Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship

Mellon undergraduate curatorial fellowship

The Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program provides specialized training in the curatorial field for students across the United States from diverse backgrounds. The fellowship seeks to make a critical impact on American art museums by developing gifted curators who are committed to engaging with the full spectrum of museum audiences. This initiative is generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In the current, five-year pilot phase (2013 - 2018), there are no additional Summer Academies being offered or fellowships being awarded. We plan to renew the program following an evaluation process, with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's continued support.

Photos © Museum Associates/ LACMA


Ai Wei Wei

Students discover how art can tell stories about different people, times, and places, and learn how the basic elements of art create a visual language. Art Tells a Tale encourages observation skills while enhancing vocabulary and oral-presentation skills. This tour is aligned with state content standards for history/social science for grades 2 and 4 and language arts for grades 2.

The Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program takes place at five partnering institutions: the Art Institute of Chicago; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts Houston; and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City.

The program is organized around two components: the Summer Academy and the Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program.

Program Overview (PDF)

Program press release

2015 Fellows Announced

2016 Fellows Announced


The program is intended specifically for undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups in the curatorial field. Students must be currently enrolled at a university, college or community college, and, if selected, able to commit to at least two years in the program prior to graduating.

Applicants should express an interest in art, art history, or the museum field. In addition to having a strong academic record, a candidate should be able to demonstrate, through areas of study, extracurricular activities, background or other experiences, how he or she will contribute to the program.

Find out more: FAQs (PDF)

Please direct questions to


Students must first apply to a Summer Academy. Summer Academies are one-week immersion programs designed to provide a rich experience in the museum environment and expose participants to career options related to art and art history. Each Summer Academy will include workshops, tours, field trips and networking events with museum professionals. Upon the completion of each Summer Academy, two participants will be selected as fellows.

No summer academy will be offered for 2017.

Full application instructions (PDF)

Application Form

Read More:

Unframed: The Art of Costume and Textiles, Canan Cem, 2015-2017 Fellow

Unframed: The Invention of the New Curator, Hilary Walter, Coordinator of Curatorial Fellowships

Unframed: Exploring the Collection: Maya Then and Now, Lilia Taboada, 2014-16 Fellow

Unframed: LACMA Go, Audrey Min, 2015-2017 Fellow

Unframed: Students Co-Curate “Pop-Up” Exhibition at LACMA, Hilary Walter, Coordinator of Curatorial Fellowships

Unframed: Meet LACMA’s Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellows, Chi-Young Kim

Unframed: National Convening of the Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellows, Hilary Walter, Coordinator of Curatorial Fellowships

Unframed: 300 Words for LACMA, Nicolas Orozco-Valdivia, 2014-16 Fellow

Unframed:  A Whirlwind Year in Prints and Drawings, Lilia Taboada, 2014-16 Fellow

Unframed: Summer Academy at LACMA, Hilary Walter, Coordinator of Curatorial Fellowships