Conservation Fellowship at Preservation Society of Newport County 2024/2025

Job Summary

Preservation Society of Newport County
Rhode Island
Contract Type
24000 USD
Closing date

Job Details


The Preservation Society of Newport County offers annual Residential Research Fellowships to 
scholars and emerging professionals, designed to provide dedicated time and resources for 
comprehensive projects relevant to the organizations' current needs in areas such as fine art,
decorative art, material culture, landscape design, horticulture, social history, and historic 
preservation. The Preservation Society of Newport County Residential Fellowship is an 
opportunity to advance scholarship and gain specialized training/experience needed for future 
and emerging professionals seeking to pursue careers in academia, museums, historic 
preservation, historic houses and landscapes, or other cultural institutions.

Our Collections
The Preservation Society of Newport County protects, preserves, and presents a remarkable 
collection of eleven historic house museums spanning the history of Newport from the Colonial 
period through the Gilded Age. Our properties include Hunter House (c.1748), Kingscote (1841), 
Chateau-sur-Mer (1852), Green Animals Topiary Garden (c.1860), Chepstow (1861), Isaac Bell 
House (1883), Marble House (1892), The Breakers (1895), The Breakers Stable and Carriage 
House (1895), The Elms (1901), and Rosecliff (1902). Housed within these architectural 
masterpieces are more than 60,000 artworks from all around the globe, dating from ancient times 
to the modern era.

Position Description
The 2024-2025 Conservation Fellow will work closely with both the Chief Curator and 
Conservation Department in support of the treatment of A. H. Davenport and 
Company (1845-1905) furniture selected by American architect and interior decorator, Ogden 
Codman Jr. (1863-1951), for Vanderbilt family on the third floor of The Breakers (1895). These 
spaces were once the bedroom suites for Vanderbilt children and guests and eventually became 
the apartments of Vanderbilt descendants until 2018. The Fellow will collaborate with an 
interdisciplinary team to present these rooms as part of a new tour experience.
A.H. Davenport and Company produced high end American furniture and interior decoration 
including paneling, textiles, wall coverings, hardware and decorative objects for many 
preeminent Gilded Age residences including the McKim, Mead and White renovation of the 
White House under Theodore Roosevelt. 
The 2024-2025 Conservation Fellow will work both with and without supervision to examine, 
treat, and perform related research on Davenport furniture from the (eight) bedroom suites. The 
fellowship will focus on compiling technical documentation about construction, materials, 
finishes and conditions towards development of a treatment master plan for third floor Davenport 
furniture. The Fellow will be expected to perform analysis of clear and painted finishes; develop 
and test treatment methods; and implement conservation treatment on two or more exemplary 
pieces. The Fellow also takes part in other activities within the Conservation Department.
Fellows must have the ability to complete research in a clearly defined area of study on a 
timeline that will result in regular deliverables. Additionally, all Fellows must present a public 
lecture and write a 2,500-3,000 word essay based on their area of research. Proven ability to 
work independently, organize and manage multiple projects, and meet rigorous deadlines is 
necessary, as are strong research, writing, and public speaking skills.
Fellows must contribute to the overall dynamics of the Fellowship Program through a high level 
of engagement with fellow scholars, Preservation Society staff, and peer institutions in and 
around Newport. As such, in addition to the formal research project, the Fellow will be assigned 
participatory assignments that fall outside the project or project scope. Thereby, a deep 
understanding will be gained that produces a holistic overview of the complex, yet essential, 
structure that allows non-profit institutions to offer truly compelling opportunities to diverse 

Basic Qualifications
In order to be considered for the 2024-2025 Conservation Fellowship, Candidates must be 
graduates of a recognized master's program in conservation or have equivalent training.
The degree should have been conferred within five years from the start of the fellowship. 
Additional Qualifications and Skills
Demonstrate exceptional visual and manual aptitudes and research skills 
Demonstrated success authoring technical documentation such as condition, treatment and 
analytical reports 
Proven ability to work independently, organize and manage multiple projects, and meet rigorous 
deadlines are necessary, as are strong research, writing, and public speaking skills.

Application Procedures
Please follow the link to apply online with a cover letter indicating interest and suitability and a résumé or 
curriculum vitae. Complete applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, starting December 
15, 2023.   

Zoom interviews will be scheduled with preferred candidates by March 15, 2024. Successful 
interview candidates will be asked to provide two academic or professional references, an 
academic writing sample, and one personal reference.
Selected candidates will be notified by April 15, 2024.

Additional Information:
The fellowship term is September 2024, to August 15, 2025. Residential Fellows receive $24,000 
in annual compensation, dedicated research and travel budget, and housing at no cost in the 
Berwind-Stautberg Scholars Center in Newport.