Wondering what careers you can pursue with an art history or studio art degree? Possible paths our students and alumni have taken include art law, art preparation and handling for museums, art conservation, art therapy, positions in libraries and archives, and multiple jobs in museums, from curation and registration to PR and arts education. In order to help you on your path toward a career in the arts, we've put together a list of opportunities and resources that offer experience working across the art field. We've prioritized identifying paid opportunities both locally and across the country, and have otherwise made an effort to note where positions are unpaid.
If you have any questions about potential areas of study, research, and job opportunities please contact our Directors of Undergraduate Studies:
Below is a list of internship opportunities at UVa and the surrounding area to help you on your way toward a promising career in the arts.
Internships available through the UVa Department of Art and its affiliates:
Department of Art Sponsored Internships: Summer 2023
The UVA Department of Art is excited to be sponsoring nine paid internship positions in Summer 2023! Internship applications are open to all rising 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year studio and art history undergraduate majors. Each internship will run for 8 weeks with a total stipend of $3000 up to 29 hours per week for a duration of 8 weeks beginning between May 22 and June 5. Interns will meet as a co-hort three times throughout the summer to discuss what they’re learning and participate in workshops with Art Department staff. Applications are due on April 10th at 5 PM. All applicants will be notified of decisions by April 15th.
For all Art Department funded internships, the chosen applicant will be expected to work up to 29 hours per week for a duration of 8 weeks during the summer of 2023. Interns will receive a stipend of $3000.00.
To Apply: Please submit an application and attach a cover letter, resume, writing sample (500 words), and contact information for at least two references by April 10th, 2023 at 5PM.
Your cover letter should address the following:
- Why are you interested in interning at the specific locations you have selected?
- Explain your interest in Collections Management, Education, Marketing, or Community Programming
- Please share any experience, skills, or interests that may be relevant to this internship.
The Bridge supports creativity and public dialog within and between our communities. They offer resources to support events and programing throughout the greater Charlottesville area not just within our center. In April of 2023 The Bridge will open its new location, The Underground: A Center for Creative Collaboration. It is a 4,300 square foot creative center located at 306 Main Street on Charlottesville’s Historic Downtown Mall. This summer’s intern will help with special projects.
The 2023 Fralin Education internship is intended to support and develop a student’s interest in research and writing for art museum audiences. The intern will conduct original research on objects currently on view at the museum. In addition, the intern will collaboratively develop digital resources for K-12 school and teacher audiences and support summer education programs, including teacher professional development and high school workshops. We’re looking for students with strong research and editing skills and an interest in writing and programming for non-academic audiences.
Interns will work with the Curator and/or Education Director in a range of roles, potentially including Teaching Artist, Curatorial Assistant, Museum Docent and Contributing Artist. Summer is a rich season of programming at Ix Art Park and this a great way to gain an array of creative experience. Participants of this program in past years have, in some cases, gone on to be employed by the foundation as arts administrators, teaching artists and Looking Glass artists.
A project for an art history intern but it would be largely research-based and best done in the Fine Arts Library at the University. Montpelier has a fantastic inventory of the works of art made when Dolley Madison sold it in 1844. The inventory identifies the paintings by subject matter. The majority of the inventory was acquired by Dolley's son John Payne Todd during travels in Northern Europe from ca. 1811-14.
The project would be to complete a project to create a "catalogue" of the works Montpelier has, putting them into art historical context and speculating why Payne Todd might have bought each work and what it might have meant inside Montpelier in the 1810s-40s. The catalogue would be for the benefit of our interpreters, in their interactions with visitors. Most of this work can be done at UVA Libraries.
The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection selected applicant will receive hands-on training in the digitization, documentation, and research of museum collections. Research and writing skills are required for this position. Digital photography and experience with Adobe Photoshop is preferred.
The intern will work directly with the Collection Manager on the following projects, which will ensure the proper documentation and registration of objects in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection and allow them to be accessed by students and researchers.
The Les Yeux du Monde internship opportunity offers students hands-on experience in operations, management and marketing for an established modern and contemporary art gallery. Interns will manage inventory systems, develop marketing materials, help orchestrate gallery events and openings, and help cultivate relationships with existing and potential collectors. Art history majors are preferable where possible, as interns will help author press releases and other written materials grounding the contemporary work exhibited in the art historical lineage that helped inform it. Adobe Photoshop skills are also appreciated (but not necessary) for the design of gallery marketing materials.
New City Arts envisions the Charlottesville area as a place where a thriving group of local artists unsettles and transforms our community to work toward a more just, beautiful future. The New City Arts internship provides students with the opportunity to support the mission of a local, non-profit arts organization by helping to facilitate community arts participation through Welcome Gallery and NCAI program support.
