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With an endowment from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Gallery of Art is offering an advanced training fellowship in chemical imaging applied to the study of works of art on the macroscale. The fellow will work within the scientific research, conservation division, under the guidance of the senior imaging scientist and is expected to collaborate with National Gallery's scientists, conservators, and curators. The fellowship is for up to three calendar years, and includes a yearly stipend of $52,000 and $3,000 per year for research-related travel.
For US citizens, a contribution towards your participation in the National Gallery's health insurance program is included. Non-US citizens are ineligible for health care coverage through the National Gallery's available programs and therefore must be arranged and paid for by the Fellow. Health care coverage for fellows on nonimmigrant visas will be required to have specific types of coverage. To help offset this cost, an additional $7,000 (also taxable, according to international agreements) will be included in the yearly stipend for non-US citizens (for a total of $59,000 per year) Those who use an authorized method of public transportation are eligible for an employer-provided fare subsidy to apply toward monthly transit costs.
The National Gallery is developing spectroscopic imaging cameras and software tools to help address questions of interest from conservation scientists, conservators, and curators. Much of the research involves using these methods to identify and map artists' materials at the painting surface and in sub-surface paint layers, as well as to visualize artists' working methods. The National Gallery's chemical imaging laboratory has cameras to perform reflectance imaging spectroscopy, as well as from 400 to 2500 nm and molecular luminescence imaging spectroscopy from 400 to 1000 nm. The lab also has an in-house developed scanning X-ray fluorescence imaging spectrometer. Currently, the lab is actively researching mid-IR imaging spectroscopy with the goal to build an instrument. The lab is also testing a 1‑D neural network to automatically produce maps of artist pigments from reflectance image cubes. The chemical imaging lab utilizes a high-resolution position-controlled scanning easel and optical tables that support the imaging instruments, and well suited for the testing and development of new spectral imaging modalities. The lab also collaborates with several academic institutions and other research laboratories which are leaders in developing spectral imaging instruments and software analysis tools.
The fellow will receive training in the use of reflectance and X-ray fluorescence imaging spectroscopy for the study of works of art (paintings and works on paper). The fellow will also have access to the National Gallery's collections and to advanced analytical instrumentation available in the scientific research department. Beside training, the fellow will participate in the design, construction, and testing of new spectral imaging instruments and analysis tools or procedures. The fellow will be expected to conduct their own research during the fellowship. In addition, the fellow will produce written reports, present research results at scientific and conservation meetings, and publish at least one paper in a scholarly scientific journal.
Candidates will have an advanced degree (PhD or equivalent) in one of the physical or biological sciences, applied sciences, or engineering. The degree must have been obtained within the last five years.
An interest in art conservation and/or art history is required.
Proficient English-language skills and a proven record of research and writing are required.
Applicants who are not United States citizens will be required to provide proof of health insurance coverage, which includes medical evacuation and repatriation of remains. The National Gallery does not obtain any nonimmigrant visas for a candidate to participate in the fellowship with the exception of a J-1 visa.
Candidates who will be on a nonimmigrant visa in the US during the period of the fellowship or will require a J-1 visa must state so in their application and indicate the visa type and their country of citizenship.
Application Procedure:
Interested candidates must submit the following materials in English:
• Transcripts of graduate courses of academic study (unofficial copies are acceptable)
• A curriculum vitae including basic biographical information and current and permanent addresses, telephone numbers and a description of previous chemical imaging experience and internships
• A statement of interest and intent (no more than two single-spaced pages) in applying for the fellowship
• Offprints/reprints in PDF format of publications and lectures
• Three letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the candidate's work (emailed from the recommender directly to the address below)
• A statement noting their country of citizenship; whether they will be in the US on a nonimmigrant visa, and if so, what visa; and will they require a J-1 visa.
File naming convention for submissions:
Last Name_First Name_Document type (e.g., Transcripts)_Date (Year-Month-Day)
Formal applications and supporting materials must be submitted in PDF format by email to cl@nga.gov no later than Sept 22, 2023.
The fellowship may begin on or after October 30, 2023.
For inquiries, please contact:
Tyrese Davis, Conservation Administrator: cl@nga.gov