NEH Funding Opportunities

NEH has updated the guidelines for their two grant programs: Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections and Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions. 

Both programs have a deadline of January 31, 2019.

Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections
Grants are available for both planning (up to $40,000) and implementation (up to $350,000)

The Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections (SCHC) program helps cultural institutions meet the complex challenge of preserving large and diverse holdings of humanities materials for future generations by supporting sustainable conservation measures that mitigate deterioration, prolong the useful life of collections, and support institutional resilience: the ability to anticipate and respond to disasters resulting from natural or human activity. Institutions can accomplish this work most effectively through preventive conservation. Preventive conservation encompasses managing relative humidity, temperature, light, and pollutants in collection spaces; providing protective storage enclosures and systems for collections; and safeguarding collections from theft, fire, floods, and other disasters.
https://www.neh.gov/grants/preservation/sustaining-cultural-heritage-collections

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions
**New this year** Awards for up to $10,000

Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. These may include special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine art objects, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, historical objects, and digital materials. Applicants must draw on the knowledge of consultants whose preservation skills and experience are related to the types of collections and the nature of the activities on which their projects focus.
https://www.neh.gov/grants/preservation/preservation-assistance-grants-smaller-institutions

 

The Year in Museum Acquisitions

The Art Newspaper reviews ten of the most significant gifts and purchases of artwork that entered public collections in 2018, several of which are academic art museums. (The Art Newspaper)

Image: Angelika Kauffmann, Ulysses on the Island of Circe (1793). Courtesy of the Barrett Collection © Kevin Tedora

Museum Creates Program for Families Suffering from the Opioid Crisis

The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH has created a program for those affected by the opioid crisis. New Hampshire is ranked number three in the nation for drug overdoses.

Lynn Thomson, an assistant director of education and community engagement, explains that the program began with a simple question: What is Manchester dealing with now, and what does the community need?Collaborating with the Partnership for Drug Free Kids, the Currier’s “Art of Hope” came to be. (Hyperallergic)

Image above: The Art of Hope program discussing Claude-Joseph Vernet’s “The Storm” (1759).

Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Launches Two Art Education Initiatives

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation has announced two intiatives which will help fund $500,000 in scholarships for students in MFA painting departments at Columbia University School of the Arts, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, and the Yale School of Art. In 2019, the Foundation will also give another $2 million to MFA or art history programs at four additional colleges or universities.

The Foundation has also started the Frankenthaler Prints Initiative, in which ten college- or university-affiliated museums will receive ten Frankenthaler prints, up to ten proofs by the artist, and a $25,000 grant. The museums will use the funds to exhibit and study the gifted works over three years.

The 2018 awardees of the Frankenthaler Print Initiative are:

  • Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, Austin
  • Bowdoin College Museum of Art
  • University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum
  • UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts/Hammer Museum
  • Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
  • Princeton University Art Museum
  • Rhode Island School of Design Museum
  • Savannah College of Art and Design Museum
  • University of Kansas’s Lawrence Spencer Museum of Art. (Art News)

Image above:  Helen Frankenthaler, Untitled, 1967.

Curatorial Fellow for the Indigenous Arts of the Americas – Stanford University, Cantor Arts Center

This position is a 24-month fixed term position.

About Us:
The Cantor boasts a proud and venerable history. Conceived with the founding of Stanford University in 1891, the museum opened in 1894, and now serves as the center for the visual arts on campus. The Cantor is an encyclopedic museum, with collections of historic and contemporary art from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, Oceania, and from the Stanford family, totaling over 33,000 objects.

In 2014, the Anderson Collection at Stanford University, opened next to the Cantor. The Anderson Collection is a world-class collection of 121 modern and contemporary American paintings and sculpture, all gifted to Stanford by the Anderson family.

Under new leadership, the Cantor has aspirations to be one of the finest university-museums in the country. The Cantor’s growth opportunities are boundless and is expected to present national and international exhibitions over the next few years, bringing together the spirit of innovation and world-class research that is expected of Stanford.

