The Early Research Initiative invites applications for two Morgan Library & Museum graduate fellowships (Summer 2022). These $4,000 fellowships will be offered to Graduate Center Ph.D. students from any program with primary research interests related to the collections at the Morgan Library & Museum. The primary responsibilities of the award winners will be to collaborate with curators, librarians, and catalogers from the Morgan in order to gain experience in creating and organizing collections or exhibition planning, research, and design, processing uncatalogued collections, and improving public access to documents and related materials.
Application Deadline: Friday, March 4, 2022, 3pm
Applicants are invited to take one of the following approaches:
(1) Apply to conduct one of the specific projects detailed below. This year the Morgan offers CUNY Fellowships in the following areas: a. musical compositions by Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, and others working in Paris during the Belle Époque; b. the drawings and collages of John Ashbery and friends; c. works of Nina Katchadourian; d. drawing albums and sketchbooks from old masters and e. the legacy of Belle da Costa Greene
- Music, Dance, Design: Ballet and Modernism in the Early 20th Century (Department of Music Manuscripts and Printed Music)
From the Ballets Russes’ stunning first season in 1909, dance took a surprise leading role in ushering in modernism and moving beyond the juggernaut that Wagner’s legacy represented. The Robert Owen Lehman Collection, held on deposit at the Morgan, holds autograph manuscripts for many iconic Ballets Russes scores including Stravinsky’s Firebird, Petrouchka, and Les Noces, Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, and other major dance works beyond the Ballets Russes including Ravel’s Bolero and La Valse. This project seeks a candidate to research these manuscripts and associated drawings and dance notation, and the creators who brought the ballets to life with a particular focus on performer and impresario Ida Rubinstein and dancer and choreographer Bronislava Nijinska. The candidate will work closely with the curator researching primary sources, drafting text for the exhibition, planning programming, and so on. The candidate should read music and have broad familiarity with Western music history, though expertise in this specific era is not required.
- John Ashbery and Friends Exhibition Project (Modern and Contemporary Drawings)
The department of Modern and Contemporary Drawings is planning an exhibition of works from the personal collection of American poet, artist, and critic John Ashbery (1927-2017). Acquired in 2019 and 2022, the collection comprises twenty-four drawings and collages spanning seventy years and representing eighteen artists, including Ashbery himself. The collection reflects his life in art with friends such as Joe Brainard, Niki de Saint Phalle, Susan Frecon, Jane Freilicher, Red Grooms, R.B. Kitaj, Jean Hélion, Philip Pearlstein, Fairfield Porter, Larry Rivers, and Jean Tinguely. This extraordinary group of visual works, including a number of portraits of Ashbery, exemplifies the Morgan’s commitment to explore the creative processes of artists across a range of mediums. Working with members of the department, the candidate will conduct research on works in the collection, focusing on biographical and artistic connections. Additionally, the candidate will assist in identifying related works in the Morgan’s departments of Printed Books and Literary and Historical Manuscripts. Students in the departments of English and Art History are encouraged to apply.
- Nina Katchadourian Exhibition Project (Department of Photography)
In spring 2023, as part of an ongoing series of contemporary artist projects, the department of Photography will mount an exhibition in which Nina Katchadourian (b. 1968) combines her work with objects drawn from all areas of the Morgan’s holdings. Katchadourian’s interdisciplinary approach leads her into farflung, unexpected fields of learning and craft. The Fellow’s research, conducted at the direction of the artist and the curator, will reflect the great range and variety of both the collections and Katchadourian’s interests and practices.
