September 16, 2004 Swann Foundation Accepting Fellowship Applications

Foundation Supports Scholarly Research in the Field of Caricature and Cartoon

Press Contact: Bibi Martí (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Martha Kennedy, Prints and Photographs Division (202) 707-9115

The Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon of the Library of Congress is accepting applications for its graduate fellowship as part of its mission to support research and academic publication. The Swann Foundation awards one fellowship annually (with a stipend of $15,000) to support continuing scholarly research and writing projects in the field of caricature and cartoon. Completed applications are due Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2005; notification will occur in spring of 2005. The fellowship will cover the 2005-2006 academic year.

To be eligible, an applicant must be a candidate for a master’s or doctorate degree at a university based in the United States, Canada or Mexico and working toward the completion of a dissertation or thesis for that degree or engaged in postgraduate research within three years of receiving a master’s or doctorate. Although research must be in the field of caricature and cartoon, there is no limitation regarding the place or time period covered. To encourage research in a variety of academic disciplines, there is no restriction on which university department may oversee a project proposed for the fellowship, provided the subject pertains to caricature or cartoon art.

The Swann Foundation Fellowship in caricature and cartoon is the only scholarly fellowship that provides direct support for continuing graduate research in the field. It has supported new, groundbreaking research on caricature and cartoon that focuses on a variety of subjects and topics such as the Cold War; representations of race, class conflict and disease; and the early origins of caricature.

In the interest of increasing awareness and extending documentation of Library of Congress collections, fellows are required to use the Library's collections, be in residence in Washington, D.C., for a minimum of two weeks during the award period and deliver a public lecture at the Library on his or her work in progress at that time. Each recipient must also provide a copy of his or her dissertation, thesis or postgraduate publication upon completion for the Swann Foundation Fellowship files.

Recently revised requirements for the Swann Foundation Fellowship applications include a statement of qualifications, a one-page abstract of the proposed project, a project description that specifies research needs and a budget, two letters of reference and official transcripts.

The Caroline and Erwin Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress, is overseen by an advisory board composed of scholars, collectors, cartoonists and Library of Congress staff members. The foundation’s activities support the study, interpretation, preservation and appreciation of original works of humorous and satiric art by graphic artists from around the world.

New York advertising executive Erwin Swann (1906-1973) established the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon in 1967. An avid collector, Swann assembled a large group of original drawings by 400 artists, spanning two centuries, which his estate bequeathed to the Library of Congress in two installments in 1974 and 1977. Swann's original purpose was to compile a collection of original drawings by significant humorous and satiric artists and to encourage the study of original cartoon and caricature drawings as works of art. The emphasis on original works serves two purposes: to preserve art that is too often lost or casually destroyed and to foster critical appreciation for aesthetic qualities such as draftsmanship, subtlety of line and wash in artists’ original drawings--qualities that are lost in reproductions.

Guidelines and revised application forms are available through the Swann Foundation's Web site,; by e-mail,; or by calling Martha Kennedy in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress at (202) 707-9115.


PR 04-168
ISSN 0731-3527