Research Grants

Minor White, Portland, 1938Each year, the Minor White Project Committee will award short-term research grants to promote scholarly use of the Minor White Archive. 

These research grants, which have a value of up to $4,000, are intended to help defray expenses incurred in traveling to and residing in Princeton during the tenure of the grant. The length of the grant will depend on the applicant’s research proposal but is ordinarily between one week and one month. Minor White Archive Research Grants for 2019 must be fulfilled between late May and early September 2019, and the deadline for applications is January 15, 2019.

Applicants are asked to read the FAQ and submit a single Word or PDF (preferred) file containing a curriculum vitae or résumé, estimated budget, and research proposal (not exceeding five hundred words).

Minor White, Haymarket Square, Boston, 1973

Applicants must also arrange for two confidential letters of recommendation to be sent directly to the Minor White Archive Research Grants Committee at Research proposals should address the relevance of the unique resources in the Minor White Archive to the proposed research. Prospective grantees are urged to explore the Minor White Archive website for detailed descriptions of holdings. The general collections of the Princeton University Art Museum are not relevant for the purposes of these research grants.

Awards for 2019 will be announced in March 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions




Reading Photographs: Minor White and the Problem of AudienceTodd Cronan

No artist in the twentieth century thought more deeply about the problem of audience response than Minor White. The special qualities of the photographic medium—its chemical connection to world, and its seeming displacement of the photographer’s intent—led White to explore every facet of audience response in order to discover a means to convey complex ideas through a medium that seemed to resist the very idea of communication. Looking back on White's photographic and theoretical practice one discovers that all of the central themes of the post-60s theorization of photographic significance—indexicality, chance, automatism, affectivity, sexual difference—are not only present in White’s account of “Creative Audience” but are given a depth of attention unprecedented for his moment and beyond.

Todd Cronan is Associate Professor of art history at Emory University. He is the author of Against Affective Formalism: Matisse, Bergson, Modernism (2013) and articles on photographic "previsualization," chance photography, orthodoxy, Brecht, Rodchenko, Max Ernst, Minor White, R. M. Schindler, Richard Neutra, the Eameses, Merleau-Ponty, Santayana, Simmel, and Valéry. He recently completed a book on Brecht, Rodchenko and Eisenstein and a study of architectural modernism in Southern California. He is a founder and editor of


Minor White's Atlantic TranslationsIan Bourland 

This project considers movement in White's history: both his own, overseas and through various American cities; and of the work itself, through its various translations and citations after White's death.  Through such movement, White's photographs were in dialogue with the homoerotic currents of his own era and, later, gained new life in critical dialogue with artists of the late 20th century. 

Ian Bourland is a critic and historian of photography and the global contemporary.  He is an alumnus of the University of Chicago and the Whitney ISP and is currently Assistant Professor of Art History at MICA, in Baltimore.  A contributor to range of international publications such as frieze and Aperture, his first book—on photography and diaspora in the 1980s—is forthcoming from Duke University Press.


Lessons in Photography: Minor White before ApertureBrendan Fay 

This project examines White’s visual and textual production from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Starting from White’s attention to problems of camera format, it charts his evolving conception of photographic “experience” and its influence upon the eventual editorial direction of Aperture magazine. 

Brendan Fay is an assistant professor in the School of Art and Design at Eastern Michigan University, where he teaches courses in modern and contemporary art history. He completed his dissertation on photography and abstraction at Harvard University and works on issues related to modernism and photographic education in the United States. Additional research interests include problems of abstraction and materiality in contemporary photography, along with aspects of performance, sound, and new media. His writing has appeared in History of Photography, Artforum, and Exposure. His current projects include a catalogue raisonné of color photographs by László Moholy-Nagy.