Admission is always free Directions

Open today: 10:00 to 5:00

2018 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 2018 with the information concerning the 2019‒2020 internship cycle.


Eligibility varies according to internship. A few are geared to undergraduates completing their degrees in May and June 2018, but most are for currently enrolled graduate students of all levels and those graduating in May or June 2018 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 11 to August 10, 2018. 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 12, 2018
Deadline for online applications. The application must include a writing sample (approximately twenty 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, 2018
Finalists will be selected.

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.

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 and 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, and will assist in maintaining account of records by entering travel information into the administrative services division travel database. The intern will research and compile statistics and reports on Gallery travel and related activities, and will also assist with the new Automated Travel and Expense Reporting System (ATERS) project to automate the travel program. Candidates should have completed a bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields: business management, hospitality, tourism, or travel management.

Architecture and Engineering 

The architecture and engineering division seeks an intern who is interested in the fields of architectural design and construction. The intern will 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, engineering, interior design, planning, architectural history, or historic preservation is desirable, such background is not essential. The ability to conduct research, write well, communicate clearly, and understand how to visually document, chronicle, and explain the evolution of the Gallery’s design and construction projects is essential. The intern must be a self-starter, research-oriented, and able to answer questions either by examining project documentation or consulting with staff members involved in our design and construction projects.

For 2018, the intern may focus on fire protection and life safety improvements made through the Gallery’s Master Facilities Plan. Alternatively, another research topic may be to document the interior design of the East Building staff spaces and how these spaces have changed since opening in 1978.


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.

Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA): Digital Projects

The intern will support the development of ongoing digital art history projects in CASVA, the research center at the National Gallery of Art that supports advanced scholarship in the visual arts through a program of fellowships, research, meetings, and publications. Tasks may include assisting with website development, database construction, GIS mapping, and digital archiving for research projects defined and supervised by the Center’s deans, including but not limited to Early Modern Sources in Translation: Carlo Cesare Malvasia's Felsina pittrice; The Early History of the Accademia di San Luca, c. 1590–1635; and the History of Early American Landscape Design Database. The intern handles data entry, image management, geo-tagging, and other assignments that meet the specific scholarly goals of the project heads; meets regularly with research teams; and follows production schedules to ensure the development and maintenance of digital projects. Good computer and editorial skills required; familiarity with or interest in web design, content management systems, and digital humanities preferred. Current graduate students and 2017 graduates in art history, arts administration, arts management, or other relevant programs are invited to apply. A demonstrated ability for careful, precise, and independent work is essential. Reading knowledge of one or more European languages is essential.

Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA): History of Early American Landscape Design Database

The intern will assist with the implementation of an in-depth web resource/catalog, the History of Early American Landscape Design Database (HEALDD). It is a comprehensive digital repository of primary source materials, both visual and textual, documenting the history of American garden and landscape design from the early colonial period through the mid-19th century. This online archive of people, places, texts, and images with accompanying scholarly essays and a bibliography offers a comprehensive and extensively cross-referenced compendium of information on the social and geographical history of landscape design in early America. 

The primary source materials include a corpus of more than 2,000 digitized images (prints, drawings, and paintings from collections throughout the United States) and several thousand historical texts (including poetry, travel literature, legal documents, and correspondence). By providing scholars worldwide with open access to an extensive body of historically significant images and primary texts, the HEALDD online archive contributes significantly to research on the role and meaning of gardens and designed landscapes in colonial and antebellum America.

The intern will be part of a research project team in the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts under the direction of Therese O’Malley, associate dean. Tasks will include augmenting, where possible, information about the concepts, artists, sites, and objects in the database; image research and acquisition; and entering data using MediaWiki software and bibliographic programs such as Zotero. Applicants should have a broad interest in American art and material culture. Experience with web development would be extremely useful. Editorial skills are preferable but not essential.

Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA): Modern Italian Art

The intern in early modern Italian art will assist with the implementation of a digital project, The Accademia di San Luca, c. 1590–1635: Documents from the Archivio di Stato di Roma. The intern will be part of a research project team at CASVA under the direction of Peter Lukehart, associate dean. Tasks will include augmenting information about the concepts, artists, and sites in the database; researching and acquiring images; and researching and reviewing content.

The Early History of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome was conceived as a project in two parts. The first part, The Accademia Seminars, comprises a volume of interpretive essays regarding the establishment of one of the first artists’ academies in late 16th-century Italy and a research database of newly rediscovered coeval notarial documents that support current and future study of the Accademia and its members. The second part concerns an open-access database of documents (The History of the Accademia di San Luca, c. 1590–1635: Documents from the Archivio di Stato di Roma: that complements the essays while allowing for and encouraging new research on the Accademia. With over 1,300 names of artists and participants, the faceted searching (keywords, document type, places, notaries, and date) provides myriad ways to customize and refine research. Select bibliographies and carousels of images for the more famous artists augment and extend research. In the coming year the Accademia team will add four historic maps of Rome to the website that cover a century, from about 1575 to 1675. Along with curated entries on the places where the Accademia interacted with the citizens and the institutions of Rome, the mapping extension includes bibliographies, links to scanned guidebooks, and scores of related images. Configured in IIIF, the maps and works of art can instantaneously be zoomed and infinitely compared to any IIIF-compliant image on our site or imported from another repository. It is to this latter project that the intern will contribute.

