2019 Dedalus Foundation Graduate Research Essay Prize at the Archives of American Art

The Dedalus Foundation Graduate Research Essay Prize at the Archives of American Art recognizes original research by a graduate student that engages with the holdings of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art and focuses on studies related to painting, sculpture, and the allied arts from 1940 to the present day. The winning essay will present an innovative argument supported by primary sources at the Archives.

With more than 20 million items in its continually growing collections, the Archives is the world’s largest resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and records of the visual arts in the United States. Students may consult original documents by appointment at the Archives’ headquarters in Washington, DC, view more than 2.5 million digital files and interviews online through the Archives’ website, or use the substantial microfilm holdings available through interlibrary loan or an Archives-affiliated research center.

The Dedalus Foundation was founded in 1981 by the artist Robert Motherwell to support public understanding and appreciation of the principles of modern art and modernism.

The Prize

  • $1,000 cash award
  • One-year print subscription to the Archives of American Art Journal
  • The author’s essay forwarded to the executive editor of the Archives of American Art Journal for peer review and possible publication

Criteria for Submission

  • Essays must be written in English
  • Essays must focus on aspects of painting, sculpture, and the allied arts from 1940 to the present day
  • Essays must be original and not under consideration for publication elsewhere
  • Essays must be 5,000–7,000 words in length, inclusive of endnotes, with 10–15 illustrations
  • Competition is open to students enrolled at the time of submission in a graduate program in art history, visual studies, American studies, or related fields

How to Enter

Email the following as PDF attachments to AAAPrize@si.edu by September 15, 2019:

  • Cover sheet with the essay title, author name and contact information, name of academic advisor, department/program, and university (the author should not be identified anywhere else in the submission), and a brief statement about how you became aware of the prize competition
  • Abstract of no more than 150 words
  • Essay text, double-spaced, with endnotes; text and notes should conform to The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition
  • Illustrated, numbered list of proposed figures, with complete caption information

Essays will be judged by two Archives of American Art Journal advisory board members, an Archives staff member, and a Dedalus Foundation representative. Prize participants will be notified of the outcome of the competition by October 15, 2019.

Please send questions to AAAprize@si.edu

From 2012-2018, this award was called the Archives of American Art Graduate Research Essay Prize and funded by the Dedalus Foundation.

Past Winners

2018

Michaela Rife, PhD candidate in art history, University of Toronto

2016

Triptychs at War: Violet Oakley’s Victory (published in spring 2018 issue of Archives of American Art Journal, vol. 57, no. 1)

By Jeffrey Richmond-Moll, PhD candidate in art history, University of Delaware

2015

“Draw a Straight Line and Follow It (Repeat)”: Walter De Maria’s Cricket Music and Ocean Music, 1964–1968

By Amanda Dalla Villa Adams, PhD candidate in art history, Virginia Commonwealth University

2014

By Christina Weyl, PhD candidate in art history, Rutgers University

2013

By Katherine Jentleson, PhD candidate in art history, Duke University

2012

By Meredith A. Brown, PhD candidate in art history, The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London

By Jennifer Stettler Parsons, PhD candidate in art history, University of Virginia