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The Whitney offers full-time, paid internships in the summer, and part-time, unpaid internships during the academic year:
The Whitney's intern program offers training and direct experience working in one of New York City’s most exciting museums. If you are a college student interested in learning more about how museums work or are considering a museum career, we encourage you to apply. The Whitney’s internship program seeks talented people of all backgrounds—we value diversity of cultures, races and ethnicities, gender expressions, and abilities.
Interns are placed in departments across the Museum where they assist professional staff, interact with the public, conduct research, provide administrative support, and learn about modern and contemporary American art. Interns also gain valuable training, skills, and work experience as well as an opportunity to build a network of professional contacts.
Applications for Summer 2019 will open December 2018.
The Whitney’s summer internship is a full-time, paid, nine-week session primarily for undergraduate students. It includes training, direct work experience, professional development, and a mentorship program that connects interns with key Whitney staff.
The 2018 summer internship runs from Monday, June 4 through Friday, August 3. Participants are expected to be available Monday through Friday for nine consecutive weeks, five days per week.
- $5,000 stipend for full participation
- Interns are assigned to a specific museum department for the duration
- Weekly speaker series featuring curators and other museum professionals
- Field trips to other cultural institutions
- Interns spend a portion of their time working with Museum visitors
- Interns are partnered with a mentor
- Free admission to most New York City museums, regular employee discounts at the Museum restaurants and retail store as well as invitations to exhibition openings
- Priority consideration is given to rising juniors and seniors at accredited undergraduate programs
- Applicants must have completed a minimum of two years of academic course work (freshmen and sophomores are not eligible)
- Certain positions may require graduate-level training and/or professional experience, noted in the department descriptions
Academic Year Internship
Academic Year Internships start at the beginning of each semester and go to the end of the term. We accept applications from current undergraduates (except freshmen), recent graduates and graduate students. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled.
During the fall or spring semester (with the option for a full school year), academic year interns are required to commit to a minimum of two days per week.
Priority consideration is given to applications received by May 1 for the fall semester and November 15 for the spring semester. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled. Due to the overwhelming number of submissions, we are unable to meet all those who apply.
- Interns are eligible for course credit
- Interns are assigned to a specific museum department for the duration.
- There is no stipend, but interns receive regular employee discounts at the Museum restaurants and retail store, invitations to exhibition openings, and free admission to most New York City museums.
- Priority is given to rising juniors and seniors at accredited undergraduate programs
- Certain positions may require graduate-level training and/or professional experience, noted in the department descriptions.
- Applicants must have completed a minimum of two years of academic course work
- While a demonstrated interest in art and art history is preferred, students in all majors are encouraged to apply
- Previous museum experience is not required
We offer internships in a wide variety of departments across the Museum.
Advancement is the department primarily responsible for fundraising efforts. Various initiatives includes board development, a major gifts program, planned giving, corporate sponsorships, foundation and government grants, and special events. Interns are placed in the following areas: corporate sponsorships, foundation and government relations, major gifts, and special events.
Business Systems provides the internal infrastructure to support the broader institutional constituent strategy including both revenue and engagement. Setting institutional standards for data collection, accessibility, and governance to support institutional and business unit goals and inform decision making process.
Installation view of Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney's Collection (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, April 27, 2016-February 12, 2017). Photograph by Ron Amstutz
Curatorial has two primary activities: it oversees and guides the (growth, care, and display) of the Museum’s permanent collection of over 22,000 works of art, and it organizes and generates exhibitions appropriate to the institution’s mission. Interns participate in the daily work of the department, including collection stewardship, exhibition planning, preparation of catalogues and other publications, acquisitions, research, and administrative tasks. Projects relate to several areas: Chief Curator’s office; international initiatives; the permanent collection; prewar art; contemporary art; drawings and prints; photography; film and video; performance; and the Andy Warhol Film Project. Demonstrated interest in art history, previous research experience, and basic knowledge of Microsoft Office are required.
The Director’s Office operates as part of the Museum’s executive office, which includes the Director, Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel, and Trustee Office. The Director’s Office supports numerous departments within the Museum, providing management, oversight, and institutional strategic planning.
Education provides programming and resources for audiences of all ages to engage with art and artists and enrich their experiences at the Museum. Education internship areas are: School & Educator Programs, Teen Programs, Family Programs, Public Programs & Public Engagement, Interpretation & Research, and Access & Community Programs.
Exhibition Design works closely with Curatorial to translate an exhibition’s checklist and narrative into the three-dimensions of the gallery. From concept design through construction and installation, designers coordinate with nearly all other departments of the museum to ensure that artwork and architecture form an impactful experience for the visitor.
Graphic Design develops and maintains the Whitney's brand and graphic identity. Through the various materials that are produced with the institution's graphic language (see design.whitney.org for an overview), this department both communicates the Museum's positioning while continually serving to distinguish the Whitney within the cultural landscape of New York and beyond. Please note: Applicants must be currently enrolled in a Graphic Design program and provide a link to a portfolio for consideration.
