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Academic Year Programs

The Whitney Museum of American Art offers academic year internships in departments throughout the Museum. Internships are geared to students with a minimum of two years of academic course work and are open to undergraduate juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Freshmen are not eligible. 

Internships are an excellent opportunity for students to learn about museum practice within a mid-sized cultural institution. Supervised by museum professionals, interns learn about museum work and assist with regular departmental duties that range from research and special projects to administrative tasks. Academic year interns are required to commit to a minimum of two days per week. There is no stipend, but interns can attend public programs, receive regular employee discounts and invitations to exhibition openings as well as 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 stating the departments you are interested in working in, the skills you bring, and how you hope to contribute to the department. There is no specific deadline for the academic year, but it is best to apply before the beginning of the semester.


The Whitney Museum of American Art also offers a summer internship program. All detailed department descriptions and eligibility requirements will be provided in the coming weeks; please check back soon for more information.

General Information

  • Application deadline is February 1, 2017. Please note: application instructions will be provided soon.
  • The 2017 program dates are: Monday, June 5 through Friday, August 4, 2017
  • A stipend is provided
  • Participants are expected to be available for nine consecutive weeks; five days per week
  • Interns are assigned to a specific department for the duration of the internship
  • The Human Resources department organizes a weekly speaker series, curator-led tours, and trips to other New York City cultural institutions
  • Interns can attend public programs, receive regular employee discounts, and invitations to exhibition openings as well as free admission to most New York City museums
  • Housing is not provided; interns must arrange their own housing

academic year Internships

Assist in the Director’s Office with maintaining gallery lists; helping with mailings, catalogue mailings, prepare and copy materials for meetings; conduct research to support Director’s daily activities including research on contacts, artists, and exhibitions; filing, copying, scanning, office organization, and other general administrative tasks. Requirements: Interest in the arts and art history; organized with attention to detail; open and professional demeanor; ability to work both collaboratively and independently.


    • Business Systems: Learn the basics of The Raiser’s Edge (RE) and master certain advanced skills. Assist with updating and maintaining The Raiser’s Edge (RE) database; entry and import of donations; use of clean up processes to maintain data integrity; update existing constituents and add new constituents as needed; work cooperatively within the team around the database system to streamline and document procedures. Requirements: Attention to detail, accuracy, ability to multitask, work in a team and also independently; quick learner and ability to follow detailed and nuanced instructions.
    • Corporate Partnerships: Assist with research, stewardship, and benefits fulfillment; drafting acknowledgement and renewal letters; assisting with the compilation of press books and proposal/pitch materials for prospective sponsorship projects, and assembling corporate membership renewal/solicitation/welcome packets for prospective and current corporate members; proposal and report editing.
    • Institutional Relations (Foundation and Government Relations): Assist with prospect research; grant preparation and writing; report preparation; writing acknowledgments; help update general operating support request information; departmental administration. Requirements: Preference for a graduate student in arts administration or related field; strong writing and research; attention to detail.
    • Major Gifts: Assist with the following duties: Membership card mailing; prospect research (writing of thumbnails, gathering of contact information, entering into Raiser’s Edge); research event ideas and locations for patron groups and affinity committees; proposal creation for upcoming Whitney exhibitions; special events (set up, check in, logistical help as needed); sort through and file periodicals (tracking of news and other press related to Major Gifts patrons); researching, creating and compiling the content for the National Committee's Itinerary Book for upcoming trips; organize and perform donor group mailings (solicitations, renewals, invitations); tiling and cleanup of Individual donor folders.
    • Special Events: Assist Special Events Department with responding to event inquiries, invoice tracking, list management, on-site event assistance and special projects. Requirements: Strong computer skills including Microsoft Excel and Outlook; prior experience in events or event management a plus.

    Assist with preparing press materials and press kits for press reviews; monitoring media about the Whitney; entering information and maintaining databases; assisting with correspondence and phone calls (press requests and internally); organizing and filing office materials and records along with other duties, as assigned. Requirements: Computer skills, Microsoft Office suite; office experience; Photoshop experience is a plus; interest in writing; attention to detail; comfortable working with internal and external stake holders. Must be able to commit to a minimum of 2–3 days per week.


