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Internships

Interested in learning more about the inner workings of a major metropolitan museum? Discover opportunities available to undergraduate and graduate students through the Museum Studies Internship Program.

A group of interns doing the Rocky pose on the Rocky steps in front of the museum

Overview

Internships for Art Lovers

Eager to intern in a collaborative environment that fuels your passion for art? Through the museum’s internship program, students interested in learning about careers in the museum and art fields receive one-on-one mentorship, gain a deeper understanding of a professional work environment, and acquire invaluable knowledge and experience.

The museum welcomes and encourages students of all backgrounds to apply, including those from historically underrepresented groups in the arts and museum industries. Interns will receive a stipend for living expenses.

In summer 2022, stipends were made possible by the Honickman Foundation, the Patty Klutz memorial gift, the Danielle Rice memorial gift, and the Division of Education at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

For more information on the museum’s internship programs, please email internships@philamuseum.org.

Three interns smiling together while sitting on a blanket in the grass

Internship Format

The museum’s internship program runs Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for eight weeks. The internship is made up of three parts:

Weekly internship activities include:

1. Attending seminar sessions, held one day per week, which may include:

  • Presentations and talks with our curators, conservators, and educators.
  • Discussions with top-level administrators.
  • Conversations with numerous departments.
  • Behind-the-scenes tours of our spaces and galleries.
  • Lectures on the museum’s rich collection and history.

2. Interning with your assigned department for the remaining four days.

3. Attending an hour-long meeting with a small peer group once a week.

Interns are placed according to departmental needs, which vary from year to year.

A group of interns laughing and taking a tour of the Mount Pleasant historic house

Past Internship Projects

The following descriptions of previous departmental assignments, placements, and projects overview internship opportunities that may be available; however, they may not necessarily represent the current list of opportunities. Applications will open in late 2022–early 2023. Check back for more information.

Upon selection of internship finalists, internship coordinators will contact each finalist to explain the specific departmental placement for which they are being considered. Candidates will have the opportunity to ask questions before accepting or declining the position.

Business Administration

Work directly with the museum’s director and chief executive officer on a museum-related project within the executive offices. Applicants must be MBA students.

Collections Information

Organize and optimize information in the collections database and assist with other technology-related projects. You will garner a deep understanding of the predominant software for managing museum collections and information.

Standardize and enhance information in the collections database and assist with other technology-related projects. Interns will acquire a good understanding of the software used for managing museum collections and information.

Conservation

Learn about conservation techniques for furniture, objects, paintings, works on paper, or textiles. Depending on your specialization, you may be placed in multiple departments. Interns with a science background may participate in chemical analysis of materials and other laboratory tasks (chemistry coursework is required). Experience in art history or previous studio art coursework is desired.

Curatorial

Interns will update the museum’s database and object files, conduct research, assist with inventory projects, reorganize storage, and carry out administrative tasks in one of the following curatorial areas:

  • American Art
  • Arms and Armor
  • Contemporary Art
  • Costume and Textiles
  • East Asian Art
  • European Decorative Arts and Sculpture
  • European Painting
  • Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
  • South Asian Art

Development

Help nurture relationships with museum donors and prospective donors to secure support gifts, grants, sponsorships, and gifts-in-kind. Interns may work with one of several development programs, including Individual Giving, Institutional Support, Donor Engagement, Donor Communications, or Development Operations.

Editorial

Interns will copy edit exhibition texts, in addition to newsletters, brochures, invitations, and signs. Candidates must be comfortable using Microsoft Word, have strong writing skills, and be detail oriented.

Education: Summer Camp Groups and Family Learning

Interns will work as a team to develop a summer camp curriculum and teach groups in the galleries and studios. The role also includes assisting with Art Splash, the museum’s summer family festival, to facilitate studio art projects, prepare art materials, and welcome guests.

Education: Teacher Programs

Prepare for and implement the museum’s weeklong summer seminar for teachers of pre-K–12th grade. Interns will conduct research for teacher materials and update contact lists.

Education: Teacher Resources

Work with the Wachovia Education Resource Center coordinator to create lessons and activities supporting the integration of visual arts into K–12 classrooms. Interns will also assist with the museum’s weeklong summer seminar for teachers of pre-K–12th-grade.

Finance

This role supports the finance department, which is responsible for maintaining books, records, and financial statements.

Human Resources

Interns will work closely with the HR team to review and update recruitment materials and assist with museum-wide initiatives in employee engagement, training, and benefits.

Information and Interpretive Technologies: Audio-Visual

Interns will assist with the inventory, testing, planning, and designing of AV equipment for installations and exhibitions, as well as live events and presentations. They will also have the opportunity to participate in developing proposals for future museum projects.

Library and Archives

Catalogue archival images, create metadata, conduct collection maintenance and development, and assist staff. Experience in museum information science, archives, or librarianship is desired.

Marketing and Communications

Collaborate with the marketing staff to develop and maintain outlets for paid advertising and coordinate social and digital content. Interns can also volunteer with the press office to promote our initiatives to the local media.

Membership and Visitor Operations

Interns will assist with event planning and implementation, social media marketing, gift entry and reporting, and membership activities.

Photography Studio

In this position, candidates will prepare images for publications, interactives, and the museum website. Interns will capture, edit, distribute, label, and archive photographs. There will also be opportunities to photograph events, behind-the-scenes installations, and publicity photo shoots. Photography experience is required and a knowledge of Photoshop/Lightroom is desired.

Protection Services

Interns will work on studies to identify the assignment of security officers throughout the galleries and to develop tools to enhance operational efficiency.

Registrar

This position works with the registrar and other staff to accurately track the location and condition of art objects in the collection. Interns will help complete object inventories, resolve loan issues, assist with data entry for deaccessioned records, and review and update acquisition files.

Retail

Retail interns will have the opportunity to hone their creative and analytical skills by assisting with merchandising, operations, and marketing for our stores and e-commerce business.

Social Media

Interns will create and manage a social media campaign for summer programs. Candidates should be tech-savvy, have excellent communication skills, and be creative self-starters. Proficiency with social media platforms is required.

Special Events

The special events team is responsible for the coordination and execution of all museum events, including organizing electronic marketing efforts for special events, formatting the event marketing calendar, and updating promotional materials and distribution lists.