Classical Institute of the South Summer Graduate Fellowships

The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) seeks two graduate fellows for its Classical Institute of the South (CIS) summer field survey of Gulf South material culture. Founded in 1966, THNOC is a museum, research center, and publisher in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. CIS began as an independent project studying and promoting decorative arts of the region in 2011, and has been part of THNOC since 2016.

CIS Fellows expand the publicly accessible Gulf South Decorative and Fine Arts Database by cataloging historic objects with provenance in Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama dating from the eighteenth century to 1865. The 2018 summer field survey plans to continue previous documentation work in Natchez, MS and begin new projects in Demopolis, AL. Survey objects are typically in private collections, often in situ in historic homes. The field team documents a wide range of decorative arts; including furniture, ceramics, textiles, paintings, and silver. Visit to learn more about CIS and its work.

Schedule: Fellowships take place June 28–August 5, 2018. After several days of orientation at THNOC, fellows will travel to survey sites with the CIS Coordinator/Research Curator. Fieldwork usually takes place 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday, although some weekend or evening work may be necessary depending on site availability. Applicants must be able to travel and work in the field for extended periods of time, and be flexible and responsive to evolving work conditions and climates.

Benefits: $2,000 stipend paid upon completion of fellowship; plus housing, on-site transportation, and reimbursement for travel expenses to and from New Orleans. Fellows also receive a scholarship to THNOC’s New Orleans Antiques Forum, which concludes field survey activities.

Qualifications: Fellowships are open to current students and recent alumni of graduate programs relating to the study of American decorative arts, art history, or material culture. Applicants should have:

  • knowledge of pre-1860 American decorative arts and best practices of artifact care and handling.
  • enthusiasm for exploring new historic sites and discussing local history with the public.
  • exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.
  • ability to collaborate with teammates as well as work well independently.
  • ability to develop relationships and to provide excellent customer service to donors, owners, collectors, the public and representatives from other cultural organizations. 
  • exceptional attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines.
  • proficiency in Microsoft Office.
  • valid driver’s license preferred.

Application deadline is February 22, 2018

To apply: Submit a current CV, contact information for two references, and a cover letter explaining your interest in CIS efforts and how prior experience has prepared you for field work. Send applications to