2019 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. A few are geared to undergraduates completing their degrees in May and June 2019, but most are for currently enrolled graduate students of all levels and those graduating in May or June 2019 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 3 to August 2, 2019. Interns must be available for the entire nine weeks, 40 hours per week.
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
Deadline: January 12, 2019
By the date above, all applications must be submitted online and in English. We will not accept applications or related materials via e-mail, postal mail, or in person.
The online application will require you to provide the following:
- 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, including: 1) what you hope to achieve from the experience, 2) what you feel you can contribute to the department(s) in which you are interested, and 3) 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). An academic paper works best for a research position. Business and law students may decide to submit a case, advice memo, or brief. Applicants to conservation and design internships are asked to submit a portfolio of completed projects.
- 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). Once you have submitted your references’ names, titles, and email addresses, they will automatically be e-mailed 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 January 12 at 5:00 p.m. (EST). There is no fee to apply to any of the internships.
We recommend that you edit your application carefully before submitting, 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 what writing sample to submit, consider contacting the career services center at your college or university for guidance.
March 15, 2019
Finalists will be selected.
All applications will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of Gallery staff and outside specialists.
Interviews are not required. Do not contact individual staff members about internships in their departments. Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions if you have general questions about the program.
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 administrative services division seeks an intern who is interested in working in the field of administrative services in support of Gallery programs and activities. The intern will work closely with the management and supervisory staff in the division. The intern will assist in planning and coordinating a broad range of administrative services such as mail and records management; logistics and supply; printing and duplicating; and transportation services. The intern will examine areas to determine where procedural improvements can be made to enhance operations. He or she may be required to review operational reports for accuracy and efficiency, and may be required to prepare reports. The intern should have strong collaboration and communications skills, and excellent writing skills. He or she should also be able to build strong cross-group working relationships and demonstrate exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail. Candidates should have completed a bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields: business administration, public administration, art history, logistics, or supply chain 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 2019, the intern may focus on the design evolution of the East Building study center and staff spaces and how these spaces have changed since opening in 1978.
The Gallery Archives is responsible for collecting, preserving, and making discoverable a large collection of archival documents, photographs, and drawings which capture the unique history of the National Gallery of Art, including its landmark buildings. The intern will be assigned a project to organize and describe historical materials and/or related work according to established procedures and under staff direction. Candidates should have knowledge of archival principles and procedures, familiarity with art or architectural history, and an interest in archives and special collections work. Current art history, collections management, or archival studies graduate students and 2019 program graduates are invited to apply.
Conservation: Paper Conservation
The intern will assist paper conservators in the examination and treatment of prints and drawings. 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. Candidates must be current students or recent graduates in paper conservation.
Conservation: Object Conservation
The intern will assist with the annual 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 digital resources, and perform condition examinations on sculpture. As possible, the intern may assist conservators with their research or with other projects including x-radiography and technical study. Current graduate students and 2019 graduates in conservation are invited to apply. Graduate students in museum studies and collections 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 John Singer Sargent and Spain. This project will be the first to examine the deep love of all things Spanish by Sargent, nurtured over the course of his six lengthy journeys to Spain. He passionately embraced the country’s lively culture and people; its artistic, musical, and literary past and present; and its magnificent urban and rural landscapes.
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. Spanish language skills are welcome but not required.
Curatorial: Photographs, Women Photographers 1920–1955
The intern will assist in research and organization for an upcoming exhibition on women photographers working during the years 1920 to 1955. 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: Photographs, Nineteenth-Century Photography
The intern will assist in research and organization for upcoming exhibitions on nineteenth-century photography topics. Tasks may include assembling reference materials, compiling bibliographies and chronologies, and conducting research on selected topics. 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-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 several exhibitions—one on Andrea del Verrocchio, another on Alonso Berruguete, and a third on Antonio Canova. Tasks may include helping with wall labels and other didactic materials and undertaking research for the catalog. Important qualifications include the ability to work independently and advanced reading knowledge of Italian or Spanish.