Applicants should be specialists in early modern Italian art and be able to read Italian. Experience with and interest in digital humanities and web technologies would be extremely useful.

Conservation: Paper

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 under the supervision of the departments of scientific research and curatorial records on a project to take the highly regarded chapters in the Artists’ Pigments book series, published by the National Gallery of Art, to an online platform. The project involves designing an infrastructure for the new format and creating updated content. The intern will assist with planning and with organization of information, such as occurrences of specific pigments, their mode of use, prices, and citations. 

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: Italian and Spanish Paintings

The intern, who should be a graduate student, will assist with all matters of production of the catalog, website, and related projects connected with the Gallery’s Verrocchio exhibition, and may assist with research on 15th-century Florentine painting in general. Reading knowledge of Italian and previous coursework in Italian Renaissance art are both required.

Curatorial: Photographs

The intern will assist with research and organization for a variety of different exhibition and collection management projects. Tasks may include assembling research materials, maintaining bibliographies and chronologies, establishing and updating research files, conducting research on selected topics, and administrative tasks relating to exhibitions. The intern may also work on other projects related to the storage and care of the permanent collection as needed. We welcome applications from recent MA graduates and current art history graduate students. Knowledge or coursework in the history of 19th- or 20th-century photography or art is preferred.

Curatorial: Photographs, Women Photographers between the Two World Wars

The intern will assist in research and organization for an upcoming exhibition on women photographers working in the 1920s and 1930s. 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 projects related to the storage and care of the permanent collection as needed. We welcome applications from recent MA graduates and current art history graduate students. Knowledge or coursework in the history of early 20th-century 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 intern will also assist with the preparations for two exhibitions—one on Andrea del Verrocchio, the other on Alonso Berruguete. Tasks may include research for the catalog and help with correspondence pertaining to loans. Important qualifications include the ability to work independently and advanced reading knowledge of Italian or Spanish.

Curatorial Records and Files: Accession Documentation

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. 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 2018 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. 

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: 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 2018 graduates of such programs are invited to apply. Interest in working with K–12 teachers and expertise in PowerPoint are essential.

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.

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.

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. Internship duties may include 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 who 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.

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 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 Project

The intern will assist with researching and cataloguing 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 17th-  to 19th-century Italian and French painters. Many of the prints were pulled in the early 20th century from 17th- to19th-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/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.  

Personnel: Labor and Employment Law

The intern will perform legal research and analysis related to employment and labor law 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.

Press Office: Japanese Marketing and Communications

This intern will assist the press office in media and marketing outreach for an upcoming exhibition of Japanese art. The intern will help develop an integrated communications plan to reach Japanese audiences, create a media list of Japanese press, prepare press and marketing materials in Japanese, draft social media outreach, and research Japanese tourism trends and strategies. Candidates should either have knowledge of marketing/communications or art history. Good reading/speaking fluency in Japanese is required. Current art history, communications, or Japanese-language students and 2018 program graduates are invited to apply.

Press Office: Travel and Tourism Marketing 

The intern will conduct market research, working closely with Destination DC and US Travel, on travel and tourism inbound to the United States and Washington, DC, from Asia (including South Korea, India, and China) and South America. Findings would include how other US museums and local DC attractions reach these growing audiences. The intern will create a market profile with competitive frames of reference, identifying and analyzing competitors’ points of parity and difference. The intern will identify major domestic and international tour operators and their average clients (including demographics and trends, brand awareness, brand identity, brand intention, tourist traits/behaviors, and consumer insights: who goes where, when, why). They will identify market segments and targets, conduct outreach with identified tour operators and travel agencies, recommend marketing materials, and use the results of this work to aid the department of communications in crafting marketing opportunities to increase attendance and brand awareness. Applicants’ writing samples should include data analysis and a marketing plan.

Publishing Office

The intern will be responsible for preparation of the annual Frankfurt Book Fair catalog and flyers, which will require contacting Gallery curators to discuss the project, gathering images, editing copy, and formatting the flyers in InDesign. The applicant will need an interest and background in editing, publishing, and graphic design.

Treasurer’s Office

The treasurer’s office handles the accounting, investment, insurance, financial reporting, cash management, and information technologies for the National Gallery of Art. The office seeks an intern to assist with projects supporting financial management and reporting services. The intern will work with the budget and planning division to implement a new budget tool for reporting to the office of management and budget. The intern will learn about the management of the Gallery’s federal and private funds and gain experience in a nonprofit organization. They will also complete projects related to cash-flow forecasting and reporting. Applicants must be proficient in Excel, have experience with financial analysis and budgeting work, and have excellent communication skills. Current and 2017 graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in business administration, finance, or similar programs 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
(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.