    • Andy Warhol Film ProjectCreate (photocopy and organize) packets of material to be sent to contributing writers; coordinate mailings of said packets; correspond with writers regarding timely receipt of materials; managing flow of information; various research projects for Assistant Curator; assisting book writers during research trips to MoMA. Requirements: Senior or MA student preferred, film studies, art history and/or library science. Experience with Library Science and archival best practices strongly desired. Interest or experience in film history and/or film preservation. Ability to work independently and with acute attention to detail a must. General familiarity with Warhol’s work a plus, but not required.
    • Chief Curator: Helping with preparation for Curatorial Committee meetings, especially PowerPoint (PPT), which include artist research. Upcoming exhibition: Artist research; creating maquettes, PPTs, TMS, checklist management, research images, bibliography, and exhibition history. Painting and Sculpture Acquisition Committee meetings: Conducting research on artists, creating the PPTs; facilitating the process towards the meeting. Requirements: Strong research skills, interest in contemporary artists and curating.
    • Drawings: Assist with research on an upcoming monographic exhibition and general administrative duties. Requirements: Demonstrated interest in Art History and previous research experience (current undergraduate, recent B.A. graduate, or a graduate student).
    • Film and Video: Assist with research and administrative duties leading up to the installation and opening of Dreamlands including loan agreement paperwork, projection tests, opening reception preparations; help with research, invitations, and scheduling for the Dreamlands Film Program; Film and Video acquisitions and gift research. Requirements: Demonstrated interest in art history; demonstration of strong research skills, ability to problem solve, and organizational abilities is essential; strong computer skills, including experience with Microsoft Office, Excel, and PowerPoint.
    • International Initiatives: Research and administrative tasks related to upcoming Andy Warhol retrospective; research related to permanent collection acquisitions through gifts as well as purchases via the Painting and Sculpture Acquisition Committee. Requirements: Graduate level work or prior museum experience a plus; demonstrated interest in art history; proficiency with MS office and prior research experience.
    • Permanent Collection: Assist with managing permanent collection paperwork and research: organizing and filing memos to the permanent collection object files, assisting with logistics and research for permanent collection displays; assist with preparations for Curatorial Committee meetings and handling of new acquisition offers, including object research and producing reports in TMS (such as checklists, object packages), creating PowerPoint presentations, maintaining records of acquisition history for new works offered or entering the collection. Requirements: Demonstrated interest in art history; strong research skills, ability to problem solve and work independently; strong organizational abilities and computer skills, including experience with Microsoft Office, Excel, and PowerPoint.
    • Photography: Artist research for upcoming exhibitions and administrative assistance for the Photography Committee. Requirements: MA student preferred.
    • Prewar: Research and administrative assistance for upcoming exhibitions and exhibition proposals. Creating PowerPoint presentations, making scale models for exhibition installation planning, conducting library research on various pre-war American artists, and assisting with TMS data entry and research. Requirements: Demonstrated interest in art history (ideally including American art history) with previous research experience. Graduate students in art history preferred but not required. Intern must be highly organized and able to multitask. 
    • Works on Paper: Research and administrative assistance for upcoming exhibitions and permanent collection installations; assist with preparations for Loan Committee. Requirements: Demonstrated interest in Art History, preferably with a focus on modern/contemporary art or American art; strong research skills and ability to work independently.
    • 2017 Biennial: Support the 2017 Biennial curatorial team in a variety of capacities: research, exhibition support (loan agreements, TMS entry etc.); administrative duties (receipts, budget tracking, and general office organization); assist with the Biennial catalogue (image tracking, captioning, etc.). Requirements: Strong organizational skills; interest in contemporary art and experience working with artists and galleries; experience with TMS or other museum database. 

    Digital Media
    Help keep the Museum’s website,, up to date while gaining hands-on experience with basic content management. Draft webpages and adjust page layouts; conduct research for Whitney Stories and assist with media production and special projects as needed. Requirements: Strong communication and computer skills required; knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and After Effects are preferred. Familiarity with Google Analytics is a plus.


