See instructions for how to apply at the bottom of the page.
Curatorial Fellowship: Decorative Arts
Newport, Rhode Island witnessed the emergence of the Aesthetic Movement and the birth of the Shingle Style form a singularly well-positioned perspective; many of the earliest domestic architectural projects of Richard Morris Hunt, H. H. Richardson, McKim, Mead & White and Peabody & Stearns were Newport commissions for nationally prominent clients. The buildings erected by these firms helped to define America’s search for a national vernacular style during the period 1870-1885 and their interiors proved equally ground-breaking and inventive. The first documented use of both La Farge and Tiffany opalescent glass in domestic settings would be for Newport clients and the importance of art glass in the decorative campaign of the “house beautiful” was highly significant.
To date, surveys of the work of John La Farge and L.C. Tiffany make mention of these important Rhode Island commissions; relatively little, however, is known of their contemporary competition. A large percentage of art glass in surviving Newport buildings is attributed to William MacPherson (Donald MacDonald, designer) of Boston and Charles H. Turno, Jr. of New York; the surprising cosmopolitanism of these latter suppliers remains largely unexplored. The candidate’s project would consist in addressing this imbalance and documenting their Newport oeuvre.
The Curatorial Fellow will conduct a comprehensive inventory of surviving art glass (windows, skylights, transoms, fixtures) in the houses of the Preservation Society including Kingscote (1878 -1881), Chateau-sur-Mer (1872-1876), and Isaac Bell House (18811-1883) together with such sister institutions as the Newport Casino-International Tennis Hall of Fame (1878-1991) and the former Newport Congregational Church (1880). Upon completion of the inventory, a stylistic analysis and comparison discussing design sources, techniques and related works will be prepared and include a biographical sketch of the relevant firm’s history and design team.
To be eligible for the Curatorial Fellowship in the Decorative Arts, applicants must be post-M.A., pre-Ph.D., or an emerging professional with a degree in the decorative arts, art history or related field.
Exhibition Design Fellowship
Rosecliff, the Preservation Society’s 1902 Gilded Age masterpiece designed by Stanford White in the style of the Grand Trianon at Versailles, now houses its state-of-the-art exhibition galleries. Opened in 2015, The Galleries at Rosecliff have quickly become a destination for over 100,000 visitors annually. Each exhibition is distinct both in theme and design, presenting a dynamic range of media, including, but not limited to, decorative arts, furniture, textiles, costume, paintings, prints, illustrations and photography.
The Exhibition Design Fellow will work closely with the Curator of Exhibitions to realize the design of two exhibitions and work on a range of other design-related projects at selected Preservation Society houses. The Fellowship provides distinct opportunities and challenges inherent in designing exhibitions for a fully-modernized gallery space that also maintains much of its original design features. The fireplaces, sconces and decorative moldings which once defined this second floor residential living space remain intact.
In addition to preparing two exhibition design schemes, the Exhibition Design Fellow will develop project timelines, work closely with contracted vendors, and assist with exhibition changeovers all the while further advancing the Preservation Society’s exhibition program. Other design-related projects will vary from re-designing an historical image gallery to supporting the transformation of the mansions for the holiday season.
To be eligible for the Exhibition Design Fellowship, applicants must be post-MA or an emerging professional with a degree in exhibition design or related field.
Historic Landscape Fellowship
Rhode Island is home to a significant collection of diverse landscapes ranging from designed gardens and arboreta to historic farmsteads and urban parks. The Preservation Society of Newport County and the Providence Preservation Society (PPS) are seeking to collaboratively increase awareness of Rhode Island’s landscape heritage. In doing so, these nonprofit organizations aim to inspire improved stewardship and enjoyment of historic landscapes across the state.
The Historic Landscape Fellow will support the creation of a portfolio of resources focused on landscape heritage. This research will build on existing publications, such as the “Historic Landscapes of Rhode Island” survey published by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission in 2001. The fellowship will have a particular focus on public education through lectures and the development of interpretive tools that are oriented to engage broader audiences and deepen awareness of Rhode Island’s unique and extensive landscape resources.
Because of the high concentration of historic landscapes in Providence and Newport, the fellowship will initially focus on historic landscapes in these two cities and use them to model a larger, statewide resource. The fellow will be responsible for creating a scalable framework that will serve as a foundation for future scholarship. Please note: Fellow will conduct research at both the Preservation Society (Newport) and the PPS (Providence) offices. A vehicle is required.
To be eligible for the Historic Landscape Fellowship, a M.A. or M.S. degree in landscape architecture or related field is required.
Interpretive and Public Practice Fellowship
In 2017, the Preservation Society conducted an interpretive assessment of its Isaac Bell House (1881 – 1883) to help guide how best to present this hallmark of American Architecture to the public. The Interpretation and Public Practice Fellow will focus her or his work on the assessment’s recommendations and create an interpretive plan and related public engagement initiatives in keeping with the assessment’s goals as prioritized by the Preservations Society. The Fellow will also develop a comprehensive guide training plan, assist with implementing the training plan, and support the Director of Museum Affairs and Interpretive Specialist in building consensus with key stakeholders.
The Interpretation and Public Practice Fellow will demonstrate an understanding of current and emerging museum interpretation best practices and have an innovative approach to working with multiple learning styles and diverse audiences. Knowledge of or interest learning about the application and integration of current interactive technologies including augmented and virtual reality and mobile software applications (apps) is required.
The Interpretation and Public Practice Fellow will also assist with evaluating and refreshing the interpretation of selected other houses and supports the development of interpretive resources.
To be eligible for the Interpretive and Public Practice Fellowship, a M.A. degree in museum education, museum studies with concentration on public practice, architectural history or related field is required.
How To Apply & Notification Dates
Step 1: Prepare Materials
Complete the application form
Please provide an abstract (250-500 words) describing your interest in the project selected, qualifications to undertake the proposed scope of research, and ability to realize deliverables.
Please provide a copy of your current curriculum vitae.
Submit two letters of reference from scholars or advisors who are familiar with your work.
Step 2: Submit Materials
Please instruct your reference writers to submit their letters via email to fellowships@NewportMansions.org . The email subject line should include the word “reference” followed by your last name
E-mail your complete application, including application form, essay, and vita, to fellowships@NewportMansions.org Please put your name in the subject line.
You may submit your materials directly via the online application form, or download a PDF of the
application form here and email it along with your supplemental materials to the address above.
Application deadline for all materials is February 16, 2018. Incomplete applications will not be eligible
Application reviews and interviews will take place from February 18 – March 30, 2018.
Applicants will be notified of their status April 2-6, 2018.