Over the course of the internship, students are given first-hand experience with gallery and arts program implementation. Interns work directly with NCAI staff to gain a greater understanding of Arts Administration—in the Charlottesville community and beyond—and are involved in exhibition planning, event staffing, gallery sitting, and communications with local artists. An internship with New City Arts should allow the student to engage more deeply within the Arts Administration field; interact with a wide variety of community members that may include local artists, community partners, and arts patrons; and provide them with experience in the operations of a small, community arts non-profit.
The Scottsville Center for the Arts and the Natural Environment is a growing non-profit based just 19 miles south of Charlottesville. Our mission is to create a space for the exploration of the natural environment through the arts. Since 2005, we have worked to celebrate, develop, and deepen our community’s knowledge of the arts while discerning its collaborative potential with our ecological landscape. Our summer internship experience is varied, and dependent on the skill-set and initiative of the individual selected, but the work of previous interns has included the following: exhibition installation; branding research; event/festival/workshop planning and execution, including calls for entries and managing artists; community engagement; data visualization; grant implementation; materials management. Ideal candidates are proactive, comfortable being flexible and enjoy occasionally getting their hands dirty.
This summer, Visible Records is collaborating with the UNDOC+ Collective, specifically curator Erika Hirugami, a first-generation, formerly undocumented, Mexican immigrant, to strengthen our connection with our Spanish-speaking neighbors. Erika will curate an exhibition of recent undocumented graduate art students and an artist residency at Visible Records from June to August, 2023. Student interns will support the logistics of coordinating the exhibition, promotion of the show and related community programming, and attending to the needs of visiting artist(s).
The Visual Resources Center internship is intended to support and develop a student’s interest in digital humanities, cataloging and metadata. Most art departments, art history programs, associated university studies and museums across the US are fully reliant on digital catalogs and are increasingly interested in digital reproductions and imaging. As a result, the field of digital humanities has gr own and a student with visual and digital resources training is highly competitive in the job market. An Art or Art History undergraduate student intern will receive a broad introduction to digital humanities applications, from 2D imaging and support to 3D imaging and reproduction. They will be trained in Visual Resources Association (VRA) methodology, including cataloging, managing the back end of an art database (Artstor/Jstor Forum) and metadata collection and organization. The student will learn VRA guidelines, not limited to databasing best practices, copyright compliance and image permission requests. The student will then be introduced to 3D imaging for pedagogy and museum usage. They will receive an introductory training in 3D modeling software and hands-on 3D printer training and troubleshooting. We will also visit several other laboratories and makerspaces around UVA to gain an understanding of how digital humanities is applied across specialties.
The Phillips Collection Summer 2023 Curatorial Internship
Gain valuable museum experience in Washington, DC at America’s oldest museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art. Prepare for the working world and learn firsthand what the field is about!
You can read more about the Phillips Collection here: https://www.phillipscollection.org/about
(L) Janet Taylor Pickett, And She Was Born, 2017 (R) Henri Matisse, Egyptian Curtain, 1948
Overview: The Phillips Collection is seeking a summer intern from UVA Art Department to work across museum departments and assist with planning and research for special projects on modern and contemporary art. This is an in-person internship at the Phillips (with possible hybrid opportunities) that may require offsite research in the DC area’s local libraries and archives.
Responsibilities (include but are not limited to): conducting primary and secondary research at area libraries, compiling bibliographies, gathering images, preparing powerpoints and correspondence, and other day-to-day activities, as assigned.
Qualifications: This internship opportunity is open to rising 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year UVA art history undergraduate majors. Excellent research, writing and organizational skills, with knowledge of modern art and contemporary art from global perspectives with special interest in diasporic studies.
