Kress Provenance Research Fellowship For Museums

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) is pleased to announce the sixth one- year Samuel H. Kress Foundation Provenance Research Fellowship (AAMD/Kress Fellowship). 

The Fellowship provides essential funding for a researcher to investigate a permanent collection, or part of a collection, of an AAMD museum, making it possible for the museum to take a more comprehensive approach to conducting in-depth research and delving into the full provenance, ownership, and exhibition histories of works from the collection.

The Fellowship reflects AAMD’s on-going commitment to fostering professional development in the art museum field.


The Fellow

> Applicant museums will identify a candidate to do provenance research on the collection.  Museums may partner with a local university to identify a post-graduate in art history interested in provenance research, or choose someone already on staff. Other qualified candidates may also be acceptable.

> The successful museum Fellow will spend a year at the museum (January - December 2021), using museum records and digital records to start the research project.  The local research work can be supplemented, as needed, with short trips to research sites. 

> Spending the year at the applicant museum will give the Fellow time to integrate into the culture of the museum as well as allow the staff to better understand the research project, thereby increasing the possibility that the research will continue once the Fellowship has ended.

> Finally, allowing the Fellow to travel to research sites, as necessary, will give more opportunity and flexibility to the Fellow should there be a need to travel to more than one research site.

The Mentor

> Once the Fellow and the research interest have been established, the AAMD will identify a researcher who will serve as mentor to the AAMD/Kress Fellow. 

> The grant allows for the mentor to travel to the applicant museum at least once and more if required to see the collection and its documents so that the mentor can better advise the Fellow.

> The mentor will also be available for electronic communication: Skype, email, phone, etc.

The Grant

$30,000 stipend to be awarded to the museum for the Fellow, to be paid on schedule by AAMD

$8,000 for travel expenses for the Fellow and the mentor. 

All Kress monies will be administered through AAMD to the successful museum

Museum Eligibility

The Fellowship is open to all AAMD members with an institutional operating budget of $3 million to $15 million.  Museums that fit the budget category will need to submit an application that will include detailed information on the works to be researched and the background of a candidate to do provenance research on the collection.

In keeping with Kress Foundation criteria, the Fellowship is open only to U.S. members of AAMD.

Successful Application

The successful applicant museum will be chosen by a panel of three researchers from AAMD museums – other than mid-sized -- who will make a recommendation based on the applicant museum’s criteria of the research to be undertaken and the qualifications of the proposed fellow. 

Anticipated results of the Kress Provenance Research Fellowship program benefit not only the successful applicant museum for which the research is done, but the museum field at large by adding to the knowledge base of objects held in museum collections and by increasing a pipeline of qualified provenance researchers.  AAMD will require the successful applicant museum to post new research on their website to promote continued transparency in museum collections.

Application Guidelines

> The Fellowship will consist of one year at the applicant museum

> The Fellow may travel to research sites at the discretion of the museum, but need not relocate.

> Each Fellow will be assigned a mentor with significant research experience; the mentor will travel to the museum of the Fellow to become familiar with the museum’s collection and to better assist the Fellow’s research.  Funding for the mentor’s travel is part of the travel stipend.

> The applicant museum may need to supplement the grant award, if necessary.

> The successful applicant museum must submit an interim report to AAMD by February 15.

> Each applicant museum will pay for or provide health insurance for the Fellow and adequate work space.

Required Materials

> Completed museum application form below

> Description of the project, including how research will be made public (2 page limit)

> Curriculum Vitae of proposed provenance researcher

Application Timeline

  • September 18, 2020 application process closes
  • October 15, 2020 successful applicant notified
  • November 15, 2020 applicant accepts Fellowship
  • January 1, 2021 Fellowship begins

Applications are due by September 18, 2020. The successful application will be announced by October 15, 2020.

For questions regarding the AAMD/Kress Fellowship contact: Anita Difanis at adifanis@aamd.og  or phone 202-638-4520.


About the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
The mission of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation (est. 1929) is to sustain and carry out the original vision of founder, Samuel H. Kress (1863-1955). The Samuel H. Kress Foundation supports the work of individuals and institutions engaged with appreciation, interpretation, preservation, study and teaching of the history of European art and architecture from antiquity to the dawn of the modern era.

About AAMD
The Association of Art Museum Directors, representing 240 art museum directors in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, promotes the vital role of art museums throughout North America and advances the profession by cultivating leadership and communicating standards of excellence in museum practice. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at


Association of Art Museum Directors

Kress Provenance Research Fellowship For Museums

100 words or less
2 page limit. Please include how the research will be made public.