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Applications Open for the 2024 Margaret F. Williams Memorial Fellowship in Asian Art

San Francisco, January 29, 2024 — In partnership with the Asian Art Museum, The Asia Foundation announces a call for applications for the 2024 Margaret F. Williams Memorial Fellowship in Asian Art, a program supporting exchange between diverse, emerging curatorial voices focusing on Asian or Asian American art. The application period opens on January 31 and closes on March 3, with final selection announced by early April.

Held every other year, the fellowship supports two emerging contemporary art curators—one from Asia and one from the United States. The Asian Art Museum’s Contemporary Art Department offers fellows a unique residency opportunity for a period of up to three months under the guidance of Abby Chen, senior associate curator and head of Contemporary Art.

Located in the heart of San Francisco, the Asian Art Museum is home to one of the world’s finest collections of Asian art, boasting more than 20,000 awe-inspiring artworks ranging from ancient jades and ceramics to contemporary video installations. Dynamic special exhibitions, cultural celebrations, and public programs for all ages provide rich art experiences that unlock the past and spark questions about the future.

The 2024 fellows will work within the Asian Art Museum’s Practice Institute and report to the museum’s inaugural assistant curator of games and technology, Cheng Xu, whose new exhibition RAD (Research And Development) opened in January 2024. Fellows will support the development of criteria for presenting new arts practices, including multimedia artworks, theater sound, performances, digital artworks, archives, community engagement, and nontraditional works that may exist independent of gallery spaces. They will also contribute to the integration of interactive experiences and interpretive technology, including video games, for the forthcoming major exhibition with visionary game designer Jenova Chen.

The fellowship provides:

  • Round-trip travel to and from San Francisco for the residency at the Asian Art Museum.
  • Housing and per diem for the duration of their residency in San Francisco from June 1 to August 31, 2024. Fellows should plan on being on-site at the Asian Art Museum for the majority of this time.
  • A $10,000 stipend toward a self-designed study tour to support each fellow’s research, professional interests, and network-building. The study tour will comprise visits, consultations, meetings, and research. Fellows may choose to visit multiple cities and institutions over four or more weeks. This study tour will occur after, or separate from, fellows’ residency at the museum.
  • An additional grant is provided by the museum’s Practice Institute to develop a special project or program that reflects their research—together or separately—preferably on-site and making use of the museum’s facilities or online, with a public engagement component. Ideally, these projects or programs will take place during the fellowship residency or before the end of 2024.

The program looks to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion in the curatorial field and seeks to build the capacity of a younger generation of curators. The selection committee will actively focus on recruiting and growing a pipeline of emerging curatorial leaders who bring diverse perspectives marginalized by sexism, heterosexism, or racism and are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work. The program takes an expansive approach to the concept of “curator” and welcomes applicants from within or outside the institutional museum context. The program seeks fresh outlooks, approaches, and perspectives.

The Margaret F. Williams Memorial Fellowship in Asian Art contributes to the professional enhancement of specialists in the Asian art curatorial field through exchange between the United States and Asia and the Pacific. In 2007, Asia Foundation President Emeritus Dr. Haydn Williams established the Margaret F. Williams Memorial Fellowship in Asian Art Program to honor his late wife, whose interest in art was stimulated by their travels. Mrs. Williams was also a docent at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

Apply for the Margaret F. Williams Memorial Fellowship in Asian Art Program. For program inquiries, please contact [email protected].

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives and expanding opportunities across Asia and the Pacific. Informed by 70 years of experience and deep local knowledge, our work is focused on governance, climate action, gender equality, education and leadership, inclusive growth, and international cooperation. We work in more than 20 countries through our 17 permanent country offices and programs across Asia and the Pacific, supported by a headquarters in San Francisco and an office in Washington, DC. Our funding comes from a diverse array of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals.

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