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Internships in the Museum Profession, 2018–2019

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

The current application cycle has closed. This page will be updated in October 2018 with the information concerning the 2019‒2020 internship cycle.


Although consideration will be given to students with a spring 2018 undergraduate degree, preference will be given to applicants who are enrolled in a graduate program or are recent MA, MFA, or M Arch graduates (degree must have been received no earlier than 2017). Applicants from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. This is an international program.


Interns are in residence at the Gallery from September 10, 2018, to May 10, 2019, and work full time. Interns receive a stipend of approximately $26,000 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 12, 2018

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 and one copy of transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended are required. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

March 9, 2017

Finalists will be selected.

Review Process

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

Equal Opportunity
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for an internship, fellowship, or research assistantship 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.

Internship Projects

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

Conservation: Paintings

The intern is expected to carry out a range of painting treatments including scientific research into materials, technique and condition. The intern will also assist the paintings conservators with monitoring the condition and maintenance of the collection, preparing paintings for loans, writing condition reports, installing and de-installing exhibitions, and assisting with ongoing research projects. The department of paintings conservation works closely with the curatorial departments, and the intern will be expected to participate in discussions about ongoing treatments and research projects.

Conservation: Paper

The intern will perform major and minor conservation treatments on prints and drawings, and possibly bound volumes, under the supervision of the paper conservators. Treatments may include the repair of structural damages, the stabilization of chemical deterioration, and the restoration of aesthetic qualities. The intern will prepare written and photographic records documenting the condition and treatment of works of art. Other responsibilities will include examination of works of art on paper for exhibition, routine inspection, and study. Current graduate students and 2018 graduates in paper conservation are encouraged to apply. 

Curatorial: Department of Old Master Prints and Drawings

The intern will assist and gain experience in the many and varied curatorial aspects associated with a large and very active collection of European prints and drawings dating from 1500 through the early 20th century. The intern will not only assist in the pulling and returning of works of art for visitors (supervising them when necessary), but also will initiate public talks and teach occasional classes in an area of interest. The intern will assist with creating individual records on TMS, the Gallery’s content management system, for old master prints and drawings in albums and portfolios. The intern will be assigned a special project to produce a web feature and/or small exhibition featuring the Gallery’s Hoefnagel Four Elements albums.

A demonstrated interest in the history of prints and drawings, an understanding of their techniques, and a good reading knowledge of a European language, preferably German, French or Dutch, are required; a reading knowledge of a second European language is desirable. Current advanced graduate students in art history or 2018 graduates of such programs are invited to apply.

Curatorial: Photographs

The intern will assist with planning and research for an upcoming major exhibition on Robert Adams opening in the fall of 2019. Duties may include conducting research on selected topics, compiling bibliographies and chronologies, assigned tasks related to the production of the exhibition catalog, coordinating object lists and layouts, assisting with the preparation of wall texts, and other administrative tasks related to the exhibition. Applicants should have specialized knowledge or coursework in 20th-century American art or photography.

Library: Rare Photographs

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 recently acquired his complete archive of over 110,000 negatives and corresponding prints. The Finn Archive documents the medium of sculpture from antiquity to the modern era and has considerable depth in Italian Renaissance sculpture and the work of Henry Moore. Current graduate students in American or European art history (15th to 20th century) are eligible to apply. Knowledge of digitization methods is desirable. Candidates should also have some familiarity with museum registration, library systems, or archives procedures and methods.

Library: Rare Prints

The intern will assist with researching and cataloging the Library’s collection of “reproductive” chalcographic prints from the Chalcographie du Louvre (1797–present), the Calcografia di Roma (1738–present), the International Chalcographical Society (1886–1892), and the Arundel Society (1848–1897). The prints represent a variety of techniques including etching, engraving, aquatint, chromolithographs, and photogravures, and depict works largely by century Italian and French painters of the 17th through 19th century. Many of the prints were pulled in the early twentieth century from 17th- to 19th-century plates and represent work from some of the most well-known engravers of their time. Current graduate students interested in the history of printmaking (particularly 19th-century printmaking practices and institutions) or European art history (17th to 19th century) are eligible to apply. Basic knowledge of Italian and French is required. Candidates should also have an understanding of printmaking techniques and materials as well as familiarity with museum registration or archival procedures and methods. 


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.


Please review the FAQs about internships.