Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography

Two walls of an exhibit join at the center. One wall is painted in an abstract ocean, the other appears as a rock face. There are frames photos of varying sizes in a straight line along both walls.

Gardner Fellowship

Two walls of the Caspian exhibit. Photos included are by Chloe Dewe Mathews.

The Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography funds an “established practitioner of the photographic arts to create and subsequently publish through the Peabody Museum a major book of photographs on the human condition anywhere in the world.”

The same body of work may also be featured in a photographic exhibition at the Peabody Museum. A series of art books of selected fellows' work is published by the Peabody Museum Press and may be purchased from the museum.

The Fellowship committee invites nominations from a rotating panel of curators, educators, and independent photo professionals from around the world; nominees are reviewed and selected by a committee of four. The Fellowship provides a generous stipend and is unique in its dedication to funding professional documentary photography.

The Fellowship was given by Robert G. Gardner (1925–2014), award-winning documentary filmmaker and author, whose works have entered the permanent canon of non-fiction filmmaking. Gardner’s works include the documentary films “Dead Birds” and “Forest of Bliss” and the book Gardens of War. With the Peabody Museum Press he has published Making "Dead Birds" (2007), Human Documents: Eight Photographers (2009), and Just Representations (2010). In the 1970s Gardner produced and hosted “Screening Room,” a series of more than one hundred 90-minute programs on independent and experimental filmmaking. The series, considered an invaluable historical record of modern cinema, has been transferred to digital format, for archival preservation by the Museum of Film and Broadcasting in New York City. Robert Gardner received Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Harvard University, and was director of the Film Study Center from 1957 to 1997. He was also founder and long time director of the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts and taught the Visual Arts at Harvard for almost 40 years. Gardner is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Peabody Museum does not accept unsolicited materials or applications for this fellowship.

Related Publications

A column with a child half hidden is in the middle. A river occupies the background, with more city behind it.

Avenue Patrice Lumumba

By Guy Tillim

House of Love

By Dayanita Singh

A painted book cover, its blue waves and orange accent look like the ocean.

Caspian: The Elements

By Chloe Dewe Mathews

Related Exhibitions

man in DR Congo office.
Photograph of the City Hall offices, Lubumbashi, DR Congo, 2007 © Guy Tillim.

Avenue Patrice Lumumba: Photographs by Guy Tillim

taj mahal.
An image from Being of Darkness in House of Love: Photographic Fiction, Dayanita Singh

House of Love: Photographic Fiction, Dayanita Singh


A boy stands playing a yellow drum. Standing against a black background, his body is painted black and white, split vertically.
From the series "Portraits" © Stephen Dupont, part of his Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography work.

Stephen Dupont: Papua New Guinea Portraits and Diaries