Chicago Objects Study Initiative (COSI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Art Institute of Chicago and the Departments of Art History at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago respectfully submit this proposal for three grants of $1,299,404 ($623,026 to the Art Institute of Chicago; $259,753 to Northwestern University; and $416,625 to the University of Chicago) to support a transformative approach to objects-based studies in art history through a fouryear, inter-institutional pilot effort, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Chicago Objects Study Initiative (COSI). The ambition of COSI is to provide graduate students with new or significantly enhanced coursework and training in objects-based research, and with increased access to objects drawn from the museum’s renowned permanent holdings (both on view and in storage) and to the expertise of the museum’s professional staff. This effort would address a disciplinary and professional need for broadening instruction, with an emphasis on curatorial practice, objects-based research, and technical art history, including in-depth exposure to conservation and conservation science approaches to objects and 2 materials. The program would prepare graduate students to consider art objects as primary objects for original research in the discipline of art history regardless of the career paths they may pursue. Introducing the more intensive and direct study of objects into their practice at a formative moment, the program would more particularly provide graduate students with the tools, skills, and experiences that prepare them for positions in museums, libraries, or other research settings involving collections.
Effective start/end date7/1/146/30/18


  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (Grant No. 11400606)


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