Each year the Trust awards at least 10 research grants to graduate students working on a Master’s thesis or PhD dissertation in a field related to the decorative arts. The Trust encourages projects that advance diversity in the study of American decorative arts. Grants range from $500-$1,000. In partnership with other organizations the Trust also offers grants for topics with a particular focus:

  • Marie Zimmermann Grant: Sponsored by the Marie & John Zimmermann Fund, these grants are allocated to projects that focus on late-19th and 20th-century topics.
  • DARTS Grant: Sponsored by the Decorative Arts Society of Orange County, these grants are given to students pursuing a topic based on objects, collections, crafts, or designers located on the West Coast or students enrolled at a West Coast based graduate program.
  • Center for American Art Grant: Sponsored by the Philadelphia-based Center for American Art, these grants are awarded to projects that incorporate objects in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s American fine and decorative art collections.

Applications are due by April 30 each year, and these two steps are required:

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Submit CV and three images contextualizing the project via email to thetrust@decorativeartstrust.org.

Grant recipients are notified by May 15. Recognizing the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on research travel, recipients will have until the end of the year to complete the stated research project. By December 31, 2020, recipients are required to submit a 500-word report that details the scope of the research and the impact upon their thesis or dissertation project as well as three additional high-resolution images of the recipient interacting with objects or historic sites. The Trust selects some reports for inclusion in The Magazine of the Decorative Arts Trust and the Decorative Arts Trust’s blog.