2022-2023 Residential Fellow Projects
Thank you for your interest in the Preservation Society's residential fellowship program.
To Apply & Notification Dates
Of Important Note: Successful candidates will demonstrate a willingness
to build community partnerships, as well as locate, identify, and
collate primary resources. Through collaboration and guidance from
staff, these research projects will result in new information the
Preservation Society can use to improve its offerings of tours,
exhibitions, and publicly shared information.
Social History Fellowship: The Many Lives of Kingscote
landmark Gothic Revival mansion Kingscote (1839) has largely been
interpreted through the history of the King family, who purchased the
property in 1864. However, the complicated history of its genesis and
first ownership period, when the house belonged to southern plantation owner and enslaver George Noble Jones, has been largely overlooked. We know a
good deal about Jones’s time as a plantation owner in Georgia and
Florida, where he enslaved hundreds of people, but his time in Newport,
and the lives of enslaved men and women he may have brought here, remain
relatively unknown. The 2022-2023 Social History Fellowship will focus
on identifying and locating information to develop a more complete
picture of Kingscote during the Jones era. Investigation into the site’s
built and natural environment will be critical, as will an assessment
of the home’s place within the summer colony of antebellum Newport and
Newport’s social and economic connections to the plantation South. The
stories of enslaved people will be central to this research effort. They
will provide direction for further evaluation of the structures and
landscapes of Kingscote and pre-Civil War Newport more broadly. The
Fellow will benefit from the Preservation Society’s ongoing partnership
with Salve Regina University’s Cultural and Historic Preservation
To be eligible for the 2022-2023 Social
History Fellowship, a M.A. degree is required in American history,
African American history, social history, anthropology, historic
preservation or other related fields.
Landscape History Fellowship: Estate Gardens
Rhode Island, located at the southern tip of Aquidneck Island, is
surrounded by the Atlantic waters of Narragansett Bay. The mild maritime
climate along with loamy, upland soils make for prime agricultural land
which has been prized for centuries. When the first English colonists
arrived in Newport in the seventeenth century, they found land
cultivated by the Native peoples for crops of maize, squash, and beans.
During the Colonial era, Newport land was redeveloped using European
models: farms, orchards, grazing meadows, nurseries, and pleasure
gardens gave rise to Newport’s reputation as the “Eden of America.” By
the mid-19th century, Newport was primed to blossom into the “Queen of
Summer Resorts.” As a burgeoning and fashionable summer colony, the
Colonial-era landscape was reconfigured by subdivision and the
construction of showplace cottages unsurpassed in their architecture,
interiors and gardens. A windswept and rugged coastal landscape became
blanketed by a dense arboretum that enveloped boulevards, velvet lawns
and refined gardens. This transformation was driven by the concentration
of immense wealth, the coming of age of landscape architecture as a
design discipline, newly available exotic nursery stock and emerging
technologies in greenhouse design and landscape equipment.
institutional efforts already underway to present our landscapes as
integral to an understanding of life in Newport during the Gilded Age,
The Preservation Society’s 2022-2023 Landscape History Fellowship will
examine the estate landscapes, designs, and maintenance of the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with specific focus on stories
that relate to or support Preservation Society sites. The Fellow will
research the original and evolving horticultural displays, along with
the people who designed, supported, and maintained these impressive
features that were created for peak enjoyment during a mere six weeks of
the year due to the social season, while the job of an estate gardener
or gardeners would be a year-round obligation. Remnants of these
designs, support structures and stories are quickly disappearing, and
this fellowship will be critical in capturing data and narratives before
they are lost forever.
To be eligible for the 2022-2023
Landscape History Fellowship, a M.A. degree is required in Landscape
Architecture, Landscape Design, Urban Planning, Architectural History,
Horticulture or relevant field.
Curatorial Fellowship: Newport & China
fine and decorative art collections of The Preservation Society of
Newport County are vast and varied, including a remarkable number of
objects imported from China or influenced by Chinese artisanship. They
reflect the deep connections to the China Trade of Newport families like
the Wetmores of Chateau-sur-Mer and the Kings of Kingscote, as well as
Newporters’ broader fascination with Chinese culture, from the
eighteenth century to World War I. An upcoming exhibition in the second-floor
galleries at historic Rosecliff (1902) will focus on artistic and social
exchanges between China and Newport from the colonial period through
the Gilded Age. In preparation for the exhibition, The Preservation
Society of Newport County seeks a Research Fellow to examine its
collections from China and Chinoiserie across our historic properties.
The Fellow will identify and research key objects in the collections,
including paintings, photographs, ceramics, textiles, furniture, and
lacquerwork — of which a comprehensive survey has just been completed in
2021-2022. The Fellow also will assist with targeted research on topics
concerning the China Trade; Western imperialism and missionary
activities in China; the Boxer Rebellion in the American imagination;
the fast-growing Chinese American community of late nineteenth-century
Newport; the travels of American architects Richard Howland Hunt and
Joseph Howland Hunt to China in 1912/13 in advance of the construction
of the Chinese Tea House (1914) at Marble House; and the influence of
Chinese American women on the American Woman Suffrage Movement,
particularly suffragist Alva Vanderbilt Belmont of Marble House.
be eligible for the 2022-2023 Curatorial Fellowship, a M.A. degree is
required in art history, American history, Chinese studies, or related
fields. Chinese language skills are preferred.
Collections Fellowship: Jules Allard Furniture Survey
Preservation Society of Newport County holds the largest collection of
works by designer Jules Allard, whose businesses in Paris and New York
catered to a clientele of wealthy, socially ambitious Americans. This
collection comprises interior paneling and architectural designs as well
as furnishings and decorative objects. The curatorial and conservation
teams are embarking on a long-term study of objects from Allard’s
workshop in our collections, which will begin with a thorough survey of
all furniture attributed to Allard. Spread across four sites — Marble
House (1892), The Breakers (1895), The Elms (1901), and Rosecliff
(1902) — this survey project will examine properties of Allard furniture,
including their materials, construction, and ornamental vocabularies, as
well as their measurements and proportions. Background research into
Allard and his workshop will be encouraged to interpret findings from
This survey will be done with and without
supervision and requires a heightened attention to detail, experience
working with historical furniture, object handling experience, and a
desire to understand and pose new questions about artisanal knowledge
To be eligible for the 2022-2023 Collections
Fellowship, a M.A. degree is required in art history, the history of
design, architectural history, or 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, 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 keep in mind that there may be restrictions to
visiting archival collections considering the ongoing pandemic.
Please provide a copy of your current curriculum
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
Reference letters: 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
Application: Email your complete application, including
application form, essay, and vitae, 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 Monday, May 30,
2022. Incomplete applications will not be eligible for consideration.
Applicants who are selected for further consideration will be notified
by Friday, June 10, 2022.
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