Pre-doctoral Fellowship: The Technical Study of Works by Simeon Solomon

The Delaware Art Museum is seeking a pre-doctoral fellow to undergo the technical study of artworks by British Pre-Raphaelite artist, Simeon Solomon (1840–1905). This work will explore the artist’s working methods, material use, and evolution of style, as well as assess the history and condition of his works.

About the artist: Simeon Solomon worked in the orbit of the British Pre-Raphaelite and Aesthetic movements. He was unique among his colleagues: he was the only artist in the circle who was Jewish. Solomon frequently pictured stories from the Torah and Prophets, as well as scenes of Jewish cultural and liturgical practices. By the mid-1860s, he was exploring same-sex passion in his art. Following arrests for homosexual crimes in the early 1870s, Solomon was rejected by the art establishment in which he had previously thrived. For his three remaining decades, he lived precariously, suffering from alcoholism and homelessness, yet his artistic output remained prolific.

The project: From Fall 2024 through Summer 2025, the pre-doctoral fellow will embark on a comprehensive scientific and conservation analysis of Solomon’s paintings from the Delaware Art Museum as well as other collections. The fellow will also be expected to apply by Feb. 1, 2025 to the Preservation Studies Program at the University of Delaware to continue this research as a Ph.D. student, beginning Fall 2025.

The successful applicant, through the duration of the pre-doctoral fellowship as well as the Ph.D., will work with an interdisciplinary team of conservators, conservation scientists, and curators to collect, analyze, and interpret data that will produce a critical new understanding of Solomon’s artistry and the condition of his works. In Spring 2027, the Delaware Art Museum will present the first US-based museum exhibition on Simeon Solomon and his art. The work undertaken in this research will serve as an important contribution to the exhibition. Aspects of this study will include spectroscopy, chemical imaging, microscopy, data analysis, technical writing, conservation assessment and documentation.

The fellow will be supervised by Dr. Sophie Lynford (Annette Woolard-Provine Curator of the Bancroft Pre-Raphaelite Collection, Delaware Art Museum) with Prof. Roxanne Radpour (conservation scientist, University of Delaware). As part of their eventual enrollment in the PSP program studies and dissertation research, the fellow will also work and engage with students, conservators, scientists, and other faculty at the University of Delaware and the Winterthur Museum.

Requirements: Applicants of any citizenship may apply. Applicants are expected to apply for the University of Delaware PSP program and fulfill the graduate admission requirements at the time of the pre-doctoral fellowship application submission. Candidates with a Master’s degree in paintings conservation, technical art history, an area of science, or a closely related field is required. Experience with technical analysis and documentation of cultural heritage is a priority. The candidate will be expected to write peer-reviewed journal articles, deliver conference talks, and complete a dissertation for their degree based on this project.

Funding: We have grant funding of $37,000 for one year. Should the accepted applicant work fewer than 12 months, the funds will be pro-rated. Accepted candidates in the PSP program are funded by the University of Delaware.

Anticipated fellowship start date: Fall 2024

Please direct fellowship inquiries to Prof. Roxanne Radpour (radpour@udel.edu) and Dr. Sophie Lynford (slynford@delart.org).

Please direct PSP program inquiries to Profs. Roxanne Radpour and Joyce Hill Stoner (jstone@winterthur.org).

How to apply:

Please send the following materials as PDF documents to fellowships@delart.org.

  • Cover letter addressing applicant’s interest in the position, with a narrative demonstrating their strengths relevant to the current project and how the fellowship and eventual Ph.D. relate to professional/career goals
  • Professional and academic curriculum vitae
  • A relevant professional/work sample that demonstrates technical literacy and writing ability
  • College and university transcripts (unofficial documents released to students are acceptable)
  • Two letters of recommendation: letters of recommendation from two scholars or other professionals familiar with the applicant and their work are required. These letters should be sent directly via email to: fellowships@delart.org

To learn more about the Delaware Art Museum, please visit delart.org/.