Publication Grants

The Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art invites applications for grants supporting publications in the field of modern art and theory, 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.


Grants are for book-length manuscripts, peer-reviewed edited volumes or, in exceptional cases, peer-reviewed journal articles. Grants are open to authors worldwide, normally for English language publications (exceptionally other languages may be supported).

The case for support must demonstrate the need for the grant to facilitate the publication of the scholarly work and show why the grant will enhance the scholarly value and the reach of the work. The production costs of the work should be included, identifying the elements of the costs to be supported by the Lauder Center Publication Grant. The funds sought should not represent most of the costs of production unless a clear case is made to justify this. Overheads or other operational costs are not eligible for funding. The track record of the publisher or press in supporting scholarship in the visual arts, and especially modern art, may be considered.

The Center will award up to six grants per annum, typically between $4,000 and $7,000, with no single grant more than $12,000 to be awarded. There are two application rounds per year with deadlines of September 30 and March 31.

Application Materials and Criteria

Authors will be asked to complete an application form in which they describe:

  • The need for a Research Center publication grant,
  • The difference it will make to viability and quality,
  • The amount requested in relation to overall costs,
  • And other grants applied for in relation to the publication and whether or not any applications were successful.

They will also be asked to supply:

  • An abstract,
  • The book proposal,
  • A sample chapter or chapters (10,000 words or 40 pages maximum; if submitting an edited volume, the sample materials should include the introduction to the volume, and a chapter by the applicant if any, or another representative chapter),
  • A list of illustrations,
  • Table of contents (if applicable),
  • Reader’s reports and any responses,
  • A CV.

The applications will be assessed by a sub-committee of the Advisory Committee. Final decisions will be referred to the full meeting of the Advisory Committee.


The committee will select projects for support, taking into account:

  • Case for support: the application must demonstrate 1) how the publication contributes new scholarship and expands conventional understandings of modernism and modernity 2) broad scholarly audience for the publication 3) a confirmed publisher and evidence of acceptance for publication by an academic press 4) financial need for the grant. The strength of the writing and project proposal will be strongly considered.
  • CV: Must show evidence of current professional position, track record in relevant research areas, and prior publications.
  • Writing sample: The quality and depth of argument, strength of writing, handling of visual material, and recognition of research ethics and standards (e.g. proper footnoting, awareness and acknowledgement of major work in the area of study) will be carefully considered.
  • Reader’s Reports: The degree to which the reports support the publication, criticisms offered, and the quality of the author’s responses will be assessed.

Eligible Costs

  • illustration costs, including acquisition of digital images and the payment of reproduction rights;
  • translation costs (not for an entire book, unless it is from another language into English)
  • the production of diagrams, maps or other professionally produced design needs
  • copy editing (where not normally provided by the publisher)
  • indexing

Recent Awards

Meghan Forbes

Former Leonard A. Lauder Post-Doctoral Fellow; Freelance Writer, Curator, Gardener

Technologies for the Revolution: The Czech Avant-Garde in Print

The book offers a new take on Central European Modernism in the interwar period, exploring the ways in which the Devětsil group based in Prague and Brno utilized the production of printed matter to forge international networks of exchange in the 1920s. Its five chapters feature architecture and typography, poetry, photography and film, as well as performance. The publication grant will support production and illustration costs.

Image: Jindřich Honzl. Roztočené jeviště (Revolving Stage). Prague: Odeon, 1925. Cover photomontage by Jindřich Štyrský and Toyen. Graphic design by Karel Teige.

Stephanie Huber

Former Leonard A. Lauder Post- Doctoral Fellow

Dutch Neorealism, Cinema, and the Politics of Painting, 1927–1945

For her study of a group of realist painters in the Netherlands before and during the Second World War, exploring how their work expressed various political positions, in part through engagement with the visual languages of cinema. The book shows how the work of artists like Pyke Koch, Karel Willink and Charley Toorop was appropriated or traduced by the occupying Nazi regime. The grant will contribute to the illustration costs.

Image: Raoul Hynckes, Ex-Est (It’s Over), 1940, oil on canvas, 61.2 x 77.7 cm, Collection Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. (Photo: Stedelijk Museum).

Alicia Volk

Professor of Japanese Art, Department of Art History and Archaeology, University of Maryland

In the Shadow of Empire: Art in Occupied Japan

For her study of Japanese art during the U.S.-led occupation following World War II, considering the perspective of Japanese artists and their audiences as they navigated the geopolitical dimensions of the early Cold War. The grant will support the reproduction of a wide range of hitherto little-known paintings, prints, and sculptural monuments.

Image: Nii Hinoharu, Unemployed Workers—Hitachi, 1949, woodcut, 1950.

Ross Anderson

Associate Professor of Architecture: Design, History and Theory, University of Sydney

For his book on Adolphe Appia that focuses upon the important yet undervalued role that the atmospheric drawings made by the Swiss scenographer played in the development of modern architecture and aesthetics. The grant will contribute to his illustration costs.

Image: Appia, drawing for Act 2 of Orpheus und Eurydike, 1926 (Appia: 18b), Swiss Archive of Performing Arts (SAPA) in Bern, Switzerland.

Samuel Johnson

Former Leonard A. Lauder Post-Doctoral Fellow and Assistant Professor and Carol & Alvin I. Schragis Faculty Fellow, Syracuse University

His book El Lissitzky on Paper: Print Culture, Architecture, Politics, 1919-1933 locates the nexus of Lissitzky’s work as an architect and print designer in the material of paper, a precious commodity that supported both utopian projects and political control in the USSR. The grant will contribute to his illustration costs.

Gennifer Weisenfeld

Walter H. Annenberg Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History, Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Duke University

For her book The Fine Art of Persuasion: Corporate Advertising Design, Nation, and Empire in Modern Japan, which tells the story of the birth of commercial art in Japan from the turn of the twentieth century through its global efflorescence in the total design event of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The grant will contribute to the illustration costs.

Richard Anderson

Head of the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh

For his richly illustrated book Wolkenbügel (MIT Press) that will show how El Lissitzy’s architectural idea evolved through modern and not so modern communication networks, including the postal system. The grant will support his illustration costs.

Craig Buckley

Associate Professor of Art History at Yale University

For The Street and the Screen: Architectures of Spectatorship in the Age of Cinema (University of Minnesota Press). The book will offer the first global history of cinema architecture, considering how it shaped forms of spectatorship in Paris, Casablanca, Berlin, São Paolo, and New York. The grant will support illustrations and enable him to produce new maps of the cinemas in these cities.

Giovanni Casini

Former Fellow in the Research Center and currently Postdoctoral Research Assistant at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa

For Léonce Rosenberg’s Cubism: The Galerie L’Effort Moderne in Interwar Paris (Pennsylvania State University Press, Refiguring Modernism Series). The book will examine the constructed nature of the category of Cubism during and after the First World War, rethinking the careers of major artists and offering new perspectives on less known figures. The grant will support his illustration and indexing costs.