Institutional News

Announcing the 2020 Museum Fellows Term Cohort

Five students from Bennington College have been selected as Frankenthaler Fellows for the 2020 Museum Fellows Term, a study-away program that provides participants with practical, professional art world internship experience working at a major cultural institution in New York City for five months.

Photo of students looking at art installation

First launched in January 2015 with a pilot grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Bennington College now runs Museum Fellows Term in partnership with the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation. The program spans both Field Work Term and Spring terms each year, providing students with an intensive, immersive experience and learning opportunity that is rarely available at the undergraduate level.

In 2020, the program will continue to expand, adding a new museum partnership with the Rubin Museum. Returning partners include Cooper Hewitt; New Museum; Museum of the Moving Image; and Studio Museum in Harlem. 

“We are pleased to partner with Bennington College to offer this immersive learning experience, which connects the next generation of artworld innovators with mentors and leaders at New York City's preeminent artistic and cultural institutions,” said Executive Director of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Elizabeth Smith.

Museum Fellows Term builds on Bennington’s history of innovation in work-integrated and self-directed learning and combines a framework of historical and contemporary contexts with practical, firsthand experiences, allowing students to become both participants in and observers of the art ecosystems of New York.

In five months, this strategically designed program concentrates a breadth of experiences and range of learning that could otherwise take years to accumulate, helping to drive and shape fellows' thinking about their future studies and ambitions. 

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this incredible experience to our students for a sixth year, said Visual Arts faculty member and program director Elizabeth White. “We are grateful for the ongoing support and participation of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, our museum partners, and the many alumni, parents, and friends of the college who have been involved.” 

Over Museum Fellows Term, Frankenthaler Fellows gain a robust understanding of the art world through readings, visits to dozens of major cultural institutions around New York City, and connections with cultural leaders in diverse fields of expertise. Frankenthaler Fellows learn within a supportive, small co-learning community facilitated by Bennington faculty, receiving individual mentorship and self-directed customization in accordance with students’ areas of interest. 

In addition to their internships, Frankenthaler Fellows meet as a cohort at the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation for three faculty-led courses, including Historical Perspectives, which examines the forces and individuals that have shaped the evolution of museums and other art institutions; Contemporary Art Contexts, which focuses on contemporary art exhibitions and the organizations that support and present the work; and Research Colloquium, a framework providing practical support and critical contextual information about multiple aspects of the art world.

2020 Frankenthaler Fellows

Cooper Hewitt

  • Roua Atamaz Sibai ’21, Curatorial/Socially Responsible Design Intern

New Museum

  • Ara Aman ’21, Education and Archives Intern

Museum of the Moving Image

  • Emma Boehme ’21, Curatorial/Sloan Science and Film Intern

Rubin Museum of Art

  • Dabin Jeong ’21, Public Programs Intern

Studio Museum in Harlem

  • Jailynne Estevez ’21, Development Intern

About the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, established and endowed by the artist during her lifetime (1928-2011), became active in 2013, on the closing of Frankenthaler’s estate. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting greater public interest in and understanding of the visual arts. It supports the artist’s legacy through a variety of initiatives, including exhibitions, loans of artworks, research and publications, conservation, grants, educational programs for the public and the scholarly community, and the publishing of a catalogue raisonné. As the principal beneficiary of Frankenthaler’s estate, its holdings include an extensive selection of her work in a variety of mediums, her collection of works by other artists, and original papers and materials pertaining to her life and work.