Internship Period: 8 weeks: May 29– August 11 2023
Schedule: 29 hours/week; Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
To apply: Please attach a cover letter, resume, writing sample (500 words), and contact information for at least two references by March 22 using this application link: https://forms.office.com/r/AaKSKg7cF2
Museum/Gallery internships in Charlottesville and UVa:
Fralin Museum of Art
The Fralin Museum of Art offers internships in Collections Management, Education, Curation, and Development. Additionally, the Department of Art offers the two-semester University Museums Internship course (ARTH4951/4952). For more information, visit their website: https://uvafralinartmuseum.virginia.edu/program/internships
Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection
The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection is the only museum dedicated solely to the exhibition and study of Indigenous Australian art in the United States.. They offer internships in Museum Education, Collections Management, and Curation. For more information, visit their website: https://indigenousarts.as.virginia.edu/kluge-ruhe-internships
The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative
The Bridge is a dynamic and inclusive organization serving artists and thinkers who want to share knowledge, challenge one another, and engage in the progressive expression of diverse ideas, strengthening and enriching the community through the power of creative interaction and shared experience. The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative offers internships in Programming, Communications, Development, and Media. For more information, visit their website: https://thebridgepai.org/internships/
New City Arts
New City Arts Initiative is a collaborative non-profit fostering engagement with the arts in Charlottesville, Virginia. Visit their website to learn more about their internships: https://newcityarts.org/vocation/gallery/welcome-gallery
Les Yeux du Monde
Les Yeux du Monde (The Eyes of the World) is a contemporary art gallery located in Charlottesville, VA. The gallery rotates exhibitions by regional, national and international contemporary artists and modern masters. Committed to education and sharing the joys of art with both the novice and collector alike, the gallery offers artists’ talks and trips to studios, museums and collections. Visit their website to learn more about their internships: https://www.lydm.co/
UVA Scholar's Lab
The UVA Scholar's Lab offers a Cultural Heritage Informatics Internship for credit each semester. The University of Virginia Library has the unique opportunity and expertise to acquire data of sites and objects in and around the Academical Village. Opportunities afforded to the Library include collaborative projects to scan and 3D print artifacts with the Fralin Museum and University Library Special Collections, and to 3D scan historic sites such as Montpelier, Monticello, and the Academical Village. Each semester, students are invited to train with Library experts on advanced documentation technologies that will quite likely enable them to transform their professional field. Visit their website for more information: https://scholarslab.lib.virginia.edu/cultural-heritage-informatics-internship/
Visible Records is seeking a summer intern to support with communications and daily operations from June to August, 2021 for 10hrs/week at $10/hour. Start and end dates are flexible with the possibility of extension into the fall exhibition season. You will be expected to work with 2-5 other people on grant writing, social media, program planning and art installation with the freedom to chose your focus and set your schedule. We offer a safe and spacious workplace, connections to the local arts scene, and experience in arts nonprofit management. Please email a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museum/Gallery internships in the surrounding area:
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
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 virtual 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. Visit their website for more information: https://www.nga.gov/education/interns-fellows.html
Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.
The Smithsonian Museum of American Art offers summer internships to undergraduates as an introduction to museum work in the following areas: Curatorial, Development, Educational Programs, Exhibitions, External Affairs (including Public Programs and Special Events), Media and Technology, Publications, Registration, in the Research and Scholar Center, as well as the The Smithsonian American Museum and National Portrait Gallery Library. Visit their website for more information: https://library.si.edu/internships-and-fellowships
Hirshhorn, Washington, D.C.
The Hirshhorn is a leading voice for contemporary art and culture and provides a national platform for the art and artists of our time. The museum offers internships in Art and Programs (Curatorial and Gallery Guides), Exhibition and Design, Collection Management (Photography, Conservation, Registration), and External Affairs (Communications and Media Relations, Web, Digital, and Media, Development, Administration and Finance, and Library). Visit their website for more information: https://hirshhorn.si.edu/explore/internships/
Michelle Gagliano Studios, Scottsville, VA
Michelle Gagliano Studios is the studio for painter Michelle Gagliano located in Central Virginia. For more information: https://www.michellegagliano.com/a-b-o-u-t
Scottsville Museum, Scottsville, VA
The Scottsville Museum and Historic Landmarks Foundation is a nonprofit, incorporated organization which seeks to preserve for the public benefit the historical, natural, and artistic heritage of the Scottsville community of southern Albemarle County. Visit their website to learn more about opportunities: https://smuseum.avenue.org/
Danville Museum of Fine Art and History, Danville, VA
The DMFAH offers a variety of internship positions including Visiting Services Associate, Education Interpreters & Curriculum Builders, Museum Collections Assistants, and Museum Administrative Assistant Intern. For more information, visit their website: https://www.danvillemuseum.org/join-the-internship-program
Museum Conservation Institute, Smithsonian, Suitland, MD
The Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute offers fellowship and internship opportunities involving a variety of artifact analysis, preservation, and conservation treatment specialties. MCI's commitment is to enhance the experience of the fellow or intern, providing specialized technical and scientific training. These internships focus on Conservation of Art and Historic Works and Analytical Studies. For more information, visit their website: https://www.si.edu/mci/english/professional_development/fellowships_internships.html
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo—shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world.They offer a variety of internships each year in a variety of locations. For more information about their current internship listings, visit their website: https://www.si.edu/ofi
National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.
Internships at the National Museum of African Art are mentor-based experiential learning opportunities offered to students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs and to individuals interested in exploring museum professions. Internship opportunities are available in the following departments: Administration, Conservation, Curatorial, Development, Education, Exhibitions, Photographic Archives, Public Affairs, and Registration. Visit their website for more information: https://africa.si.edu/about/opportunities/
Archives of American Art, Washington, D.C.
