 (December 2014): 13775–13779.

John K. Delaney, Mathieu Thoury, Jason G. Zeibel, Paola Ricciardi, Kathryn M. Morales, and Kathryn A. Dooley. “Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectroscopy of Paintings and Improved Reflectography.” Heritage Science 4 (December 2016): 6.

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Conservation Division
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
[email protected]