Grants, Awards & Honors


Adele Filene Student Presenter Grant

College and University Collection Care Grant

CSA Travel Research Grant

Stella Blum Student Research Grant

Small Museum Collection Care Grant

Angels Project

Awards &

Award of Excellence in Costume Design/Technology

CSA Fellow Award

Millia Davenport Publication Award

Richard Martin Exhibition Award

Scholars' Roundtable Honor



Stella Blum Student Research Grant


The Stella Blum Student Research Grant is intended to assist the research of a current undergraduate or graduate student who is a member of the Costume Society of America and conducting original research in the field of North American costume. This $2,000 grant, funded by the CSA Endowment, is awarded annually to provide a student with financial assistance with research (see below for details of allowable and non-allowable expenses). An additional stipend of up to $500, also funded by the CSA Endowment, is awarded to allow the recipient to present the completed research at a CSA National Symposium.


The grant, first awarded in 1987, is named in honor of Stella Blum (1916-1985), a costume curator, educator, writer, scholar, and founding member and Fellow of the Costume Society of America. Affiliated with the Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1940, she became its first curator in 1970, and helped to develop costume as an area of serious study.


Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • be a student matriculating, at the time of the funded research, in a degree program at an accredited institution
  • propose a research project in the field of North American costume
  • be a member of the Costume Society of America
  • Allowable expenses include the following:

  • transportation to and from a research site (away from home or school)
  • living expenses at research site (away from home or school)
  • supplies and services such as image reproduction/rights, books, and postage
  • Non-allowable expenses include the following:

  • living expenses while at home or school
  • tuition and materials for course work
  • overhead or indirect costs to any institution
  • salary
  • equipment such as cameras and tape recorders
  • transportation to regional or national meetings of CSA
  • expenses incurred prior to the date of the written notification of the award, including costs of preparing the application
  • Application Deadline

    Completed applications must be postmarked by May 1, 2016.

    Application Procedure

    Send six (6) copies of the following:

  • application form (see below)
  • budget form (see below)
  • project proposal (double spaced and no more than 1,000 words), including:
  • introduction to research project, its background and significance
  • purposes and goals of the research, specific objectives of work to be accomplished, and what questions will be answered
  • qualifications of researcher, familiarity with subject, course work completed and related courses to be taken during the project, previous research experience, and how the project will benefit the student at this point in his/her academic career and in the long run
  • methodology, structure of research design, name of research supervisor, and project schedule
  • application/scholarly presentation of results, and the value of this information to the field of costume research
  • select bibliography and related resources (not included in word limit)
  • Send one (1) copy of the following:

  • proof of current student enrollment
  • official transcripts from all relevant academic work
  • letters of permission from any research site, museum, or library that the applicant intends to visit for research
  • To be sent separately:

  • two (2) recommendations (on form below), one from the research project supervisor and another from someone familiar with the applicant's academic record, preferably a faculty member
  • Send to:
    Ann Wass, Stella Blum Student Research Grant Committee Chair
    5903 60th Avenue
    Riverdale, MD 20737

    Selection Criteria

    Applications will be evaluated on:

  • significance, creativity, and innovation of the proposed research topic
  • impact of the research on the broad field of costume (beyond simply increasing the student’s own knowledge and experience) and applicant’s awareness of the interdisciplinary nature of the field of costume
  • feasibility of time frame, work plan, and budget of the proposed project
  • time frame/work plan/time table
  • methodology of the research plan and appropriateness of research sources and bibliography
  • applicant's qualifications, including familiarity with the subject and previous experience
  • recommendation letters
  • Grant Schedule

    Applicants will be notified of results by August 15. Both the grant recipient and project advisor must sign the Grant Letter of Agreement; when this is received, a check for half the funds will be sent. The recipient will begin the research by September 15 and complete the project within one year. Upon completion of the project and after receipt of a summary of the research and an expense report, the remainder of the funds will be paid. The recipient will present research results at CSA’s National Symposium and submit a short report or a more comprehensive article for publication in Dress by September 15 following the presentation at the National Symposium; reimbursement of up to $500 of expenses to present at the symposium will be paid upon completion of travel and submission of an expense report.

    Questions? Contact Ann Wass, Stella Blum Student Research Grant Committee Chair, at

    CSA Stella Blum Student Research Grant Application Form

    Name _____________________________ Social Security Number _____________
    Current Address ______________________________________________________
    Email address ________________________________________________________
    Permanent address (if different from above)
    Telephone: Day _______________________ Evening ________________________

    Answer the following on additional sheets of paper:

    1) Brief description of the proposed project (no more than 50 words).

    2) Summary of college education. Give name of institution, dates attended, degree earned/date, and major field of study. Send transcript for each institution.

    3) High school name and address, year of graduation (or equivalency recognition), and honors, awards, and scholarships received.

    4) Professional employment history. List: name of company or institution, dates worked, and position held, beginning with most recent.

    5) Related professional activities, memberships, internships and volunteer positions, and publications.

