• The Meeting of St. Francis and St. Dominic :: c.1400-1455
  • Artist: Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro), Italian
  • Repository: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
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Interpretive Fellowships
at Art Museums


The purpose of the Kress Interpretive Fellowship at Art Museums program is to provide a new kind of mentored professional development opportunity within American art museums.  The program is intended to encourage students to explore interpretive careers in art museums, whether as future museum educators or curators; to strengthen the profession of museum educator within the art museum community; to strengthen ties between museum educators and curators and other art museum professionals engaged in the shared task of interpretive programming in art museums; and to expand the range of promising career options available to students of art history and related fields.

The Foundation strongly urges its grantees and fellowship administrators to help diversify the next generation of art historians, art conservators, and art museum professionals by adopting an inclusive approach to all Kress-sponsored partnerships and educational and training opportunities.

Successful interpretive programs in art museums require formal education in art history, understanding of learning theory, and sensitivity to the learning needs and styles of widely diverse audiences.  Within a mentoring environment, the Kress Interpretive Fellow develops the first-hand experience, expertise, and confidence on which to base an interpretive career in art museums, whether as museum curator, museum educator, or in allied professional capacities.

Kress Interpretive Fellowships provide competitive grants to American art museums which sponsor supervised internships in art museum education. Where appropriate, preference may be given to institutional applications that will provide fellows with an opportunity to collaborate closely with both art museum educators and curators, as well as allied art museum professionals, and will advance the appreciation of European art history of the pre-modern era.

Online Application Procedures

Effective immediately, art museums will be required to apply for a Kress Interpretive Fellowship using the Foundation’s online grantmaking portal. Applicants must register for portal access at https://kressfoundation.fluxx.io.

The portal will accept Interpretive Fellowship applications between March 1 and April 1, 2021. See the How to Apply page for more information.


Kress Interpretive Fellowships are awarded each year to American art museums for 9-12 month professional development opportunities. Typically, Interpretive Fellowships begin in late summer or early fall. The full Fellowship award of $30,000 must be allocated as a stipend for the fellow. Payroll taxes may be withheld from the $30,000, but any other benefits, travel or education reimbursement, or administrative costs must be met by the institution or other funding. A final report will be due from the host institution approximately one month after the completion of the fellowship (see Reporting and Other Requirements in the Application Guidelines).


Application must be made by the art museum proposing to host a Kress Interpretive Fellow. These Interpretive Fellowships are intended as an opportunity for individuals who have completed a degree (B.A., M.A., or Ph.D.) in art history, art education, studio art or museum studies and who are pursuing or contemplating graduate study or professional placement in these or related fields. The appropriate level of educational achievement will be determined by the host museum and be dependent upon the needs of the proposed fellowship project. The Fellowship candidate may be identified in advance of application by the host institution or recruited subsequently.


Fellowship Application Guidelines

Download Icon  Download the Interpretive Fellowship Guidelines 

Roman Matrons Making Offerings to Juno

Date: c. 1745-50
Artist: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Repository: High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA

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