The Kress Foundation Conservation Fellowships

For aspiring art conservators, the Kress Foundation Conservation Fellowships offer a golden opportunity. This prestigious program provides financial support and invaluable hands-on experience, equipping future generations with the skills to safeguard our artistic heritage.

The Kress Foundation’s Legacy

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation, a champion of the arts, established these fellowships to bridge the gap between theory and practice in art conservation. By supporting emerging professionals, the Kress Foundation fosters a future where irreplaceable cultural artifacts can be preserved for generations to come.

Fellowship Details

The Kress Foundation Conservation Fellowships empower recent graduates with the following:

  • Financial Support: Each fellowship provides a substantial stipend, typically in the range of $32,000 to $37,000. This crucial financial assistance allows fellows to focus on their training without the burden of overwhelming student debt.
  • Supervised Training: The fellowship is not just about money. Fellows gain practical experience through supervised internships at museums or other conservation facilities. Working alongside experienced professionals, fellows hone their skills in various conservation specialties like painting conservation, textile conservation, or object conservation.
  • Nationwide Reach: The program partners with cultural institutions and conservation facilities across the United States, offering fellows diverse training opportunities and exposure to a wide range of artistic materials and techniques.

Eligibility and Selection

Here’s a glimpse into who can apply and how fellows are chosen:

  • Eligibility: The program is typically open to individuals who have recently completed a master’s degree in art conservation or a related field. U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is often a requirement.
  • Selection Process: Applications are evaluated by a panel of conservation professionals, ensuring a rigorous selection process. Reviewers consider the applicant’s academic background, demonstrated skills, and the proposed area of conservation focus during the fellowship.

Important Note: While the specific details may vary slightly from year to year, always refer to the official Kress Foundation website for the most up-to-date information on eligibility requirements, application deadlines, and the selection process:

Benefits Beyond the Fellowship

The Kress Foundation Conservation Fellowships offer more than just financial support and training. Here’s what else fellows can gain:

  • Professional Development: Fellows gain invaluable experience working alongside established conservators, fostering their professional network and preparing them for successful careers.
  • Building a Strong Foundation: The fellowship experience equips fellows with the technical skills, ethical considerations, and problem-solving abilities required to excel in the field of art conservation.
  • Contributing to Preservation Efforts: Fellows play a crucial role in safeguarding our cultural heritage by participating in the preservation of irreplaceable works of art.

A Stepping Stone to a Rewarding Career

The Kress Foundation Conservation Fellowships are a launchpad for a fulfilling career dedicated to art preservation. If you’re passionate about art conservation and possess the necessary skills and dedication, this program could be the key to unlocking your future in this vital field.

The purpose of the Kress Conservation Fellowship program is to provide a wide range of post-graduate fellowship opportunities that will help develop the skills of emerging conservators. Initial training, typically at one of a handful of institutions in North America, provides basic qualifications that must be supplemented with an extended period of specialized concentration on paintings, objects, textiles, antiquities, ethnic materials, photographs, prints and drawings, books and manuscripts, furniture, etc. Within a supervised environment, the young conservator develops the specific skills, the hands-on experience, and the confidence on which to base a future career.

Six $37,000 Fellowships are expected to be awarded each year for post-graduate internships in advanced conservation at a museum or conservation facility. Applications must be made by the museum or conservation facility at which the fellowship will be based. Prior to beginning the fellowship, fellows should have completed a masters-level degree in conservation. The fellowship candidate may be identified in advance of application by the host institution or recruited subsequently.

The program seeks to support a set of fellowships that offer:

A variety of specialty areas (paintings, paper, objects, etc.). Opportunities for graduates from a variety of graduate programs in the U.S. and Canada. Opportunities to work in a variety of institutions, from large municipal museums to university museums and other conservation facilities, as well as sites outside the U.S. Preference may be given to institutions that have not recently hosted Kress Fellows.

Fellows must be either a resident or citizen of the U.S. or Canada, or a recent graduate from a conservation graduate program in the U.S. or Canada. The Fellowship candidate may be identified in advance of application by the host institution or recruited subsequently. Priority is given to first-year requests, but outstanding projects that clearly outline benefits to the Fellow for a second year of Fellowship can be funded. Award notifications are normally made by April 1 and award payments are normally made by August 1.