Residency for Curators and Conservators

An annual residency for curators and conservators, providing accommodation in New York for a period of 1-3 months to work on a research project in the field of modern art and modern visual culture.

We use the term ‘modern art’ inclusively to refer to architecture, drawing, design (including exhibition, graphic, interior and stage design), film, painting, performance, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and textiles in the period from the last third of the nineteenth century through to the 1960s, from any country region or culture.


We offer annual residency for a curator or conservator, working on a project in the field of modern art, and in need of time for research and/or for writing. Applicants may be attached to an institution or freelance (if freelance, the project should be organized by a non-profit cultural institution). The curatorial/conservation project proposed must align with the mission of the Center, which fosters new research on Modern art. We encourage work that introduces innovative interpretative frameworks and new forms of critical thinking. Research that explores the connections between other historical and cultural areas and modern art is encouraged.

The residency provides furnished accommodation in New York for a period from 1 to 3 months, plus return travel costs; there is no stipend. Recipients of the Residency will be provided with an office in the Research Center, access to The Watson Library at The Met, and opportunity for intellectual exchange with Met colleagues. Residencies will be awarded competitively on application.

Recipients of the Residency are expected to participate in some, but not all activities of the Center, as agreed in advance with the Head of Center. At the end of the Residency, the curator or conservator will present their research to an invited audience of museum staff, Research Center Fellows, and Advisory Committee members, and write a short report on their work for the Center website. Recipients of the Residency award will be asked to acknowledge the support of the Research Center in any publication resulting from the Residency.

(Please note: the award of a Residency does not imply the opportunity to organize an exhibition at The Met; it does not guarantee potential loans from the institution; the Modern and Contemporary Wing of the museum will be closed during the construction of the new Tang Wing, such that access to works in the collection will be severely restricted.)

Application Materials

You will be asked to include:

  • The number of months requested and the preferred timing of the residency
  • a research/project proposal with bibliography
  • a project/work plan
  • an explanation as to how the fellowship supports delivery of the overall project (e.g. research/education event, exhibition, publication)
  • a resumé or cv
  • a letter of support from a Museum Director or equivalent (for freelance curators or conservators, a letter relating to the work planned by a relevant partner organization, if any)
  • a short writing sample.

Selection Criteria

A sub-committee of the Center’s Advisory Committee will assess applications using the following criteria:

  • Quality and feasibility of project described
  • Need for research/writing time, and the timing of the project in relation to it
  • Track record of research and publication
  • Fit with the Research Center’s mission to support work on modern art (as defined in the application materials)
  • Potential benefit to the Research Center and to the museum
  • Any challenges in terms of cross-departmental working in the proposal
  • The letter of support from the applicant’s manager