detail from Breakfast in the Garden (woman sitting under a tree reading) and Red and Brown Hoxton (ships in the water, a man in the foreground)

Luce Fellow in American Art

About the Fellowship

The Freer|Sackler seeks an outstanding emerging scholar who specializes in American or British art of the Aesthetic movement for a post-doctoral fellowship funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. Beginning in January 2018, this one-year fellowship, with a possible second-year renewal, will provide opportunities to a scholar interested in a curatorial career in an art museum. It will also support scholarly research related to the Freer Gallery of Art’s unparalleled collection of prints, paintings, drawings, and watercolors by James McNeill Whistler. The selected fellow will work under the supervision of the curator of American art and will collaborate closely with the staffs of the conservation, digital media and technology, and collections management departments. The fellow will have access to the Freer│Sackler’s collections, library, and archives and will be an active participant in the museum’s scholarly community.

The AnchorageWorking in consultation with the supervising curator, the fellow will propose, develop, and implement a project (e.g., print- and web-based publications and resources, workshop or symposium, or some combination thereof) that draws on the Freer’s collection of Whistler watercolors. This project will be done in collaboration with the American art curator and other museum staff. The selected fellow will also have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of museum activities, such as planning exhibitions and programs, training volunteers and docents, giving art history lectures, and leading gallery tours.

Applicants must have completed a PhD within the last five years and must demonstrate scholarly excellence and promise in addition to a strong interest in a museum career. The fellowship carries a stipend of $48,000, and it may be renewed for a second year.

Applications must be received by Friday, April 14, 2017, and include:

  • A cover letter outlining the candidate’s interest in the fellowship
  • A statement of three to four pages that describes the applicant’s area of research and how it will potentially relate to the Freer Gallery’s collection of Whistler watercolors
  • A published paper or other writing sample
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation sent directly to the address below

Please submit applications to

All applications will be reviewed by the curator of American art and a fellowship committee that includes relevant research staff. The fellowship begins on January 2, 2018.

Image credits:
These works are in the collection of the Freer Gallery of Art, are by James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903), and are the gift of Charles Lang Freer.

Breakfast in the Garden, ca. 1883. Watercolor on paper, 12.7 x 21.9 cm. F1905.122.

Red and Brown–Hoxton, 1885–86. Watercolor on paper, 12.5 x 21 cm. F1904.79.

The Anchorage, ca. 1883–84. Watercolor on paper, 25.3 x 17.8 cm. F1902.173.