Dr. David Saunders.
The Getty and the Rothschild Foundation today announced the creation of the Getty Rothschild Fellowship, which will support innovative scholarship in the history of art, collecting, and conservation, using the collection and resources of both institutions. The fellowship offers art historians, museum professionals, or conservators the opportunity to research and study at both the Getty in Los Angeles and Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, England. The inaugural fellow is Dr. David Saunders, a foremost expert in the area of conservation science who will work on museum and gallery lighting during the fellowship.
“The Getty and the Rothschild Foundation hold similar values regarding the understanding and conservation of visual art around the world, and it is only appropriate that we would work together to support individuals who demonstrate these values through their research,” says Jim Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. “We are pleased to award the inaugural Getty Rothschild Fellowship to Dr. Saunders, whose work in museum lighting has been of long-standing interest to the Getty Conservation Institute and the Getty Museum.”
Dr. Saunders is a former principal scientist at The National Gallery and keeper of conservation, documentation, and research at the British Museum. Now an independent researcher, Saunders is writing what will be a seminal book about museum and gallery lighting. Waddesdon is an ideal place to advance his research, as it will serve as a case study for the upcoming publication. The Flint House, the RIBA award-winning Rothschild Foundation property, will provide an exceptional environment in which the fellow will stay while working at Waddesdon.
“The Rothschild Foundation and Waddesdon Manor are delighted to be collaborating with the Getty on this Fellowship, which will nurture high-level scholarship on subjects which are close to the hearts of both institutions, whether in the fields of art and art history, collecting, conservation or the application of new technologies to the museum and heritage worlds. I am particularly pleased that our first Fellow will be David Saunders, whose work is of the greatest possible relevance to Waddesdon, as a historic house seeking to present itself in innovative ways,” says Lord Rothschild, OM GBE.
The selection process for the Getty Rothschild fellowship includes a number of criteria, including whether the applicant’s work would benefit from proximity to the Getty and Rothschild collections. Fellowships will be for up to eight months, with the time split equally between the Getty and Waddesdon Manor. Dr. Saunders will be at the Getty from January to March 2017 and at Waddesdon Manor from April to June 2017. Fellows will also receive a stipend during their time at both locations. The fellowship is administered by the Getty Foundation.
In 2014, Lord Jacob Rothschild received the Getty Medal for his contributions to the practice, understanding, and support of the arts.