About The Met/ Fellowships/ Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship

Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship

This two-year fellowship at The Met provides curatorial training and an opportunity for the fellow to engage with a community of scholars from around the world. The fellow is fully integrated into one of the Museum's curatorial departments, while devoting his or her time to a specific Met project (see below). The individual works directly with one or more curators, who serve as supervisors and mentors throughout the term of the fellowship.

The fellow also has the opportunity to undertake an independent project in consultation with his or her supervising curator. Through weekly gatherings and discussions, the fellow takes part in research-sharing and workshops that expand dialogue and foster a community of intellectual engagement.

Program Information

Fellowships are two years in length, beginning on September 1 following the application deadline. All fellowships must take place within this two-year period.

Candidate must hold a doctoral degree (or international equivalent) in art history or archaeology in a field related to one of the projects below. The degree should have been conferred within five years from the start date of the fellowship (that is, September 1 of the year following the application deadline).

Arms and Armor: To research a section of The Met collection of Japanese arms and armor—comprising close to 5,000 objects—in order to help reassess the collection, determine how to best serve it, and help to change the presentation of the objects in the department's permanent galleries. The fellow will work closely with curators and conservators, and must have a command of both English and Japanese. Prior experience working with objects and a demonstrated interest in Japanese arms and armor preferred.

Ancient Near Eastern Art: To research the collection of ancient Iranian art as part of the preparation and planning for the reinstallation of the permanent galleries. The fellow will work with a team of three Ancient Near Eastern Art Met curators to help identify outside partners whose holdings and/or scholarship are important to The Met collection. The fellow will also work closely with the Education Department to develop gallery programs highlighting ancient Iran. Applicants should be able to bring fresh perspectives and creative methods to engage audiences in order to suggest innovative possibilities for the reinstallation of the galleries. Applicants should have a demonstrated record of achievement in the study of ancient Iranian art.

European Sculpture and Decorative Arts: To collaborate on the reinstallation of the British decorative arts and sculpture galleries (1500–1900) and work with a curatorial team of six curators, as well as engaging with staff in other department areas. The project includes reinterpreting the gallery spaces, which includes three 18th-century historic interiors, and re-evaluating the collections. The British decorative arts and sculpture galleries are particularly rich in silver, furniture, tapestries, textiles, and ceramics from the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical eras. Applicants should have a concentration in decorative arts or sculpture. Expertise in furniture and ceramics, familiarity with The Museum System (TMS), and proficiency in one or more European languages is preferred.

Musical Instruments: To catalogue and research The Met collection of sub-Saharan African drums, a collection of more than 120 objects dating from the 18th through the 20th centuries. The fellow will help prepare potential future rotations of African drums for the refurbished musical instruments galleries, write object labels, organize photography for the collection, and co-author publications. Applicants must have knowledge or experience of sub-Saharan African drums.

The fellow will receive an annual salary of $54,000, plus research and travel expenses up to a maximum of $6,000 and fringe benefits.

The Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow is a full-time exempt employee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

How to Apply

All applications must be submitted online and in English. We will not accept applications or related materials via email, postal mail, or in person.

The online application will require you to provide the following:

1. Documents as Microsoft Word or PDF files:

  • Cover letter addressing your interest in the fellowship position
  • Full curriculum vitae of education, professional experience, honors, awards, and publications
  • A statement, not to exceed 1,000 words, specifying your areas of research and their relationship to the Museum's collection and activities. Include relevant experiences related to your chosen curatorial project area.
  • Copy of a published paper or recent writing sample

2. Contact information for three recommenders (at least one academic and one professional), none of whom may be current Metropolitan Museum of Art staff. Once you have submitted your recommenders' names, titles, and email addresses, they will automatically be emailed instructions for uploading their letters online. Please note that each letter must include the recommender's complete title and contact information. We encourage recommenders to submit letters in English.

This fellowship is offered every other year. The next application deadline for all materials, including letters of recommendation, is the first Friday in November at 5 pm (EST). Applications will not be accepted after this deadline. We will call finalists for an interview. Please note: An application for the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship does not preclude application for an Art History Fellowship.

Apply now.

For more information about the application process, please read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. If your question is not answered there, please contact us.

All applicants will be notified by the last Friday in February of the year following the application deadline.