About the Workshop | How to Apply | Past Workshop

About the Workshop

The Smithsonian’s Freer│Sackler, with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, invites advanced graduate students and recent PhDs to apply for the 2019 Whistler Object Study Workshop. Scheduled for January 15–19, the workshop provides an immersive, hands-on opportunity for emerging scholars of British and/or American art and visual culture to study the Freer Gallery’s unparalled collection of watercolors by James McNeill Whistler. Following the workshop, participants contribute to a forthcoming exhibition website and are invited to submit essays for possible publication in an online scholarly catalogue.

Led by a conservator, scientist, curators, and collections managers, the workshop focuses on material examination and analytical methodologies that are not typically addressed in graduate art history study and hones skills necessary for conducting object-centered research.

The fifty-two Whistler watercolors—the largest number of watercolors by the artist in any single collection—are the subject of a 2019 exhibition at the Freer Gallery of Art. The exhibition includes a print publication, website, and online collection catalogue. As the largest presentation of Whistler’s watercolors since the Copley Society’s 1904 memorial retrospective in Boston, the exhibition documents the importance of watercolor to Whistler’s artistic development and his efforts to secure a transnational legacy. The workshop allows emerging scholars to study these works before they go on public display and to learn about the Freer Gallery’s recent research into pigments, papers, and working methods.

Each participant receives round-trip domestic airfare to Washington, DC, lodging, some meals, and a small honorarium.

How to Apply