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Fellowships at the museum support the professional pursuits of early-career curators, art historians, conservators, and other museum professionals by providing the opportunity to work at a world-renowned cultural institution.

A fellow holding a clipboard and inspecting a collection of shoes in the Costume and Textiles department


Fellowships at the museum give early-career art historians and museum professionals the chance to experience the field up close, and provide fellows with full access to a range of research resources and professional development opportunities. The museum welcomes and encourages applicants from all backgrounds, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups in the museum field, and is dedicated to fostering a more culturally diverse museum landscape.

Learn more about the opportunities available for undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate fellows seeking to gain museum experience and bring the arts to life for our audiences.

Curatorial Fellowships

American Art

Barra American Art Fellowship

This fellowship is generously endowed by The Barra Foundation in honor of Robert L. McNeil, Jr., with additional support provided by the Robert L. McNeil Endowments for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Barra Fellow works full time in the Department of American Art, assisting four days a week in ongoing department research and exhibition projects, with one day reserved for personal research, writing, or travel. At the conclusion of the term, the Barra Fellow will be expected to give a lecture and submit a paper reflecting work done during the residency.

Center for American Art Summer Fellowships

The Center for American Art sponsors two graduate fellowships each summer that enable students to develop curatorial experience while contributing to the Department of American Art’s collection research and exhibition preparation. Fellows work full time (35 hours per week) for ten weeks during the summer.

Learn more about the Center for American Art

Contemporary Art

Daniel W. Dietrich II Fellowship in Contemporary Art

This fellow assists with planning and realizing a number of installations; conducts research related to collection objects and exhibitions; and contributes to documentation, scholarship, and conservation projects related to the Dietrich Contemporary Art gifts. As the fellowship is designed to provide professional training for emerging talent, the Fellow will also be fully integrated into the life and work of the department, as well as the museum at large.

Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Suzanne Andrée Curatorial Fellowship in Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Margaret R. Mainwaring Curatorial Fellowship in Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Horace W. Goldsmith Curatorial Fellowship in Photography

These fellowships provide firsthand experience with curatorial work in the graphic arts or photography. Fellows participate in all activities of a large, active curatorial department with a collection of more than 160,000 works of art on paper, located in state-of-the-art facilities. Fellows may have the opportunity to organize an exhibition from the permanent collection during the second year of the fellowship.

Fellowships Open to All Departments/Research Areas

Constance E. Clayton Fellowship

The Constance E. Clayton Curatorial Fellowship provides upcoming or recent M.A. graduates in Art History or other related field from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) or other institutions the opportunity to gain professional experience in preparation for a career as a curator. The Fellowship offers a foundational learning and development opportunity for an individual from a traditionally underrepresented group in the museum field. Working under the direction of a museum curator in the department of the Fellow’s choosing, the Fellow will receive a comprehensive introduction to curatorial practice in a large art museum. The Fellow will participate in the Museum’s Fellows’ cohort program which is intended to provide a broad introduction to a professional career working in an art museum. Additionally, the Fellow will be mentored by a committee of members of the Museum’s senior staff who will serve as a resource for the Fellow’s professional development and will make every effort to provide opportunities to connect with other mentors and leaders in the Fellow’s field of interest.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship

This fellowship provides an opportunity to an individual who has recently finished their Ph.D. and wishes to pursue a curatorial career in the art museum field. The fellow is fully integrated into one of the museum's curatorial departments. The individual works directly with one or more curators, who serve as supervisors and mentors throughout the term of the fellowship. The fellow also has the opportunity to undertake an independent project in consultation with their supervising curator.

Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program

Over the last decade, the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship (MUCF) program has sought to diversify curatorial cohorts in American art museums, supporting the work that foregrounds the growth of strong and diverse curatorial ranks into robust and distinct art museum leadership.

The MUCF program includes two components:

Summer Academy: The academy is a week-long immersion program designed to provide a riveting experience to participants in the museum while providing them with career options in the fields of art and art history. The summer program includes tours, workshops, field trips, and networking events. At the end of the program, participants will be invited to apply for the fellowship program.

Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program: Undergraduate students will participate in this program throughout their college career with the goal of being accepted into a graduate program. This two-year fellowship provides students with invaluable, hands-on experience inside the museum. Students will work alongside our curators and staff and assist with our collections, exhibitions, and programs. Fellow participants will be matched with a mentor or museum curator who will enrich their experience and deepen their appreciation and understanding of art. Fellows receive an annual stipend.

Following the current class of 2021–2022 fellows, the MUCF will pause to conduct a thorough evaluation and assessment of its program goals and strategies.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Conservation Fellowships

Conservation Fellows join the museum’s team of conservators in preserving the public collections for future generations. As integral members of the museum's conservation staff, fellows perform examinations, treatments, and related research on objects in the collection; produce technical documentation; and participate in activities relating to exhibitions, installations, loans, preventive care of the permanent collections, and professional and public engagement. Fellows are graduates of conservation training programs, or have equivalent training, with experience that demonstrates exceptional visual and manual aptitudes and research skills. These fellowships rotate through the following areas on a cyclical basis and can include:

  • Conservation Science
  • Costumes & Textiles Conservation
  • Decorative Arts and Sculpture Conservation
  • Furniture and Woodwork Conservation
  • Paintings Conservation
  • Works on Paper Conservation

Equal Opportunities for All Students

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility lay the groundwork for providing an unforgettable experience to all. As such, the museum welcomes and encourages students from all backgrounds, especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups in the museum field, who believe they will benefit from the fellowship program.