Job Purpose:
The Cantor Arts Center seeks a curatorial fellow to work with the museum’s collection of indigenous arts of the Americas, which encompasses over 1,500 objects from North, Central, and South America dating from the ancient period through the 21st century. Strengths include the indigenous arts of North America, Mexico, and Peru. As an integral part of the curatorial department, the fellow will gain meaningful experience in many aspects of curatorial work, including exhibition planning and implementation, program development, and collections research and cataloging. The fellow will benefit from the mentorship of Cantor staff as well as members of the Stanford Native and Indigenous communities, and will report to the Director.

Core Duties:
The fellow will be part of a collaborative team working to reinstall the museum’s Indigenous Americas galleries. Responsibilities will include:

  • Conducting research on the collection to determine the focus of the reinstallation, developing programming related to the reinstallation, and writing gallery and online texts.
  • Assist in all aspects of the development of exhibitions; develop related programming, including lectures, symposia and other educational programs.
  • Assist in production of catalogs and books; write brochures and guides.
  • May participate in teaching courses at the Museum, mentor student interns.
  • Others duties may also be assigned.

The fellow should have demonstrated experience and a strong interest in working with the arts of the Indigenous Americas in a museum setting, and should be qualified to research, care for, and interpret the arts of the Indigenous Americas for diverse audiences. The fellow should be committed to fostering museum-based dialogue around historical and contemporary issues of interpretation, representation, and other relevant concerns. The Cantor Arts Center has a history of collaboration with the robust Native and Indigenous community at Stanford, and the fellow will be expected to further develop these relationships.

 
Required skills:

  • Knowledge of and research skills across a wide range of the arts of the Indigenous Americas, as well as a specialization within the field.
  • Record of organizing and implementing innovative museum installations and/or special exhibitions of the arts of the Indigenous Americas.
  • Experience working closely and building relationships with Native and Indigenous communities in a professional setting.
  • Sensitivity to historical and contemporary issues around the representation of the arts of the Indigenous Americas and of Native and Indigenous communities in museums and other cultural institutions.
  • Commitment to inclusivity, especially to developing and cultivating Native and Indigenous perspectives in the museum.
  • Ability to conduct thorough, original research.
  • Ability to write for and speak effectively with a wide range of audiences, from the general public to scholars.
  • Ability and willingness to work collaboratively with colleagues within the museum and across the Stanford University campus, including the Native American Studies program, the Native American Cultural Center, and the Stanford American Indian Organization. Ability and willingness to collaborate with other local university and public museums and Native and Indigenous communities.
  • Proficiency working with computer programs including Microsoft Office and art management software.


Required Education:

  • Master’s degree in Art History or a related discipline (such as, though not limited to, Archaeology, Anthropology, Native American Studies, American Studies, or Museum Studies), with a specialization in the Indigenous Arts of the Americas.
  • Ph.D. preferred.


Physical Requirements:

  • Frequently perform desk-based computer tasks, seated work and use light/fine grasping.
  • Occasionally stand, walk, and write by hand, lift, carry, push pull objects that weight up to 10 pounds.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.

Working Conditions:

  • May work extended or non-standard hours, weekends and holidays based on business needs.
  • May work in areas with exposure to dust, paint, chemicals, and other toxins.


Work Standards:

  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide, http://adminguide.stanford.edu.


Required Application Documents:

  • CV
  • Cover letter
  • Sample of scholarly writing
  • 3 references, including at least one academic reference and one professional reference

For more information and to apply:  https://careersearch.stanford.edu/jobs/curatorial-fellow-for-the-indigenous-arts-of-the-americas-4601?src=JB-10064

Another University Sells An Art Masterpiece

“If we’re going to start selling … individual items, we are effectively erasing that archive,” he said. “We are effectively undoing the work of faculty and administrators who have been collecting these,” argued SUNY Fredonia English Faculty member Birger Vanwesenbeeck following the single lot sale of  the painting, Georgian Woman Wearing a Lechaki, by the Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani.

