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Summer Internship Program

The RISD Museum’s Andrew W. Mellon summer internship program is open to currently enrolled college and university undergraduate and graduate students; students graduating in the spring of 2017 are also eligible.

Applicants should have a strong interest in museum work and the topics related to the specific internship projects, although no previous museum work or experience in art history is necessary. The ten-week internships begin June 12, 2017, and end August 18, 2017. Interns are expected to spend 20 hours a week in the Museum. Participation in group seminars and workshops focusing on museums and professional practice is included in their weekly hours. Mellon interns receive a $2,500 honorarium.

The goal of this program is to introduce students to museum work, and to offer in-depth experience working in a specific Museum department. Interns will work on departmental projects with Museum staff as supervisors. Together, interns will learn about and discuss the public functions of museums and build professional skills for working in the arts. At the end of the program, each intern will publicly share her or his experience and work.

The deadline for submitting applications is January 22, 2017, at midnight. Selected candidates will be interviewed in late February or early March. Questions should be addressed to

Participants may arrange for academic credit for the internships through their college or university. To do so, they will need to fulfill the number of hours in the Museum required for credit at their home institutions and any additional requirements, such as paper assignments, to qualify for that credit. Museum staff will provide supervision for such assignments as well as letters of support verifying the student’s participation in the internship program.

Students who are not U.S. citizens are welcome to apply for the internship if they have a visa that is valid for the entire internship program (through August 18, 2017).

The Andrew W. Mellow Summer Internship Program at the RISD Museum is made possible by an endowment from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The summer intern in sculpture conservation will assist in writing condition and examination reports, labeling photo-documentation in the Museum’s database system (Museum +) and participate in the preparation of out-going loans and upcoming exhibitions including the conservation and stabilization of historic frames and the cleaning of Gorham silver. Skills required include excellent focus, interest in detailed work, acute observation, fine hand-skills, photography skills, and an interest in the practical application of science.

Creative Production
The RISD Museum’s creative production team seeks an intern to work collaboratively to create digital and online content related to the Museum’s collection. The intern works directly with the digital content producer on aspects of digital initiatives that include audio and video production. As collaborations between curators and educators, these projects offer lively content and accessible learning opportunities for a varied public. Skills required include a working knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite, including Premiere, Audition, and After Effects.

Each curatorial intern will assist a curator or curatorial team with tasks related to researching and interpreting works of art and design, which may in some cases be associated with upcoming exhibitions or prospective additions to the collection. The intern will also assist with ongoing collection management. This may include taking inventories of objects, confirming descriptions and measurements, and entering and updating data in the Museum’s internal database system. The intern will gain an understanding of managing a collection area in a museum and will be introduced to writing about objects for platforms such as in-gallery texts and scholarly publications. Strong candidates will be detail oriented and will possess good organizational and research skills.

Curatorial: Ancient Art
The Ancient Art department intern will assist with ongoing research projects on Fayum portraits and Greek vases. Work will include photo-documentation of objects, entering object information into the museum database (Museum +) and into a database of Romano-Egyptian funerary portraits. If time permits, the intern will also enter the results of an ongoing survey of 35 Native American objects into the Museum database.

Curatorial: Contemporary Art
The Contemporary Art department oversees works in painting, sculpture, video, sound, and installation created after 1960. Tasks will include maintaining files of the nearly 700 objects in the collection, preparing research for presentations of works from the collection in the galleries, and accompanying curatorial staff on visits to artists’ studios and regional museum and gallery presentations.

Curatorial: Decorative Arts and Design
The Decorative Arts and Design collections encompass European and American furniture, silver, metalwork, wallpaper, ceramics, glass, and plastics from the medieval period to the present.

The intern will work closely with staff in the Family & Teen Programs and the Public Programs divisions to assist in the development, management, teaching, and evaluation of programs for a range of audiences. The intern will gain an understanding of educational programming in museums, tools and methods for researching program impact, and gallery-based learning. A successful candidate possesses strong verbal and written communication skills and some familiarity with art. Experience work with the public or in customer service is a plus.

Collection Information and Imaging Resources
The intern will assist the registration department in an ongoing program to publish collection works on the Museum website. The internship will offer the opportunity to develop a range of digital content and imaging skills relevant for a career in museum computing and asset management. The intern will learn about various aspects of describing collection objects using museum-specific management software and how digital multimedia resources are associated and managed. Specifically, the intern will learn to associate multimedia files to the collection information software system (Museum +) and to review and edit descriptive information about collection works and exhibitions for publication on the Museum website. A successful candidate is detail oriented and possesses computer fluency (and interest) and excellent organizational skills.

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