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Swann Fellowship

The Swann Foundation seeks to award one fellowship annually (with a stipend of up to $5,000) to assist the fellow in his/her ongoing scholarly research and writing projects in the field of caricature and cartoon [view list of fellowships awarded 1999-]. In lieu of one fellowship, the board has made smaller awards to several recipients in recent years due to the number, nature, and quality of fellowship applications.

To be eligible, one must be a candidate for an M.A. or Ph.D. degree in an accredited graduate program in a university in the United States, Canada or Mexico and working toward the completion of a dissertation or thesis for that degree, or be engaged in postgraduate research within three years of receiving an M.A. or Ph.D. Although research must focus on caricature and cartoon, there is no limitation regarding the place or time period covered. Since the Fund encourages research in a variety of academic disciplines, there is no restriction upon the university department in which this work is being done, provided the subject pertains to caricature or cartoon art. Individuals who are not U.S. residents but who otherwise meet the above academic qualifications may also apply and be considered for a fellowship, contingent upon the applicant's visa eligibility.

In the interest of increasing awareness and extending documentation of Library of Congress collections, fellows are required to make use of the Library's extensive collections, be in residence for at least two weeks during the award period. Each recipient must also provide a copy of their dissertation, thesis, or postgraduate publication, upon its completion, for the Swann Foundation Fund files. Select awardees will deliver a public lecture on their work-in-progress at that time, either in person or virtually.

Completed applications are due February 14, 2024, and notification will occur in Spring 2024. The fellowship will begin in September 2024.

Application for the Swann Fellowship -- Word version (WORD doc, 32kb)

Send applications to:

Prints & Photographs Division
Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4730
Attn: Sara W. Duke
Swann Fellowship

Questions should be addressed to:

Sara W. Duke
phone: (202) 707-3630

Preferred method e-mail as pdf and/or Word documents:

About the Swann Foundation

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 four hundred artists, spanning two centuries, which his estate bequeathed to the Library of Congress in two installments in 1974 and 1977. Mr. 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 stress on original works serves two purposes: to preserve work that is too often lost or casually destroyed and to afford the opportunity to judge draftsmanship, subtlety of line and wash in the artist's original work instead of the reproduction which, while retaining its message, loses graphic quality.

The Caroline and Erwin Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon, is now preserved within in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. These drawings are frequently placed on exhibition at the Library of Congress and in museums and galleries throughout the world. The collection is particularly strong in American work, but there is substantial representation of British, French and German artists, as well.

The Foundation's support of research and academic publication is carried out in part through a program of fellowships. Applicants are invited to write to the Foundation, with a statement of qualifications, needs and a budget. These grants are intended to assist ongoing research and writing projects in the specific areas of interest to the Foundation.

The Foundation, now administered by the Library of Congress, is overseen by an advisory board composed of scholars, collectors, cartoonists, and Library of Congress staff members. Its activities support the study, interpretation, preservation and appreciation of original works of humorous and satiric art by graphic artists from around the world.


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