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Release Date: July 2, 2020

National Gallery of Art Hosts Virtual Summer Internships Across Nations and Disciplines

Participants in the 2020 summer internship program at the National Gallery of Art. Top row, left to right: Katie Pratt-Thompson, Jajwalya Karajgikar, Bridget Girnus; middle row, left to right: Amanda Beck, Sonnie Solomon, Sam Allen; bottom row, left to right: Abby Mercatoris-Morrison, Casey Hayes-Deats, Giordano Conticelli

Participants in the 2020 summer internship program at the National Gallery of Art. Top row, left to right: Katie Pratt-Thompson, Jajwalya Karajgikar, Bridget Girnus; middle row, left to right: Amanda Beck, Sonnie Solomon, Sam Allen; bottom row, left to right: Abby Mercatoris-Morrison, Casey Hayes-Deats, Giordano Conticelli

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art has welcomed eight summer interns to a robust virtual program running from June 1 through July 31, 2020. The group of interns, from five states, the District of Columbia, Italy, and India, was selected after a competitive application process. As in years past, this nine-week summer internship program provides the opportunity for graduate-level and postgraduate students to work on projects directed by a Gallery department head or curator. Interns are considered temporary staff and attend a biweekly seminar that introduces them to the broad spectrum of museum work at the Gallery and to its departments, staff, functions, and programs.

Due to the Gallery's temporary closure as a result of COVID-19, all projects were reimagined to accommodate virtual work. In addition, the Gallery has created a robust mentorship program that matches incoming interns with Gallery staff who are alumni of the internship program and share mutual interests and career goals. Interns will participate in staff-wide virtual meetings and other social meetups to increase their remote access to the Gallery.

Along with the summer interns, the Gallery welcomes an emerging curator to participate in its 2020–2021 Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellowship and the inaugural Bechhoefer Graduate Intern in American Art, an academic-year appointment for one graduate student dedicated to the research of American art.

The internship program is supported by individual gifts and endowment funds and is administered by the department of gallery and studio learning in the division of education. Information about the summer internship program, as well as about other Gallery internships and fellowships, is available at nga.gov/interns or by calling (202) 842-6257.

2020 National Gallery of Art Virtual Summer Interns
Sam Allen
Brooklyn, New York
Sam received a BA (literary arts) from Brown University, an MPhil (history of art and archaeology) from Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, where he is currently a PhD student (history of art and archaeology) and a Connoisseurs Circle Fellow. Previously, he was an education intern at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and a museum intern at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. This summer he will assist the department of photographs with planning and research for an upcoming exhibition and assist with research on Robert Frank's later career and works.

Amanda Beck
Ellicott City, Maryland
Amanda received a BA (art history and Hispanic studies) from Washington College. Currently, she is pursuing an MA (education) at Virginia Commonwealth University. Previously, she was a curatorial researcher for Smithsonian American Art Museum and a curatorial and education intern at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland. This summer, Amanda is assisting with the Summer Institute for Teachers and the Gallery's first online course, Teaching Critical Thinking through Art. In the fall, she will begin a graduate podcasting assistantship, which is a partnership between the Institute of Contemporary Art, Richmond, and the National Public Radio (NPR) station in Richmond.

Giordano Conticelli
Orvieto, Umbria
Giordano received a BA (art history) and an MA (museum studies) from Universita' La Sapienza, Rome, Italy. Currently, he is a PhD student (art history) at University of Washington. Giordano is a recipient of the Antoinette Wills Endowed Scholarship, the Milnora Roberts Scholarship, and most recently the 2020 de Cillia Teaching with Excellence Award from the University of Washington. Previously, he was a graduate curatorial assistant at Henry Art Gallery, the art museum of the University of Washington in Seattle, and a curatorial intern at Eight Art Project in Milan, Italy. This summer, he is assisting the department of sculpture and decorative arts with the preparations for an upcoming exhibition.

Casey Hayes-Deats
Washington, DC
Casey received a BA (cultural anthropology) from Columbia University and an MA (applied theater) from the City University of New York. Currently, she is pursuing an MBA at the George Washington University where she holds a Forté Fellowship. The fellowship is for women pursuing an MBA and aims to increase the number of women in the business world. Previously, Casey was education programs manager at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange and general manager of the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. This summer, Casey is working closely with staff of the treasurer's office on self-directed projects. In addition to studying budgets and workflow, she is collaborating with the digital solutions intern on a project.

Bridget Girnus
Bellevue, Washington
Bridget received a BA (history of art and architecture, minor in archaeology) from Boston University. Currently, she is pursuing an MA (museum studies) at the University of San Francisco. Bridget has had numerous internships, including placements at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University. This summer, she is working on a variety of education activities. She is also helping the department of curatorial records and files to research and document National Gallery of Art objects.

Jajwalya R. Karajgikar
Hyderabad, Telangana
Jajwalya received a B.Tech (computer science and engineering) from Visvesvaraya Technological University. She is currently pursuing an MS (computational sciences and informatics) at George Mason University. Jajwalya was an editor-at-large for Digital Humanities Now, an experimental, edited publication that highlights and distributes informally published digital humanities scholarship and resources from the open Web. This summer, she will help the department of digital solutions on a variety of projects, including the development of an analytics dashboard to create dynamic representation of our publicly available data.

Abby Mercatoris-Morrison
Meadville, Pennsylvania
Abby received a BS (marketing management) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University where she is currently pursuing an MA (material culture and public humanities). Previously, Abby was a sales management intern at Pepsico, Inc. in Seattle, Washington, and a hotel service member intern at American Cruise Lines in Portland, Oregon. This summer, Abby will assist in developing exciting online content for the e-commerce department.

Sonnie Solomon
Cheltenham, Pennsylvania
Sonnie received a BA (art history and anthropology) from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA (art history) from Tufts University. Previously, she was a program assistant at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. She also interned in the department of contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Most recently, she was an intern in lectures and special programs at the Museum of Science, Boston. This summer, Sonnie will assist the department of photographs in research and organizing materials focused on African American and women photographers in the collection.

2020–2022 Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Post-Doctoral Fellow
Nikki Georgopulos
Portland, Oregon
Nikki received a BA (history and literature) from Reed College and a PhD (art history and criticism) from Stony Brook University where she was a W. Burghardt Turner Fellow and a Graduate Council Fellow. She also holds a postgraduate certificate from the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art where she researched the looting of archaeological sites in Nazi-occupied Greece. Her dissertation is titled "Reflecting the Real: The Mirror in Nineteenth Century French Art." Previously, Nikki was the David Whitehouse Scholar-in-Residence at Corning Museum of Glass. She has completed internships at the International Foundation for Art Research and the Morgan Library & Museum. As a graduate curatorial intern in the department of drawings and prints at the Morgan, she worked on two major exhibitions, Treasures from the Nationalmuseum of Sweden: The Collections of Count Tessin and Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection. Nikki will assist the department of French paintings with planning and research for an upcoming exhibition. She will also help develop digital content proposals related to the department's collection.

Bechhoefer Graduate Intern in American Art
Katie Pratt-Thompson
Long Beach, California
Katie received a BA (art history) and a certificate (American studies) from Princeton University. Currently, she is pursuing an MA (art history) at Columbia University. Most recently, Katie was a research fellow at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Previously, she was a curatorial assistant and an intern at Princeton University Art Museum and an arts collection intern at the Carter Center in Atlanta. This year, Katie is assisting with planning and research for an upcoming exhibition and publication devoted to John Singer Sargent. 

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