Ansel Adams Research Fellowship

Awards up to $5,000 to promote new knowledge about photography and the history of photography.

Qualifications: 
Advanced scholars and researchers from any discipline are encouraged to apply. Pre-doctoral applicants must have completed coursework and preliminary examinations for the doctoral degree and must be engaged in dissertation research.
Application process: 

Please send the following documents:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Curriculum vitae of no more than four pages
  3. 500-1,000 word statement detailing your research interests and project and how they will be advanced by study of the Center's archives and print collection

Email applications to Leslie Squyres, Archivist and Head of Reference Services.

Application deadline: 
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Selection process: 
Selection is based on the quality of the proposed research and its relationship to the Center's collections. Decisions will be announced by email on or before February 28, 2018. Residencies must be scheduled with the Volkerding Study Center staff. Fellowship recipients and their research projects will be announced in the Center's publicity.
Contact information: 
Recipients: 

20​17

  • Nadiah Rivera Fellah is a PhD art history scholar at the City University of New York (CUNY). One chapter of her doctoral dissertation titled, “Stills of Passage: Photography and Migration in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 1978-1992” focuses on the photographs of Louis Carlos Bernal’s familial and domestic spaces. 
  • Mark Rawlinson is the Head of the Department of History of Art, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom.  Dr. Rawlinson’s book project reconsiders post-war American photography as “minor” histories, specific to geographical places. His aim is to write a series of simultaneous narratives that capture the spirit of experimentation, comradeship and organizational complexities refashioning the photographic medium from 1960 - mid-1980s.

2016

  • Ellen Handy is an Associate Professor in the art department at the City College of New York. Dr. Handy’s current research project is a book titled, Histories of Photography: An Introduction, which explores the photographic medium as broadly as possible, from an object-based perspective. Themes that recur throughout the book are: the continuing importance of inventions and transformations in photographic processes; audiences and applications; emerging consensus regarding a canon of photography as well as vernacular, commercial and applied photography; and photography as a practice, particularly including its institutions and organizations. 
  • Thierry Gervais is Assistant Professor in the history of photography at Ryerson University and Head of Research at Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto. Dr. Thierry’s project pursues an analytic approach to photojournalism by addressing the sensitive question of retouching press photographs.  He plans to analyze the role of retouching in the dissemination of visual news from the 1840s to the present day and will consider retouching not as manipulation, but as a creative means to produce effective news images.  The W. Eugene Smith Archive at the Center is a fundamental component of his research.

2015

  • Phillip Andrew Lewis and Peter Happel Christian, Clear As Day. Project: Research that will materialize in photo book form as part of an eleven volume series entitled Land_AA presenting new approaches to the work of Ansel Adams.
  • Karli Wurzelbacher, PhD candidate, Art History, University of Delaware. Project:  dissertation research, “American Modernism and Reverse Painting on Glass,” and the papers of Rebecca Salsbury James in the Paul Strand Collection.
  • Professor Catherine Zuromskis, The University of New Mexico, Department of Art & Art History. Project: “The Crime Scene and the Archive: Reframing Evidence” 

2014

  • Brendan Fay, Department of History of Art, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Five Lessons in Photography: Abstraction and Photographic Education in the US, 1940-1960: The research is for a book-length study of the connections between photographic abstraction and photographic education in the United States during the middle years of the twentieth-century. Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind and Minor White will be central figures in examining the evolution of photography as a university subject and of the photographer-teacher as a professional identity.
  • Glenn Willumson, Florida Foundation Research Professor in Art History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. "Forging the Canon: Photography 1963-1984": The goal of the project is to show that a historical understanding of the emergence of photography during the 1960s and 1970s is critical to an appreciation of the present position of the medium today. Research at the Center for Creative Photography will focus on the institutionalization of photography in museums, universities, and the art market between 1963 and 1984

2012

  • Matthew Biro, Professor and Chair, Department of the History of Art, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, will research the first book-length study of Robert Heinecken, Robert Heinecken: A Life in the Mass Media. The manuscript presents a chronological account of Heinecken's life, social context, and major works in relation to art created in the United States and Europe since the 1920s.
  • Marta Zarzycka, Assistant Professor, Faculty of the Arts, Department of Gender Studies, Utrecht University, the Netherlands. In Photography, Gender and Humanitarian Aid, a postdoctoral project, Zarzycka examines representations of women and ethnic minorities documenting the effects of war, conflict, and economic crisis in humanitarian reports and campaigns. At the Center, she will examine the representation of children used to signify poverty or destitution and form a substantial evidence-based thesis on the role of portraying children in US social documentary practices.

2011

  • Brett Abbott, Curator of Photography at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, for research in the Wynn Bullock Archive and photography collection in preparation for a retrospective exhibition and book project. Widely admired as one of the great photographers working in the tradition of West Coast modernist photography, Bullock's work has not been the focus of a major museum retrospective in recent years.
  • Stephanie Jill Schwartz, Lecturer at Arts of the Americas, University College in London, England, will research the intersection of film and photography in the 1930s in order to contextualize Paul Strand's films in relation to his photography. Throughout his career Strand not only moved seamlessly between the two media, he often combined them. Her project, Film Stills: Paul Strand and the American Media, will focus on this particularly under-researched area of Strand's work.
  • Brian Winkenweder, Associate Professor of Art History at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, will research the Hans Namuth Archive in preparation for a book, Picturing Modernism: A Study of Hans Namuth's Films and Photos. This project will present Namuth's contribution to modern art and historical reception of his photographs and films of painter Jackson Pollock, which influenced the trajectory of post-war art in the United States.