Crystal Bridges in Arkansas opened to the public on November 11, 2011. Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by philanthropist Alice Walton (yes, from the Walmart family). Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American art ranging from the Colonial era to the current day.
Crystal Bridges also has a research library consisting of approximately 60,000 volumes and significant manuscript, ephemera holdings, and houses a comprehensive collection of American color-plate books from the nineteenth century. It is here where it hopes to attract the next generation of art scholars.
The Tyson (yes, as in Tyson Foods) Scholars of American Art Program supports full-time scholarship in the history of American art and visual and material culture. The program was established in 2012 through a $5 million commitment from the Tyson family and Tyson Foods, Inc. Since it started, the Tyson Scholars program has supported the work of 20 scholars, attracting academic professionals in a variety of disciplines from across the country.
In her 2014 review of Crystal Bridges collection, “State of the Art at Crystal Bridges: Pure Pop for Now People,” Glasstire’s Christina Rees wrote a strong summary, although she called it ”non-alienating” and noted its lack of more folk art.(And got blasted in the comment section for some clichés about people from the geographical area.)
Still, Rees received an invitation to apply. You can apply, too!
The program sounds like a good deal. Stipends vary, ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 per semester. Additional funds for relocation are provided, and research travel funds are available during the residency upon application. There’s a swimming pool, too. Further information about the Tyson Scholars Program, application instructions, and application portal can be found here. Applicants are encouraged to contact Crystal Bridges’ curators and librarians in advance for specific information about the Museum’s collection related to their research. The application deadline for residency between August 2019 and mid-May 2020 is January 15, 2019.
For eligibility and information about previous Tyson scholars: https://crystalbridges.org/tyson-scholars/?utm_source=wordfly&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TysonScholars2018&utm_content=version_A&sourceNumber=4083. Go for it!