Since 1899, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts has awarded Traveling Fellowships (formerly called Traveling Scholarships) to select alumni. As one of the largest endowed art school grant programs in the country, the Traveling Fellowship program provides funds for artists to further develop and inform their practice.
Each September, SMFA at Tufts awards ten Traveling Fellowships to selected alumni. Fellows receive up to $10,000 to pursue travel and research related to their art.
The program has provided critical early-career support for many notable SMFA graduates, including Nan Goldin, Mike and Doug Starn, Ellen Gallagher, Omer Fast, and recent graduates such as Evelyn Rydz, Gonzalo Fuenmayor, and Daniela Rivera.
History of the Travel Fund
In 1894, James William Paige left a bequest of $30,000 to the Museum School to establish a travel fund. Income was to be used to send SMFA students to Europe, where they would study art for a period of two years. By 1899, the first Traveling Scholar, Mary Brewster Hazelton, sailed to Europe. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, recipients typically traveled to Paris, Rome, or Florence and received $800 per year for two years. Today, SMFA Travelling Fellows journey across the globe, to places as diverse as the American West, Antartica, and Shikoku, Japan, and receive grants of up to $10,000 each.
- Only SMFA graduates of the BFA, Combined Degree, Diploma, Post-Baccalaureate, MFA, or MAT programs may apply.
- Alumni may be working in any contemporary visual art discipline.
- Anyone who previously applied, but has not yet won a Traveling Fellowship, is encouraged to apply again.
- Previous winners of a Traveling Fellowship (or, previously, "Traveling Scholarship") are not eligible.
Applications are due Thursday, August 13. Please note, due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions, the 2020 Traveling Fellows will be permitted to take two years to conduct their travel and research.
Natalie Bell, Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center
Jessica S. Hong, Associate Curator of Global Contemporary Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth
Kate Kraczon, Curator, David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University
Traveling Fellows recipients will have the opportunity to show in the Edward Linde Family Wing, Gallery 168 in the MFA, Boston. There will be an exhibition every two years. The artist selected for an exhibition will be chosen out of the 20 applicants from the previous two years of Traveling Fellows' cohorts.
How to Apply
All Traveling Fellows applications will be processed online through Slideroom. Requirements are noted below and in the online application.
Questions regarding the application criteria and process should be directed to Kaitlyn Clark, Coordinator, Exhibitions and Public Programs.
For technical assistance with Slideroom, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forms and Attachments
All forms are available online as part of the application
Traveling Fellows Pre-Screening Form
You will need to indicate your SMFA degree program, year of graduation, and current email address. (Note: "@smfa.edu" email addresses are no longer active after graduation and will not be accepted.)
Artist Statement (limit 1500 characters)
- Travel Proposal
Please tell us about your proposed destination(s) and give a detailed explanation describing why the Fellowship would contribute to your artistic development. Be specific in telling the jury why this opportunity suits your practice at this juncture and why the particular location(s) will enrich your work, either through expanding skills, research, or experiences. (limit 2500 characters)
- Provide a timeline of travel and estimated budget. Please download provided template and upload to SlideRoom.
- Media Files
Provide digital documentation of five (5) works completed within the last three (3) years. Select the format most appropriate to the artistic medium or discipline representative of your work (i.e. images, video, audio, writing, modeling, etc.) that will provide context for your practice and research interests. If you are providing video or audio, work samples can be up to ten minutes in duration and writing samples should be less than 5 pages. Work samples should demonstrate the artistic merit of your work as well as relevancy to the travel proposal. Applicants are encouraged to provide descriptions for the specific work submitted but it is not required.
File Restrictions: Slideroom can accept any media file type. However, the following formats are optimized for browser-based viewing. There are also limits placed on each file's size, noted below.
Images: 10 MB; .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .tga Audio: 60 MB; .mp3, .wma, .ogg, .flac Video: 500 MB; .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .wmv, .flv, .asf, .mpeg, .mpg, .mkv Documents: 20 MB; .pdf 3D Models: blend, .3ds, .dae, .obj, .fbx, .dwf, .osg, .osgt, .osgb, .ive, .lwo, .lws, .ply, .wrl, .iv, .shp, .stl, .bvh, .flt, .ac, .x, .dw, .3dc, .geo, .gta, .kmz, .vpk
- Image Release Form
We will only ask for image release permissions from applicants who are awarded Traveling Fellowships. All materials submitted by other applicants will be used for the sole purpose of jurying and will not be used in public promotion.
Featured Image: Laura Beth Reese, MFA '13, Detail of Lake Red Rock, Archival Inkjet Print, 2016