The Whitney Museum of American Art offers both academic year and summer internship programs for university students. Internships are geared toward college juniors, seniors, and graduate students (no freshmen) who gain first-hand experience about how a museum functions. Under the supervision of a department head or curator, interns will assist with regular departmental activities that range from research and special projects to routine administrative and clerical tasks.
Internships are an opportunity for students to learn about a specific area within a prestigious, mid-sized cultural institution. Academic year interns are required to commit to a minimum of 2–3 days per week for the entire semester. The summer program is nine weeks and full-time. There is no stipend—summer interns receive two monthly MetroCards. Interns are eligible for regular employee discounts at the Museum restaurant and store as well as invitations to exhibition openings and free admission to most New York City museums.
Academic Internships for undergraduate and graduate students are by semester or full year. To apply, submit a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org stating the departments you are interested in working in, the skills you bring, and how you hope to contribute to the department. For details on the summer program, please refer to the information below.
Administration: Director’s Office
The intern will help provide support for the director’s office administrative staff. This internship is geared toward students who are interested in arts administration. Applicants must have excellent writing and oral communication skills, superior telephone etiquette, excellent attention to detail, and strong organizational skills. Computer skills including proficiency in Microsoft Office, Outlook, and Internet research are essential.
The intern will collect and organize clips about the Whitney Museum; help with press events; assemble press materials; and assist with photo and video shoots at the Museum.
The intern will assist with an upcoming retrospective of Stuart Davis’s work, and other potential upcoming exhibitions. Responsibilities: PowerPoint presentations; making scale models for exhibition installation planning, assisting with exhibition installation, conducting library research on various pre-war American artists, providing assistance with building an extensive archive of primary source material on Stuart Davis; organizing mailings and invitation lists; and assisting with The Museum System (TMS) data entry and research.
The intern will conduct research on the permanent collection for upcoming exhibitions. The intern will assist with organization and database entry for the traveling portion of Jeff Koons: A Retrospective, and assist with preparations for closing and deinstallation.
The intern will assist with Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist and other upcoming exhibitions. The intern will also research potential acquisitions and provide administrative support for the Drawing Committee.
Curatorial: Chief Curator
The intern will assist with research for the inaugural installation, and provide acquisition and permanent collection–related research for curatorial committee and painting and sculpture meetings. The intern will also assist wtih general administrative support.
Curatorial: New Building Project
The intern will work on research projects associated with the new building project, specifically looking into installation specifications for works on the inaugural display checklist and object research to support label writing. Some work on image rights and reproductions is also expected. The intern will help construct and organize maquettes for laying out exhibition in models and assist with some light administrative duties associated with the project and office move.
Curatorial: Prints and Special Collections
The intern will work on an upcoming exhibition for the Whitney’s new building. Responsibilities will include research and a wide range of administrative tasks involved with exhibition planning. A second intern will work on a variety of projects related to prints in the permanent collection and new acquisitions.
Curatorial: Warhol Film Project
The intern will be involved with the following: creating (photocopy and organizing) packets of material to be sent to contributing writers; coordinating mailings of said packets; corresponding with writers regarding timely receipt of materials; managing flow of information; various research projects for senior curatorial assistant; assisting book writers during research trips to MoMA. Undergraduate senior or MA student preferred, film studies, art history and/or library science.
Development: Development Records
The intern will work cooperatively within the team around Raiser’s Edge (the database system) to streamline and document procedures. Development records manages all aspects (entry of donations, data integrity, reporting, and analysis) of the Raiser’s Edge database. This intern will learn how to navigate the database, build data management skills, and understand fundraising concepts.
Development: Institutional Advancement
The intern will work with all aspects of institutional advancement fundraising initiatives including corporate partnerships, corporate membership and foundation and government relations. Responsibilities: assisting the corporate partnerships team with research, stewardship, and benefit fulfillment; assisting with assembling marketing kits and mailings for prospective and current corporate membership and putting together press books and other pitch materials for sponsorship projects; helping to conduct research on companies and foundations for corporate membership purposes, program support, corporate sponsorship, and the campaign; attending events on an as-needed basis; and assisting with administrative support. The intern will be invited to participate in departmental and interdepartmental meetings.
Membership interns work with department staff on a variety of ongoing tasks and projects including ongoing customer service in person, over the phone, and over email; gift processing (including resolving problem payments and issues of donor intent); assisting in the preparation of email and print communications; and assisting with event planning and execution including managing RSVPs and event check-in.
The digital media department intern will assist with production work on the Museum’s website, whitney.org. Responsibilities include drafting edits to webpages, carrying out data entry, and regularly updating a time-lapse video of the Whitney’s new building. The position also offers opportunities to conduct research and assist with special projects as needed. Strong communication skills and knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and After Effects preferred.
Education: Docent Program
The intern will help build a new docent program webpage and assist with organizing information and communications; help archive audio files and their transcripts; and digitize and organize the education department Artist File archives.
Education: Public Programs
The intern will help with ongoing public programs (including symposia, the Annenberg Lecture, and courses) and assist with advance research for spring programs. Interns should be interested in event production, content research, and adult education.
Education: School and Educator Programs
The intern will work closely with Museum staff to gain knowledge of and experience in the field of museum education, assisting staff with both administrative duties and with K-12 school groups entering the Museum. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: working with the museum’s freelance educators to greet and orient K-12 school groups entering the museum for guided tours; assistance in managing the School Programs calendar, website, and mailing list; assisting Educator Programs staff in professional development workshops, and other School Programs; assisting School Programs staff in small-scale research projects, including data collection and analysis. Tuesday and Wednesday commitment required.
Library (full academic year)
Under the supervision of professional library staff, the intern will gain first-hand experience in a small special library. Interns will participate directly in departmental activities ranging from research to routine administrative tasks. Time will be split between library projects and the upcoming move to our new building in the Meatpacking District. Tasks may include: assisting with the move and setup of new library spaces; cataloging; and stacks inventory. Internships are open to current students who have completed one semester in an accredited MLS or MLIS program and have had some library experience.
The intern will review archival publications contracts to determine which rights museum holds to past publications; review archival publications for seminal essays that could be repurposed/repackaged; proofread label copy; and fact check information on label copy.