2015 Archives of American Art Graduate Research Essay Prize Funded by the Dedalus Foundation, Inc.

The Archives of American Art Graduate Research Essay Prize Funded by the Dedalus Foundation, Inc., is given to compelling original research using the resources of the Archives of American Art as primary evidence. Entries for the 2015 Prize are currently being accepted until July 1, 2015.

Authors should present an original argument by marshaling evidence from the holdings of the Archives of American Art. For example, authors may interpret a series of letters or photographs, a diary, oral history interviews. Authors may also analyze a range of primary sources to contextualize and interpret historical events from a fresh perspective.

Submissions that incorporate digital tools and platforms may be favored. Authors may indicate in the body of the essay where he or she would add or embed digital features that would enhance the online presentation of the essay.

Students may consult original documents by appointment at the Archives’ headquarters in Washington, D.C., view more than two million digital files and interviews online through the Archives website, www.aaa.si.edu, or use the substantial microfilm holdings available through interlibrary loan or at the Archives’ Washington, D.C. headquarters, New York Research Center at 300 Park Avenue South, and affiliated research centers at the Amon Carter Museum, Boston Public Library, de Young American Art Study Center, and the Huntington Library. For more information, see Hours and Locations.

Past Winners

2014 Winning Essay: Christina Weyl, “Networks of Abstraction: Postwar Printmaking and Women Artists of Atelier 17”

View all past winners


  • A cash prize of $1,000
  • Publication of the essay on the Archives of American Art’s website
  • One year’s free subscription to the Archives of American Art Journal


  • The competition is open to anyone currently enrolled in a graduate program in Art History, Visual Culture, American Studies, or related fields.

  • Entries must be in English.

  • The entry must not be under consideration for publication elsewhere.

  • It is a condition of entry that all entrants assign a non-exclusive license to the Archives of American Art if accepted for publication.

  • Word limit: maximum of 8,000 words, inclusive of all footnotes and references.

More than one prize may be awarded. The closing date for submissions is July 1, 2015. Prize-winners will be notified in writing by September 1, 2015. Essays are judged by a panel of scholars of American art and one staff member.

2015 Prize—How to Enter

Submissions should be in Microsoft Word (.docx) or Open Document (.odf) format with any relevant hyperlinks and/or media embedded. The total file size should be no larger than 10 MB. The essay and coversheet should be separate files.

Email your submission as attachments to AAAPrize@si.edu
by July 1, 2015


  • Do not include personal information regarding your name, advisor’s name, department or institution
  • Pages should be numbered
  • Images should be labeled with consecutive numbers and captions and included within the document


  • Your name, mailing address, email, and phone number
  • Your dissertation or thesis topic or title (if known), name of academic advisor, department/program, and university
  • How did you become aware of the Archives of American Art Graduate Research Essay Prize?

Please direct submissions and questions to AAAPrize@si.edu.