Interns & Fellows
2017 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.
The current application cycle has closed. This page will be updated in October 2017 with the information concerning the 2018‒2019 internship cycle.
Eligibility varies according to internship. A few are geared to undergraduates completing their degrees in May and June 2017, but most are for currently enrolled graduate students of all levels and those graduating in May or June 2017 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 will be in residence at the Gallery from June 5 to August 4, 2017. Interns receive a stipend of approximately $4,500 that is subject to all applicable taxes. Interns using an authorized public transportation method will receive an employer-provided fare subsidy to apply toward their monthly transit costs.
Application Timeline and Procedures
January 13, 2017
Deadline for online applications. The application must include a writing sample (approximately 20 pages, including footnotes or endnotes, bibliography, and images). A full résumé or CV, one copy of transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended, and three letters of recommendation are required. Applications received after this date will not be considered.
March 10, 2017
Finalists will be selected.
All applications will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of Gallery staff and outside specialists.
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.
Summer Internship Projects
Applicants may list up to two projects, in order of preference, on the application.
Administrative Services: Travel Office
The intern will assist with curatorial, invitational, docent, fellow, and courier travel. The intern will coordinate with travelers, travel planners, and the Gallery’s travel agency on processing Travel Authorization documents. The intern will assist the Travel Office in reviewing Travel Authorization documents for completeness, accuracy, and compliance. The intern will help the Travel Office maintain account of records by entering travel information into the Administrative Services Division (ASD) travel database. The intern will research and compile statistics and reports on Gallery travel and related activities. The intern will also assist with the new Automated Travel and Expense Reporting System (ATERS) project to automate the travel program. Candidate should have completed a bachelor degree in one of the following fields: business management, hospitality, tourism, or travel management.
Architecture and Engineering
The office of architecture and engineering seeks a summer intern who is interested in the fields of architectural design and construction. We are looking for someone who can review project files, construction drawings, and progress photographs and produce concise, understandable presentation materials showing the development and evolution of the Gallery’s major building renovation projects. Although some background in architecture, planning, architectural history, historic preservation, or engineering is desirable, it is not essential. The ability to write well, communicate clearly, and understand how to visually document, chronicle, and explain our renovation projects is essential. The intern needs to be a self-starter, able to get answers to questions either by examining project documentation or consulting with staff members involved in our design and construction projects.
The Gallery Archives is responsible for historical documents, photographs, and drawings about the past of the National Gallery of Art and its landmark buildings. The intern will be assigned an archival arrangement and description project working with historical files, architectural drawings, media, or digital documents. Candidates should have knowledge of archival principles and procedures, familiarity with art or architectural history, and an interest in an archival career. Current art history, collections management, or archival studies graduate students and 2017 program graduates are invited to apply.
The intern will assist paper conservators in organizing and cataloging 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 2017 graduates in conservation, studio art, or archival studies are encouraged to apply. Knowledge of paper and papermaking is essential.
Conservation: Scientific Research
The intern will work with conservation scientists in an ongoing project to inventory, document, and interpret the archive of more than 3,500 microscopic paint samples. Tasks will include photomicrography and cataloging samples. The intern will also work with department scientists to review and interpret paint samples, preparing documentation of microscopic analysis results for one or more major research projects on northern European paintings. Basic knowledge of microscopic paint analysis is required. Current graduate students and 2017 graduates in art conservation with an interest in scientific analysis and technical art history are invited to apply.
Curatorial: American and British Paintings
The intern will assist with planning and research for an upcoming exhibition and publication devoted to James McNeill Whistler’s Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl. It will explore in extensive technical and scholarly detail how the painting was made, the history of its travels between France, England, and the United States and its significance for various artistic circles in Europe and America, as well as the fate of its enigmatic sitter, Joanna Hiffernan. Current advanced art history graduate students with a special interest in late 19th-century painting, working knowledge of pertinent bibliographical and historical sources, and demonstrated excellent writing and research skills are invited to apply.
Curatorial: Northern Baroque Painting
The intern will work with curators to study and interpret objects from the permanent collection, chiefly but not exclusively those works recently acquired from the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Tasks include updating bibliographies, researching, and writing about objects in the collection for online dissemination. Current advanced art history graduate students with a special interest in 17th-century Dutch and Flemish paintings, working knowledge of pertinent bibliographical and historical sources, and demonstrated excellent writing and research skills are invited to apply.
Curatorial: Old Master Prints
The intern will assist in updating collection records in his or her area of art-historical interest, including systematic research of the dating of individual works that is currently missing from Gallery records. Depending upon individual specialization and language ability, the intern may assist in the organization of one of the department’s upcoming exhibitions. The intern will also assist in the daily operation of the Study Room and make at least one class or group presentation. A demonstrated interest in the history of prints, a basic understanding of printmaking techniques, and good reading knowledge of German, French, or Italian are required. Current advanced graduate students in art history or 2017 graduates of such programs are invited to apply.
