Fellowships and internships provide professional training and research opportunities for students and scholars at various levels, as well as the chance to engage with F|S staff and utilize the museums’ rich resources. Several fellowships are available to support graduate students and visiting scholars through the Freer|Sackler, the Smithsonian, or outside institutions. The Freer|Sackler also offers internships to students and interested individuals in its many departments. See below for more information.
The collections, archives, and library of the Freer|Sackler form a rich resource for research. Several fellowships are available to support graduate students and visiting scholars through the Freer|Sackler, the Smithsonian, or outside institutions.
Mellon Indian Conservation Fellowship Program
The Freer|Sackler is thrilled to partner with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg (SRAL) in the Mellon-funded Indian Conservation Fellowship Program. These fellowships are designed to broaden the experience of conservators currently working in art and cultural heritage museums and institutions in India. Six to eight fellowships are awarded annually, each for a period of three to six months. The Freer|Sackler hosts one of these fellows per year.
Applicants must be conservators with daily responsibility for the care of objects. Preference will be given to conservators at a relatively early stage of their careers (approximately three to eight years conservation experience) and employed by museums or other institutions in India concerned with the study, conservation, and display of the country’s artistic and cultural heritage. Knowledge of conservation principles and a basic academic background in conservation practice and artists’ materials are expected, as well as a strong grasp of spoken and written English.
The fellowship includes support for travel to the host institution as well as research travel for conferences, seminars, and visits to other conservation laboratories or cultural institutions. Health care coverage, visa expenses, and costs for residence permits are also covered. At the end of their fellowship, fellows will be able to purchase tools, equipment, and supplies for use at their home institutions.
2018 Fellow: Subir Kumar Dey, paper conservator at the Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata, India
Subir received his conservation training as an apprentice with Dr. Debika Chatterjee, head of conservation at the Victoria Memorial Hall. He received additional training from British paper conservators during the Calcutta Tercentenary Trust project from 1992 to 1997 at the Victoria Memorial Hall. He interned in paper conservation at the British Museum and worked with conservators Michael Wheeler at the V&A and David Jacob at the British Library.
Hagop Kevorkian fellowship
In early September 2013, the Freer|Sackler welcomed Hagop Kevorkian fellow Amanda Malkin to the paper conservation lab. The two-year Kevorkian fellowship will support conservation treatment of at least 100 Islamic manuscript folios, with the goal of preserving and stabilizing the many treasures within the manuscript collections. Islamic manuscript paintings are inherently unstable due to the way they were created. The application of numerous layers of paint, burnishing of each layer between subsequent applications, and painting on top of layers of gold paint or leaf all contribute to insecurity and a lack of adhesion of the pigment to the paper support. This leads to the cracking, lifting, and flaking of the media, which can eventually fall off the support if it is not treated. Additional condition issues observed in Islamic manuscripts include the presence of accretions, or foreign material, such as adhesives, wax, or fly droppings that have become stuck to the surface of the paint or the paper. These can obscure the minute details that distinguish these miniature paintings, as well as cause deterioration or discoloration of the paint or paper.
During her fellowship, Malkin will work under the stereomicroscope to document the condition of the manuscripts’ pages, illuminations, and illustrations; consolidate unstable media; and mechanically reduce surface accretions. In addition to conservation treatment, Amanda will work with Paper Conservator Emily Jacobson and Chief Curator and Curator of Islamic Art Massumeh Farhad on a research project to provide further insight into these beautiful yet not well-studied miniature paintings.
Amanda Malkin graduated from Northumbria University in 2012 with an MA in the conservation of fine art, specializing in works of art on paper. She was a recent Kress fellow at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Massachusetts. She has interned at the National Galleries of Scotland, with a private paper conservator in the United Kingdom, and at the Williamstown Conservation Center in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Her current fellowship at the Freer|Sackler enhances and encourages her appreciation of miniature paintings, while preparing and training her to assist other museums with their Islamic collections in the future.
The museums’ many departments offer a wide range of learning opportunities for interns throughout the year. View details and opportunities.