Guggenheim Foundation "Firsts"

Over the succeeding decades, the Foundation marked many other firsts, often christening a field with appointments of individuals who would become preeminent in their fields, including Stephen Vincent Benét, who was the first Felow in creative writing (poetry) in 1926, and Martha Graham, who was awarded the first choreography Fellowship, in 1932. In 1937, Edward Weston received the first Guggenheim Fellowship in photography; nine years later, Maya Deren became the first filmmaker the Foundation appointed.

Before it was a fashionable field, Perry Byerly was awarded a Fellowship in Earth Science (1928). Gerald Estrin was the inaugural Fellow in Computer Science, in 1962, and James Edward Duffy was the first fellow in African Studies, a field added in 1965.

In 2008, two new fields were added. The first Fellowships in Constitutional Studies were awarded to Randy E. Barnett, the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at Georgetown University, and Richard Primus, a Professor of Law at the University of Michigan. In the field of Translation, there were three appointments: Ann Goldstein, who is translating the complete works of Primo Levi; Edith Grossman, who will translate the "Soledades" of Luis de Góngora; and Val Vinokur, who is working on a translation of Marie Vieux Chavet's Amour, colère, et folie.