Curatorial: Photographs, Gordon Parks and Social Documentary Photography
The intern will assist in research and organization for an upcoming exhibition about the early photographs of Gordon Parks, made between 1940 and 1950, and the evolution of his influential social documentary style. Tasks may include assembling reference materials; maintaining picture files, bibliographies, and chronologies; establishing and updating research files; conducting research on selected topics; picture research at the Library of Congress; and administrative tasks relating to the exhibition. The intern may also work on other projects related to the storage and care of the permanent collection as needed. We welcome applications from 2017 MA graduates and current art history graduate students. Knowledge or coursework in the history of early 20th-century art, photography, and/or African American history and art is preferred.
Curatorial: Photographs, Contemporary Photography
The intern will assist in research and organization for an upcoming exhibition on the photographs of Sally Mann. 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. The intern may also work on other exhibition projects and tasks related to the storage and care of the permanent collection as needed. We welcome applications from 2017 MA graduates and current art history graduate students. Knowledge or coursework in the history of contemporary art or photography is preferred.
Curatorial: Sculpture and Decorative Arts
The intern will work with the curators and object conservators to study and interpret objects from the permanent collection of sculpture and decorative arts, chiefly but not exclusively Italian (15th and 16th century) and French (18th and 19th century). The works in question might be sculpture in stone, bronze, terracotta, or wood, as well as furniture, ceramics, enamels, or textiles. Tasks may include research and updating bibliographies on objects in the collection for online dissemination. Important qualifications include the ability to work independently and advanced reading knowledge of Italian or French.
Curatorial: Special Projects in Modern Art
The intern will assist with planning and research for a forthcoming exhibition project that will explore the intersection of crafts with the fine arts in the mid-20th century. Advanced art history graduates with an interest in midcentury and postwar modernism, and tenacious research skills, are invited to apply.
Curatorial: Italian Paintings
The intern, who should be an advanced graduate student, will perform research on selected 16th-century Venetian paintings with the aim of elucidating their style, technique, and subject matter. Reading knowledge of Italian and previous coursework in Italian Renaissance art are both required.
Curatorial Records and Files
The intern will work with department staff to integrate documentation on accessions from the Corcoran Gallery of Art into the curatorial files, and to update bibliographic and provenance information on the collection database. Duties may also include processing labels removed from the backs of paintings, comparing the information with known exhibitions and previous owners, and then preparing the labels to be integrated into curatorial files. The intern will serve as a departmental assistant, helping staff and outside scholars use the curatorial files and assisting with the annual departmental inventory and other special projects. Current art history or museum studies graduate students and 2017 graduates of such programs are invited to apply. A demonstrated ability for careful, precise, and independent work is essential. Familiarity with museum collection databases is preferred. Reading knowledge of Italian, German, or French preferred.
Development: Fundraising and Stewardship
The intern will assist with the development department’s fundraising and stewardship efforts by performing research to identify new donor prospects and potential major gifts; drafting correspondence, including thank-you letters and responses to donor queries; working on departmental mailings for upcoming events; assisting in the preparation of stewardship documents, communications (paper and electronic), and departmental publications, such as the Bulletin; processing donor gifts; updating and maintaining donor records and files; proofreading documents, correspondence, and donor lists; and providing administrative support. Current graduate students and 2017 graduates in arts administration, arts management, or other relevant programs are invited to apply. Strong research, writing, editing, and data entry skills are essential.
Education: Art Information for the Public
Working with the Art Information program to staff the Information Desks, the intern will assist with volunteers, and research and prepare 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 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. Excellent English speaking and writing skills are required.
Education: Planning and Evaluation
The intern will assist with aspects of the development, implementation, and reporting of evaluation studies. The summer intern can expect to be involved in the different stages of a variety of projects. This will include assisting in the analysis of data and writing of a report of the evaluation results from a summative evaluation of an exhibition. In addition, the intern will gain experience conducting literature reviews and working with various methods and tools (e.g., questionnaires, observations, interviews, etc.) to gather relevant quantitative and qualitative data; perform analyses of collected data; and create reports and presentations of findings. Duties will also include consolidating new and existing data and preparing it for comparative analysis and reporting. Some experience with qualitative research methods and data, as well as a sincere interest in how museums use evaluation to better understand their audiences and the impact of their programs, is essential. Current graduate students in museum studies, sociology, psychology, anthropology, museum education, visitor studies, or related fields 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. Duties will also include helping to develop and coordinate teaching resources, assisting with program arrangements for speakers, and working directly with teachers during the institute sessions. The intern will 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 2017 graduates of such programs are invited to apply. Interest in working with K–12 teachers and expertise in PowerPoint are essential.