    6) Names and contact information of research project supervisor and other person writing recommendations.

    CSA Stella Blum Student Research Grant Budget Form

    Name ______________________________________________________________

    Answer the following on additional sheets of paper (round off all costs to nearest dollar):

    1) Transportation cost (to and from a research site away from home or school). Indicate dates of travel, means of transportation, and destination. (If using your own car, multiply estimated mileage by 55 cents.)
    Sub Total:

    2) Living expenses at research site (away from home or school).
    Food: ________ x _______ days = ___________
    Accommodation: _________ x ______ days = __________
    Sub Total:

    3) Services and supplies such as image reproductions/rights, books, and postage (list each type you will use).
    Sub Total:

    4) Any other allowable expenses (give details).
    Sub Total:

    5) Total of projected expenses. If you plan to use additional funds other than those requested from CSA, please state amount and source.
    Sub Total:

    CSA Stella Blum Student Research Grant Recommendation Form


    Student name ________________________________________________________

    Proposed project title __________________________________________________

    I am applying to the Costume Society of America for a Stella Blum Student Research Grant to conduct a research project on an aspect of North American costume. I agree that the recommendation I am requesting will be held in confidence by the Costume Society of America, and I hereby waive any rights I have to examine it.

    Yes _____ No _____

    Signature of applicant ______________________________ Date ______________

    PART II-TO BE COMPLETED BY RECOMMENDER (attach additional pages if needed)

    Name of recommender _________________________________________________

    Institution ________________________________ Position ____________________

    Email ___________________________________ Date_______________________

    1) How long and in what capacity have you known the applicant?

    2) Please describe applicant’s qualifications, including your evaluation of the student’s scholarship, past academic performance, ability to complete projects, professional promise, and importance of the proposed research project.

    Please send the recommendation, postmarked no later than May 1, to: Dr. Ann Wass, 5903 60th Ave., Riverdale MD 20737



    Stella Blum Student Research Grant Recipients

    Matthew Lee Hale, Indiana University
    Cosplay: Creating the Body Fantastic

    Matthew Keagle, Bard Graduate Center
    Dressing the Diaspora Militant: Loyalist Uniforms and Loyalist Identity in the Revolutionary Atlantic

    Chloe Northrop, University of North Texas
    Fashioning Creole Women: Caribbean Atlantic Exchanges

    No grant awarded

    Denise Nicole Green
    Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations' Ceremonial Regalia: Historical and Contemporary Practices

    Laura Bellew Hannon
    Limiting the Glamour of the Glamour Girls: The War Production Board and Film Costume Restrictions

    Katie Knowles
    Fashioning Slavery: Slaves and Clothing in the United States South, 1830-1865

    Margarete Ordon
    Making Sense of Dress Exhibits

    Elizabeth Davis
    “All of Them Ladies of Taste and Refinement”: How Lace Democratized Fashion in Late Victorian Women’s Dress: 1870-1890

    Hannah Carlson
    Idle Hands and Empty Pockets: Postures of Leisure

    Melyssa Wrisley
    Theory and Practice in American Dress Reform: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1880-1930

    Michael J. Murphy
    White-Collared: Fashioning Masculinity in American Visual Culture

    Anne Bissonnette
    Locks & Frocks: Fashion at the time of the Ohio and Erie Canals

    Tiffany Webber-Hanchett
    Dorothy Shaver: Promoter of "The American Look"

    2000 (two awards):
    Peter La Chapelle
    All That Glitters: Country Music, Taste and the Politics of the Rhinestone 'Nudie' Suit

    Deborah Saville
    Freud, Flappers, and Bohemians: The Influence of Modern Psychological Thought on Dress

    Dominique Cocuzza
    Dress of Quadroon Women in New Orleans, 1770-1840

    No grant awarded

    Colleen R. Gau
    Determination of Pulmonary Function and Physiologic Pressures Related to Tight-Lacing of Females and Evaluation of These Effects on Soft Tissues

    Robert Schorman
    Ready or Not: The Meaning of Clothes in Late 19th-Century America

    Sophie K. White
    Aspects of Dress in 18th-Century Louisiana

    Jill S. Fields
    The Production of Glamour: A Social History of Intimate Apparel 1909-1959

    Susan Shifrin
    Fitting In: The Constraints of Clothing in the Medical Profession 1850-1910

    Camilla Townsend
    Bartering Shawls for their Livelihood: The Women's Clothing Industry in Pre-Industrial Baltimore

    Alexandra Palmer
    1950s Paris Couture Research

    Maureen Trudell Schwarz
    In the Image of Changing Women: The Role of Traditional Navajo Costume in the Contemporary Ceremonial Context

    Jeffrey Butterworth
    American Women's Shoes 1750-1950

    Diane Hamblin
    Development of Early Modern Dance Costume

    Merrill Horswill
    Save the Silks! Protection for Weighted Silk Costumes


    For more detailed information, please contact the National Office. Include the name of the grant in your request.