Summer Internships

Since 1964 the National Gallery of Art has offered professional museum training to candidates from all backgrounds through a variety of internship programs. Nine-week summer internships provide opportunities to work on projects directed by a Gallery curator or department head. Biweekly museum seminars introduce interns to the broad spectrum of museum work, and to Gallery staff, departments, programs, and functions.


Eligibility varies according to internship. Several opportunities are geared to undergraduates graduating in May 2014. However, the majority are for currently enrolled graduate students of all levels and those graduating in May 2014 with a relevant degree (such as MA, MBA, MFA, M Arch, M Ed, JD, or MLS). Please check prerequisites carefully. Applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. This is an international program.


Summer interns are in residence at the Gallery from June 9 to August 8, 2014. Interns receive a stipend of approximately $4,500 that is subject to all applicable taxes.

Application Timeline and Procedures

January 13, 2014
Deadline for application packets. Send the application form, your full résumé or CV, a writing sample (approximately 20 pages, including footnotes or endnotes, bibliography, and images), and one copy of official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended to our mailing address. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

January 22, 2014
Semifinalists will be notified of their status and asked to contact the references listed on the application form. Semifinalists should request that letters be sent via e-mail to the department of academic programs at The e-mail subject line must include the full name of the semifinalist. Reference letters (as PDF or Word documents) should be included as attachments.

January 31, 2014
Deadline for recommendations.

March 14, 2014
Finalists will be selected.

Note: Should you have difficulty in securing transcripts, you may request that the records officer or registrar from each institution send the transcripts directly to the National Gallery of Art via fax or e-mail. The fax number is (202) 842-6935, attn: Department of Academic Programs, and the e-mail address is

For applicants at institutions that do not issue transcripts, please send copies of comparable documents. If you have a question about what might be considered a comparable document, please contact

Application Packet
Please collate and send the application packet in the following order: 1) completed application form, 2) full résumé or CV, 3) a writing sample (approximately 20 pages, including footnotes or endnotes, bibliography, and images), and 4) transcripts (arranged chronologically, most recent first, if you are sending them to the Gallery directly).

Review Process
All applications will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of Gallery staff and outside specialists.

Equal Opportunity
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for an internship without regard to race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship, or any other protected status. The National Gallery of Art offers equal opportunity and treatment to all who apply and is committed to diversity.

Architecture and Engineering
The intern will review project files, construction documents, and progress photographs, and produce concise presentation materials showing the development and evolution of the Gallery's master facilities plan projects, including the East Building exterior stone repairs project. A background in architecture, planning, architectural history, or engineering is desirable, but not essential. The ability to write well, communicate clearly, and understand how to visually explain renovation projects is essential. The intern should be able to work independently in consultation with the professional staff in the office of architecture and engineering.

The intern will gather provenance information from historical documents relating to the collection of Lessing J. Rosenwald, one of the Gallery's founding benefactors, and enter it into the Gallery’s collection management system (TMS). The intern will have the opportunity to use the data to create web content in support of the Rosenwald Project, a joint effort of the National Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress. Interest in the history of collecting and works on paper is desirable, and experience using historical documents and archives is preferred. Current art history, collections management, or archival studies graduate students and 2014 graduates of such programs are invited to apply. 

Conservation: Paper
The intern will assist paper conservators in organizing and cataloguing items in the Paper Sample Collection of historic and contemporary artists' drawing and printing papers. Other responsibilities will include recording watermarks photographically and researching papermaking companies. Current graduate students and 2014 graduates in conservation, studio art, or archival studies are encouraged to apply. Knowledge of paper and papermaking is essential.

Conservation: Objects
The intern will assist with the yearly summer maintenance and treatment of the outdoor sculpture collection in the Sculpture Garden and surrounding the East and West Buildings. He or she will work with a team of conservators to clean and protect these large-scale sculptures. The intern will also help maintain the department's object condition database, including uploading information from the paper files and completing condition examinations on sculpture and medals. As possible, the intern may assist conservators with their research or with other projects including x-radiography and technical study. Current graduate students and 2014 graduates in conservation are invited to apply. Graduate students in museum studies and collection management programs may be considered as well.

Curatorial: American and British Paintings
The intern will assist with planning and research for an upcoming exhibition and publication devoted to early American modernism. The exhibition will survey the contributions of the first generation of American modernists to the broader history of modernism in the 20th century. Current advanced art history graduate students with a special interest in early American modernism, working knowledge of pertinent bibliographical and historical sources, and demonstrated excellent writing and research skills are invited to apply.

