National Gallery of Art Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Visual Arts

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The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts currently offers, in alternating years, two postdoctoral fellowships for two consecutive academic years each. The A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and the Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellow will reside in Washington. During both years of a two-year residency, the A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and the Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellow carry out research and writing for publication. In the first year of the fellowship, the fellow will design and direct an intensive weeklong seminar for the seven predoctoral fellows in residence at the Center, focusing on a topic related to the applicant’s field of interest and with a special emphasis on methodological issues. In the second academic year, while continuing research and writing in residence, the fellow is expected to teach one course by arrangement at a neighboring university.

Fields of Study

Both the A. W. Mellon and Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellowships support research in the history, theory, and criticism of the visual arts of any period or culture. The Center encourages applications in historically marginalized fields.


The A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and the Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellow will be in residence at the Center for two years and will participate fully in the activities of the Center throughout the fellowship period. The fellow will be provided with housing in an apartment near the National Gallery, subject to availability, and with a shared study. The fellow has access to the notable resources represented by the art collections, the library, and the image collections of the National Gallery of Art, as well as to the Library of Congress and other specialized research libraries and collections in the Washington area.

Qualifications and Selection

Applicants for the A. W. Mellon and the Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellowships must have received the PhD degree within the five years preceding the next application deadline. Applicants for the 2024–2026 A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship must have received the PhD degree between October 1, 2018, and October 1, 2023. The fellowships are awarded without regard to age or nationality of applicants. Applications are reviewed by an external selection committee composed of scholars in the history of art and related disciplines. Individuals currently affiliated with the National Gallery of Art are not eligible for the postdoctoral fellowship program.


The award for both the A. W. Mellon and the Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellowships is $55,000 per year. The fellows also receive allowances for travel, in addition to housing, as available.


Candidates for the A. W. Mellon and Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellowships must complete an online application that includes brief proposals for the topic of the predoctoral seminar and the university course and a copy of an article or a chapter of a book, to be submitted on or before October 15, 2023. Three letters of recommendation in support of the application are required. After a preliminary selection, several candidates will be invited to Washington in early 2024 for interviews. The A. W. Mellon and Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellowships cannot be deferred or renewed. Holders of the A. W. Mellon and the Beinecke Postdoctoral Fellowships may reapply for a senior or visiting senior fellowship five years after the completion of the fellowship. Individuals may not apply for other Center fellowships while an application is pending or once a fellowship has been awarded.

Award Period (A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship): 2024–2026 academic years

Application Deadline (A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship): October 15, 2023

Contact Us:

Mailing Address:
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785

Application date
2 academic years
Humanities : Architecture and urbanism, Arts and Art history, Philosophy, Theology and religion