Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowships

RISD Museum invites interested RISD faculty to apply for Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowships. One fellowship is available in this cycle in the Museum’s Department of Decorative Arts and Design. The Mellon Faculty Fellowships are designed to engage faculty members from across disciplines in research, teaching, and public engagement through the RISD Museum’s collection. During the two-year appointment, the Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow will be resident in the Decorative Arts and Design department, with the expectation of learning the collection and conducting research related to it and to his or her area of expertise. The Decorative Arts and Design collections encompass European and American furniture, silver, metalwork, wallpaper, ceramics, glass, and plastics from the medieval period to the present. The Charles L. Pendleton Collection includes furniture made by 18th-century Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and the Townsend-Goddard circle of Newport cabinetmakers. The Gorham Manufacturing Company collection of silver pieces and design drawings from the mid-19th through the mid-20th century is the cornerstone of the American silver collection. Other highlights include Chinese export porcelain; French Empire furniture; European porcelain figures; 18th- and early 19th-century French wallpaper; 20th-century and contemporary design.

Research should enhance the Faculty Fellow’s work and teaching practices, as well as the educational mission of the curatorial department and the Museum overall. Fellows should engage audiences in the academic community and beyond, to both broaden and deepen access to the collections. In addition to conducting their own research based on the collection, the Fellows will collaborate with the curator and other faculty members to consider how the 20th and 21st century collection could be expanded in the future and how it could best support teaching, learning, and research. Fellows will collaborate with faculty to present collection objects on view to visiting classes, and facilitate learning by students, faculty members, and members of the visiting public.

During the fellowship period, the Faculty Fellow will lead a workshop for colleagues in order to share research methods and results, as well as pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning with and from objects. Upon completion of the appointment, the Fellow will also make a presentation to staff and faculty about this work. A report on the results of the fellowship is additionally required.

Full- and part-time faculty members with a demonstrated interest in teaching and learning with objects are eligible to apply. Mellon Faculty Fellows who are part of the full-time faculty are released from teaching one course per year; part-time faculty members will receive a stipend. Fellows are expected to be resident in the curatorial department for a set schedule during the academic year, as determined by the Fellow and department curator. Fellows will receive a stipend of $6,000 for the two-year appointment ($3,000 per year). A committee composed of members of the Provost’s Council and Museum staff will select one Faculty Fellow for 2015-16/2016-17.

Application Requirements

1) A statement of interest (~1000 words) describing:

– The qualifications and experiences that will enable you to participate in the mission of the selected department, including evidence of your interest in teaching and learning with and from objects;

– How the Mellon Faculty Fellowship will support your work and teaching practice, and the kind of research you envision during the Fellowship period;

– What you intend to offer to the curatorial department, the academic community and the public.

2) A letter from your Dean supporting the application. *Please consult with your Dean and Department Head in advance of submitting an application so that departmental course tables can be adjusted accordingly.


Applications for this Mellon Faculty Fellowship will be due January 9, 2015. The selection committee will interview finalists and announce the Mellon Faculty Fellow in February, 2015 for the fellowship commencing September 2015.


For more information or to submit applications contact:

Tracie Costantino, Associate Dean of Faculty

Andrew Mellon Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship, Research, RISD Museum

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