Open Call for Fellowship Applications: 2020-2021 Research Fellows Program

Lunder Institute for American Art Research Fellows Program, 2020-21

Call for Fellowship Applications

Ramona Sanchez Gonzales (aka Ramona Gonzales), San Ildefonso Plate, c.1925. Blackware, 11 3/4 in. (30 cm). Gift of Adelaide Pearson. Colby College Museum of Art Accession Number: 1960.145.

The Lunder Institute for American Art seeks to appoint in 2020-21 a group of Research Fellows to pursue original scholarship on artistic modernisms of the Southwest, a region with unstable and contested boundaries shaped by sovereign Indigenous communities, settler colonialism, and ecological flux. Motivating this focus are the Colby College Museum of Art’s collection of work by the Taos Society of Artists, the Museum’s recent collaborations with Indigenous artists, and an exhibition planned for 2022 that will put Native and non-Native art into conversation.

Research Fellows will attend two meetings: September 23-26, 2020, at Colby College in Waterville, Maine; and January 20-23, 2021, in Taos, New Mexico. Jessica L. Horton (Associate Professor of Art History, University of Delaware), 2020-21 Lunder Institute Distinguished Scholar, will lead the Research Fellows in their critical reflections on art in the context of the westward expansion of the United States, a vast and unfinished project centered on the appropriation of Indigenous homelands, assimilation of Native bodies, and establishment of industries dedicated to art, tourism, and resource extraction. The group will be joined by guest speakers at each site, including Dr. Cynthia Chavez Lamar (Assistant Director for Collections, National Museum of the American Indian). They will convene in Taos at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site. Among the questions the Research Fellows will explore through the Colby Museum’s collections and their ongoing research are: How have the social and environmental upheavals of western expansion been registered—or suppressed—in artistic modernisms by makers of diverse heritages? How might our analyses of historical materials be read through the lens of Indigenous and environmental justice? What methodological tools are most needed today to address the legacies of colonialism and its contestation in Southwest modernisms and American art history more broadly?

Research Fellows may be academics with a PhD (conferred by August 1, 2020) or museum professionals at any stage of their career. For participating in two meetings, incorporating an object at the Colby Museum into their ongoing research, and writing a short summary of their engagement with that object, they will receive a $4000 stipend. Round-trip travel to Maine and New Mexico will be covered. Research Fellows are also supported by Colby undergraduate research assistants and will have an opportunity to contribute to the Colby Museum’s 2022 exhibition and/or catalogue.

Fellowship applications should be emailed as a single PDF by February 28, 2020 to Tanya Sheehan, Lunder Institute Director of Research, at tanya.sheehan@colby.edu. Please include (in this order):

  • Cover letter detailing your professional engagement with the subject of Southwest modernism and current interests in the questions outlined above
  • One-page proposal identifying 1-2 artworks at the Colby Museum and describing how you would place them into conversation with your ongoing research and the field of American art history
  • Current CV

Appointments will be announced by April 1, 2020.

Click here to explore the Colby Museum’s collection.

Homepage art: Victor Higgins, Taos, c. 1914-1915. Oil on canvas, 27 in. x 30 in. (68.58 cm x 76.2 cm). The Lunder Collection. Colby College Museum of Art Accession Number: 2013.139P.