Thank you for your interest in the Preservation Society's residential fellowship program.
Strategic Planning Fellowship
Social History Fellowship
To Apply & Notification Dates
Strategic Planning Fellowship
Although The Breakers has been an active part of the Preservation Society's 75-year history, there are spaces and areas never before seen by the public. Following the conclusion of an extensive window restoration project in 2020, the function of The Breakers third floor is the subject of a strategic plan project. The assessment of a wide variety of visitor needs, narratives, objects, spatial limitations, and access—among other challenges—will need to be addressed in order to determine how this space can best serve the public while maintaining the historical integrity of the building and preserving the legacy of the Vanderbilt family. With the help of an extensive oral history project, detailing first- and second-hand accounts of the space’s use by staff and family members, a unique opportunity exists to program this important space based on its historical use. Working with a team of Preservation Society staff members, the Fellow will become immersed in the many layers of collaborative decision-making required to bring a historic space to a public audience. Candidates should have interest in adaptive reuse of historic spaces with the intent to preserve and maintain any/all structural elements of integrity.
To be eligible for the Strategic Planning Fellowship, applicants must be post-M.A., pre-Ph.D., or an emerging professional with a degree in architectural history, architecture, historic preservation, museum studies, or relevant fields.
As a structure, The Breakers Stable and Carriage House is an important site in the storytelling of Newport's history, particularly as it relates to the home of Alice and Cornelius Vanderbilt II: The Breakers. However, with limited hours, some of the institution's largest collection objects, and a complex array of operational needs, how can this space better function while acting as an educational tool for the public? Taking the tour, programs, and event needs into consideration, the Fellow will design the layout and facility program for this space to allow for enhanced accessibility, better object presentation and greater understanding of the site's historic operations, and to serve Preservation Society institutional needs. Members of the Museum Affairs, Properties, and Museum Experience departments will support and advise the Fellow throughout the process.
To be eligible for the Curatorial Fellowship, applicants must be post-M.A., pre-Ph.D., or an emerging professional with a degree in art history, material culture history, architectural history, museum studies, or other relevant fields.
Hunter House is often referred to as "the connoisseur's house," which accurately describes the current tour format and structure as it shares information on the 18th-century furniture and interiors. However, this site represents more than its contents. As the first property in the Preservation Society's collection, Hunter House is the earlier bookend of our historic span: Newport's Golden Age. The Fellow will perform a critical assessment of the collections, and the history of the site, and research new and innovative ways to communicate a clear and thoughtful guided tour that equally represents the important examples of Newport craftsmanship located in the spaces while also sharing the significance of the site in our nation’s history. The result will be a more engaging and interactive experience that will serve an audience of diverse interests. The Fellow will have a strong background in art historical research with an emphasis in material culture and decorative arts. As this tour is to be created for the general public, an interest in education and educational techniques is required.
To be eligible for the Interpretation Fellowship, applicants must be post-MA or an emerging professional with a degree in art history, American history, museum studies, art education, or a relevant field.
The King and Wetmore families were prominent Newport residents and China trade merchants who amassed eclectic collections of objects and furnishings from the East. Many of these objects are on view at Kingscote and Chateau-sur-Mer, two of the Preservation Society’s eleven historic properties. In 2013, a limited survey examining Urushi lacquer objects in the Preservation Society’s collection was performed by the Conservation Department. Recent research on a Chinese shrine from Kingscote revealed a need to update and expand this survey to serve both treatment and interpretation priorities. The Fellow will revise the survey and expand the scope to include the study of all lacquerware objects and pieces of furniture in the Preservation Society’s collection. An expansion would additionally include other Asian lacquer techniques like Coromandel lacquer as well as European techniques such as Japanning. Areas of investigation expanding the knowledge about our collection would include provenance research, material examination and analysis, assessment of construction and decoration techniques, specific degradation processes and acceleration factors.
To be eligible for the Conservation Fellowship, applicants must be graduates of a recognized conservation training program, post-M.A., pre-Ph.D., or an emerging professional with no more than three years of work experience, an interest in lacquerware techniques, and a proven record of research and writing ability.
Social History Fellowship
What defines the Gilded Age? What elements separate the Gilded Age from the concurrent historical periods of the Victorian, Edwardian, and Progressive Eras? How can we best collect and communicate all the social, political, and cultural elements that place our Newport historic sites, collections, and narratives within the greater national and global context? The Fellow will carry-out an in-depth research project that accounts for a variety of subjects that define the Gilded Age and the relevant events and trends taking place from the 1870s to the 1910s. This bank of knowledge will then be formulated into a platform that is accessible by the public for brief browsing or in-depth consumption, which the Fellow will research and present for staff approval. An implementation plan will be produced, and, if successful, this content bank will be available to all who wish to learn more about this dynamic period in American history. Working with various Preservation Society departments, the Fellow will identify, research, and compile a wealth of information—all of which will be appropriately cited—and develop the most effective way to present and share the encyclopedic information both as a start-up reference source and for perpetual updating and editing.
To be eligible for the Social History Fellowship, a M.A. degree is required in American history, art history, social history, public history, or other related fields.
To Apply & Notification Dates
Step 1: Prepare Materials
Complete the application form, click here.
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. We welcome preliminary ideas and resources you would use to approach the chosen subject.
Please provide a copy of your current curriculum vitae.
Submit two (2) letters of reference from scholars or advisors who are familiar with your work.
*Candidates who are selected as part of the final round of consideration will also be asked to provide personal references from current and/or former landlords and appropriate individuals. Please have these references in order.
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 Friday, May 15, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be eligible for consideration. Applicants who are selected for further consideration will be notified by May 31, 2020.
All Fellowship offers are contingent on the successful completion of a background check which will be conducted with the authorization of the Applicant immediately following acceptance of the Fellowship.