Laura Eliasons archive visit August 2019 blog copy

Photographs and documents related to artist Garland Eliason-French, part of a collection donated to the Visual AIDS Archive Project in 2019

Visual AIDS announces the second year of our research fellowship program, which supports original writing and scholarship about artists who have been lost to AIDS.

Deadline: April 16, 2023

Research fellows will work with Visual AIDS to develop a piece of original writing for the Visual AIDS website, illuminating the life and work of an artist lost to AIDS.

The Visual AIDS Research Fellowship will expand in its second year to provide six fellows with a $500 research stipend and editorial support. Fellows will conduct research on artists who have been lost to AIDS, drawing on primary sources in the Visual AIDS Archive Project and other archival collections, as well as interviews with estates, families, and friends.

About the Visual AIDS Archive

The Visual AIDS Archive collects artwork documentation, personal papers, and records pertaining to the lives and work of artists living with HIV and AIDS, as well as those who have passed. The archive was started in 1994 by Frank Moore and David Hirsh as a response to losing not only friends in the AIDS crisis but also the loss of art and materials that often followed. The archive currently exists as 555 artist folders that are made up of artwork documentation (mainly in the form of slide photographs taken by Visual AIDS volunteers during the 1990s), personal papers such as artist statements, CVs, press clippings, exhibition announcements, correspondence with Visual AIDS, and other objects related to the lives and work of these artists. The files also contain a small number of artists' books, artworks on paper, personal photographs, and personal writing. In the spirit of community archives, our donations have come from artist members, estates, friends, and family members.

The Visual AIDS Archive is always open to researchers and the general public by appointment. For more information about our archival holdings and how to schedule a research visit, see here.

Since 2012, the archive has also existed online as the Visual AIDS Artist Registry. The online registry currently features digitized images and biographical information related to 347 artists from the physical archive, along with 418 other artists who have joined or been added digitally. The registry can be browsed at


Research Subjects: We welcome research proposals that focus on artists lost to AIDS who are represented in the Visual AIDS Archive and Artist Registry. Priority will be given to research on artists that have been historically excluded from cultural histories and those who have received little or no scholarly attention.

We have compiled a list of potential research subjects based on our physical archival holdings:

Recognizing the gaps in our collections, this year we are also accepting proposals related to artists who are not yet represented in our physical archive. If you are interested in researching an artist not listed in the documents above, your proposal should indicate the archival resources and primary sources your research will draw on.

Applicants: Anyone conducting original, primary source-based research on a deceased HIV-positive artist is encouraged to apply. Enrollment or affiliation with a university is not required. Fellows should be comfortable communicating in English for the purposes of the fellowship and the final published text must be in English.

Travel: We will work with research fellows both in-person and remotely. Visual AIDS will work with researchers outside of New York by sharing scans of relevant materials or coordinating virtual research visits over Zoom.

How to Apply

Note: This deadline has passed. Our next call for research proposals will be announced in Spring 2024.

To apply, please submit the application form along with a writing sample and CV by April 16, 2023.

A competitive proposal will do the following:

  • Clearly state the artist or artists you will research

  • Indicate the primary sources and archival resources you plan to draw on to conduct your research

  • Contextualize your research in relation to existing writing on the artist

  • Introduce yourself and any previous work around AIDS cultural histories

Key Dates: The deadline for application is April 16, 2023. All applicants will be notified by May 22. Research should be conducted from June to August 2023, with writing published from September to December 2023.

Questions: If you have any questions about the application process, contact Kyle Croft, Programs Director, at