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Association of Research Institutes in Art History

Careers in Art History Internships


Deadline for Applications: Friday, October 16, 2020

Program Dates: November 9 – December 11, 2020


The Association of Research Institutes in Art History (ARIAH) is offering paid professional development internships for up to 20 students and recent graduates interested in careers at art museums and art history research centers. The internships will be virtual and participants will commit from 8 to 10 hours per week for a period of four weeks.

If you are an undergraduate student currently enrolled at an educational institution in the USA or Canada (or currently on pause from your enrolled coursework), or if you recently graduated (within one year), and you are interested in learning more about how museums work, we encourage you to apply. We seek applicants from all backgrounds. You do not need to have prior museum experience to apply.

The following ARIAH institutions are participating in the Careers in Art History Internships: Archives of American Art; Canadian Centre for Architecture; Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art; Clark Art Institute; The Frick Art Reference Library (part of the Frick Collection); The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library; and the Yale Center for British Art.


Program Details

The internships will last for four weeks and participation will be fully remote via Zoom.

The program dates are Monday, November 9 – Friday, December 11, 2020. There will be a one week break for Thanksgiving, from November 23 – 27.

Zoom meetings will be held Mondays through Fridays, between 9am and 11am EST. It is expected that participants will attend all or most Zoom calls.

Participants will be hosted by a different institution each week — a list of participating institutions is given below. The internships will provide practical and theoretical training in a variety of professional practices that will be useful not only in the field of art history but transferable to other pursuits. Interns will learn about the different professional pathways available at art museums and research centers, including:

All interns will be assigned a mentor for the duration of their internship. At the end of the internship, a career development and résumé-writing workshop will be provided, and all interns will make a brief presentation on a project they completed.



Interns will receive a stipend of US $1,300.



This program is open to undergraduate students currently enrolled at educational institutions in the USA or Canada; students who are on pause from coursework while enrolled in an academic program; and recent graduates (within one year ) based in the USA or Canada. Eligible institutions include 2-year colleges, 4-year colleges/universities, professional, technical, vocational, and trade schools, advanced degree programs, or other educational institutions offering qualifying degrees or certificates.


Application Process

Applications must be submitted online and include a résumé (maximum 2 pages) detailing educational background and work/volunteer experience (if any), and contact information for one reference who will be contacted for shortlisted candidates. References should be able to speak to the applicant’s academic abilities and interests.



Submit any queries to


Participating Institutions and Programs

Founded in 1954, the Archives of American Art fosters advanced research through the accumulation and dissemination of primary sources, unequaled in historical depth and breadth, that document more than two hundred years of our nation’s artists and art communities. The Archives provides access to these materials through its exhibitions and publications, including the Archives of American Art Journal, the longest-running scholarly journal in the field of American art. An international leader in the digitizing of archival collections, the Archives makes more than 2.9 million digital images freely available online. The Archives’ oral history collection includes more than 2,400 audio interviews, the largest accumulation of in-depth, first-person accounts of the American art world. Internship focus: Podcasts are a dynamic medium through which museums and research centers can connect with audiences near and far. During this internship, students will receive hands-on training in podcast production, from selecting a focus, conducting research and interviews, editing audio, constructing an episode, and distributing the podcast. By the end of the week, students will have assisted in the creation of real podcast episodes for the Archives' upcoming season. As tools of research and education, podcasts open new pathways for institutions to present material that augments visual content while expanding accessibility, and they also preserve and amplify human stories.

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

The Canadian Centre for Architecture, based in Montreal, is an international research institution and museum premised on the belief that architecture is a public concern. We produce exhibitions and publications, develop and share our collection as a resource, advance research, offer public programs, and host a range of other activities driven by a curiosity about how architecture shapes—and might reshape—contemporary life. We see our collection as a repository of ideas, provocations, inspirations, and trials and errors. Made up of both archival holdings and the output of our activities, our collection is both a base of materials for research and a body against which new readings and contexts are tested. Internship focus: Introduction to decolonizing cataloguing and digitization practices at a museum. Creating/revising five entries related to the CCA’s North African and Middle Eastern photography collections and their digitization.

