The Department of Prints and Drawings offers practical training to four people each year through the Michael Bromberg and the Anne Christopherson Fellowships. Holders gain a familiarity with the methods of arrangement and workings of a Print Room so that they gain some experience of curatorial duties and are able to undertake research in the field in future. In addition, an individual project of scholarly interest and value is carried out under the supervision of a member of department staff.
Michael Bromberg Fellowship
The Michael Bromberg Fellowship was endowed in 1978 to promote education by the study of prints and their history, and since 2001 has been held in the British Museum. Practical training in the understanding of printmaking techniques and knowledge of print history through the fellowship is given by means of fellowships lasting about three months in the Department of Prints and Drawings.
The Department's collection covers western prints from the early 15th century to the present day, and interests in any areas of the collection are equally welcome. The British Museum awards two Michael Bromberg Fellowships annually. The Fellowships can be held at any point in the year by agreement with the Department of Prints and Drawings and to suit the Fellow's own academic course, but should be for a continuous period of time. The value of each scholarship is £3,500, paid as a single grant at the beginning of the period. The holders will be responsible for making all arrangements about travel, accommodation, visas, etc.
Application Process for Bromberg Fellowship
Fellowships are open to students of all nationalities. The successful candidates are most likely to be students after the final year of their first degree or in the process of undertaking a second degree (MA or PhD, whether before, during or immediately after). In offering Fellowships, the electors look for academic promise and an interest in the field of prints and works of art on paper.
Candidates should contact the Keeper of Prints and Drawings if they require further information. There is no application form. Applications must be in writing and be no more than one side of A4, explaining why the student is interested in the Fellowship, what qualities he or she brings to it and what he or she hopes to gain from it. Applicants should enclose a full curriculum vitae and ask an academic referee to send a letter of support directly to the Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum.
Candidates must have a good English speaking and writing ability. Since Fellows will need to be given security passes to access the department and its collections, they will need to go through the same security checks as British Museum employees and contractors, though the Fellows are not employees of the British Museum and no other contractual relationship exists with the Museum.
The closing date for each year's Bromberg applications is 21 December, and awards are made by the middle of the following February. Candidates will only be called for interview if this is the only way to resolve a problem in the minds of the electors.
The Anne Christopherson Fellowship was set up in 2011 to provide curatorial support and to assist with the cataloguing, care and organisation of the collection of British drawings and watercolours from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries and to provide curatorial experience for those looking to start their career. In its emphasis on working with the collection as directed by the curator, it is more akin to an internship. The artist Anne Christopherson, a descendant of the Boyce family of artists and a generous donor to the Museum, provided funds for two part-time (three days a week), six-month fellowships each year. The Fellowships can be held at any point in the year by agreement with the curator, but should be for a continuous period of time.
Fellows work closely with the Curators of British Drawings and Watercolours to create catalogue records and develop existing entries on the Museum’s on-line database. They learn to assess the conservation and storage needs of collection objects, and to this end liaise with the conservation and photographic departments in the Museum. They also undertake detailed research, focusing on a chosen period of the collection in order to enhance catalogue information. Other responsibilities include cataloguing new acquisitions, answering public enquiries, assisting with temporary exhibitions and displays, and writing labels as appropriate.
Application Process for Christopherson Fellowship
Unlike the Bromberg Fellowship, it takes the form of a paid temporary position as a six month part-time project curator and the appointment is by application in response to an advertisement posted on the British Museum website under Jobs: Current Opportunities. It is posted once a year, usually around late spring/early summer.
Candidates must have a good English speaking and writing ability. Successful candidates are likely to have a degree (or equivalent) in art history or a related subject, and experience of working, volunteering or researching in a museum or gallery. A good knowledge of British art history of the seventeenth to twentieth centuries with a particular reference to drawings and watercolours rather than printed works on paper and time spent studying in a print room are essential requirements.
Department of Prints and Drawings
The British Museum
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG
Telephone: (0)20 7323 8405