Conservation Fellowship at Preservation Society of Newport County 2024/2025
Preservation Society of Newport County
- Contract Type
- 24000 USD
- Closing date
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.