Fellowships at LACMA support the development and training of future museum leaders. The diversification of our programming, collection, audience, staff, and leadership is a major priority for the museum. Through ladder programs for museum leadership roles, LACMA is dedicated to fostering inclusive cultures that reflect the communities we serve.
Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program
The Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program provides specialized training in the curatorial field to students across the United States from historically underrepresented groups in the curatorial field who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums. The fellowship seeks to make a critical impact on American art museums by developing gifted curators who are committed to engaging the full spectrum of museum audiences. The Program occurs at six 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; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This initiative is generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
How To Apply
The program is organized around two components: the Mellon Summer Academy, and the Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship. 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 includes workshops, tours, field trips and networking events with museum professionals.
Fifteen students were selected to participate in the Summer Academy in 2020. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and current government health and safety guidelines, the 2020 Summer Academy has been postponed to summer 2021. Upon completion of the 2021 Summer Academy, students will submit supplemental information for fellowship consideration. Two participants will be awarded multi-year fellowships at the museum. At this time, we anticipate fellowships to be awarded in fall 2021.
Undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups in the curatorial field who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums are encouraged to apply. Students must be currently enrolled at a university, college or community college, and, if selected, able to commit to 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, or other experiences, how they will contribute to the program.
Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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LACMA recently hosted its fifth Mellon Summer Academy, a one-week, immersive experience in the museum that is a component of the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowshi...
LACMA-ASU Master's Fellowship in Art History
LACMA and ASU recognize that, while graduate training in art history remains a requirement in the museum field, it is one of the most significant barriers to equitable advancement as employees must choose between continuing to work and graduate training. Launched in 2018, the LACMA-ASU Master's Fellowship in Art History was designed to address this issue.
The LACMA-ASU Master's Fellowship in Art History is a three-year program, pairing rigorous academic instruction through traditional master’s-level coursework and thesis with on-the-job work experience. Fellows, who are current LACMA or ASU Art Museum employees, will enroll in two courses per semester remotely, and fulfill language, professional development, and research requirements during the summer, while continuing in their current role at the museum. Fellows completing the program receive a master’s degree in Art History from ASU.
The program recruits current employees who are interested in obtaining a Master's degree in Art History while continuing to work at the museum, and who have a specific interest in making museums more inclusive and equitable.
Fellows remain employed by their home institution throughout the fellowship. Museums support the Fellows during this period by giving Fellows flexibility to attend courses during work day and providing funding and time to participate in travel required as part of the fellowship.
Fellows enroll in two graduate level courses each semester, completing their degrees in three years. In addition, Fellows must complete language and Master's thesis requirements. Students participate in graduate-level seminars taking place in either Los Angeles or Arizona “live” via Zoom video-conference software.
Professional Development and Mentoring
Fellows are expected to travel* to 1-2 convenings at either ASU or LACMA each semester and participate in convenings focused on current issues in museum practice and institutional leadership. Fellows also participate in a customized externship at the end of their second year. In addition to coursework, an outside museum professional is provided as a mentor to each fellow to provide individual counsel on their graduate study, thesis and externship design, and ongoing career trajectory.
(*travel has been temporarily suspended due to Covid-19)
Unframed Blog Posts
The LACMA-ASU Master's Fellowship in Art History—developed by LACMA and the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University (ASU)—was established to combine...