Facilities Management: Engineering
The intern will investigate the degradation of the structural support system for two fountains located at the Mall entrance of the National Gallery of Art, and assist in preparing an assessment that gauges and documents the severity of the degradation. The structural support system located beneath the Mall steps has begun to deteriorate mainly due to corrosion, resulting in exposed rebar and leaks. The assessment will help the Gallery to determine how to mitigate the problem by either patching or undertaking a more comprehensive renovation. The intern should be able to work independently, with assistance from and in consultation with facilities management professional staff. Current graduate students in relevant disciplines and 2017 graduates with a relevant bachelor’s degree and acceptance into a graduate program are welcome to apply.
Facilities Management: Life-Cycle Analysis of Physical Plant Assets
The intern 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 should have 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 Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), and navigating and populating databases. The intern should be able to work independently, with assistance from and in consultation with facilities management professional staff. Current graduate students in relevant disciplines and 2017 graduates with a relevant bachelor's degree and acceptance into a graduate program are invited to apply.
Facilities Management: Risk Management
The intern will investigate the needs and options available for the Gallery to respond, recover, and restore the Gallery’s facilities in the aftermath of natural or manmade disasters, while cognizant that the facilities contain priceless fine art. The intern will research response plans and best practices at other similarly sized and nearby museums. The intern will perform market research to identify consultants that have experience and a proven success record in aiding historic facilities and fine art museums in disaster recovery and restoration efforts. The intern will report written findings and a briefing of the study to the Facilities Management Division’s leadership team. Candidates must be proficient in English and MS Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Current graduate students in relevant disciplines and 2017 graduates with a relevant bachelor's degree and acceptance into a graduate program are invited to apply.
Facilities Management: Critical Utilities Infrastructure
The intern will investigate and report findings on the Gallery’s primary and redundant critical utilities infrastructure, including electricity, natural gas, water, chilled water, and steam. The intern will work with the division’s Operations Department to gather data on the existing conditions of the various utilities that serve the Gallery. The intern will assess the reliability of each utility and the redundancy of each should an outage occur. Additionally, the intern will analyze the risk to the Gallery’s art collection due to a particular utility outage. The intern must be proficient in English and MS Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). The intern should be able to work independently, with assistance from and in consultation with Facilities Management’s professional staff. Current graduate students in relevant disciplines and 2017 graduates with a relevant bachelor's degree and acceptance into a graduate program are invited to apply.
Library: Rare Photographs Project
The intern will assist with cataloging, inventorying, and digitizing the David Finn Archive. Finn (b. 1921) is a noted photographer of sculpture and the Library has acquired his complete archive that documents the medium of sculpture from antiquity to the modern era. Current graduate students in American or European art history (15th to 20th century) are eligible to apply. Reading knowledge of a European language is desirable. Candidates should also have understanding of photographic processes and familiarity with museum registration, library systems, 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 century) 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 intern will perform legal research and analysis related to employee and labor relations issues, and will assist in various stages of the disciplinary process. The intern may assist attorneys in the personnel office to prepare cases before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, or the Federal Labor Relations Authority by developing case files, assisting in discovery, and drafting motions. Only law school students who have completed their first year and are entering their second year of law school will be considered.
Protection Services includes law enforcement, protection, and emergency management programs that cover physical security (security officers and security systems), administrative, investigative, identification and access control, health and safety, risk management, and visitor services. The intern will assist the division in different projects and conduct research pertaining to different aspects of the Gallery's security program. Strong interest in security or law enforcement in museums and cultural institutions is preferred.
Publishing Office: Production Processes
The intern will assist in the preparation of exhibition-related publications and materials for distribution and use at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. Projects may include working on exhibition catalogs, digital brochures, wall texts, an annual sales catalog, fact sheets on forthcoming publications, and "dummy" books or iPad presentations for catalogs in production. The intern 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 2017 graduates with a relevant bachelor's degree are invited to apply.
Technology Solutions: User Services
The National Gallery of Art continues to advance its IT infrastructure by executing an annual refresh of hardware. The Gallery is seeking a summer intern to assist with replacing existing Windows computers. This is a customer service role, so candidates need to have excellent customer communications skills. Other necessary skills include a solid understanding of Microsoft desktops and laptops, specifically Windows 7, familiarity with connecting PC hardware and peripherals, good fault-finding skills, attention to detail, and ability to follow procedures and provide customer feedback. Graduates in 2017 with relevant bachelor's degrees are invited to apply.
Department of Academic Programs
Division of Education
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
Contact us by email
Please do not contact Gallery curators or other department heads directly regarding possible placement or projects.
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