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The Fellowship Program: Sixty Years of Scholarship

Established in 1951, the Fellowship Program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art is flourishing, with scholars taking up residence in all corners of the building—from the curatorial departments, conservation labs, libraries, and study rooms to the Education Department, gallery spaces, offices, and archives.


The fellows on an architectural tour of the Metropolitan Museum led by Morrison H. Heckscher, Lawrence A. Fleischman Chairman of the American Wing. Photograph by Eileen Travell

Around fifty fellows arrive at the Museum each year—usually in September—to begin twelve-month terms of study. They come from all over the world and range in experience from first-year doctoral candidates to established senior scholars, museum curators, professors, conservators, and scientific researchers. While most fellows work closely within a specific department, some focus on collaborative studies between fields.

The Museum has supported more than fourteen hundred researchers since the fellowship program began. Many of the participants have gone on to become professors, curators, conservators, or directors of institutions in the museum and academic worlds. To give you an idea of the variety of the fellows' studies, I wanted to invite a few of our 2010–2011 participants to share some of their scholarly research. In the coming weeks, you will be reading about ancient Egyptian ostraca, German Renaissance armor, Brooklyn dressmakers, and seventeenth-century painters from Utrecht. This year's wonderful group of fellows is completing its time at the Museum; the 2011–2012 fellows will be arriving soon.

Marcie Karp is the managing museum educator of academic programs in the Education Department.

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