This past summer we invited members of CODART as well as members of Historians of Netherlandish Art (HNA), the Renaissance Society of America (RSA) and other relevant colleagues to help us gather information on fellowships by filling out a survey. We would like to thank all of those who took the time to fill out the questionnaire. Hereby we would like to inform you about the results and future plans that may follow from our findings.
For this survey the Center for Netherlandish Art (CNA) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and CODART joined forces to explore the potential for new museum-based fellowship opportunities for curators and scholars of Dutch and Flemish art. Our aim was to assess current fellowship offerings, identify areas of need within the field, and collect input from our shared stakeholders. The survey sought to gather information and feedback that could help us determine the viability of possible future programs.
The survey has revealed needs beyond existing fellowship structures, and that there is a strong demand for professional development opportunities across different career stages. Respondents underwrote the importance of a continuum of opportunities starting at the (high) school level, especially when aiming for increased diversity and inclusion in the field. Staff exchange programs and mentoring opportunities for mid-career and senior curators and scholars were also of great interest amongst those who filled out the survey. When it comes to fellowships for emerging specialists, a new program would ideally provide fellows with one-on-one mentoring in relation to an independent research project, career development opportunities, full integration in the hosting organization, as well as a concrete outcome of a fellow’s research project (e.g. publication or exhibition) at the conclusion of the fellowship.
Please follow this link to read a full summary of the results (PDF file).
CODART would like to provide an overview of existing (art historical/curatorial/museum) fellowship opportunities on its website. We are currently thinking about how to best present this – perhaps by launching a new career section on the website, containing information on job openings and career changes of members, as well as fellowship opportunities. We plan to develop this further in 2022.
Furthermore, CODART will discuss the results of the survey with funding bodies and explore the feasibility to create more museum and object-based fellowships, as the survey has shown there is clearly a need for them.
In the CNA’s inaugural academic year, the Center will host up to three fellows to conduct research on the MFA’s rich collections of Dutch and Flemish art. The program will support and nurture future generations of scholars and specialists in Netherlandish art, with a focus on object-based research and learning in connection to public-facing scholarship. The outcome of the survey has been very informative in shaping the program and will continue to do so. The call for applications is now live on the CNA’s website.