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Release Date: March 11, 2020

New Senior Research Fellowships Focus on Underrepresented Areas of Art History
First Fellowships Will Build Upon Initiatives in African American Art

Richard J. Powell, Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor, leads a tour in the American galleries to CASVA members.

Richard J. Powell, Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor, leads a tour in the American galleries to CASVA members.

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art's Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) has announced the creation of Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellowships to support scholars researching historically underrepresented areas of art-historical study. The first cycle of fellowships will support those focusing on the arts of African Americans, Africa, and the African diaspora.

The focus of the 2020–2021 fellowships builds upon the Center's ongoing initiative promoting the study of African American art, which has thus far included the appointments of two distinguished historians of this subject, Steven Nelson as Andrew W. Mellon Professor and Richard J. Powell as Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor; a symposium on the African American art world in 20th-century Washington, DC; a seminar on black modernisms; and a variety of other public programs featuring respected scholars from around the country and in partnership with institutions such as Howard University.

Up to two Leonard A. Lauder Visiting Senior Fellowships will be awarded for a term from September 1, 2020, through February 28, 2021. They are intended for applicants who have held the PhD for five years or more or who possess an equivalent record of professional accomplishment. Fellowships are for full-time research, and scholars are expected to reside in Washington and to participate in the activities of the Center throughout the fellowship period. Lectures, colloquia, and informal discussions complement the fellowship program. Visiting senior fellows have access to the notable resources represented by the art collections, the library, and the image collections of the National Gallery of Art, as well as to the Library of Congress and other specialized research libraries and collections in the Washington area.

Applications for the 2020–2021 senior fellowships are due March 21, 2020. For more information on the Leonard A. Lauder Senior Fellowship as well as details to apply, please visit

About Leonard A. Lauder

Chairman emeritus of Estée Lauder Inc. Companies, Leonard Lauder is one of the nation's leading philanthropists. He has long served as a trustee, president, and chairman of the Whitney Museum of American Art. A champion of educational causes, he also provided significant support and encouragement for the creation of the Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art within The Metropolitan Museum of Art to advance scholarship and connoisseurship of early 20th-century art.


Since its inception in 1979, CASVA has promoted the study of the history, theory, and criticism of art, architecture, and urbanism through the formation of a community of scholars. A variety of private sources support the program of fellowships, and the appointments are ratified by the Gallery's Board of Trustees. In selecting its members, CASVA seeks a diverse pool of applicants in the visual arts.

CASVA currently supports the Andrew W. Mellon Professor, a two-year appointment of a midcareer scholar; the Kress-Beinecke Professor, an appointment for one academic year of a distinguished scholar; the Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor, a six-month appointment of a scholar who advances his or her own research on subjects associated with the Gallery's permanent collection; and senior fellows, visiting senior fellows, a postdoctoral fellow, and predoctoral fellows. A board of advisors, composed of seven or eight art historians appointed to rotating terms, serves as a selection committee to review all fellowship applications.

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