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Research

Fellows and Interns

Terra Foundation Fellowships in American Art
at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
2017–18

Terra Fellows

2015-2016 SAAM Fellows with Terra Seminar leader Tim Barringer

The Terra Foundation Fellowships in American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) seek to foster a cross-cultural dialogue about the history of the art of the United States up to 1980. Three twelve-month fellowships are awarded annually, one each at the predoctoral, postdoctoral, and senior levels, to scholars from abroad who are researching American art or to U.S. scholars with an exceptionally strong international component to their study. Fellowships are residential and support full-time independent and dissertation research.

Qualifications and Selection

Applications that meet the criteria for the Terra Foundation Fellowships will be evaluated on the quality of the proposed project and the applicant's academic standing, scholarly qualifications, and experience. The project's compatibility with Smithsonian collections, facilities, staff, and programs will also be considered. Candidates must be proficient in reading and speaking English. A committee comprised of Smithsonian curators and one outside scholar will review the applications.

Application Procedures

Applicants should apply to the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program using the online application system (SOLAA). To be considered for a Terra Foundation Fellowship, applicants must propose a primary advisor/supervisor from SAAM. Only one application is necessary for all SAAM fellowships; applicants will automatically be considered in all relevant award categories.

The annual stipend for Terra Foundation Fellows is $32,700 at the predoctoral level and $48,000 at the postdoctoral and senior levels, with up to an additional $4,000 for research travel. An additional allowance may be provided to help with temporary relocation to the Smithsonian and the cost of health insurance. The Smithsonian Institution's Office of International Relations will assist with arranging J-1 exchange visas for fellowship recipients who require them.


Deadline: December 1, 2016, is the application deadline for fellowships that begin on or after June 1, 2017.


The Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to fostering exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States for national and international audiences. Recognizing the importance of experiencing original works of art, the foundation provides opportunities for interaction and study, beginning with the presentation and growth of its own art collection in Chicago. To further cross-cultural dialogue on American art, the foundation supports and collaborates on innovative exhibitions, research, and educational programs. Implicit in such activities is the belief that art has the potential both to distinguish cultures and to unite them.

Terra Foundation Fellowship Recipients 2006-2017 (PDF)


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