Part-Time 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 2018 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 4, 2018, and end August 10, 2018. 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 their experience and work.

The deadline for submitting applications is January 28, 2018, at midnight. Selected candidates will be interviewed in late February or early March and all applicants will be notified in mid-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 10, 2018).

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

Creative Production Internship
The Creative Production Intern will 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 and Audition.

Conservation Internship
The summer intern in sculpture conservation will learn to condition report silver objects in preparation for an upcoming exhibition. They will be taught how to dust work on view as part of the Museum’s preventive conservation program, as well as conservation documentation. As time allows there may also be opportunities for involvement with additional projects. The ideal candidate is patient, possess keen observation skills and be very facile and dexterous with their hands.

Education - School and Teacher Programs Internship
The School and Teacher Programs intern will conduct research and assist in the development of teaching materials focusing on work by African-American artists and work dealing with the African-American experience in Rhode Island and the United States. The intern will gather relevant materials from curatorial departments on a selection of key Museum objects. Strong candidates will have an interest in art historical research and K-12 teaching, writing skills, and an interest in the subject matter.

Curatorial Internships
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 Internship: 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 have the opportunity to assist on a variety of short and long-term collections and exhibition projects, involving research, writing, and data management.

Curatorial Internship: 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 and preparing research for presentations of works from the collection and special, temporary exhibitions in the galleries.

Curatorial Internship: Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
The Prints, Drawings, & Photographs collection comprises more than 25,000 works including prints, drawings, and photographs, and dating from the 15th century to the present. The intern’s tasks will include assisting curatorial staff in general department and collection management such as pulling and returning objects to storage, cataloging, and inventory, and may have the opportunity to be involved in object selection, research, and label writing for works going on view in gallery rotations.

Curatorial/Conservation Internship: Costume and Textiles
The Costume and Textiles collection includes more than 26,000 objects, with a range that spans the centuries from at least 1500 BCE to the present and that includes representative cloth and clothing from as many geographic areas as possible. In addition to curatorial staff, the department includes a dedicated conservator. The Costume and Textiles intern will have the opportunity to assist with research, data management, and conservation work related to an upcoming exhibition.