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The front of the Dumbarton Oaks main house

New Summer Fellowship in Maya Studies for Latin American Researchers

Posted On March 02, 2023 | 12:07 pm | by briggsm01 | Permalink
Dumbarton Oaks is pleased to announce the establishment of the Flora Clancy Memorial Fund

For Immediate Release
March 16, 2021

Media Contact:
Erica Bogese
Communications Manager
(202) 749-8978

WASHINGTON — Dumbarton Oaks is pleased to announce the establishment of the Flora Clancy Memorial Fund. This fund honoring Flora Clancy has been made possible through the generosity of David Rumsey and Abby Smith Rumsey, and will allow Dumbarton Oaks to offer a new residential summer fellowship for Latin American researchers in the field of Maya studies.

Flora Simmons Clancy was professor of art history at the University of New Mexico and dedicated her academic life to the study of Maya art and architecture. She published Treasures of an Ancient Civilization (1985), Sculpture in the Ancient Maya Plaza (1999), and The Monuments of Piedras Negras, An Ancient Mayan City (2009). She came to Dumbarton Oaks as a junior fellow (1978–1979) and as a fellow (1986–1987), and particularly wished her connection with Dumbarton Oaks to be celebrated.

The fund supports research on precolonial and early colonial Maya culture. Scholars on any level of advancement beyond the first year of graduate study (post-Licenciatura) who are academically based in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, or El Salvador are invited to apply. We particularly welcome applicants who are members of the Indigenous community. Dumbarton Oaks will host the first fellow in the summer of 2022. Details about the application process will be announced in the near future.

“This gift honors a wonderful scholar in the best possible way: making the resources of Dumbarton Oaks available for early-career scholars from the Maya region,” says Thomas Cummins, Director of Dumbarton Oaks. “It also lays the groundwork for building at Dumbarton Oaks a forum for ever greater collaboration with scholars and intellectuals from the diverse communities of Maya studies.”


About Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks is a Harvard research institute, library, museum, and historic gardens located in Washington, DC. The institution emerged thanks to the imagination and legacy of Robert and Mildred Bliss, collectors of art and patrons of the humanities. The museum houses world-class galleries of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art, two areas of interest to the Blisses. A third collection of a different sort exists in the historic gardens, which Mildred Bliss created in close collaboration with renowned landscape designer Beatrix Farrand. The gardens provide a resource for Garden and Landscape Studies. Since 1940, when the Blisses gifted the estate and collections to Harvard University, Dumbarton Oaks has supported the advance of knowledge in the three areas of Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape Studies through a fellowship program and other awards; scholarly conferences; publications; and digital initiatives. In recent years, Dumbarton Oaks has extended its service to the community, already
evident in the museum, gardens, and public events, by developing collection-based educational programs for DC students.

The founders, Robert Woods Bliss and Mildred Barnes Bliss, called upon future policy-makers “to remember that Dumbarton Oaks is conceived in a new pattern, where quality and not number shall determine the choice of its scholars; that it is the home of the Humanities, not a mere aggregation of books and objects of art; that the house itself and the gardens have their educational importance and that all are of humanistic value.” These ambitions continue to guide Dumbarton Oaks, but with close attention to ensuring that the Blisses’ “new pattern” retains its vitality through constant renewal.

The research institute’s location in Washington, DC, is no accident. Robert Bliss was a diplomat who enjoyed a distinguished career in the Foreign Service and eventually served as ambassador to Argentina. Dumbarton Oaks is known for hosting the Dumbarton Oaks Conversations, a series of important diplomatic meetings in 1944, at the height of the Second World War, whose outcome was the United Nations charter that was adopted in San Francisco in 1945. At these meetings, delegations from China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States deliberated over proposals for the establishment of an organization to maintain peace and security in the world.

The historic gardens and museum are the public face of Dumbarton Oaks and receive thousands of visitors each year. The gardens are perhaps the last remaining landscape in North America that hews closely to the original Farrand design; it was voted by National Geographic one of the ten best gardens in the world. Buildings of architectural importance on the Dumbarton Oaks campus are the Pre-Columbian Gallery, the museum wing housing the Pre-Columbian Collection designed by Philip Johnson and completed in 1963, and the research library designed by Venturi, Scott Brown, and Associates and completed in 2007.

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