The Archives of American Art offers internships year-round to students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs who wish to learn and gain professional experience in various fields including Archival Science, Audiovisual Archives, Information Management, Museum Studies, Development/External Affairs, Curatorial, Publications, and User Experience. For more information about their current internship offerings, visit their website: https://www.aaa.si.edu/about/internship-fellowship-and-volunteer-opportunities
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C.
The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s national museum of Asian art, are located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Committed to preserving, exhibiting and interpreting exemplary works of art, the Freer and Sackler address broad questions about culture, identity and the contemporary world. For more information about their current internship offerings, visit their website: https://asia.si.edu/research/fellowships-internships/
Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, Washington, D.C.
The Smithsonian Libraries and Archives Internships will provide students in Library, Archival, Information Science and related disciplines a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with expert Libraries and Archives staff and other Smithsonian staff to acquire the latest skills, knowledge, and hands-on experience needed for today’s information and cultural heritage workplace.https://siarchives.si.edu/ Visit their website for more information: https://library.si.edu/internships-and-fellowships
Contact: Riccardo Ferrante, Internship Coordinator, email@example.com
The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
The Phillips Collection's paid internship program involves in-depth first-hand experience and mentorship, as well as the opportunity to build a network of professional contacts. Interns gain professional experience in a museum setting, exposure to arts and cultural events, and the chance to work alongside museum staff. Museum departments typically accepting interns are: Academic Affairs, Curatorial, Education and Community Engagement, Marketing and Communications, Public Programs, and Development and Membership. For more information about their internship program, visit their website: https://www.phillipscollection.org/paid-internships
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA
The Chrysler Museum of Art offers both paid and unpaid internships for students across their departments and initiatives. For more information about their current offerings, visit their website: https://chrysler.org/museum-summer-internships/
Contact: Allison Taylor, Director of Education, firstname.lastname@example.org
Historical Preservation & Archival internships in Charlottesville and the surrounding area
UVA President’s Commission on the University in the Age of Segregation, Charlottesville, VA
The President’s Commission on the University in the Age of Segregation will explore and report on UVA’s historical relationship with the era of segregation, especially as it connects to the Charlottesville/Albemarle community. It is co-directed by Andrea Douglas, Executive Director of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, and Kirt von Daacke, Professor (History) and Assistant Dean, College of Arts & Sciences. The intern will work with the President’s Commission on the University in the Age of Segregation on the history of the University of Virginia, 1865-1965. This will involve Archival Research, Document Photographing, and professional transcription/editing of historical documents. Intern should demonstrate strong organizational and analytic skills, ability to work independently, and write clearly. For more information, visit the Institute for Public History website: https://publichistory.as.virginia.edu/list-internships
UVA Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library holds more than 16 million objects including manuscripts, archival records, rare books, maps, broadsides, photographs, audio and video recordings and more. Collections are particularly strong in American and British literature, the history of Virginia and the southeastern United States, the history and archives of the University of Virginia, sporting books and manuscripts, World War I, bibliography and book arts (including fine press books, pop-up books, artists’ book, and typography). Visit their website for more information: https://small.library.virginia.edu/
Contact: Rhiannon O'Coin, Senior Academic Recruiter, email@example.com
UVA Arthur J. Morris Law Library Law Library: Special Collections and Archives, Charlottesville, VA
The Arthur J. Morris Law Library Special Collections preserves and provides access to a diverse archive of legal history materials and the records of the UVA Law School. Our collections include rare books, manuscripts, archival records and publications, faculty writing, and photographs. The department aims to meet the research needs of the Law School faculty, administrators, students, and alumni. Their internship offerings including Rare Book Shelf Reading and Landscape History of North Grounds. For more information about the the Arthur J. Morris Law Library at UVA, visit their website: https://archives.law.virginia.edu/.
