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The Center for American Art was established in 2002 to encourage and facilitate the study of the nation’s artistic heritage from its beginnings to the present day at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In partnership with universities, museums, and libraries in the greater Philadelphia area, the Center for American Art has initiated a series of public programs, fellowships, publications, and focus exhibitions intended to enhance the national discourse on American art, with a special emphasis on the Philadelphia region. As the Museum advances toward the completion of its new American galleries in the coming years, the Center for American Art will play a leading role in interpreting its permanent collection for the new space.

The Center for American Art and the Barra Foundation offer three graduate fellowships each year in the Department of American Art.Full information on fellowships and application guidelines can be found in the Museum’s Employment Opportunities area when new applications are invited, from November to February.

Barra Foundation Fellowship

Fellowship stipend: $40,000 and additional research and travel funds

In honor of Robert L. McNeil, Jr., the Barra Foundation sponsors one graduate fellowship in the Department of American Art each year (September–August). The Barra Foundation Fellow works full-time (35 hours per week), assisting four days a week in ongoing department research and exhibition projects, with one day reserved for personal research, writing, or travel. Priority is given to applicants with projects relating to the Museum’s collection and to students from the Philadelphia region. At the conclusion of the term, the Barra Fellow is expected to submit a paper reflecting work done during the residency. Fellows receive a competitive stipend as well as additional research and travel funds.

Summer Fellowships

Fellowship stipend: $4,000

The Center for American Art sponsors two graduate summer fellowships each year that enable students to develop curatorial experience while contributing to Department of American Art’s collection research and exhibition preparation. Fellows work ten weeks during the summer and receive a competitive stipend.

Center for American Art Fellows

  • 2017-2018
    • Barra Fellow
      Elizabeth Hawley, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
    • Summer Fellows (2017)
      Michael Pratt, Williams College
      Julia Silverman, Harvard University

  • 2016-2017
    • Barra Fellow
      Amy Torbert, University of Delaware
    • Summer Fellows (2016)
      James Denison, University of Michigan
      Ramey Mize, University of Pennsylvania
      Jennifer Padgett, Washington University in St. Louis

  • 2015-2016
    • Barra Fellow
      Laura Fravel, University of North Carolina
    • Summer Fellows (2015)
      Abby R. Eron, University of Maryland
      Ann Glasscock, University of Wisconsin
      Melanie Saeck, University of Wisconsin

  • 2014-2015
    • Barra Fellow
      Naomi Slipp, Boston University
    • Summer Fellows (2014)
      Laura Fravel, University of North Carolina
      Lauren Palmor, University of Washington

  • 2013-2014
    • Barra Fellow
      Jennifer Stettler Parsons, University of Virginia
    • Summer Fellows (2013)
      William Coleman, University of California, Berkeley
      Corey Piper, University of Virginia

  • 2012-2013
    • Barra Fellow
      Katie Pfohl, Harvard University
    • Summer Fellows (2012)
      Brittany Strupp, University of Virginia
      Caitlin Beach, Columbia University

  • 2011-2012
    • Barra Fellow
      Margaret Adler, Williams College
    • Summer Fellows (2011)
      Amy Torbert, University of Delaware
      Susannah Maurer, University of Pennsylvania

  • 2010-2011
    • Barra Fellow
      Nenette Luarca-Shoaf, University of Delaware
    • Summer Fellows (2010)
      Emily Arensman, Williams College
      Jordan Robbins, University of Pennsylvania

  • 2009–2010
    • Barra Fellow
      Layla Bermeo, Williams College
      "Railways of Hope and Fear: Selections from the Fernberger Gift of Currier & Ives Prints"
    • Summer Fellows (2009)
      Katie Wood, University of Delaware
      Julie McGinnis, University of Delaware

  • 2008–2009
    • Barra Fellow
      Edward Puchner, Indiana University
      “At Home and Abroad: Horace Pippin, Mr. Prejudice and the Double V”
    • Summer Fellows (2008)
      James Pearson, State University of New York, Stony Brook
      Laura Turner, Temple University

  • 2007–2008
    • Barra Fellow
      Katie Rieder, Harvard University
      “Revolutionary Objects: Philadelphia Loyalists, Patriots, and the Story of the War”
    • Summer Fellows (2007)
      Lillian Fish, University of Virginia
      Rachel Wadsworth, University of Maryland, College Park

  • 2006–2007
    • Barra Fellow
      Nikki Green, University of Delaware
      “Cooling Black Skin: Selected Portraits in the African-American Collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art”
    • Summer Fellows (2006)
      Ellery Foutch, University of Pennsylvania
      Catherine Holochwost, University of Delaware
  • 2005–2006
    • Barra Fellow
      Amanda Burdan, Brown University
      “Rediscovering the Alex Simpson Jr. Collection”
    • Summer Fellow (2005)
      Edward Puchner, Indiana University
  • 2004–2005
    • Summer Fellows (2004)
      Edwin Harvey, University of California, Berkeley
      Marissa Vigneault, Bryn Mawr College

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