Work in a museum, gallery, or auction house can vary widely. At a museum you can work as a curator, archivist, conservator, museum educator, development professional exhibition design, and more. If profit- making businesses are more to your liking consider galleries and auctions houses. Some positions require advanced degrees to progress but not all. All of these fields offer summer internships which will allow you to figure out what professional environment is next for you.
Smithsonian Institution: This site is the one place to go for internships and jobs at the 19 museums, zoos, and nine research centers that make up the Smithsonian.
- The Smithsonian Minority Awards Program: The Smithsonian offers internships for minority students to do hands-on research in the museum field. Stipend awards are available for interns to participate in supervised on-going research or museum-related activities for periods of 10 weeks. Usually internships run for a ten-week period during the summer. For applications and further information on internships and fellowships refer to the website.
- The Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study: The Office of Fellowships offers a number of opportunities to increase participation of minority groups who are underrepresented in the Smithsonian scholarly program in the disciplines of research conducted at the Institution and in the museum field. Stipend awards are available for interns to participate in supervised on-going research or museum-related activities for periods of 10 weeks. Usually internships run for a ten-week period during the summer. For applications and further information on internships and fellowships refer to the website.
The National Gallery of Art: The National Gallery of Art was created in 1937 for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution of Congress, accepting the gift of financier and art collector Andrew W. Mellon. Funds for the construction of the West Building were provided by The A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust. On March 17, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted the completed building and the collections on behalf of the people of the United States of America. This link will take you directly to their internship program. There’s a Current Jobs link on the landing page to search for full-time, entry level jobs.
Museum of Modern Art: I don’t list a lot individual museums here, but the Museum of Modern Art is an important institution and they offer lots of internship opportunities as well as fellowships and jobs for graduating seniors. If you plan ahead you’ll give yourself the best chance of securing a great position at a world renowned organization.
Museum Jobs: A deep resource for jobs in the field in the U.S. and overseas.
New York Foundation for the Arts: This is a great site to find entry level jobs and internships in museums, galleries, arts centers and other creative organizations primarily in New York, but also in other parts of the country.
Association of Art Museum Curators: The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) has members from over 400 institutions, including representation from all 50 states and 5 provinces. The mission of the Association is to support and promote the work of museum curators by creating opportunities for networking, collaboration, professional development, and advancement. Make sure you visit their Internships & Fellowships pages under RESOURCES for a great list of museums and their internship programs.
hireCulture: The Massachusetts Cultural Council brings you hireCulture – a free, searchable database of cultural internship and entry level employment opportunities in Massachusetts. The site is easy to use – search by job category, region or specific organizations to find comprehensive listings of full or part-time professional opportunities. Also, search for internship and volunteer listings. Job seekers don’t need to register or have a password – just jump in and see what’s available.
artnet: Founded in 1989, and online since 1995, artnet is the leading resource for the international art market, and the principal platform for art auctions on the Internet. They offer a wide range of art market resources, providing a place for people in the art world to buy, sell, and research Fine Art, Design, and Decorative Art. They also have a Jobs section.
The American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works: The American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works (AIC) is the national membership organization supporting conservation professionals in preserving cultural heritage by establishing and upholding professional standards, promoting research and publications, providing educational opportunities, and fostering the exchange of knowledge among conservators, allied professionals, and the public. This is a great site to learn what is being discussed in the field and to find internships and entry level jobs.
ARTS INTERN: The ARTS INTERN program places college undergraduates from diverse cultural backgrounds who have financial need in paid summer internships in New York City museums. Eligible applicants must either be permanent New York City residents, or be enrolled in a college or university within the five boroughs of New York City. Through ARTS INTERN, students build on their strengths, and develop new talents they didn’t realize they had. Interns work alongside museum staff involved in all aspects of the institution’s exhibit and fiscal activities. In the end, the internship can impact a student’s career decisions in profound ways.
PreserveNet: PreserveNet is designed to provide preservationists with a comprehensive database of regularly updated internet resources and current professional opportunities. It also has an extensive list of internships and entry level jobs in the field of historic preservation.
ArtTable: Founded in 1980, ArtTable, Inc. is the leadership organization for professional women in the visual arts. ArtTable’s purpose is to increase the effectiveness, visibility and diversity of women in the field. Through activities and initiatives, ArtTable is dedicated to: supporting women in the visual arts at all stages of their careers; documenting outstanding achievements by women past and present; increasing opportunities for women; and in so doing, enriching the nation’s cultural life. ArtTables’ website is a great resource. Please see that they also offer mentoring internships.
Art-Collecting.com: Art gallery guides are listed alphabetically by state, city, and gallery name. Each gallery has an Internet address so you can visit them online to learn more about what they offer. Major art cities are featured on their own page. The site’s goal is to provide the most comprehensive and accurate listing of fine art galleries on the Internet. AGG also lists museums and art organizations, art appraisers, art fairs, art auctions and art blogs.
Americans for the Arts: Americans for the Arts is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. Checkout their jobs site for entry level jobs ad internships in the arts throughout the United States.
The Art Dealers Association of America: The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) is a non-profit membership organization of the nation’s leading galleries in the fine arts. Founded in 1962, ADAA seeks to promote the highest standards of connoisseurship, scholarship and ethical practice within the profession. The member directory can be very helpful in finding galleries to approach for internships. You can search by name, location, and art specialty.
New England Museum Association: The mission of the New England Museum Association is to strengthen member museums and museums in the region. To achieve this mission, NEMA fosters communication and ethical conduct; provides professional development; promotes excellence in museum operations; and encourages support for the museum community. Search NEMA for entry-level jobs and internships.
Global Museum: Global Museum is the award-winning international webzine read in over 156 countries by thousands of discerning professionals and individuals who either work in, or enjoy, museums. Global Museum was established in 1998 with the vision of providing a compendium site of value to museum professionals and those with a passion for museums. It remains very much a one-person labor of love.
The Museum Employment Resource Center: The MERC lists jobs and other information related to the museum, heritage management, and cultural resource communities.
The American Alliance of Museums: AAM has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. They are dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future. Please see their Emerging Professions Program. You may also search here for jobs and internships in the museum field.
The Getty Museum: The Getty offers graduate internships as well as multicultural undergraduate internships at the Getty Center. In addition, the Getty supports multicultural internships at Los Angeles area museums and visual arts organizations.
The Strong National Museum of Play: The Strong invites undergraduate and graduate college students from diverse backgrounds with an interest in a career in the museum field, to take part in the museum’s Diversity Internship Program. The Strong, located in Rochester, NY, is a highly interactive, collections-based museum devoted to the history and exploration of play. It is one of the largest history museums in the United States and one of the leading museums serving families and children.The Diversity Internship Program was created to provide meaningful work experiences for students from diverse backgrounds, especially those who may be interested in a career in the museum profession. Undergraduate students interested in participating in the program must have completed at least one full year of college. Depending upon the availability of projects, interns may choose to focus on a particular area in the museum such as administration, collections, education, exhibits, marketing, or guest services, or interns may opt for a combination of areas for a broader experience.