Archives of American Art Graduate Research Essay Prize

The Archives of American Art’s Graduate Research Essay Prize recognizes original research by a graduate student that engages in a substantial, meaningful way with the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. 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. 

Information about the next prize competition will be available in early 2019.

Past Winners


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


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


“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


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


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


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