CWRU, Cleveland Museum of Art announce grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Case Western Reserve University and The Cleveland Museum of Art announced the award of two grants totaling $500,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the launch of the re-designed Joint Doctoral Program in Art History. The highly selective, object-oriented program features first-hand study of the museum’s comprehensive collections under the guidance of Case Western Reserve faculty and museum staff members. Case Western Reserve and the museum will administer the grant together.

“This significant gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation allows us to deepen our relationship with our partner, Case Western Reserve,” said David Franklin, Sarah S. and Alexander M. Cutler Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. “We are excited to expand our offerings and create a program that will give students a chance to more fully experience object-based learning utilizing our world-class collections.”

The newly re-designed PhD program will offer students an immersive, object-oriented experience based on the study of individual works of art. One foundation course, taught by a conservator, will enable students to gain in-depth knowledge about materials, techniques and technical examination of works of art. After two years of coursework, students in the doctoral program will complete a one-year internship at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The museum experience will include professional training in many aspects of curatorial practice, including exhibition, interpretation and acquisition-related research. Collections-based seminars also will enable a teacher and class to plan and research an exhibition at the museum.


“The College of Arts and Sciences is fortunate to count the Cleveland Museum of Art among its partners in University Circle,” said Cyrus Taylor, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western Reserve and Albert A. Michelson Professor in Physics. “Through The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s generosity, we will be able to further our important relationship with the museum while creating unique educational and professional opportunities for a new generation of curators.”

Founded in 1967, the CWRU-CMA Graduate Art History Programs have trained students in both traditional and theoretically based art historical approaches taught by a diverse array of faculty, including museum curators. Many classes are held at the museum, where students have access to the comprehensive permanent collection, and students enjoy access to the museum’s Ingalls Library and Archives, the third largest art research library in the United States, as well as to the resources of Case Western Reserve’s Kelvin Smith Library.

“When the Case Western Reserve University doctoral program in art history was founded 45 years ago, it was a leader in promoting a working relationship between a major metropolitan art museum and a university art history department,” said Catherine Scallen, chair of the Department of Art History and Art at Case Western Reserve. “Our collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art will become even stronger and more distinctive through the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.”

The funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant will be used for pre- and post-doctoral fellowships as well as compensation for Cleveland Museum of Art staff members to engage in additional teaching and mentoring activities. The grant will also support two students with $25,000 stipends for the five-year duration of the program; Case Western Reserve will provide a full tuition package to those two students as well as a third student at the same level.

“The CWRU-CMA doctoral program is unique,” said Caroline Goeser, director of education and interpretation at the Cleveland Museum of Art. “Students have as their research laboratory one of the best collections of world art, while studying at a top-tier research institution. The Mellon Foundation grant allows the program to flourish and draw the very best students to Cleveland.”