ST. LOUIS, MO.- The Saint Louis Art Museum
announces the selection of Lisa Ayla Çakmak as the 20102013 Mellon Fellow for European art to 1800. Selected from a field of 11 national post-doctoral applicants, Çakmak joins the Museum from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where she is the Niarchos Curatorial Fellow.
Through a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Post-Doctoral Mellon Fellowship was established at the Saint Louis Art Museum to improve understanding of the Museums collection. After a competitive application process, an art historian is selected who has particular expertise on a specific aspect of the Museums collection to conduct research for a term of up to three years.
Lisas background as an archaeologist and art historian, coupled with her extensive experience with museum objects, makes her an ideal candidate for the Fellowship, said Judith Mann, curator of European art to 1800, who will supervise Çakmak. The Museums collection will benefit immensely from the research and cataloging skills she gained in Boston.
Designed to strengthen the pipeline for the curatorial profession, Mellon Fellows work directly with one or more senior curators, who serve as supervisors and mentors throughout the term of the fellowship. Former Mellon Fellows include Matthew Robb, assistant curator of ancient American and Native American art. Robb joined the Museum in the summer of 2007 as the Mellon Fellow for Pre-Columbian Art. Simon Kelly, who was recently named curator of modern and contemporary art, was the 20022005 Mellon Fellow for Eighteenth and Nineteenth century art at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Lynette Roth, currently the Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow for modern art, began at the Museum in June 2008. Roth will join the staff of the Harvard Art Museums in January 2011 as Daimler-Benz associate curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum.
Çakmak, who will begin her fellowship in St. Louis this fall, received her doctorate from the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Michigan and her BA from Princeton University.
The Mellon Fellowship affords critical training and museum experience to the next generation of curators, said Andrew Walker, assistant director for curatorial affairs and curator of American art. It is through the Mellon Foundations support that the Saint Louis Art Museum is able to play an important training role for promising young scholars between the conclusion of their formal academic studies and their first permanent curatorial position.