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Nine-Month Hybrid Graduate Internships, 2022–2023 Academic Year

Nine-month hybrid graduate internships at the National Gallery of Art provide institutional training to students interested in pursuing a museum career. Working closely with professional staff at the National Gallery, interns participate in the ongoing work of the museum, complete a project or a discrete portion of a larger project, and attend a weekly seminar that introduces interns to the staff, departments, programs, and functions of the National Gallery.

Interns also learn about the National Gallery’s collection and build upon their research and public-speaking skills by developing and presenting live art talks. They participate in an intensive training program to learn how to talk about works of art in a way that is relevant, engaging, and accessible to diverse audiences. Interns then develop interactive tours, from 10 to 12 minutes in length, that incorporate their own interests and backgrounds.

The internship program features:

  • Gallery talks with curators
  • Discussions with top-level administrators, including the National Gallery’s director
  • Conversations with staff from a wide variety of museum departments and with former interns
  • Behind-the-scenes tours and demonstrations
  • Presentations on the museum’s history and collection
  • An omni-directional mentorship program that builds community, exchanges support and guidance, and develops a network of museum professionals.

Interns and Fellows Online Application Portal


Although students with a spring 2022 undergraduate degree are welcome to apply, preference is given to applicants who are enrolled in a graduate program or are recent graduates. (A degree must have been received no earlier than 2020.) Candidates working in African and African American studies, anthropology, art history, gender studies, geography, history, literature, multi-/interdisciplinary studies, philosophy, and religion are encouraged to apply. Candidates who are BIPOC, LGBTQ+, bilingual or multilingual, and individuals with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply.


The National Gallery requires all employees, including interns who work with us, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of location or arrangement (e.g., onsite, remote), subject to such exemptions as required by law. If selected, you are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to submit proof of vaccination during onboarding.


Interns work a hybrid schedule, 40 hours per week, from Monday, September 12, 2022, to Friday, May 5, 2023. A hybrid work model incorporates a mixture of in-office and remote work in an intern’s schedule. Interns should expect to work three days a week onsite but may work more. Interns receive a stipend of approximately $26,000 that is subject to all applicable taxes. They are eligible for coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program. Those who use an authorized method of public transportation receive an employer-provided fare subsidy to apply toward monthly transit costs.

Application Timeline and Procedures

Deadline: February 28, 2022

All applications must be submitted online, in English, through our portal by February 28, 2022. Applications or related materials submitted via email, postal mail, or in person are not accepted. There is no fee to apply to any of the internships.

The online application requires:

  • A letter (single-spaced, about 750 words) to the selection committee stating your reasons for participating in the museum training program at the National Gallery of Art at this point in your education or career. It should include what you hope to achieve from the experience, what you feel you can contribute, and how such an experience would further your education and career plans.
  • A writing sample (no more than 20 pages, including footnotes or endnotes, bibliography, and images). A research paper relevant to the National Gallery’s mission works well.
  • A résumé or full curriculum vitae of education, professional experience, honors, awards, and publications.
  • One copy of unofficial transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended.
  • Contact information for two references. One of these references must be someone who knows you in an academic context (either a professor or instructor). After you have submitted the name, title, and email address of your references, they will automatically be emailed instructions for uploading their letters online. We strongly encourage references to submit letters in English.

The deadline for all application materials, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, is February 28 at 5:00 p.m. (ET).

We recommend that you edit and proofread your application carefully before submitting it, and perhaps ask one of your instructors or professors to look over your personal statement. If you are unsure about how to write a personal statement or are uncertain which writing sample to submit, consider contacting the career services center at your college or university for guidance.

April 4 and 5, 2022

Interviews of finalists are tentatively scheduled for April 4 and 5, 2022. Only finalists for the nine-month graduate internship are contacted for interviews via telephone or video chat. Finalists do not need to travel to the National Gallery of Art for an interview.

April 22, 2022
Final selection of interns.

Review Process
All applications are reviewed by a selection committee composed of National Gallery staff.

Equal Opportunity
All qualified applicants are considered 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 is committed to diversity and offers equal opportunity and treatment to all who apply.

Internship Projects

Applicants may list up to two projects, in order of preference, on the application.

Curatorial: Department of Modern Prints and Drawings (Index of American Design cataloguing project)

The intern assists with the cataloguing and research of the Index of American Design, a collection of more than 18,000 watercolor renderings created between 1935 and 1942 as part of the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Although the Index employed more than 1,000 artists, life dates for only a small number of these men and women have been documented so far. Under the supervision of the collections manager associate, the intern examines drawings, records sheet and image dimensions, reviews the corresponding WPA data sheets, and researches artists’ biographies. Findings are recorded in The Museum System database (TMS) and in digital artists files. Recent MA graduates and current graduate students with demonstrable interest in American art history and material culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are encouraged to apply. Experience with collection management databases is desirable; experience with TMS is preferable.

Apply Online

Curatorial: Italian and Spanish Paintings

The intern assists with the cataloguing and provenance research on Italian Renaissance paintings as well as Italian and Spanish Baroque paintings from the collection. Research on upcoming departmental exhibition projects dealing with issues of race and gender in the period is part of this internship. Graduate students with a reading knowledge of Italian and Spanish in addition to some coursework in these areas of study are encouraged to apply.

Apply Online

Curatorial: Northern European Paintings

The intern works with curators to research and interpret works from the National Gallery’s permanent collection of northern Renaissance and baroque painting with an eye toward developing narratives that incorporate global perspectives. Tasks include helping with planning and writing wall labels and didactic materials, developing installation plans, and other duties as appropriate. Recent MA graduates and current graduate students in art history, history, museum studies, or a relevant humanities discipline are encouraged to apply. Important qualifications include the ability to work independently and advanced library research skills.

Apply Online

Curatorial: Photographs

The intern assists with exhibition and installation projects in various stages of planning and research. Tasks include conducting research on selected topics and photographers, compiling bibliographies and chronologies, completing assigned tasks related to coordinating object lists and layouts, and assisting with the preparation of wall texts. The intern also works on other projects related to the storage and care of the permanent collection as needed. Recent MA graduates and current art history graduate students are encouraged to apply. Knowledge or coursework in the history of photography is preferred.

Apply Online

Curatorial: Sculpture and Decorative Arts

The intern assists with the planning and research for several upcoming international loan exhibitions, including one on the terracotta models of Antonio Canova and another on the concept of the fragment in sculpture. Duties include corresponding with potential lenders, compiling bibliographies, conducting research for the catalog, and helping to coordinate the checklist. Candidates with a demonstrated interest in European sculpture and reading knowledge of at least one major European language are encouraged to apply.

Apply Online

Library: Rare Photographs Project 

The intern assists in completing the cataloging, inventorying, and digitizing of the Francis Bedford Archive. Bedford (1816–1894) began studying the photographic medium around 1852 and soon made his reputation with projects involving the court of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In 2016, the library acquired the core collection of his photographs (4,397 prints) as well as his studio index. To date, 2,197 photos have been digitized and have records in the library’s catalog. The Bedford Archive primarily documents architecture and landscape in England and Wales. Current graduate students with a background in library science or architectural/art history are encouraged to apply. Knowledge of digitization methods and handling of nineteenth-century photographs is desirable. Prior familiarity with museum registration, library systems, or archives procedures and methods is preferred, although the intern will learn how to perform this work to museum and library standards. 

Apply Online

Department of Gallery and Studio Learning
Division of Education
National Gallery of Art
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785

[email protected]
(202) 842-6257

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

Please review a list of Frequently Asked Questions about internships.