The Anne van Biema Fellowship

'Waves at Matsushima', Freer and Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

The Anne van Biema Fellowship was established by bequest to promote excellence in research and publication on the Japanese visual arts. Fellowships support research at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Research proposals are evaluated in terms of merit, originality, methodology, and potential for significant publication that will advance scholarly and public understanding of the Japanese visual arts. Interdisciplinary proposals with a primary focus on Japanese visual arts are considered.

Awards are made to scholars at the post-doctoral or equivalent professional level for periods of two to twelve months, and are not renewable. The maximum stipend of $42,000 per annum will be prorated for shorter terms. Additional support not to exceed $5,000 may be provided to cover round-trip travel at U.S. government rates from the fellow’s residence to Washington D.C. and for approved research and travel expenses. Research space, a networked computer, and access to art collections, archives, and Smithsonian Institution Libraries are provided.

The Anne van Biema Fellowship is intended to provide an environment conducive to research, writing, and collegial discourse. Fellows are expected to devote themselves full-time to the proposed project, to participate in the scholarly community and programs of the museums, and to present a research-in-progress seminar during the period of the appointment.

The fellowship is open to scholars of all nationalities. Meeting requirements for and obtaining required visas for residence and research in the United States is the responsibility of the applicant. Upon request, the museums will supply documentation of the award of the fellowship, dates of appointment, and financial support.

Application Deadlines

Fellowship applications are reviewed annually. Applications must be received by December 15. Notification of awards is sent on February 15. Appointments begin between April 1 and December 1 of the same calendar year.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted in English and must include:

  • Application cover sheet (PDF, 40kb)
  • Curriculum vitae with contact information and complete list of publications
  • Research proposal consisting of a précis (250 words) and a narrative (maximum length 2000 words). The proposal should address previous relevant research and published results, the significance of the current project to the field of Japanese art history or related disciplines, methodology, and projected schedule of research and writing.
  • Budget for round-trip travel from home institution to Washington DC and for projected research expenses.
  • Two letters of recommendation (original versions) in sealed envelopes signed across the flap. Reviewers should comment on the merits of the proposal and the feasibility of the research plan, as well as the candidate’s past publication record and potential for original contribution to the field of Japanese art history. Letters of recommendation may be included with the application or sent directly from the reviewers. In either case, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that letters of recommendation arrive by the December 15 deadline.

Submit complete applications by e-mail to, or by mail to:

Mail Address

Anne van Biema Fellowship
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Smithsonian Institution
MRC 707, P.O. Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012

Address for Express Delivery Services

Anne van Biema Fellowship
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Smithsonian Institution
1050 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20560
TEL 202.633.4880

Contact information: Please direct questions to