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Posted: 02/03/2015

The Preservation Society of Newport County (Rhode Island)

The Preservation Society of Newport County is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1945 to preserve and protect the architectural heritage of Newport County, Rhode Island. The Preservation Society’s collection of historic houses together with their landscapes, fine and decorative arts constitutes a unique cultural museum spanning the colonial period through the Gilded Age. Each house museum plays a significant role in the effort to preserve and interpret the evolution of Newport’s artistic, social, and cultural past, which reflects developments on the national level. The Preservation Society is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, a designation achieved by only six percent of American museums. The Department of Museum Affairs oversees academic research that provides the foundation for a comprehensive, balanced, and relevant interpretation of the houses and landscapes that places them within the context of broader trends in American history and culture. This research shapes and informs a dynamic schedule of humanities programming that includes: • Interpretive tours of 10 historic properties open to the public; • Target programming for elementary and middle-school students linked to Rhode Island Learning Standards for Arts and English Language Arts, offered free to all public school students in Newport County; • Exhibitions and publications that explore the history of architecture, landscape design, and the decorative arts, as well as the lives and material culture of Newport’s residents; • The Newport Symposium, an annual, international gathering of scholars and laypersons to study and discuss a diverse range of arts and historical issues; and • Lectures, workshops, and study days geared toward all audiences from professional scholars to the general public. With an operating budget of over $20 million and annual ticket sales at nearly 900,000, the Preservation Society is among the four most-visited cultural institutions in New England, along with the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Science, and the New England Aquarium, all in Boston. The Preservation Society is governed by a 30-member board of trustees and employs 96 full-time and approximately 250 part-time employees. The mission statement of the Preservation Society was revised and approved in 2008: Great Houses connect people to a nation’s heritage and open windows to another age. The Preservation Society of Newport County is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect, preserve, and present an exceptional collection of house museums and landscapes in one of the most historically intact cities in America. We hold in public trust the Newport Mansions, which are an integral part of the living fabric of Newport, Rhode Island. These sites exemplify three centuries of the finest achievements in American architecture, decorative arts, and landscape design spanning the Colonial era to the Gilded Age. Through our historic properties, educational programs, and related activities, we engage the public in the story of America’s vibrant cultural heritage. We seek to inspire and promote an appreciation of the value of preservation to enrich the lives of people everywhere.

Research Fellowships
Professional Opportunity
Newport, RI

The Preservation Society of Newport County is inviting applications for consideration for one-year or one semester (6 months) research fellowships beginning in July 2015.    Scholars and practitioners working on a wide range of topics are invited to submit proposals that use Newports vast cultural resources to examine the topic of Newport and the Sea as it relates to history, culture, design, and the arts. Topics may include (but are not limited to) maritime culture and industry; architecture; historic preservation, Naval and military history; resorts and leisure culture; or maritime art and literature. Broad interpretations of the theme are encouraged.

Fellowship requirements:


An M.A. or Ph.D. in a relevant academic field such as the history of art, architecture or the decorative arts, landscape design and history, historic preservation, material culture, literature, cultural geography, history, and public policy as it relates to cultural heritage. Doctoral candidates conducting dissertation research will also be considered. Strong research, writing, and public speaking skills are essential, as is the ability to work independently. Fellows will be required to present their research in public programs hosted by the Preservation Society. Fellows receive a stipend of $2,000 per month and shared housing is available in one of the Preservation Societys properties for the duration of the fellowship.

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How to apply
To Apply: Step 1: Prepare Materials - Application form: Complete the attached application form (also available at www.NewportMansions.org). - Project proposal: Please provide an abstract (250-500 words) describing your proposed project, the work you plan to undertake in Newport and the surrounding area, and identifying specific resources in local institutions and/or repositories that will inform your work. We understand that projects will evolve during the course of your research. - Project Time Frame: Please specify if you are applying for a full year (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016) or for one semester (summer/fall is defined as July 1, 2015-January 1, 2016; winter/spring is defined as January 1, 2016-June 30, 2016). If applying for one semester, please indicate if you have a preference for summer/fall or winter/spring. - Vita: Please provide a copy of your current curriculum vitae. - References: Please provide two letters of reference from scholars, supervisors or advisors who are familiar with your work. Step 2: Submit Materials - Reference letters: Please instruct your reference writers to submit their letters via email to fellowships@newportmansions.org. The email subject should include your last name and the word “reference” - Application: E-mail your complete application, including application form, essay, and vita to fellowships@newportmansions.org. Please put your name in the subject line. The deadline for submission of materials is March 15, 2015. After reviewing all applications, fellowship finalists will be selected for in-person and/or telephone interviews.

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