Spanish Colonial Art Fellowships and Awards


The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation offers pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships annually in support of projects and research initiatives that will advance the field of Spanish colonial art. The Marilynn Thoma Fellowship is the only unrestricted research funding in the United States devoted exclusively to the field of Spanish Colonial art. Scholars may come from any discipline, but all projects must relate to the study of art and art history. Exceptionally accomplished scholars holding an MA may also apply. International scholars, particularly from Latin America, are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Applicants should propose projects that exhibit original scholarship and/or will make a significant contribution to the understanding of colonial Spanish American art and its history. Fellowships range in duration from one to two years, and eventuate in major measurable outcomes, including museum exhibitions, dissertations, book publications, scholarly essays, and lecture series. Projects will be considered from all of Spanish colonial Latin America and the Caribbean, however the Foundation will give strong preference to projects that make specific contributions to the history of painting and sculpture in colonial South America. 

Pre-doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship – $45,000 (1-year award) 

Post-doctoral Fellowship – $60,000/year (1-2-year award; indicate project length in application)
*Applicants should hold a PhD conferred between 2009-2019 

Applications are open from May 15 to October 25, 2019. The PDF at left provides further information about the Fellowship.

Click here to apply.



Congruent with the Marilynn Thoma Fellowship, the Thoma Foundation offers annual grants to scholars, curators, art historians and advanced graduate students working on MA or PhD dissertations in support of projects and research initiatives that will advance the field of colonial art of Spanish America. These grants are meant to help defray the costs of research-related expenses. Funding is provided each year to several scholars selected by an international jury of undisclosed experts in the field, with travel commencing within one year + one month from the date of notification. 

Grants of up to $25,000 are available for projects lasting up to six months. 

Applications are open from May 15 to October 25, 2019. The PDF at left provides further information about the Awards.

Click here to apply.



All applications that do not directly focus on South America must demonstrate how the project relates to the art history of South America. Projects that focus exclusively on decorative arts, maps, or manuscripts are not eligible to apply. Applicants must have the ability to communicate and conduct research in both Spanish and English. 

Fellowships and Travel Awards are portable and funds may be used in any reasonable way the applicant sees fit to accomplish the project, including travel and accommodation, photography/digital images, access and research fees, tuition remission, supportive staffing, and scientific analysis. Funds may only be used for the expenses of the grant recipient and research assistants (not family or companions). 

Award monies may not be used to fund group projects, equipment purchases, or projects that do not relate directly to the study of art and art history. 

Projects should relate to a measurable outcome commensurate with the award amount, such as a dissertation, book manuscript, museum exhibition, essay, lecture series, article for a scholarly journal, and so on.

Awardees will be selected by an anonymous jury of three accomplished professionals in the field. Decisions are made on the merit of the application and compelling nature of the project. The number of awards made in each category will vary in response to the applicant pool. 

Please only submit one application per year. Notification will occur early 2020. Travel should commence within 18 months of notification date.

Please contact with any questions.

For information about previous recipients, please visit our news page.