Christa Gaehde Scholarships


The Christa Gaehde Fund was established through FAIC to promote study and research in the conservation of art on paper by members of AIC. Its scope is broad; projects may involve individual study, attendance at workshops, conferences, or other events, purchase of materials for research projects, or other activities in keeping with this goal. Earnings from the fund are used to offer awards annually. Individual grants typically range from $500 to $1,000, depending on the earnings on the endowment and the number of applicants.
The Fund honors Christa Gaehde (1922-2002), a pioneer in paper conservation. Christa trained and worked in Germany before leaving in 1949 to become one of the first paper conservators in the United States. She was a founding member and Fellow of AIC, Fellow of IIC, and the first conservator to be elected to the Print Council of America. She co-authored one of the first books on paper conservation, A Guide to the Collecting and Care of Original Prints, in 1965. Christa served on the Board of Examiners for Certification from 1980 – 1983 and was a strong supporter of setting standards of practice for the profession.
During the sixty years of her career, Christa was renowned for the subtle finish of her work, which included sophisticated bleaching and repair techniques. She was keenly interested in the impact of conservation on the appearance of artwork and concerned about the long-term effects of treatment long before this topic acquired general interest in the field. The quality of her work was recognized by curators, collectors, dealers, and auction houses both in the United States and Europe. To many colleagues, students, and interns with whom she generously and unassumingly shared her knowledge, she was a true mentor and role model. In 2000 she received the Sheldon and Caroline Keck Award in recognition of her contribution to the education and training of conservators.

Criteria for Review

  • Appropriateness of project topic to the purpose of the fund (study and/or research in the conservation of art on paper)
  • Usefulness of project to the applicant and/or the conservation field
  • Qualifications of applicant to conduct project
  • Ability of applicant to disseminate outcomes of project (publication, teaching, presentations, etc.)
  • Appropriateness of budget for proposed project
  • Completeness of application, including two letters of support

Application Process

The Christa Gaehde Grant guidelines and criteria have not changed, however, the process of applying will be managed entirely through an online system, which we hope will be simpler, more reliable, and more convenient than our previous system of emailed forms and attachments.

You will be prompted to login to the system using a login ID and password. If you already have an account with AIC/FAIC (this should be the case if you are an AIC member or have participated in an AIC/FAIC program), use the same login information you use to access that account. If you do not have an account in the system, you can quickly set one up before you begin your application.

The online form will take you through the two sections of the application:

1.) Applicant information (name and contact information) and reference information (name and email).  You should complete this step as early as possible, and at least two weeks prior to the application deadline. When you “save and finalize” this section of your application, an automated email will be sent to your references with instructions on submitting their letter of support.

2.) Project information (description of the project and how it will help you advance professionally), budget information (total costs and FAIC funding request), and supporting Documentation (resume/CV).

You may save your application and return later to complete it. When you are satisfied with your responses, “save and finalize” this section to submit your application. Once the application has been submitted, you cannot return to edit or upload addition documents.


The applications is February 1 of each year. Three letters of support must be submitted electronically. References will upload letters directly to the application portal. Applicants should enter the names and email addresses of their references as soon as possible during the application process. Once an applicant moves on from the first page of the application, references will receive an email with instructions on how to upload their letter of support. References can use FAIC’s Letter of Support Form or submit letters of support in other formats if the author’s signature is included.  Regardless of the format, letters uploaded to the system will not be accessible to the applicant.

Please submit any supporting materials as a PDF (portable document format) if possible.

Apply for Funding

The application will become available eight weeks prior to the submission deadline.

Final Report

A final report consisting of a 500-1,000 word narrative and at least two images is due within 30 days of completion of the project. Final reports should be sent to and are required to be eligible for future funding. Reports may be published in part or in full by FAIC, including posting on the FAIC website.

If you experience any difficulties please contact:
Sarah Saetren, Education Coordinator
(202) 661-8071