We are pleased to announce the 2023-24 call for applications to the HNA Mentorship Program. The mentorship program is designed to foster connections among historians of Netherlandish art at different phases of their careers, providing a means of support and contact across HNA’s diverse international community. With this in mind, the committee matches established scholars, curators, conservators, and other professionals in the field with those at an earlier or developing stage of their careers. Now entering its fourth year, the program has made more than a hundred matches with participants from nearly a dozen countries.
We are seeking applications from both mentees and mentors to participate in this year’s program. If you previously served as a mentor, we encourage you to apply again; mentees who participated in years past are welcome to apply again as well, though first-time applicants will receive priority.
The aims of the HNA Mentorship Program are threefold:
- First, we seek to create an opportunity for the sharing of knowledge and expertise within our community, and for fostering future generations of historians of Netherlandish Art.
- Second, we hope to bridge geographical and disciplinary divides within the field by connecting members across the realms of museums, universities, and the trade, and among members across the globe.
- Third, we want to encourage collaboration and conversation among our members beyond the traditional platform of the in- person conference.
Applications for the 2023-24 academic cycle are open through September 20, 2023 for both mentors and mentees. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to self-define when applying to participate, and should indicate their professional interest (i.e. academic, curatorial etc.). There is no specific requirement of degree, position, or phase of study other than that students should already be post-coursework. Mentors may be established scholars, professors, curators, museum professionals, conservators, educators, art dealers, art world specialists, publishers, etc. Mentors do not have to be HNA members but are strongly encouraged to join if participating in the program. To apply to be a mentor, please click HERE.
Mentees may be graduate students who have completed their coursework, post-graduate scholars, postdoctoral fellows, early-career curators, conservators, or academics, or individuals seeking to pursue new areas of expertise regardless of age. Mentees must be current HNA members. To apply to be a mentee, please click HERE.
The mentorship program will run from October 13, 2023 until July 1, 2024. Mentors and mentees will be matched by the HNA Mentorship Committee and notified the first week of October. Once notified, mentees will be asked to reach out to their mentors and arrange an initial conversation whether over Zoom or over the phone. We recommend that three to four exchanges take place over the course of the year; more conversations are welcomed but not required, and we do ask both parties to be considerate of each other’s time and commitments beyond this program.
There are no set topics or guidelines for the program, but we encourage mentors and mentees to discuss their respective expectations in their initial meeting, and for mentees to share a list of aims. Conversations might focus on matters of research, professional skills, job application strategies, the state of the field, the work/life balance, specific works of art or readings of mutual interest, etc. Mentees may ask mentors to read one article, essay, or chapter, or to look over one professional document, such as a CV or cover letter, though the mentor may opt to decline for reasons of time or potential conflict of interest.
At the start of the program this fall, the HNA Mentorship Committee will host a welcome Zoom meeting for all participants on Friday, October 13 at 12pm EST. Please mark your calendars!
The HNA mentorship program enriched the last year of my PhD program in crucial ways. As I was working on the last portions of my dissertation, I was also on the lookout for curatorial positions I could apply to. My mentor, Jacquelyn Coutré, offered invaluable advice: we discussed whether I should apply to a particular job, we talked about curatorial work more generally, and we reviewed my CV and cover letter. My conversations about the job market with Jacquelyn were incredibly encouraging, prompting me to approach my applications with greater confidence. Practical guidance aside, I loved getting to know Jacquelyn, an experienced curator whom I had not yet had a chance to meet. Hearing about her work made me all the more excited to pursue curatorial opportunities. I believe that the combination of that enthusiasm—and the focused work I did, with Jacquelyn’s feedback, to strengthen my application materials—helped me land my current job at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
– Isabella Lores-Chavez, Associate Curator, European Paintings, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young \ Legion of Honor