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Application Guidelines

The Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Award is longer being offered.


Applications to the Meiss/Mellon Author’s Book Award will be considered only for book-length, scholarly manuscripts in the history of art, visual studies, and related subjects that are currently under contract with a publisher. Awards are made solely in support of image acquisition rather than production, such as for reimbursement of costs for the reproduction and licensing of images in print and digital formats. Applications are judged within the following parameters: (1) awards will be made to support a scholar's first publication; (2) funds are for reimbursement or anticipated expenses for rights and reproductions (an author need not have purchased image reproduction rights at the time of application, but should have determined the total cost of all image acquisitions); and (3) books must be under contract with a publisher. Additional criteria for making awards include: contribution or importance to the field; significance and clarity of argument in submitted abstract and text sample; use of illustrations; depth of research and completeness of bibliography; and clarity of writing. Excellence within these criteria is the guiding principal for determining awards, however, an author will not receive an award without demonstration of image-acquisition costs.


Awards are open to authors of all nations; however, applications must be submitted in English.

Authors can be under contract with commercial or nonprofit publishers. Self-published manuscripts are not eligible for this grant.

Books covering all periods and areas of art history and visual studies are eligible, except for those about the built environment, see below. Excavation or other technical reports, articles, previously published works (including collections of previously published essays), or congress proceedings are not eligible.

A similar award (SAH-Mellon Author Awards) for scholars who are publishing their first monograph on the history of the built environment is being administered by the Society for Architectural Historians (SAH). For more information, please contact Beth Eifrig, SAH assistant director of programs, at 312-573-1365. Both the CAA and SAH awards will provide leading authors with the financial resources to acquire images for scholarly publications.

The author must be a member of CAA.

A project that has been rejected for a grant may not be resubmitted.


The Meiss/Mellon Author's Book Awards will be made twice during the year in the summer and fall. The summer deadline for submissions is June 12, 2015. The fall deadline is September 15, 2015.

Application Components

Application materials, including the Author’s Form and Publisher’s Form, must be submitted to CAA with the additional materials in the Checklist. The author is responsible for requesting information from the publisher and ensuring that the publisher submits the Publishe’s Form and reader’s report to CAA.

The author provides a response to reader’s reports supplied by the publisher, a complete list of images, sources, rights requested and obtained, and costs per image, and individual portions of the manuscript itself. Please see the checklist for more information.

A Note on Reader’s Reports

The author requests the publisher to submit two or more detailed peer reviews of the manuscript that provide substantive, analytical evaluations of the manuscript, addressing its originality, the significance of the scholarly contribution, and the quality of the research and prose. Reader’s reports must be written by authorities on the material of the book. The author should respond to anonymous versions of these reports, clarifying how readers’ responses are incorporated into the manuscript.

Reader’s reports should be submitted by the publisher and should be anonymous to the author but signed and dated for the benefit of the jury (to be kept confidential), and they should not be more than three years old. The jury does not admit reports written by the author’s dissertation adviser or other interested parties, such as a series editor.


Questions? Please contact Tiffany Dugan, CAA director of programs and publications, at 212-392-4410.