Curatorial: Old Master Drawings
The intern will help catalogue new acquisitions of drawings from a variety of European schools, dating from about 1500 through the early 20th century. The intern will also do research on the permanent collection, ensuring that bibliographic information, exhibition histories, and provenances are as complete as possible. Advanced reading knowledge of a European language is required—preferably French, German, Italian, or Dutch—and reading knowledge of a second European language is highly desirable. Current advanced graduate students in art history or 2014 graduates of such programs are invited to apply.

Curatorial: Old Master Prints
The intern will be responsible for certain standing assignments, which include: cataloguing of individual prints in at least one of the collection’s numerous volumes of uncatalogued material; updating collection records according to recent catalogues raisonnés and other research; and helping assist visitors to the Study RoomThe intern may also assist the curator in researching 16th-century Venetian prints as well as modern Italian acquisitions. A demonstrated interest in the history of prints, an understanding of printmaking techniques, and good reading knowledge of either German or Italian are required. Current advanced graduate students in art history or 2014 graduates of such programs are invited to apply.

Curatorial: Photographs, Permanent Collection
The intern will catalogue and conduct research on photographs recently acquired by the Gallery as well as assist in developing ideas for a collection-based exhibition. The intern will also work on other projects related to the storage and care of the permanent collection as needed. Current graduate students studying art history, museum studies, or photographic preservation and collections management, and 2014 MA graduates of such programs are invited to apply. Broad knowledge of the history of photography is essential; experience with photographic preservation and collections management is preferred.

Curatorial: Photographs, 19th-Century American Landscape Photography
The intern will assist in research and organization for an upcoming exhibition on 19th-century landscape photography on the eastern side of the United States. Tasks may include assembling reference materials, maintaining bibliographies and chronologies, establishing and updating research files on individual photographers, conducting research on selected topics, and administrative tasks relating to the exhibition. We welcome applications from 2014 MA graduates and current art history, 19th-century American studies, or American history graduate students. Knowledge or coursework in the history of 19th-century art or photography is preferred.

Curatorial Records and Files
The intern will work with department staff to integrate new research on Italian paintings into the curatorial files and update bibliographic and provenance information on the collection database. He or she may also contribute to ongoing research about provenances of Gallery objects by conducting research outside the Gallery at institutions such as the National Archives and Archives of American Art. The intern will also serve as a departmental assistant, helping staff and outside scholars use the curatorial files and assisting with the annual departmental inventory. Current art history or museum studies graduate students and 2014 graduates of such programs are invited to apply. Familiarity with museum collection databases is preferred. A demonstrated ability for careful, precise, and independent work is essential. Reading knowledge of Italian preferred.

Development: Fundraising and Stewardship
The intern will assist with the fundraising and administration of the Gallery's development department. He or she will assist in identifying new donor prospects and major gifts, help prepare stewardship documents and communications, coordinate departmental mailings for upcoming events, perform research, secure image permissions, and copyedit departmental publications, such as the fall 2014 Bulletin, which is mailed to Gallery donors and prospects. Current graduate students and 2014 graduates in arts administration, arts management, or other relevant programs are invited to apply. Strong research and editing skills are essential.

Education: Art Information for the Public
The intern will work with the art information program by staffing the information desks, assisting with volunteers, and researching and preparing responses to written requests about art from the general public. The intern will also present three spotlight talks for adults in the galleries on premodern European and/or American works of art. Mentoring will be provided by professional Gallery lecturing staff. Current advanced art history graduate students are invited to apply. A demonstrated interest in working directly with the public is essential. Advanced English speaking and writing skills as well as advanced skills in a language other than English are required.

Education: Digital Outreach and Engagement
The intern will assist with the Gallery’s efforts to connect people, art, and learning through digital initiatives. He or she will work on research and planning related to emerging technologies, audience trends, and museum applications of technology for educational purposes. The intern will assist education staff with planning and developing digital learning experiences such as web content and mobile experiences, increasing promotion of online resources, evaluating existing projects, and improving our understanding of key audiences. Current graduate students in museum studies, museum education, art education, digital humanities, or related programs are invited to apply.

Education: National Teacher Institute
The intern will assist with the National Teacher Institute, a six-day professional development seminar held at the Gallery for two sessions during the summer. He or she will help develop and coordinate teaching resources, assist with program arrangements for speakers, and work directly with teachers during the institute sessions. The intern will also research educational materials for teacher programs in the academic year ahead. Current graduate students in art education, museum education, studio art, fine arts, or art history and 2014 graduates of such programs are invited to apply. Interest in working with K–12 teachers and expertise in PowerPoint are essential.

