National Gallery of Art Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Visual Arts Studies

he Center currently offers one postdoctoral fellowship biennially for two consecutive academic years. The A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow will reside in Washington. During both years of a two-year residency the A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow carries out research and writing for publication and designs and directs an intensive weeklong seminar for the seven predoctoral fellows in residence at the Center. 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 in addition to directing a weeklong seminar for the predoctoral fellows at the Center, which may repeat the one designed and directed in the first academic year.

Field of Study

The A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship supports research in the history, theory, and criticism of the visual arts of any period or culture. For appointment to the A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2022–2024, the Center encourages applications in the fields of the visual arts and culture of African Americans, Africa, and the African diaspora.


The A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow will be in residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts 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 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 Postdoctoral Fellowship must have received the PhD degree within the five years preceding the next application deadline. Applicants for 2022–2024 must have received the PhD degree between October 1, 2016, and October 1, 2021. The fellowship is 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. Individuals currently affiliated with the National Gallery of Art are not eligible for the A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship program.


The A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship award is $50,000 per year. The fellow also receives allowances for travel, in addition to housing, as available. 


Candidates for 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, 2021. Three letters of recommendation in support of the application are required. After a preliminary selection, several candidates will be invited to Washington in early 2022 for interviews. The A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship cannot be deferred or renewed. Holders of the A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship 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.

A. W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • award period: academic years 2022–2024
    deadline: October 15, 2021

We will be accepting applications beginning summer 2021.

For information contact:

Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, Maryland 20785
(202) 842-6482

Application date
2 academic years
Humanities : Arts and Art history, Philosophy, Theology and religion
Social sciences : Information and Communication Sciences