Rijksmuseum Fellowship Programme extended by 5 years thanks to generous American grants

A renewed donation from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a new grant from the Terra Foundation will enable international art historians and other academics to continue their participation in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum Fellowship Programme for the coming years. Combined, the total contribution to the programme from these two US foundations amounts to almost 1 million dollars. This funding will make it possible for research to be conducted on the international perspective on Dutch art, and American photography. New research candidates can now apply for a fellowship position through the Rijksmuseum website.

Taco Dibbits, General Director of the Rijksmuseum: We are deeply grateful to the funding organisations for making the Rijksmuseum Fellowship Programme possible. We are delighted to be in a position to offer young researchers the exceptional opportunity to explore and closely engage with the rich collections of the Rijksmuseum. Experiences such as these are defining for their research, and form a cornerstone of their career. By the same token, their talent and passion benefit the Rijksmuseum and the broader international museum field.

Rijksmuseum Fellowship Programme

The Rijksmuseum Fellowship Programme was started in 2013 to foster first-rate, object-oriented research in the fields of art history, history, museology and the natural sciences. Fellows have access to the Rijksmuseum’s expertise, collections, library and restoration studios. The programme has been funded through the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Migelien Gerritzen Fund/Rijksmuseum Fund, the Dr. Anton C.R. Dreesmann Fund/Rijksmuseum Fund and the Johan Huizinga Fund/Rijksmuseum Fund. They are now joined by the Terra Foundation. The programme also works closely with the University of Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology, and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) in Amersfoort.

New museum professionals

Over the last five years the Rijksmuseum Fellowship Programme has helped further the careers of 27 promising researchers from nine countries. Many of them have continued their careers in the international fields of museums and academia.
In the period from 2014 to 2016 fellow Jeroen Luyckx conducted research into the 16th-century Antwerp print publisher Liefrinck, curated a small exhibition in the Rijksmuseum, wrote a number of articles, and organised an international conference. Luyckx is now conducting research at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Following her fellowship, Cynthia Osiecki was appointed curator of Old Masters at Oslo’s National Museum. In the course of her research as a fellow at the Rijksmuseum from 2015 to 2016, Osiecki discovered in the Rijksmuseum collection two previously unknown copper printing plates by the 16th-century German printmaker Jacob Binck. She has published her research results in several articles, and given lectures.

Heather Hughes conducted research in the Rijksmuseum for her dissertation on seventeenth-century costume prints from the Netherlands, England, and France. She also contributed to the exhibition New for Now on the history of fashion prints. Heather obtained her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017, where she specialized in the visual culture of early modern Northern Europe. She currently works for the Saint Louis Art Museum.

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The Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to fostering exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States for national and international audiences. Recognizing the importance of experiencing original works of art, the foundation provides opportunities for interaction and study, beginning with the presentation and growth of its own art collection in Chicago. To further cross-cultural dialogue on American art, the foundation supports and collaborates on innovative exhibitions, research, and educational programs. Implicit in such activities is the belief that art has the potential both to distinguish cultures and to unite them.