Canadian Centre for Architecture

The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), located in the East Building of the National Gallery, Washington, D.C., is a research institute that fosters study of the production, use, and cultural meaning of art, artifacts, architecture, urbanism, photography, and film worldwide from prehistoric times to the present. CASVA’s programs include fellowships, meetings, research, and publications. Current members for the academic year include approximately 40 fellows from around the globe. Internship focus: The intern will contribute to a digital art history project that could be shared online; for example, researching images that are available from open source collections that can be added to either the HEALD or the Accademia projects

The Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts

The Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program (RAP) supports scholarship in art history, visual culture, and interdisciplinary inquiry that challenges how we think about writing history and addresses the complexity of our contemporary world. We host fellows and convene events that reimagine the borders and geographies of art history’s dominant narratives. In RAP, interns will have the opportunity to work in non-profit arts administration to develop public humanities projects. Internship focus: Design and present an ‘ideal’ public humanities event for a museum, choosing the theme and topic, the guest speakers, and the format. Options include: a digital lecture series around a theme, an artist’s talk, a social media event. Think about how you would like to see museums and research institutes engage with the public about art, history, and its possible impact for change.

The Clark Art Institute

The Frick Art Reference Library, part of The Frick Collection, is open to the public as well as being a museum library. It specializes in provenance research and the history of collecting, using its important collections of auction and exhibition catalogues, 1.2 million photographs of works of art, as well as its web-archives of art rich websites. Internship focus: Provenance Research is an increasingly important part of being a curator and an art historian. Interns will be introduced to the history and methods, and will their project outcome will focus on researching the provenance of an object (Frick staff will guide students by supplying potential case studies, but participants are also welcome to bring their own example).

The Frick Collection

The Metropolitan Museum of Art supports scholars in the fields of art history, archaeology, museum education, conservation, and related sciences, as well as scholars in other disciplines, whose dynamic and interdisciplinary projects require close study of objects in The Met collection. The Met houses a world-renowned complex of scientific research and conservation facilities, each of which serves as a training ground for conservators from around the world. Internship focus: Introduction to conservation work at an art museum. Students will gain professional insights into the roles of conservation in a major institution and learn about conservation practice in relation to acquisitions, exhibitions, loans, analysis, research, scholarship, and advocacy. For their projects, students will create a condition report for a loan or conduct a small-scale treatment (e.g., “flower pot” project).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library’s Research Fellowship Program supports inclusive interdisciplinary humanities research related to America’s material past in a global context. Winterthur’s mission is to be a continuing source of education and inspiration through our unparalleled collection of American decorative arts and our world-renowned art conservation laboratories, 60-acre natural garden, and library. Winterthur also hosts two graduate programs in partnership with the University of Delaware. Internship focus: Effective communication to public audiences is an essential skill in art history, cultural heritage and so many other disciplines. Interns will be introduced to the variety of platforms employed by cultural institutions to create thoughtful dialogue about their collections and work and to engage broad audiences. Interns will create and edit sample social media posts, press releases and other materials to add to their personal portfolios.

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

The Yale Center for British Art is a museum that houses the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. Presented to the university by Paul Mellon (Yale College, Class of 1929), the collection reflects the development of British art and culture from the fifteenth century to the present. Through its wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, and research endeavors, the Center interprets and provides new perspectives on the ongoing traditions of British art and the global impact of British culture. The collections can be searched via an online catalogue, and many of the images can be downloaded, free of charge, at a high resolution. Internship focus: Introduction to curatorial practices at an art museum. Interns will meet with curators, conservators, and other museum professionals to learn about exhibition planning, collections cataloguing, curatorial research and interpretation, conservation, and close study of objects and materials. For their projects, students will learn about object interpretation and create a label for a single object.

Yale Center for British Art