The Thomas Cole Fellows Program
Each year, the Thomas Cole National Historic Site selects four candidates to join the Thomas Cole Fellows Program from May – December. Fellows participate in the research and interpretation of the work, home, and studios of the artist, Thomas Cole (1801 – 1848). The Thomas Cole Site preserves and interprets the home and studios of Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School of painting, the nation’s first major art movement. Cole’s profound influence on America’s cultural landscape inspires us to engage broad audiences through programs that are relevant today.
The deadline for 2017 Fellowship applications has passed, but check back in December 2017 for the 2018 Fellowship application and guidelines.
Through a combination of research, interpretation, and hands-on projects, Cole Fellows are afforded an opportunity to conduct significant research and to gain professional museum experience. Selected candidates are provided the opportunity to:
- Conduct in-depth research that leads to a major project and /or paper based on her/his work over the season.
- Attend an intensive one-week seminar with the leading Cole scholar and Professor, Dr. Allan Wallach.
- Lead tours of the historic site and have full engagement in interpretive programming
- Work closely with the Director of Exhibitions and Collections, and other TCNHS staff on projects that may include collection care and research, exhibition planning, educational programming, and special events.
- Participate staff meetings and learn about the structural, strategic, and creative decisions involved in the day-to-day operations of a historic artists’ house museum.
- Make group field visits to area museums and sites, meet museum professionals, participate in presentations and assigned readings, and benefit from professional development opportunities including resume review and next step planning based on individual career goals.
Qualifications: We seek self-motivated recent graduates, graduating college seniors, and graduate students who have expressed a commitment to pursue careers in history, art, material culture, decorative arts, collection and exhibition management, research, museum studies, and/or education. Applicants should be organized, energetic, have a passion for art and ideas, and an affinity for working with the public. A car is helpful, but not required.
A monthly stipend and free shared housing at the site is provided.
Words from a few of our Fellows:
Working at the Cole site was an amazing opportunity because I was able to be a part of a wide variety of projects across disciplines—public programming, exhibition design, curation, and marketing. I got to design my own experience as I entered the Fellowship, following my own interests and influencing the creative direction of the museum. The professional development, mentorship, and site visits provided structure, but I felt free to explore my own passion for history and public engagement. Plus, I learned a ton about Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School directly from the experts and had the history at my fingertips everyday. – Leila Farrer, Cole Fellow 2016
Overall it was amazing – definitely the right choice. I can’t believe how lucky I got. It taught me so much – what I am capable of, and what I will do with my life. I didn’t expect to get such good career advice – that was invaluable and one of the best surprises. This program is unique and special, and I am so happy it is what I chose to do. Here, you get to do so much, have responsibility, and interact with all levels of staff. Having complimentary housing is a really big deal too! – Meredith Mueller, 2011 Cole Fellow
It was an incredible experience, more than I thought it would be. I saw every level of museum management — other places only showed me one department. It allowed me to experience a museum as a whole. The professional development was great, with access to high-level people, and it was great to have so many people look at my resume – it lead directly to a job. I now feel invested and want to see the place develop, and know I’ll be keeping up with it. It affects you. – John Kingsley, 2011 Cole Fellow
Recent Fellow Projects include:
- All Time is Now: Developing Audience Engagement Through Exhibitions and New Media – Leila Farrer, 2016
- Empowering Children: The Historical and Cultural Legacy of Thomas Cole and Catskill – Kathleen Brousseau, 2016
- “Nature is a sovereign remedy”: Expanding the Hudson River School Art Trail – Casey Monroe, 2016
- Design, Interaction, and the Visitor Experience at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site – Claire Pohl, 2016
- The Appreciation of ‘Pure, Simple Nature’: Friends and Patrons of Thomas Cole – Amy LeFebvre, 2015
- Traveling Through Time with Thomas Cole: Creating an Engaging Web Experience – Elena Ostock, 2015
- “The Social Importance of Art:” Imagining Thomas Cole’s East Parlor – Keith Lebel, 2015
- Catskill Calling: Thomas Cole’s 1825 Hudson River Journey – Rita Carr, 2014
- Making Commitments: Revisiting the letters, poems, and journals of Thomas Cole, 1835-1836 – Kathryn O’Dwyer, 2014
- Then and Now: Tracing the Histories of Thomas Cole’s Paintings – Jennifer Morales, 2014
- A Worthy Pupil – The Relationship between Thomas Cole and his most celebrated student, Frederic Edwin Church-Kelsey Hoffman, 2013
- In their Own Words – Central Themes in Thomas Cole’s Art and Writing and Their Continued Relevance Today-Catherine Popovici, 2013
- “An Alter [sic] onto Mammon” – Thomas Cole, Industrialization, and Reverent Editing – Anne Rich, 2013
- Thomas Cole’s Paintings at Home: 1836 – 1848 – Margot Mache, 2012
- Thomas Cole: Art & Tourism in the 1820s – Amara McMann, 2012
- From Passion to Painting: Thomas Cole & the Visual Representations of his Intellectual World – Madeline Turner, 2012
Now Seeking 2017 Exhibition & Education Interns
The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is now seeking exhibition and educational interns to help plan and implement the 2017 season of exhibitions and events. Interns are welcome on a rolling basis year-round. The winter-spring season spans: February-May, Summer: May/June-August, and Fall: September – December. All selected Interns work closely with staff and gain valuable, behind-the-scenes museum experience. Projects may include exhibitions and research, collection management, planning and design, and museum education and interpretation.
This is an excellent opportunity to gain in-depth experience for those looking to pursue a career in the museum field. Candidates with a passion for art, museums, history, and/or education are encouraged to apply. Academic credit has been arranged for students who complete a minimum number of hours per week, as determined by their college or other academic institution. Interns may work two to four days per week for a period of three to six months.
To Apply please email (PDF files only):
+ Letter of interest
+ Current resume
+ Names and contact information for 3 references (professional or academic)