- Drawing Albums and Sketchbooks before 1900 (Department of Drawings and Prints)
The Morgan’s Department of Drawings and Prints holds a rich collection of artist albums and sketchbooks from the period before 1900. This project seeks a candidate to catalog and research one or more albums (French, British, or German—depending on the candidate’s area of expertise), prepare the volume or volumes for publication as digital facsimiles on the Morgan’s website, and draft extended introductory texts to accompany them. Among the sketchbooks that might be studied are examples by Joshua Reynolds, Edgar Degas, or John Ruskin, though a search of the Morgan’s CORSAIR catalog will reveal other possibilities. Candidates with questions regarding the project can contact email@example.com
- Belle da Costa Greene: Research and Access Projects in the Morgan Archives (Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts)
To mark the 2024 centenary of its life as a public institution, the Morgan Library & Museum will present a major exhibition devoted to the life and career of its inaugural director, Belle da Costa Greene (1879–1950). Belle da Costa Greene: A Librarian’s Legacy will trace Greene’s storied life, from her roots in a predominantly Black community in Washington, D.C., to her distinguished career at the helm of one of the world’s great research libraries. Through extraordinary objects―from medieval manuscripts and rare printed books to archival records and portraits―the exhibition will explore Greene’s work as a librarian, scholar, curator, and cultural executive, and honor her enduring legacy. Students in the departments of English, History, and Women’s and Gender Studies are encouraged to apply, as well as those with an interest in the History of the Gilded Age and/or Critical Race Studies.
Supervised by the Department Head of Literary and Historical Manuscripts, the Fellow will work on one of several ongoing projects related to the exhibition:
- The Belle Greene–Bernard Berenson Letters Project: The Fellow will assist with transcription, vetting, and metadata for a major project to digitize, transcribe, and publish online 600+ letters sent by Greene to the art historian Bernard Berenson. The Fellow will learn to read Greene’s handwriting and become familiar with project conventions while also collaborating with colleagues from I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, to create content for a website dedicated to the letters.
- Object Research for Belle da Costa Greene: A Librarian’s Legacy: The Fellow will conduct original primary research, using the Morgan Archives and other institutional records, to contextualize Belle Greene’s activities in relation to specific collection objects. This research is crucial to checklist development for the exhibition, and the Fellow may have the chance to draft label copy for select objects.
- Belle Greene’s Letters in Morgan Collections Correspondence: The archival collection known as “Morgan Collections Correspondence” contains letters written to J. Pierpont Morgan, Jack Morgan, and Belle da Costa Greene by hundreds of researchers, booksellers, curators, and librarians, from the late nineteenth century to ca. 1924. The Fellow will research the extensive correspondence with British booksellers Bernard Quaritch or J. Pearson & Co. to help understand better Greene’s role in collection development, her business dealings with booksellers, and her relationship with the Morgans.
(2) Apply to conduct a research project of your own choosing that requires the use of primary source material (manuscripts, rare books, music, archives, and other works of art) in the Morgan’s collections. Students are especially encouraged to submit proposals related to modern art, literature and publishing making use, for example, of the Man Booker Prize Collection below.
o The Man Booker Prize Collection documents the culture of literary prizes in British Commonwealth countries between 1969 and 2012. Comprising approximately 20 cubic feet of manuscripts, correspondence, and ephemera as well as hundreds of editions, proofs, and copies annotated by judges and authors, the material illuminates the reception, promotion, and distribution of the novel in English and its relationship to commerce and corporate sponsorship.
It is required that fellowship recipients be in residence for 120 hours over the summer 2022 at the Morgan. This year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, fellows may be offered the option to work an extended blended schedule, a combination of on-site and remote work. Fellows will be supplied with digital images of collection materials, when possible and necessary, to facilitate remote work. In addition, recipients will be required to give a brief public presentation on their work at the Graduate Center and write a blog post (for Tales from the Reading Room, one of the Morgan’s blog series) about their experiences at the end of the relevant period before the end of the Fall 2022 semester. Additional opportunities for presentations or social media contributions to the Morgan’s accounts are also possible.
To apply please send a letter of interest describing your research interests and related experience with specific reference to one of the projects described below, a c.v., a current Graduate Center transcript (Students may submit the unofficial student copy that can be printed from banner), and a letter of support from your primary advisor.
Instructions for submitting your application:
1) Please combine the above materials (except for the letter of recommendation) into a SINGLE file (either as a pdf document or a word document).
Use the following format when naming your document: Last Name, First Name, Program
2) Email your file directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please use your graduate center email address when sending the file.
Instructions for Faculty Recommenders
1) Prepare your reference letter as a regular word or pdf document.
2) Please use the following format when naming your document:
Student Last Name, First Name
3) Email your file directly to email@example.com
Application Deadline: 03/04/2022, 3pm