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. 

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

Grant recipients are notified by May 15. Recognizing the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on research travel, recipients are expected to complete the stated research project as conditions allow. Grant funding is provided once travel is complete, at which time 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 high-resolution images of the objects or historic sites examined during their travels. The Trust selects some reports for inclusion in The Magazine of the Decorative Arts Trust and The Decorative Arts Trust Bulletin.

2020 Recipients 

  • Kayle R. Avery, Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, Winterthur, University of Delaware
  • Elizabeth S. Browne, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Christina L. De Leon, PhD, Bard Graduate Center
  • Catherine Doucette, MA, The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Lamar Gayles, MA, University of Illinois Chicago
  • Robert Gordon-Fogelson, PhD, University of Southern California
  • Cecilia Gunzburger, PhD, University of Virginia
  • Cynthia Kok, PhD, Yale University
  • Kayli Rideout, PhD, Boston University
  • Isabella Rosner, PhD, King’s College London
  • Cambra Sklarz, PhD, University of California, Riverside
  • Paige Weaver, PhD, University of South Carolina
  • Xiaoyi D. Yang, PhD, Bard Graduate Center 
2017 Recipients
2016 Recipients

Many of the Summer Research Grant recipients’ articles appear in print in The Magazine of the Decorative Arts Trust, one of our most popular member benefits. Join today! 


Join our mailing list to receive the latest news, tour and symposium announcements from the Decorative Arts Trust.

Thank you for subscribing!


Join our mailing list to receive the latest news, tour and symposium announcements from the Decorative Arts Trust.

You have Successfully Subscribed!