Fellowship: Menil Drawing Institute Fellowships, Houston

The Menil Drawing Institute in Houston, Texas is announcing the creation of two new residential Fellowships for the Fall of 2020. A Pre-Doctoral Fellowship is open by application to American and international students whose doctoral research focuses on modern and/or contemporary drawing. A more advanced Research Fellowship will be awarded by invitation. It is intended for American and international individuals with a specific research project to propose and a proven track record in their fields: scholars, conservators, artists, choreographers, writers, or others whose practice pertains to modern and/or contemporary drawing.

The establishment of a Fellowship Program is a key component of the Menil Drawing Institute as it aspires to become a major research center on modern and contemporary drawing. The program will foster the highest level of scholarship and make possible rich, interdisciplinary, object-based conversations on the drawing medium’s history, theory, criticism, and practice.

 

1 – MENIL DRAWING INSTITUTE PRE-DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP

The Menil Drawing Institute welcomes applications from American and international researchers who work in fields pertaining to modern and contemporary drawing practices. This fellowship is residential and supports individual research towards the Fellow’s doctoral dissertation. Applicants must have completed a master’s degree and completed their graduate coursework and passed any required pre-doctoral exams (“orals”) before the term of the fellowship begins. Applicants with approved dissertation topics are preferred.

The Fellow is expected to reside in Houston for the duration of the fellowship and to participate in the cultural and intellectual life of the Menil. They will typically make a presentation on their research to Menil staff and invited guests, and will also give a public talk.

Terms of Appointment

• The Menil Drawing Institute Pre-Doctoral Fellowship is 9 months in length, and spans the academic calendar, lasting from September to June. The Fellow will receive a monthly stipend of $3,000 to cover living and other expenses incurred during the Fellowship. Fellows are not considered employees of the Menil and will not be eligible to participate in the Menil Foundation’s Employee Benefits Plan. The Menil will not make any payroll deductions or withholdings. Fellows are responsible for all taxes associated with the stipend.

• The Fellow will be housed in a fully-furnished apartment within a recently-refurbished historic bungalow on the Menil campus. The Fellow will be assigned an office at the Menil Drawing Institute to use for the duration of the fellowship.

• Foreign Fellows must be in good standing with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service and have authorization (a J-1 visa) that permits them to conduct the activities for which they have been designated a Menil Drawing Institute Fellow. When possible, the Menil will assist fellows in acquiring the documents required to start that authorization process. Visa applications will be handled by the Director of Human Resources. Fellows may need to consult with immigration lawyers, a cost not assumed by the Menil without written approval.

• The Fellow will have access to the collections, archives, and staff at the Menil; and to libraries throughout Houston, including the Menil’s library, Fondren Library at Rice University, the Libraries of the University of Houston, and the Hirsch Library at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. In addition, they will be able to request references via Inter-Library Loan via the Menil Library.

Application Process

Applicants for the Pre-Doctoral Fellowship are required to provide a project proposal (not to exceed 1,000 words), a tentative schedule of work to be achieved during the fellowship period, a curriculum vitae, official undergraduate and graduate transcripts, a writing sample, and three letters of recommendation. It is the applicant’s responsibility to make sure that the application is complete and has been received by the museum.

All application materials, including academic transcripts and letters of recommendation, must be sent via email to mdi@menil.org and received by 11 December 2019. All applicants will be notified of the Menil’s decision by late January 2020.

 

2 – MENIL DRAWING INSTITUTE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP

Offered by invitation, the Menil Drawing Institute Research Fellowship is intended for scholars, conservators, artists, choreographers, writers, or others whose practice pertains to modern and contemporary drawing. Invitees will have a proven track record in their fields and a specific project to propose. That project should ideally connect with the drawing collection and/or with exhibition and research projects at the Menil Collection. The Menil Drawing Institute Research Fellowship is offered for periods from 3 months to 9 months (with the occasional possibility of staying for shorter duration of 1 or 2 months), between September and June. The Fellow is expected to reside in Houston for the duration of the fellowship and to participate in the cultural and intellectual life of the Menil. They will typically make a presentation on their research to Menil staff and invited guests, and will also give a public talk.

Terms of Appointment

• The Fellow will receive a generous stipend of up to $5,000 per month to cover living and other expenses incurred during the Fellowship. Fellows are not considered employees of the Menil and will not be eligible to participate in the Menil Foundation’s Employee Benefits Plan. The Menil will not make any payroll deductions or withholdings. Fellows are responsible for all taxes associated with the stipend.

• The fellow will be housed in a fully-furnished apartment within a recently-refurbished historic bungalow on the Menil campus. The Fellow will be assigned an office at the Menil Drawing Institute to use for the duration of the fellowship.

• Foreign Fellows must be in good standing with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service and have authorization (a J-1 visa) that permits them to conduct the activities for which they have been designated a Menil Drawing Institute Fellow. When possible, the Menil will assist fellows in acquiring the documents required to start that authorization process. Visa applications will be handled by the Director of Human Resources. Fellows may need to consult with immigration lawyers, a cost not assumed by the Menil without written approval.

• The Fellow will have access to the collections, archives, and staff at the Menil; and to libraries throughout Houston, including the Menil’s library, Fondren Library at Rice University, the Libraries of the University of Houston, and the Hirsch Library at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. In addition, they will be able to request references via Inter-Library Loan via the Menil Library.

The Menil Drawing Institute opened to the public on 3 November 2018 and is the first freestanding facility built expressly for the acquisition, exhibition, study, conservation, and storage of modern and contemporary drawings. The Menil Drawing Institute has been a program of the Menil Collection since 2008, organizing major traveling exhibitions and undertaking scholarly projects including the catalogue raisonné of the drawings of Jasper Johns, published in 2018. The Menil Drawing Institute’s home, designed by the Los Angeles-based firm of Johnston Marklee with the collaboration of landscape architects Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, is the fifth art building on the Menil’s 30-acre campus.

Houston philanthropists and art patrons John and Dominique de Menil established the Menil Foundation in 1954 to foster greater public understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, culture, religion, and philosophy. In 1987, the Menil Collection’s main building opened to the public. Today, some thirty years later, the Menil Collection consists of a group of five art buildings and green spaces located within a historic residential neighborhood. The Menil embodies the ideals and values of its founders, in particular, that art is vital to human life and should be readily accessible to all persons.

Inquiries about the Menil Drawing Institute Fellowship Program should be addressed to mdi@menil.org.

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