Be inspired by art and design from across time and cultures. Get lost in the collections, join a discussion, and see the unexpected. Gain professional practice and share your expertise with the community.
Create site-specific installations in the RISD Museum. Formerly known as Sitings, the Dorner Prize is a juried competition in which RISD degree candidates explore and celebrate the Museum’s buildings and collection through works that engage the public. Named in honor of Alexander Dorner, RISD Museum director from 1938 to 1941, the Dorner Prize includes an honorarium and implementation funds. Awarded artists work with staff to realize the exhibition of their proposed work. Submissions are due in October and winning proposals are on view during the spring term. Funded by the Artist’s Development Fund of the Rhode Island Foundation. For more information, contact Academic Programs.
Photography and film projects using equipment such as lights, tripods, etc., can be accommodated in the galleries in consultation with Museum staff. Please read the Museum guidelines and request an appointment to photograph or film in the galleries at least one month in advance. Feasible projects that do not endanger visitors or works of art will be considered.
Performance-based projects can be accommodated in the galleries in consultation with Museum staff. Please submit an application at least one month before the performance is to take place. Feasible projects that do not endanger visitors or works of art will be considered.
RISD students may copy works of art in the galleries using wet media. Review copyist guidelines and submit a permit form. Copying can be scheduled Tuesday–Friday, between 10:30 and 4:45 pm. Some objects may not be copied because of location and/or copyright restrictions. Acceptable media include gouache, acrylic paint, and watercolor. The Museum has a limited number of easels for student use; students may not bring their own easels. Requests to copy should be made at least three weeks in advance and directed to Academic Programs.
The Andrew W. Mellon summer internship program offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to gain professional experience. Working within one of the Museum’s departments, interns receive and honorarium and contribute to timely projects and learn about the various activities that take place in the Museum. Participants are encouraged to arrange for academic credit at their home institutions. Applications are due on February 28. Read more and apply.
The Museum invites undergraduate and graduate students to apply for its volunteer public tour program, Art Shots. Selected students participate in an intensive training in public speaking, gallery teaching, and the collection. Gallery Lecturers engage the public in discussions about works of art and ideas of their choosing, and serve on a student advisor council.
The Museum has work/study positions for RISD students in a number of departments. For example, students assist with open study hours, work with the Museum’s imaging department, and support public programming for all ages. For more information, contact Academic Programs.
Farago Building, 2nd floor
The Costume and Textiles Collection is open Fridays during fall and spring semesters from 11 am–1 pm to students, faculty, and researchers for guided research and orientation to the department’s holdings. During this time visitors will be able to view objects upon request and learn about the collection. For specific item requests and curatorial guidance, please consult the curatorial staff prior to visiting during open hours.
Minskoff Center for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
Chace Building, 4th floor
The Siskind Center is open to students and faculty to study prints, drawings and photographs of their choice. It provides an opportunity to view closely works on paper, many of which can be seen unframed in this setting. Open Wednesdays and Fridays, fall and spring semesters, 10 am–12:30 pm, or by appointment.