Call for Application: Museum Fellowships, Assam State Museum (CLOSED)

India Foundation for the Arts
in collaboration with the
Assam State Museum, Guwahati
invites applications for
Two Museum Fellowships
Application deadline: December 31, 2016

This initiative is supported by TATA TRUSTS

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) in collaboration with the Assam State Museum, Guwahati, invites applications for two museum fellowships, each for a period of 10-12 months. The aim is to support curators, art historians, designers, visual and performing artists and other practitioners to engage with the collection at the Assam State Museum.

The intention is to give applicants the opportunity to work with the collections in innovative and original ways and to re-present them through new frameworks. The outcomes could include exhibitions, publications, performances or year-long series of events, which will be presented at the Assam State Museum in 2017.

The museum fellowships initiative of IFA began with the two-fold objective of providing practitioners with an opportunity to generate new, critical and creative approaches to public engagement with collections in museums; and to energise museums as spaces for dialogue and discourse. For more information log on to

The two fellowships that IFA is inviting applications for are as follows:

1. For the Naga Collection:

About the Naga Collection:
The Nagas are quintessentially a hill people and are one of the culturally unique communities of India. They had neither a script of their own nor any written language till the recent past. Often, their history had to be inferred from their cultural material. The Assam State Museum has an important collection of more than 200 Naga objects that cover some of the major aspects of Naga material culture. The objects comprise wooden sculptures, ornaments made of beats, masks, utilitarian as well as decorative objects, musical instruments, implements and tools like the dao, wooden sticks, and spears.

About the Fellowship:
The fellowship awarded will be for a practitioner to work with the Naga collection. As the objects in the collection are very much a part of the living culture of the Naga community, the applicant will need to think of ways of presenting the collection so as to make visible the relationship between the objects, the people, and the contexts in which they are embedded. The outcomes can take a variety of formats such as exhibition, talks, performances, publication, etc.

2. For the entire Assam State Museum Collection:
About the Assam State Museum:
The Assam State Museum was founded by the Kamrupa Anusandhan Samity and opened on April 21, 1940 by Sir Robert Reid, the then Governor of Undivided Assam. The Museum was taken over by the Government of Assam in 1953, and in 1983 it was divided into two separate entities i.e. Directorate of Museums and Archaeology. Currently, the museum has 14 galleries with a collection of over 15,000 objects from the region. The galleries include the Ambari Sculpture Gallery, Assam Village Life, Ethnography, Painting, Photography (Gandhi Section), Arms and Armory, Manuscript, Epigraphy, Numismatics, Pre and Proto-history with Indus Valley Collection, Textile and Wood craft galleries.

About the Fellowship:
The fellowship awarded will be for a practitioner to curate a series of events, based on selected objects from the entire collection of the Assam State Museum. The events could take a variety of forms like talks, seminars, creative writing workshops, performances, exhibitions. The idea is to draw a diverse group of people including adults and children to the museum over a year and present objects from the collection through a variety of lenses, thus making the museum a platform for dialogue, research, activity and enjoyment.

For more information about the collections please contact:
Smt Hemaprava Medhi

Cataloguing Officer In-charge, Assam State Museum
+91 9707015873

Applicant profile:
We seek applications from curators, art historians, designers and visual and performing artists with previous curatorial experience and a strong interest in museum collections. Practitioners who are Indian nationals or have been a resident of India for five or more years are eligible to apply.

Financial assistance and other support:
Each fellowship provides an honorarium of Rs 2,00,000 for the duration of 10 - 12 months. A separate budget will be provided for the final outcome (exhibition, etc).

Important dates:
The deadline for receiving applications is December 31, 2016
Shortlisted candidates will be informed by the second week of January 2017
Interviews with shortlisted candidate are expected to take place by the third week of January 2017
The Fellowship will commence from February 15, 2017 for a period of 10-12 months

Application Process:
Your application must include:

  • A brief description of the public programmes you could potentially develop from the collections at the Assam State Museum. The description should include the vision, approach, process and possible outcomes of the programme. The intention is to give us an idea of how you would like to approach this project.
  • A letter of interest explaining how you would benefit from this museum fellowship. Please identify aspects of your practice that you think will be honed and further developed during the course of the Fellowship.
  • A brief description of a project you have been involved with either as a curator, arts practitioner or researcher. The description would include the vision, the approach, the processes and the outcomes that have resulted from the project. Please include documentation of the project, which could include 6 to 8 scanned or printed images with titles and date, DVD (max 4 minutes), catalogues, artworks, performances, or reviews.
  • Your curriculum vitae.

Please email the required documents to and also post a copy to IFA in an envelope marked ‘IFA & Assam State Museum Fellowship’ by December 31, 2016.

Please post the required documents to IFA in an envelope marked 'IFA & Assam State Museum Fellowship' by December 31, 2016.

India Foundation for the Arts
'Apurva', Ground Floor,
No 259, 4th Cross, RMV 2nd Stage, 2nd Block
Bangalore - 560 094