Investment in museum curatorial work and research is always a hopeful sign and for this to happen at the Toledo Museum of Art is incredibly fitting. The $500,000 grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation is the latest in its recognition as one of Ohio’s best art institutions. As such, it has been chosen to design and implement a postdoctoral fellowship program that works to prepare tomorrow’s museum leaders.
The program blends curatorial work with the interdisciplinary nature of museum operations. “We will provide mentorship, work experience and broad, cross-departmental learning opportunities that should be of great value to those early in their careers. That blend will give the Fellows broad-based knowledge and experience that is both required and crucial for the next generation of museum leaders,” Toledo Museum of Art Director Brian Kennedy said.
Over the coming four years, the grant will enable the Museum to host three Fellows, each of whom will work in the curatorial branch and be involved in expanding public access to the art collections and working with artists. The first Fellow is expected to begin in January 2012. The second Fellow will join the Museum in January 2013, and the third, in January 2014. Staggering the two-year fellowships ensures the initiative has the deserved focus, resources and attention to develop into an internationally recognized program, saidAmy Gilman, associate director of the Museum and fellowship administrator.
Perhaps most interesting, each Fellow will be able to travel and research independently, work with TMA’s executive staff and complete an independent project related to a personal or scholarly interest in museum work. Fellows will be paid an annual salary and receive benefits during their two-year appointments. The emphasis on independent research and projects for the museum will benefit the fellow as well well as brings most current scholarship to the Toledo Museum of Art.