UVA Nau Center for Civil War History, Fredricksburg, VA
The National Park Service unit headquartered in Fredericksburg encompasses four major Civil War battlefields, cemeteries containing soldiers from the United States and the Confederacy, monuments from the commemorative era, and historic structures dating from the 18th through the 19th century. The site interprets a wide range of events, including the battles of Fredericksburg (1862) Chancellorsville (1863), the Wilderness (1864), and Spotsylvania (1864); the experience of black and white refugees; the trauma of civilians caught in the path of war; and postwar activities that recalled and interpreted the conflict. For more information, visit their website: https://www.nps.gov/frsp/getinvolved/supportyourpark/intern.htm
Nau Civil War Center Digital Research, Charlottesville, VA
Dr. Caroline Janney’s study of demobilization of the Confederate army in Virginia began at Purdue University. Her extensive database of thousands of Confederate parolees now resides at UVA and is being readied for digital publication. Our studies of "UVA Unionists" and "Black Virginians in Blue" began in 2015 as a way to tell another side of our local community's Civil War story, which in the past often has been dominated by the Confederate "Lost Cause" narrative. Very little is known about what black men from central Virginia did during the conflict and we hope to uncover a larger story tracing their lives from the antebellum period, to the war, to Reconstruction and the end of the century. Similarly, UVA students who fought for the Union were left out of the university's Civil War story. The intern will on digital research projects related to under the Nau Center's digital historian. For more information about the project, visit their website: https://naucenter.as.virginia.edu/digital-projects
Virginia Museum of History and Culture, Richmond, Virginia
The Virginia Museum of History and Culture (formerly Virginia Historical Society) maintains a strong commitment to educational outreach, exhibitions, and other programming, but is perhaps best known for its research library and collections. Those collections include manuscripts (personal and family papers, business and organizational records), printed materials and rare books, and museum artifacts. A commitment to preservation of and access to its richest resources has led to an initiative to process these materials. Visit their website to see the current internship offerings: https://www.virginiahistory.org/
One Shared Story, Charlottesville and Louisa County, VA
One Shared Story works in Central Virginia to uncover documents of hidden history and make them publicly accessible. Their mission is to expand what we know about the past so we can better understand the present and work together to create compassionate inclusive communities for the future. To that end, they combine archival and genealogical research with digital mapping technologies to create publicly accessible databases devoted to African American history in Central Virginia. To learn more about the project, visit their website: https://onesharedstory.org/
Scottsville Center for Arts and the Natural Environment, Scottsville, VA
For more information about the Scottsville Center for Arts and the Natural Environment and opportunities, visit their website: https://svilleartsandnature.org/
UVA Blandy Experimental Farm, Boyce, VA
In the early 1800s, the Tuley family established a plantation known as “The Tuleyries” and profited from the forced labor of Black enslaved peoples until the Civil War. In 1903, Graham Blandy, who made his fortune as a stockbroker in New York, purchased the Tuleyries property. In 1926, upon the death of Graham Blandy, 700 acres of Blandy’s property was bequeathed to UVA and was named “Blandy Experimental Farm”. Today, Blandy Experimental Farm is a vital field station for UVA, with two primary missions – environmental research and environmental education. The UVA Blandy Experimental Farm offers internships in Historical Archive Creation. For more information, visit their website: https://blandy.virginia.edu/
Library of Congress
The Preservation Science Internship is hosted by the Preservation Research and Testing Division (PRTD) of the Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress. PRTD is responsible for research, analytical studies, and quality control projects pertaining to library collections, preservation materials, and collection environments. Interns work with preservation scientists, other preservation specialists, and may even have the opportunity to collaborate with other interns. For more information, visit their website: https://www.loc.gov/preservation/outreach/intern/int_science.html
Hispanic Access Foundation’s MANO Project
Enriching internship experiences nationwide for Latinx college students and upcoming professionals who are passionate about:
- Museum Studies
- Art/Art History/Art Management/Fine Art
- More information at the MANO Project
Internship opportunities across the nation:
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York Cty, NY
The Whitney's intern program offers training and direct experience working in one of New York City’s most exciting museums. Interns are placed in departments across the Museum where they assist professional staff, interact with the public, conduct research, provide administrative support, and learn about modern and contemporary American art. Interns also gain valuable training, skills, and work experience as well as an opportunity to build a network of professional contacts. They offer internships in a variety of departments including Advancement, Business Systems, Communications, Curatorial, Digital Content, Director's Office, Finance and Legal, Education, Exhibition Design, Graphic Design, Marketing, Membership, Publications, Research Resources, and Theater. Visit their website for more information: https://whitney.org/about/internships
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY
The Met offers internships across their many departments including the Antonio Ratti Textile Center, Archives, Building and Construction, Communications and Marketing, Conservation, Curatorial, Design, Digital, Editorial and Publications, Education, Finance, Government Affairs, Imaging, Information Systems and Technology, Institutional Advancement (Development, Member and Visitor Services, and Special Events), Office of the Senior Vice President, Secretary, and General Counsel, Registrar, Scientific Research, and Thomas J. Watson Library. For more information about their current internship offerings, visit their website: https://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-met/internships
MoMA, New York City, NY
Interns at MoMA will be provided focused departmental training, complemented with regular activities designed for this cohort to receive greater exposure to the museum and art fields. Internships provide training in specific museum fields through close work with a professional staff member, familiarity with modern and contemporary art through seminars and discussions, and an educational program that exposes interns to the workings of the Museum as a whole, while considering the role of museums in the broader cultural context. The MoMA offers internships across their departments including Architecture and Design, Archives, Drawings and Prints, Film, Media and Performance, Painting and Sculpture, Photography, Drawings and Prints, Performance and Live Programs, and Public Programs. Visit their website to learn more about their current intern positions: https://www.moma.org/about/get-involved/internships