    • Access and Community Programs: Help with the Access and Community Programs by ordering supplies, creating touch objects, assisting with educational workshops and office/administrative tasks.
    • Family Programs: Responsibilities include, but are not limited to helping prepare for programs by collecting and organizing art supplies; assisting with marketing initiatives and small-scale research projects; taking photographs and observing tours; setting up for programs and greeting families at the Museum. Assisting Museum Educators during tours, workshops, and events. Requirements: Keen interest in modern and contemporary art and in working with family audiences; good organizational and communication skills. Schedule: 2–3 days per week, including selected Saturdays (3–4 Saturdays a month), and at least two days in the office during the week.
    • Interpretation: Assist with digital media, interpretation, and research projects including interpretive materials, audio, video, and web content research; compiling information, archiving, writing, preparation and formatting of web content, data entry, digitizing content, photography, and video. Requirements: Strong art history background and interest in research. Experience with digital equipment such as audio recorders and digital cameras as well as Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro (preferred).
    • Public Programs: Help to develop and implement innovative public programs that explore the Whitney’s exhibitions and permanent collection. Projects will include: advance research on artists, curators, writers, filmmakers and scholars for upcoming panels, workshops, film screenings and other events; help coordinate the advance planning for public programs across departments including Education, Curatorial, Digital Media, Marketing and Visitor Services; opportunity to learn about emerging artists, experimental pedagogy, and event production in a dynamic museum setting. Requirements: Demonstrated knowledge of modern and contemporary art; excellent attention to detail and organizational skills; strong collaborative and interpersonal skills; familiarity with Outlook, Excel, and PPT.
    • School and Educator Programs: Assist with greeting school groups, problem solving if there are schedule issues, and provide administrative support. Requirements: Experience working with teachers or parents. Schedule: Tuesdays from 9 am–4 pm; other days are flexible.

    Graphic Design
    Assist the Graphic Design Department with any needs they may have, ranging from designing small projects to trimming wall labels. Scale of projects will vary based on skill level; attend various meetings to gain an understanding of the internal process at the Museum. Requirements: Student should be currently enrolled in a BFA or MFA design program, and possess working knowledge of Adobe design suite, and a strong typographic foundation.

    Research Resources

    • Archives: Work with the Archives Manager to assist with archival processing, assist archives researchers, and create online finding aids in Archives Space. Interns will participate directly in departmental activities ranging from formal archival processing and description, patron assistance, and routine digitization. Requirements: Enrollment in an Archives, Library, or Information Science program is preferred.  The ability to work independently with sharp attention to detail is required. Knowledge of Archivist’s Toolkit/Archives Space, DACs, and Adobe Photoshop is a plus. The ability to lift cartons (up to 40lbs) is required. Students must be able to commit to two full days (approximately 14 hours) a week.
    • Library: Under the supervision of professional library staff, the intern(s) will gain first-hand experience in multiple areas related the management of a library in a museum setting. Interns will participate directly in departmental activities ranging from metadata and preservation projects to routine reference and circulation duties. Requirements: Enrollment in a Library or Information Science program is required. The ability to work independently with attention to detail is required. Some heavy lifting is involved. Knowledge of MARC, LCC and LCSH, and Voyager ILS is a plus. Students who can commit to two full days per week (approximately 14 hours a week) are preferred, but we will consider all applicants.
    • Permanent Collection Documentation: Under the supervision of the Permanent Collection Documentation Manager, the intern(s) will gain first-hand experience in multiple areas related to the management of permanent collection records in a museum setting. Interns will participate directly in departmental activities ranging from data entry and preservation projects to routine administrative tasks. Responsibilities may include: data entry in the collection management system (The Museum System) to reflect updated internal content standards, assisting patrons with research requests and appointments, assisting with the organization of primary source documents. Requirements: The ability to work independently with keen attention to detail is required. Knowledge of The Museum System is a plus.