Faculty and students at Fredonia, who regularly use the Stefan Zweig Collection in courses, felt as though the sale was wrong, despite the proceeds going to support the Reed Library, the building in which the collection is housed. (Inside Higher Ed)

Image above:  Georgian Woman Wearing a Lechaki, Nike Pirosmani

University of Texas at Dallas Receives Over 400 Swiss Artworks, and Colonial Williamsburg Acquires Revolutionary War Portrait

The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has received a gift of over 400 works of Swiss art from Dallas collectors Nona and Richard Barrett. Having begun there collection in the 1990s, according to the press release, “the Barretts have become the most knowledgeable American collectors of Swiss art of the past two generations.” The Barrett Collection will be housed in a new Barrett Museum to be built on campus. “We have benefited so much from our city of Dallas and are glad to have an opportunity to give something back. Our wish is for our collection to remain intact and have a permanent, public home in our own city as well as in Texas,” said Richard Barrett. (Hyperallergic)

Connecting to Collections Care: Free Webinar

Looking at Plastics: An Introduction to Caring for Plastics with Mary Coughlin

November 27, 2018, 2:00 – 3:30 EST

For more information and to sign up for this FREE webinar: https://www.connectingtocollections.org/caring-for-plastics/

Plastics are everywhere – they are an inescapable part of our lives both at home and in our collections. Plastics present a deceptive promise of permanence yet we know from experience that their preservation is not an easy task.

We may be able to identify something broadly as “plastic,” however, not all plastics are the same. Do you know which plastics are in your collections? Do you know how to identify different plastics? Do you know how to handle and store plastics? Which plastics are most at risk for deterioration? Which ones have the capacity to negatively affect nearby materials? The goal of this webinar it to help you more fully understand plastics so that you can make a preservation strategy based on the recognition of risks inherent in some plastics and the threat they can pose to other materials. Learn how to monitor and mitigate problems that may arise from the deterioration of plastics in your collection.

About Connecting to Collections Care

The Connecting to Collections Care Online Community helps smaller cultural institutions to provide well-informed care for their valuable collections. All content in the C2C Care Community, with the exception of special courses, is provided for FREE. This service is a program of the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

On Display: A Curators’ Guide to Must-Sees at the Princeton University Art Museum

Alden Hunt ’20, a Princeton Art Museum intern explains, “Acting as buyers, researchers, historians, and often teachers, curators have an intimate understanding of the works they purchase, study, and assign for display.” In his recent article in the Princeton Alumni Weekly, Hunt interviewed nine of the eleven full-time curators at the PAM to learn more about their personal favorites from the 4,500 items currently on public view.   (Princeton Alumni Weekly)

Image above: BRYAN JUST, Peter Jay Sharp, Class of 1952, Curator and Lecturer in the Art of the Ancient Americas

(Photograph by Ricardo Barros)

Accepting Applications: Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) Program

The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC) is excited to announce that applications are open for the 2019 Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program from November 1st 2018, with a deadline of February 1, 2019.

The CAP program is open to small and medium-sized museums, zoos, aquariums, arboreta, and botanical gardens in the United States. Participating institutions receive funding for a general conservation assessment from a qualified collections and building assessor. The assessment is a study of all the institution’s collections, buildings, and building systems, as well as its policies and procedures relating to collections care. The two assessors work collaboratively to provide institutions with prioritized recommendations for improved collections care. Assessments consist of preparatory work, a two-day site visit, a written report, and a one-year follow-up consultation. CAP is often a first step for small institutions that wish to improve the condition of their collections or develop a long-range preservation plan, and can serve as a fundraising tool for future collections projects. Additional information on the CAP process, eligibility, and applications are available at www.conservation-us.org/cap.  CAP is administered by FAIC under a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).