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Members of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts resident community of scholars include the Kress-Beinecke Professor, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor, the Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor, the A. W. Mellon Lecturer in the Fine Arts, and approximately 18 fellows at any one time, including senior fellows, visiting senior fellows, research associates, postdoctoral fellows, and predoctoral fellows. In addition, the Center supports approximately 11 predoctoral fellows who are conducting research wherever in the world they need to be.

Fellows and professors who relocate to Washington are provided with housing in apartments near the National Gallery of Art, subject to availability. They are also provided with studies in the East Building of the National Gallery. Lectures, colloquia, shoptalks, and other scholarly gatherings complement the fellowship program.

As a complement to our long-standing fellowship program, the Center has expanded our support of the field through the participation in and development of internship opportunities for undergraduate students of all backgrounds. Learn more about internship opportunities.


Kress-Beinecke Professor

This one-year position was established by the National Gallery, with the support of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, in 1965. In addition to pursuing independent research, the Kress-Beinecke Professor is the senior member of the Center and counsels predoctoral fellows. From 2018 this appointment, newly endowed by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation in response to a challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will be known as the Kress-Beinecke Professorship.

Andrew W. Mellon Professor

This two-year position was established in 1994. The Mellon Professor is chosen to serve two consecutive academic years and is free to pursue independent research.

Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor

The Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professorship was established in 2002 with support from the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation. The Safra Professor serves for a term of up to six months, forging connections between the research of the National Gallery’s curatorial and conservation staff and that of visiting scholars at the Center. The Safra Professor may present seminars or curatorial lectures for graduate students and emerging scholars, including curators and conservators from other institutions, while pursuing independent research.


Senior Fellowships

One Paul Mellon Fellowship and four to six Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Samuel H. Kress, and William C. Seitz Senior Fellowships are awarded each academic year. Paul Mellon and Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellowships support research in the history, theory, and criticism of the visual arts of any geographic area and of any period. Samuel H. Kress Senior Fellowships support research on European art before the early 19th century. The William C. Seitz Senior Fellowship primarily supports research on modern and contemporary art. Senior fellowship applications are also solicited from scholars in other disciplines whose work examines artifacts or has implications for the analysis and criticism of forms. 

Application deadline: October 15, 2023

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Visiting Senior Fellowships

Leonard A. Lauder, Paul Mellon, and Beinecke Visiting Senior Fellowships are intended to support research in the history, theory, and criticism of the visual arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, prints and drawings, film, photography, decorative arts, industrial design, and other arts) of any geographical area and of any period. For the Lauder Visiting Senior Fellowship, the Center encourages applications in historically marginalized fields. Visiting senior fellowship applications are also solicited from scholars in other disciplines whose work examines artifacts or has implications for the analysis and criticism of visual form.

Application Deadline: September 21, 2023

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Postdoctoral Fellowships

The postdoctoral fellowship program is supported by the Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellowship and A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship programs. Each fellowship will be awarded biennially for two consecutive academic years. The postdoctoral fellows will reside in Washington. During the first year, the fellows will carry out research and writing for publication. Each will also design and direct an intensive weeklong seminar for the seven predoctoral fellows at the Center, focusing on a topic related to the applicant’s field of interest and with a special emphasis on methodological issues. In the second academic year, while continuing research and writing in residence, each fellow will be expected to teach one course by arrangement at a neighboring university.

Application Deadline (A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship): October 15, 2023

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Center/YCBA Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Center and the Yale Center for British Art (YCBA) jointly offer, on a biennial basis, up to two postdoctoral fellowships for two consecutive years each. The fellowship supports research for recent or soon-to-be PhDs in the history, theory, and criticism of modern and contemporary visual arts who are from historically marginalized or disadvantaged groups and who seek to expand their ability to serve as curators and scholars in fields beyond those for which they received (or are about to receive) their doctoral degrees. Fellows will work with curators, conservators, and educators at the National Gallery of Art and the YCBA to learn about the curation, conservation, presentation, and interpretation of the museums’ historical, pre-20th-century collections.

Application deadline: October 15, 2023

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Predoctoral Dissertation Fellowships

The predoctoral dissertation fellowship program supports advanced graduate research in the history, theory, and criticism of art, architecture, urbanism, and photographic media. Each of the ten fellowships has specific requirements and intents, including support for the advancement and completion of a doctoral dissertation and for residency and travel during the period of dissertation research. Application for a predoctoral dissertation fellowship may be made only through nomination by the chair of a graduate department of art history or other appropriate department

Application deadline: November 15, 2023

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Ailsa Mellon Bruce National Gallery of Art Sabbatical Fellowship

The Ailsa Mellon Bruce National Gallery of Art Sabbatical Fellowship is open to permanent members of the National Gallery of Art staff. The fellowship provides for full-time independent research of two to four months in duration. It is intended to relieve members of the staff of their departmental and other National Gallery responsibilities in order to pursue independent study, research, or publication not directly related to a National Gallery project.

Application deadline: November 15, 2023

Ailsa Mellon Bruce Predoctoral Fellowships for Historians of American Art to Travel Abroad

As of fall 2023, we are no longer accepting applications for this fellowship.

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Mailing Address
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785

In addition to the Center, the National Gallery offers museum-wide internships and fellowships.