Art of the Americas Collections Research Internship - Paintings

One of the MFA’s largest permanent collections, the Art of the Americas department holdings represent painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from North, Central and South America.  Curators and staff in the department are responsible for studying, interpreting, maintaining, and augmenting these collections in collaboration with other departments throughout the Museum.   Responsibilities of department members include: selecting, interpreting, and coordinating installations in the permanent collection galleries; organizing special exhibitions; researching the collection; and arranging for loans to other institutions.

The department is currently seeking a graduate level intern to work on a variety of projects within the department and to build the archival files of the American paintings collection, as well as to write selected catalogue entries on individual objects. This is an unpaid position, working under the Art of the Americas Paintings Curators. It offers an opportunity to gain invaluable practical experience by learning first-hand about museum work and personally contributing to the study of one of the world’s best collections of American art.

The Collections Research Intern will be responsible for work relating to the paintings area of the collection – potentially including, but not limited to creating, organizing and maintaining object files, identifying gaps in documentation, and gathering relevant research materials. The intern will research exhibition, publication, and provenance history related to paintings and ensure that this information is properly documented in both the object files and our electronic database.  Prior research experience and excellent written and communication skills are required. Please submit a short writing sample (no more than 500 words) with application (such as a recent research paper with the professor’s comments), and please include any foreign language skills and proficiency.


  • Creating, organizing and maintaining object files
  • Identifying gaps in documentation and gathering relevant research materials
  • Researching exhibition, publication, and provenance history related to paintings; and ensuring proper documentation in object files and electronic database


  • Enrollment in a recognized art history program or recent graduation from, a M.A. or Ph.D. program
  • Demonstrated written and communication skills
  • Knowledge of American paintings
  • Familiarity with computer databases
  • Careful attention to detail 
  • Ability to commit 10-15 hours per week for at least 12 weeks (through mid December)
  • Submission of writing sample of no more than 500 words with professor’s comments (PDF’s allowed)
  • Ability to attend an orientation on either Wed, Sept 17 (6pm) or Wed, Oct 1 (10am or 6pm)




Part Time


10.00 - 15.00 hours per week

Flexible within M-F, 9a-5p parameters.


July 29, 2014


Art of the Americas