About The Met/ Fellowships/ Curatorial Research Fellowship

Curatorial Research Fellowship

Two fellowship positions funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provide scholarly support for the Museum's curatorial program through focused art-historical research, cataloguing of the permanent collection, and advancing digital scholarship practices. The fellows work with a curatorial mentor to learn best practices in cataloguing, with the goal of presenting full catalogue information for selected object records of their host department. This involves research on issues of authentication, dating, provenance, exhibition history, and bibliography.

The fellows also transfer all paper-based records for the selected group of objects to The Museum System (TMS) collections-management database for integration on the Museum's website. Fellows will be charged with advancing institutional practices for how best to engage audiences in art historical scholarship in the digital environment. Given the large volume of digitized information in the form of images, texts, and other data, the fellows are expected to explore new approaches and practices for communicating their collections research. They also work with conservators, scientists, educators, Digital Department staff, and other professionals during their tenure. The fellows are fully integrated into the life of The Met and are given unique access to the inner workings of the Museum through a rich program of tours, roundtable discussions, and workshops.

Program Information

Fellowships are one year in length, beginning on September 1 following the application deadline and ending August 31 of the following calendar year. All fellowships must take place within this period. The Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship carries the possibility of renewal to a second year.

Candidates must hold a doctoral degree (or international equivalent) in art history or archaeology that was conferred within five years from the start date of the fellowship (that is, September 1 of the year following the application deadline).

Arms and Armor: To conduct research, documentation, and cataloguing of the provenance of key sections of The Met collection of arms and armor, which comprises about 14,000 objects. This project will contribute to The Met's ambition to further document and create transparency around the origins of its collections. Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in the history of collections, as well as in the decorative arts or arms and armor. Prior experience in provenance research is preferred. Knowledge of a European language, such as German or French, is required.

European Sculpture and Decorative Arts: To conduct research, contribute to new scholarship, and synthesize existing information on targeted areas of the department's collection of 8,000 British works of art, in preparation for the reinstallation of the British Decorative Arts Galleries scheduled for 2019. Familiarity with The Museum System (TMS) is preferred, as is some familiarity with the Museum's holdings of European art, libraries, and visual resources.

Musical Instruments: To catalogue instruments from one of the following regions: East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, or Southeast Asia and Oceania. This project will help the department work towards creating a complete online catalogue of its collection and to contribute to the international collaborative project Musical Instruments Museum Online (MIMO). The fellow will update attributions for each object, provide relevant technical information about materials, establish up-to-date provenance linking to relevant correspondence, copy and translate all inscriptions, and write labels for the online collections database (TMS). Applicants should have a specialization in one of the following regions: East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, or Southeast Asia and Oceania.

Annual salary is $56,275, plus fringe benefits and a $6,000 research travel allowance.

Each Curatorial Research Fellow is a temporary full-time exempt employee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

How to Apply

All applications must be submitted online and in English. We will not accept applications or related materials via email, postal mail, or in person.

The online application will require you to provide the following:

1. Documents as Microsoft Word or PDF files:

  • Cover letter addressing your interest in the fellowship position
  • Full curriculum vitae of education, professional experience, honors, awards, and publications
  • A statement, not to exceed 1,000 words, specifying your areas of research and their relationship to the Museum's collection and activities. Include relevant experiences related to your chosen curatorial project area.
  • A statement, not to exceed 500 words, addressing the ways in which you see yourself contributing to the development of new interpretive research models in the digital environment.

2. Contact information for three recommenders (at least one academic and one professional), none of whom may be current Metropolitan Museum of Art staff. Once you have submitted your recommenders' names, titles, and email addresses, they will automatically be emailed instructions for uploading their letters online. Please note that each letter must include the recommender's complete title and contact information. We encourage recommenders to submit letters in English.

The deadline for all application materials, including letters of recommendation, is the first Friday in November at 5 pm (EST).

Apply now.

For more information about the application process, please read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. If your question is not answered there, please contact us.

All applicants will be notified by the last Friday in February of the year following the application deadline.