New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, NY
The Internship Program at the New Museum offers participants hands-on training in the museum profession and a comprehensive overview of Museum operations. Interns also gain insight into the world of contemporary art. Interns participate in the day-to-day activities of these departments, in addition to working on specific projects. For more information, visit their website: https://www.newmuseum.org/
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Their internship offerings include work in the following departments: Curatorial, Collections Management, Adult Public Programs, Community Arts Programs, Audience Research & Evaluation, and Object Research. Visit their website to learn more about their current offerings: https://crystalbridges.org/internships/
Diversity in Arts Leadership (DIAL) internship program, administered by Americans for the Arts
Diversity in Arts Leadership (DIAL) internship program, administered by Americans for the Arts and national partners, matches undergraduate students from backgrounds underrepresented in arts leadership with dynamic communities, energetic host arts organizations, and mentors, to guide students’ personal and professional growth throughout the summer. They offer internships in a variety of locations including New Jesey, New York, and Nashville. Learn more about their internship program on their website: https://www.americansforthearts.org/about-americans-for-the-arts/internships/diversity-in-arts-leadership-internship
AAMC (The Association of Art Museum Curators) internship list:
Founded in 2001, the mission of the Association of Art Museum Curators is to support and promote the work of museum curators by creating opportunities for networking, collaboration, professional development, and advancement. In support of these aims, the AAMC Foundation seeks to heighten public understanding of the curator's role in art museums through professional development programs, awards, and grants. The AAMC posts a variety of internship opportunities across the country on their website: https://www.artcurators.org/page/Internships
Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina
The Gibbes Museum of Art offers part-time internships throughout the year for college students and recent graduates interested in a career in the arts. Students may apply to assist specific departments, including Business and Administration, Collections, Curatorial, Development, Museum Operations, Special Events, and Summer Camp (Education). For more information, visit their website: https://www.gibbesmuseum.org/careers/
Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) Atlanta, Georgia (and beyond)
The Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC), nonprofit membership organization, is an association of museums, museum staff, independent professionals and corporate partners. They post a variety of internship opportunities on their website: https://www.semcdirect.net/listing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York City, NY
The Peter A. Krueger Summer Internship Program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to gain professional skills and learn about museum practices at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Cooper Hewitt is the only museum in the United States that is exclusively devoted to historic and contemporary design. Interns will acquire in-depth knowledge and develop an enriched understanding of how the museum fulfills its mission to educate, inspire, and empower people through design. Their internship offerings include Cross-Platform Publications, Graphic Design, Curatorial, and Product Design and Decorative Arts. Visit their website for more information about their postings: https://www.cooperhewitt.org/careers/
MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
MASS MoCA is one of the world’s liveliest centers for making and enjoying today’s most evocative art. With vast galleries and a stunning collection of indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, MASS MoCA is able to embrace all forms of art: music, sculpture, dance, film, painting, photography, theater, and new, boundary-crossing works of art that defy easy classification. MASS MoCA offers internships in almost all of their departments including Stage Tech / Performing Arts Production, Performing Arts Administration, Visual Arts - Curatorial, Graphic Design, Development, Communications, Audience Services/Box Office, Education, and Digital Services. To learn more about their current internship offerings, visit their website: https://massmoca.org/event/internships/.
SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s internship program offers students behind-the-scenes exposure to the day-to-day operations of one of the country’s leading modern and contemporary art museums. They offer internships in many of their departments, including Curatorial, Design Studio, Enterprise Events, Interpretive Media, Library, Museum Store, and Public Engagement. Visit their website to learn more about their current internship offerings: https://www.sfmoma.org/join-the-team/internship-program/
di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Napa, CA
di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is a catalyst for transformative experiences with contemporary art of Northern California. The nonprofit art center presents dynamic exhibitions and educational programs for all ages and houses the foremost collection of contemporary Bay Area art in the world. A wide range of styles, media, and subject matter provide an overview of the creative energy and freedom to experiment that characterize this region of California. di Rosa features two galleries, a sculpture park, a 35-acre lake, and a wildlife preserve, all located on 217 scenic acres in Napa Valley’s famed Carneros region. di Rosa offers a limited number of internships in the areas of Collections Management, Collections Care, Development, Marketing, Education and Civic Engagement, and Arts Administration. For more information about their current offerings, visit their website: https://www.dirosaart.org/internships_fellowships/
Toledo Musuem of Art, Toledo, OH
Since our founding in 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art has earned a global reputation for the quality of our collection, our innovative and extensive education programs, and our architecturally significant campus. More than 25,000 works of art represent American and European painting, the history of art in glass, ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works, Asian and African art, medieval art, sculpture, decorative arts, graphic arts, and modern and contemporary art. The Toledo Museum of Art offers a variety of internships across their many departments, including Archives, Art Camp, Collections Inventory, Community Outreach, Development, Exhibitions, Information Technology, Learning and Intrepration Digital Image, Conservation, and School and Teacher Programs. For more information about their current offerings, visit their website: https://www.toledomuseum.org/node/1360
The Toledo Museum of Art also offers a paid Pre-Program Conservation internship for those interested in focusing on a career in Art Conservation. This internship specifically gives a student experience in working with Outdoor Sculpture Conservation and will work with the Museum's Conservator, Conservation Fellow, and Conservation Technician. More information can be found on their website!
Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), Dallas, TX
Each year the Dallas Museum of Art offers nine paid internship positions divided among the Museum’s Education, Curatorial, and Exhibitions and Interpretation departments. Established in 1974, the McDermott Internship Program allows interns to work closely with staff throughout the Museum and provides opportunities for individual contributions, resulting in an in-depth and well-rounded perspective on museum work. For more information on their current internship offerings, visit their website: https://dma.org/about/internships
Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA
The LACMA offers a paid internship in Collection Information & Digital Assets. The Collection Information & Digital Assets department (CIDA) are stewards of the art administration systems (collection management system, digital asset management system, work order management system) and their data, providing strategic digital solutions and support throughout data lifecycles for a variety of internal and external users needs. CIDA governs metadata standards, systems development, assessment, and preservation of high-value digital assets, and consults on greater museum-wide digital initiatives. The team works closely with other departments to support the acquisition program, exhibition calendar, and other institutional projects and priorities. For more information on their current offerings, visit their website: https://www.lacma.org/jobs?tab=internships#internships
The Bass Museum, Miami, FL
The Bass Museum offers unpaid internships in a variety of areas including Collections & Exhibitions, Social Media, Graphic Design, Art & Museum Education, and Special Events. For more information on their current offerings, visit their website: https://thebass.org/available-internships/
The High Museum, Atlanta, GA
The High Museum offers paid summer internships in a variety of their departments including Education, Fabrication, and Registrar. Visit their website for more information on their current offerings: https://high.org/teens-and-college/summer-internships/
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
The MCA offers paid internships across many of their departments including Collections & Exhibitions, Strategic Communications, Curatorial, Development, Learning, Performance and Public Practice, and Content Strategy-Video. For more information on their current offerings, visit their website: https://mcachicago.org/About/Internships
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
The Kemper Museum offers internships in many areas including Administration, Curatorial, Development, Education, Marketing & Communications, Registration, and Special Events. For more information, visit their website: https://www.kemperart.org/volunteer-internships
Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC
The Asheville Art Museum offers both paid and unpaid internships in across many of their deparments including Communications, Curatorial (Museum Diversity, Collections Management, and Preparation), Finance, Learning & Engagement, and Legal. For more information on their current offerings, visit their website: https://www.ashevilleart.org/about/careers/intern/
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
The North Carolina Museum of Art offers internships across their departments, including Accessibility, Advancement, Curatorial, Education, Registration, Marketing & Communications, Membership, Public Programs, Outreach, and Video. For more information about their offerings, visit their website: https://ncartmuseum.org/get_involved/interns/
Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, NC
Reynolda House internship participants assist with the daily operation of the Education and Program departments, helping with school field trips and family programs. In addition to completing required readings and accompanying tours of the Museum, all interns undertake a research project about a selected work of art in the collection, correlating it with literature and music of the same historical period. Additional internship experiences may be available in other Museum departments, including Marketing & Communications and Development. For more information about their current offerings, visit their website: https://reynolda.org/employment-internships/
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
The Brooklyn Museum offers both paid and unpaid internships in many of their departments including Committee for Institutional History, Collections Practices, and Provenance, Conservation, Curatorial, Digital Collections & Services, Education, Exhibitions, Public Programs, Archives, and Conservation. For more information about their current offerings, visit their website: https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/about/careers
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Not accepting internship applications for the summer 2022 cycle, but does have the Summer College Workshop: The Summer College Workshop is a paid remote enrichment program open to current undergraduate and graduate students from any major or discipline. Unlike the Guggenheim’s internship program, the Workshop is an experimental classroom for students to collaborate and design their own project inspired by an exhibition at the museum. The specific project and theme will change based on the exhibitions on view. Over the course of ten weeks, participants hear from artists, museum professionals, and scholars as they build their research, critical-thinking, and presentation skills, culminating in a final project that is published in an e-book.
