Call for applications

Inside Drawings: A Workshop on the Materiality of Unique Works on Paper

Menil Drawing Institute, Houston, United States
Deadline: 22 March 2024

Photo: Richard Barnes

Photo: Richard Barnes

The Menil Drawing Institute at the Menil Collection in Houston is dedicated to the study and display of drawing, with a focus on scholarship and raising public appreciation of the medium—from early drawings to modern and contemporary works. Inside Drawings: A Workshop on the Materiality of Unique Works on Paper will address the physical components of drawing practices in a focused manner, intended to give curators of drawing collections a broader understanding of unique works on paper for the purpose of better defining, researching, and interpreting drawings. Heightened knowledge of material composition, application of drawing mediums, material aging, and reaction to adverse conditions will benefit curators’ abilities to interpret, question, and care for the drawings in their purview.

This weeklong workshop will utilize the collection and staff of the Menil, involving outside experts in the fields of paper conservation, papermaking history, materials study, conservation imaging and science, and curation of drawings. There will be hands-on opportunities to deepen understanding of materials, as well as visits to exhibitions, collections, and an artist’s studio. Participants will discuss curatorial strategies through case studies of current Menil exhibition projects and study of artists’ works.

The workshop will offer ample networking opportunities throughout the week, including dinners, receptions, and discussions amongst participants that will be designed to both explore topics covered in the workshop and to consider concepts raised by drawings in participants’ home collections. The event is expected to enrich multiple facets of curatorial practice, from research and display to acquisitions and publications.

Prospective Participants:

This workshop is fully funded by the Getty Foundation, as part of their Paper Project initiative. Sixteen selected participants will have all expenses paid. Ideal participants will be early to mid‐career curators, with up to fifteen years of experience, who work directly with a collection of drawings. Curators at large as well as curators from encyclopedic museums; smaller, focused collections; or university art museums or galleries, are all encouraged to apply. Applications from independent curators, researchers, and other arts professionals not directly affiliated with a museum, but whose work centers on drawings and who would benefit from this workshop, will also be considered. The Menil Drawing Institute seeks to assemble an international cohort of colleagues to participate in this workshop and encourage international applicants.

Application Details:

Applications must include a C.V. and a letter of interest highlighting the prospective attendees’ association with drawings and reasons the workshop would benefit their education in relationship to the drawings in their care. Each applicant must also complete the application form provided, as well as include a letter of support from their institution, or in the case of independent scholars, a letter from an affiliated museum colleague.

Please find the application form here. 

Applications will be reviewed beginning March 22 and acceptances conveyed by early April.

Please direct any questions to and send all application materials to


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