Institutional News

Four Bennington College students selected as Frankenthaler Fellows in the 2022 Museum Fellows Term

Four students from Bennington College have been selected as Frankenthaler Fellows for the 2022 Museum Fellows Term.

By Mary Brothers '22

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After running remotely in 2021, the 2022 Museum Fellows Term is once again based in New York City, and the four students selected as Frankenthaler Fellows have the opportunity to live together in an apartment in Brooklyn, while experiencing this five-month, work-integrated study away program. 

Launched in 2015 with a pilot grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Museum Fellows Term provides students with an intensive, immersive experience that allows them to explore and grow in the art world of New York City. Students gain practical hands-on experience and are provided with opportunities to form connections with cultural leaders, makers, and influencers – while being supported within a small co-learning community facilitated by Bennington faculty.

In addition to classes led by program director and faculty member Elizabeth White, this year's cohort is also taking Historical Perspectives, led by visiting faculty member Antonio Sergio Bessa, chief curator emeritus at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and visiting scholar Joy Bivins, Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The Museum Fellows Term is run in partnership with the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, and Elizabeth Smith, the Foundation’s director, and her colleagues also meet with the Fellows on a monthly basis to introduce them to the work of the Foundation. Classes are held at the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, the Schomburg Center, and at site visits around the city. 

Concurrently, each Fellow is working with one of this year's internship partners: Dia Art Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Catalogue Raisonné, the Museum of the Moving Image, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. 

Xiao Ma ’23, who studies writing and photography and is interning at the Studio Museum in Harlem is particularly excited about using New York City as a resource. 

“I am looking forward to meeting a lot of people and to being open to experiencing the city. Whatever comes is good, and I will learn to take in everything that the city offers me,” said Ma.  

2022 Frankenthaler Fellows and Partners

Dia Art Foundation

  • Marta Shcharbakova ’23, Learning and Engagement (supervised by Meagan Mattingly ’00, Director of Learning and Engagement)

Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Catalogue Raisonné 

  • Ellina Efimenko ’23, Catalogue Raisonné (supervised by Jessie Sentivan, Project Manager, Helen Frankenthaler Catalogue Raisonné)

Museum of the Moving Image

  • Grace Englehart ’23, Collections (supervised by Barbara Miller P’22, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Miranda Hambro, Collections Manager/ Registrar)

The Studio Museum in Harlem

  • Xiao Ma ’23, Development (supervised by Jodi Hanel, Director of Development and Ilk Yasha, Studio Museum Institute Manager)

About the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

Established and endowed by Helen Frankenthaler during her lifetime, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundationadvances the artist’s legacy and inspires a new generation of practitioners through a range of philanthropic, educational, and research initiatives. Since becoming active in 2013, the Foundation has continued to strategically expand its program, which includes organizing and supporting significant exhibitions of the artist’s work, fostering new research and publications, advancing educational programs in partnership with arts organizations around the world, and launching groundbreaking initiatives that foster systemic change in the field. As a primary resource on the artist, and a steward of her collection and archive, the Foundation holds an extensive selection of Frankenthaler’s work in a variety of mediums, her collection of works by other artists, and original papers and materials pertaining to her life and work.

About Helen Frankenthaler ‘49

Helen Frankenthaler '49, in addition to being one of the most influential and defining artists of the last 50 years, remains one of the pivotal figures in the College’s history. In 2015, the College named the visual arts wing of its 120,000-square-foot arts facility the Helen Frankenthaler Visual Arts Center, in honor of the remarkable alum.