Division of Imaging and Visual Services (DIVS): Digital Asset Management
The National Gallery of Art recently deployed a new enterprise digital asset management system (eDAMS) used by staff throughout the Gallery to manage a diverse collection of digital media. The intern will join the Gallery’s DAM specialists working on a variety of exciting and challenging projects including cataloging new photography of collection objects, developing metadata taxonomies, and creating new system workflows. An aptitude for working creatively and collaboratively is essential. A background in photography, with an understanding of photographic methods and workflows, is desirable. This is an excellent opportunity for current or recent graduates from MFA or MILS programs.
Facilities Management: Study of Utilities on the Gallery’s Collection
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 and 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. 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 2019 graduates with a related bachelor’s degree and acceptance into a graduate program, are invited to apply.
The intern will assist with the daily overall horticultural operations and update a campus-wide tree inventory. The intern will work on the Gallery’s exterior landscapes and interior “plantscapes,” as well as in the greenhouses. He or she will also assist the deputy Cchief of horticulture to update the horticultural services tree inventory and CAD map of trees located on the Gallery campus. Current graduate students in horticulture or 2019 graduates with a relevant bachelor’s degree or love for horticulture are invited to apply.
Library: Evans-Tibbs Archive Collection
The intern will assist with research, cataloging, and digitizing materials in the Library’s Evans-Tibbs Archive Collection. Thurlow Evans-Tibbs Jr. was an art collector and gallerist who bequeathed his art collection to the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Many of those works of art are now at the National Gallery of Art—as is his personal collection of reference materials comprising primary and secondary source materials on Tibbs himself, the history of Washington, and African American art. The ideal candidate would be a student in library science or graduate students in the history of American art, with emphasis on the 20th century. Knowledge of digitization methods is desirable. Candidates should also have some familiarity with museum registration, integrated library systems, or archives procedures.
Library: Rare Prints Project
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 17th- to 19th-century Italian and French painters. Many of the prints were pulled in the early 20th century from 17th- to 19th-century plates, and represent work from some of the best-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–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 and/or grievance 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.
Procurement and Contracts
The intern will work closely with procurement and contracting staff to perform critical functions during the final quarter of the fiscal year. He or she will be involved in performing closeout activities for contracts that have completed the delivery of products or services. The intern will use the Gallery’s Financial Management System to identify whether payment in full for goods or services has been met, and will communicate with vendors to reconcile any discrepancies that hinder the contract closeout process. The intern will assist in the preparation of formal contract closeout modification documents.
The intern will also assist in the preparation of statements of work and solicitation documents, receive and catalog offeror proposals, take part in the source selection evaluation process, prepare contract documents, attend site visits, and participate and possibly lead post-award conferences. Candidates should have completed a bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields: business management, marketing, or finance.
Protection Services: Security Research
The 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: Mark Rothko, Works on Paper
The intern will assist with the forthcoming online catalogue raisonné of Mark Rothko’s works on paper, which includes more than 2,600 objects. Duties may include conducting research on thematic topics (history of display of Rothko’s and his contemporaries’ works on paper, court proceedings over the distribution of Rothko’s estate); conducting provenance, exhibition history, and bibliographic research for individual works; assembling data for a robust biographical chronology; drafting brief texts on individual exhibitions; assisting with tasks related to the production of the catalogue (fact checking, editing, and researching content submitted by in-house and outside contributors). Applicants should have specialized knowledge or coursework in 20th-century American art. Familiarity with FileMaker Pro is desirable.
Do you want to work at an internship that will focus on both technology and data science? Do you want to work at the intersection between art and technology? The office of Technology Solutions is looking for an intern to help bring technology into the art domain. The intern will have the opportunity to learn and work with virtual assistant technologies such as Alexa and Google Home. Other potential projects include utilizing artificial intelligence for image analysis, and data visualization for storytelling. Applicants must be comfortable using programming languages such as Python and have basic understandings of data science techniques such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Preference will be given to candidates pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree in computer science, digital humanities, or engineering.
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 2019 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
Please do not contact Gallery curators or other department heads directly regarding possible placement or projects.