Facilities Management: Life-Cycle Analysis of Physical Plant Assets
One or two intern(s) will prepare a life-cycle timeline and cost analysis for the Gallery’s physical plant assets. Maintenance of these assets is essential to controlling temperature and humidity within the narrow range required for the preservation of the Gallery’s art collections. This internship comprises analyzing assets listed in the Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS) database, verifying field conditions, analyzing energy savings, scheduling asset replacement over a 30-year period, and analyzing long-term costs using RS Means or other methods. The intern(s) should have a basic familiarity with identifying equipment such as motors, fans, and pumps, and materials such as roofing, masonry, and concrete. Candidates must be proficient in English, MS Excel, and navigating and populating databases. The intern(s) should be able to work independently, with assistance from and in consultation with facilities management professional staff.

Facilities Management: Key Performance Indicators
The intern will refine and/or establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for a facilities management office in a museum environment. The intern will investigate best practices at internationally acclaimed museums and help benchmark the National Gallery of Art against those practices. KPIs include staffing and costs, utility consumption and costs, workforce productivity, cost per square foot/meter for facility operations, maintenance, facility condition assessments and indices, and recycling. Candidates must be proficient in English and MS Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, and Power Point). Current graduate students in relevant disciplines and 2014 graduates with a relevant bachelor's degree are invited to apply.

Horticultural Services
The intern's time will be divided between daily overall horticulture duties and a project collecting historical information for the horticultural services database. The intern will work on the Gallery's exterior landscapes and interior "plantscapes," including the greenhouses. The intern will also help the deputy chief in researching and compiling historical information from Gallery archives, and entering data in the horticultural services database. Proficiency in Microsoft Word and excellent writing and editing skills are desired. Current graduate students in horticulture and 2014 graduates with a relevant bachelor’s degree are invited to apply.

Library: Rare Photographs Project
The intern will assist with cataloging, inventorying, and digitizing the library's collection of rare photographs of works of art and architecture. The photographs, both individual and mounted in albums, date from the mid-19th to the early 20th centuries and represent all areas of Western art. Current graduate students in European or American art history (15th to 20th centuries) are eligible to apply. Advanced knowledge of at least one European language is highly desirable. Candidates should also have understanding of photographic processes and familiarity with museum registration or archives procedures and methods.

Library: Reproductive Prints Project
The intern will assist with cataloging, inventorying, and digitizing the Library’s collection of reproductive prints of works of art. The prints represent a variety of print techniques and depict works by Old Master artists. Current graduate students in European art history (15th to 20th centuries) are eligible to apply. Advanced knowledge of French or another European language is desirable. Candidates should also have understanding of printmaking techniques and materials as well as familiarity with museum registration or archival procedures and methods.

Personnel: Labor and Employment Law
The labor and employment law intern will help attorneys in the personnel office to prepare cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the Federal Labor Relations Authority. The intern will perform legal research and analysis, develop case files, assist in discovery, and draft motions and disciplinary actions. Only law school students who have completed their first year and are rising to their second year will be considered.

Protection Services: Security Research
The protection services division includes security officers and technical, administrative, investigative, identification, health/safety, risk management, and visitor services staff. The intern will assist the division in conducting research pertaining to various aspects of the Gallery's security program. Strong interest in museum security management and excellent verbal and written communication skills are required. Preference will be given to candidates with recent undergraduate degrees in relevant disciplines or graduate students currently enrolled in a relevant degree program.

Publishing Office: Production Processes
The intern will assist in the preparation of exhibition-related publications as well as materials for distribution and use at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. Projects may include working on exhibition catalogues, digital brochures, wall texts, an annual sales catalogue, fact sheets on forthcoming publications, and "dummy" books or iPad presentations for catalogues in production. He or she will participate in the publication process, assisting editors, designers, and production staff as well as consulting with curators. Excellent communication and writing skills are required; experience with InDesign is desirable. Current graduate students in relevant disciplines and 2014 graduates with a relevant bachelor's degree are invited to apply.

Special Events: Event Management
The intern will help conduct special events and assist with archiving digital and film photography of such events. He or she will compile a presentation album of file photographs, including creative and logistical details of recent events. The intern will also catalogue event records by collecting and organizing invitation and menu card samples, examples of calligraphy styles, event photographs, linen samples, and design layouts. Spring 2014 graduates with a relevant bachelor's degree and current graduate students enrolled in a program such as arts administration, event management, tourism administration, or hotel management are invited to apply. Basic knowledge of Photoshop or other photo editing software is preferred.


Department of Academic Programs
Division of Education
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785

Contact us by email
(202) 842-6257

Please do not contact Gallery curators or other department heads directly regarding possible placement or projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the FAQs about internships.