The Marketing department creates and executes efforts that promote the Whitney's programs to the public, while advancing the Museum's broader branding goals. This includes strategizing and implementing marketing campaigns in print, digital spaces, social media, email, and other channels to effectively reach target audiences.
Research Resources provides information and access to primary resources relating to the Museum’s history, collections, and programming. Comprised of the Archives, Permanent Collection Documentation Office, Special Collections, and The Frances Mulhall Achilles Library, the department addresses the research needs of Museum staff and qualified members of the scholarly and arts communities. Please note: Preference will be given to applicants enrolled in an MLIS or related program to be considered for work in the Archives or Library.
The multi-purpose Susan and John Hess Family Theater houses a wide array of performances, exhibitions, educational and family-based programs, film screenings, lectures, and corporate rentals. Production interns will provide technical and administrative support for the theater’s daily operations, working with internal and external stakeholders to mount events. Candidates should have the ability to lift 50 pounds and must be comfortable working at height. Students seeking degrees in theatrical design/production are preferred.
Summer Application Materials
Applications for Summer 2019 will open December 2018.
- Essay between 500 and 750 words
- The Whitney collects and presents American art in the broadest context, supporting living artists at critical moments in their careers and educating a diverse public. Submit an essay that reflects upon how the Whitney’s mission connects to your background and life experience, addresses your reasons for applying to the summer internship program, and describes what you hope to gain by this experience.
- Letter of recommendation (educational or professional only). If possible, please send with materials. If confidential, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line of the email write Summer Internship Program "[Last Name_First Name] Reference Letter."
- College transcript: Transcripts can be unofficial, but need to be readable.
- For those applying to Archives or the Library Special Collections Internship, you are only required to submit a resume and cover letter. You do not need to submit an essay, transcript or recommendation letter.
- For those applying for an Internship in the Graphic Design department, you must be currently enrolled in a Graphic Design program and provide a link to a portfolio for consideration.
How to Apply
Follow the link below to answer questions and upload the materials. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Academic Year Application Materials
How to Apply
Follow the link below to answer questions and upload the requested materials.
Do I need to have previous museum experience to apply?
No. We welcome candidates with a strong academic background and any variety of prior professional experience. Candidates should have an interest in learning the inner workings of a mid-sized nonprofit arts organization, and a curiosity about museum work. An internship at the Whitney will prepare you for a wide range of careers, both related and unrelated to museums and/or the arts.
Do I need to be currently enrolled in school?
For the summer program, applicants must be enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate program. For the academic year, interns are eligible within one year of graduating.
Are freshmen and sophomores eligible?
No. Students must have completed two years of academic course work.
Are graduate students eligible?
Yes. Research Resources (specifically Archives and Library) give preference to applicants enrolled in an MLIS or related program. Depending on projects, other departments will consider students currently enrolled in graduate programs.
Are recent college graduates eligible?
For the summer program, graduating seniors are eligible, but preference will be given to rising juniors and seniors. For the academic year program, students who have graduated within the past academic year are eligible.
Can international students apply?
Yes, but you must have valid legal status under applicable U.S. visa regulations. The Museum cannot be a host organization for international students.
Can I apply to more than one department?
Yes! Please specify up to two departments. If selected for the internship, you will be placed in one department for the duration of the program.
Should applications include portfolios?
Graphic Design applicants must include link to portfolios to be considered.
Who should I address reference letters to?
Letters should be addressed to the HR Department or email@example.com.
What mentorship opportunities does the program include?
All interns work side-by-side with experts in their field at the Museum, and are often invited to observe activities outside of their daily duties for educational purposes.
The summer internship program includes a weekly speaker series with presentations by Museum directors and senior staff, curator-led exhibition tours, and visits to smaller cultural art institutions around New York City.
Are the beginning and end dates of the summer internship program fixed?
Yes, but in some cases interns are permitted to start slightly later due to school schedules. They are required to commit to a total of nine weeks.
Does the Whitney provide housing or transportation?
No. All interns must provide for their own housing and transportation.
Are Whitney internships paid positions?
Academic year internships are not paid. Summer interns receive a stipend of $5,000.
I’ve submitted my application. What now?
Academic year intern applicants will be contacted on a rolling basis by individual departments based on need in that area of the Museum. Timelines vary. For the summer internship program, qualified candidates will be contacted in March for in-person or Skype interviews. Decisions take place in early April. Those candidates not selected for first round interviews or who are interviewed, but not initially accepted, will be placed on a waiting list in case last-minute openings occur.
If your question is not answered here, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Whitney Museum of American Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Museum welcomes applicants of any age, sex, religion, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage or citizenship, disability, marital status, partnership status, veteran status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, and does not discriminate based on any other factor prohibited by law. The Museum is dedicated to provide a fair and inclusive workplace and encourages all qualified candidates to apply for vacant positions at all levels. This description shall not be construed as a contract of any sort for a specific period of employment.