The Terra Foundation Fellowships in American Art

The 2017-2018 Terra Foundation Fellows in American Art: Lauren Richman, Jennifer Noonan, and Alexander Jackson

The 2017-2018 Terra Foundation Fellows in American Art: Lauren Richman, Jennifer Noonan, and Alexander Jackson

The Terra Foundation Fellowships in American Art foster international research on American art and visual culture prior to 1980 that relates to the collections of the Smithsonian Institution. Fellowships of three to twelve months are available at the predoctoral, postdoctoral, and senior levels to scholars from abroad who are researching American art or to US scholars with an exceptionally strong international component to their study. Fellowships are residential and support full-time independent and dissertation research.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should propose a SAAM primary advisor and submit their application to the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program (SIFP). Only one application is necessary. Applicants to the SIFP who propose a SAAM primary advisor will automatically be considered for the Terra Foundation Fellowships if eligible. For assistance identifying an advisor, contact or browse the Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study guide. The deadline for applications is November 1, 2021.

Support and Tenure

The stipend for a one-year fellowship is $40,000 for predoctoral scholars and $55,000 for postdoctoral scholars, plus research and travel allowances. Senior-level recipients of the Terra Foundation Fellowships are eligible for an augmented stipend of $60,000 for the full year.

The standard residency for fellowships is twelve months, but shorter terms are available with prorated stipends. All fellowships must take place between June 1, 2022, and August 31, 2023. The Smithsonian Office of International Relations will assist with arranging J-1 exchange visas for fellowship recipients who require them.

Qualifications and Selection

Applications that meet the criteria for the Terra Foundation Fellowships will be evaluated on the originality and 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.



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.


Smithsonian American Art Museum logo, Terra Foundation logo, Italian Embassy logo, and Istituto Italiano di Cultura logo.
This is the logo for the Terra Foundation for American Art.