The Frick Collection, New York, NY
For information about the Frick Collection internships, visit their website: https://www.frick.org/careers
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers paid internships across their departments including Administration, Collections, Conservation, Curatorial, Development, Editorial, Education, Finance, Human Resources, Information and Intrepretive Techology, Library & Archives, Marketing & Communications, Membership & Visitor Operations, Photography, Registrar, Special Events, and more. Interns also attend a Museum Studies seminar which offers gallery talks with curators, discussions with administrators, conversations with every museum departments, behind-the-scenes tours, presentations on the museum's history and collections, and field trips. For more information about their internship program, visit their website: https://www.philamuseum.org/jobs/?arID=50
Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA
The Barnes Foundation offers paid internships in Development, Collections & Exhibitions, Community, Youth, & Family Programs, Conservation, Development, Editorial/Publications, Education, Finance, Graphic Design, Human Resources, Marketing & Social Media, Public Programs, Public Relations, Registration, and more. For more information, visit their website: https://www.barnesfoundation.org/about/careers-and-volunteering
Resources for Studio Artists:
EXHIBITIONS / FESTIVALS
Ideally you will reach a point in your career where you don’t have to apply for shows. Previous exhibitions and professional connections will start to snowball and generate their own opportunities. As a young artist applying for shows is often a primary way we start out. It can also represent an important part of your output as opportunities ebb and flow throughout your career. Everyone’s path is different.
Some shows ask for application fees and some don’t. Fee-based juried shows or those that offer a “best in show” prize are often singular events that don’t lead to many professional connections. Sometimes fee-based shows can be a good way to build your resume. I'm not against them because I think they provide necessary experience and help you figure out what works for you in the art world.
Artist Run Galleries: This is one of the first options for young artists. They are often open to proposals and will say so on their website. This is a way you can make your own opportunities. Forming a gallery space with peers or tapping into your network can make this possible.
Non-Profit Galleries: Most cities support non-profit art spaces and many of them accept applications. Another great place to start. Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville and 1708 Gallery in Richmond are local options.
University Galleries: Most art departments have a gallery like our Ruffin Gallery. They often show later emerging and mid-career artists. They often don’t publicly post openings. Many rely on faculty to curate shows.
Commercial Galleries: This is what most people think of when they think of the artist making a living. Commercial galleries represent you and show your work on the consistent basis. Most want you to be exclusive to them and handle purchases outside the gallery as well. Generally, these opportunities come about through connections that you build via other shows (see above). It is usually frowned upon to submit unsolicited packages to a commercial gallery.
General Open Calls
New York Foundation for the Arts
College Art Association of America
Call for Entry
The Big Artist Opportunities List
Time Based Media
New Media Caucus
No Entry Fee Festivals
Grants for artists are great for supporting new work and boosting your CV. Because they are competitive it is best to put the effort towards a grant only when you feel confident in your proposal package.
Grants often have restrictions on how the funding may be used. You may need to submit a budget beforehand and a summary report after the grant period is over. Grants almost always ask for a proposal stating how the money will be used. We aren’t going over proposals and grant writing this semester, but general advice is to be clear and support your proposal with a portfolio that is directly relevant. Be thorough in explaining your work as well as touching on how your proposal is uniquely poised to benefit from the funding organization.
The VMFA Fellowship is an important grant to know about as a student or professional if you live in Virginia. https://www.vmfa.museum/programs/college/visual-arts-fellowships/
Some artists rely heavily on residencies and some never attend them. It’s all a matter of knowing what you need and how you work. A residency is a sort of retreat where you live and make work in a new place. They exist all over the world and range from a few days to a year or more. Some are fully funded with stipends and some you must pay your own way completely. There are residencies where you are completely isolated from people in nature and there are social almost camp-like residencies where building connections is more of the point. All residencies invite you to make your work or conduct research in a new place. Studio residencies are something I suggest researching for any new city you move to since they can offer free space but also build community. Of the opportunities listed here, residencies are the most abundant.
There isn't a quality difference between fee or no fee residencies. There is an upper echelon of residencies that are fully funded and highly competitive, but they are easy to pick out when doing your research. There will always be more applicants for the fully funded and more established residencies. Season can also affect your chances especially as a young artist. The majority of applicants want the summer months, so off-season is less competitive. Once you get one residency it is easier to get more. The people who are judging your application will have worked with many artists and are looking for someone who can thrive in the unique work environment of a residency.
Know your qualifications. Every stage of your career offers opportunities when it comes to applications. You should always be aware of whether what you’re applying to is appropriate for your now. Do your research and ask yourself – is this geared towards emerging artists or do they mostly accept only mid-career artists? Take a look at who they have accepted recently, and you will immediately get a feel for whether you fit in.
Emerging Artist: An artist who is starting out towards establishing their career. This term can cover artists for a long time, until they gain a fair level of professional accolades.
Mid-Career Artist: An artist who has had national and international success. This will include several major solo exhibitions and grants.
Alliance of Artists Communities
The Lawrence Art Center Residency List