Art of the Americas Graduate Research Internship - Decorative Arts

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 volunteer intern to contribute to work on the archival files of the permanent collection, specifically updating catalogue information for historic jewelry and church silver, in addition to other research projects as needed. 

The Graduate Research Intern will be responsible for the decorative arts area of the collection — sorting and organizing these files, and identifying gaps in documentation. The intern will research exhibition, publication, and provenance history related to these objects and ensure that this information is properly documented in both the object files and electronic database. Prior research experience is necessary, excellent communication skills are desirable.

This is an unpaid position, working under the Art of the Americas Curators of Decorative Arts & Sculpture. It offers an opportunity to gain invaluable practical experience by learning first-hand about museum work and personally contributing to one of the world’s best collections of American art.


  • Sorting and organizing decorative arts object files, and identifying gaps in documentation
  • Research exhibition, publication, and provenance histories related to these objects to ensure that information is properly documented in both the object files and electronic database 
  • Maintain/update object files and electronic database


  • Enrollment in or recent graduation from, a M.A. or Ph.D. program (*Advanced undergraduate students with demonstrated interest will be considered.)
  • Knowledge of American decorative arts or a related field
  • Strong aptitude with computer databases 
  • Prior research experience 
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Careful attention to detail
  • Ability to commit 10-15 hours per week for at least 12 weeks through mid April
  • Ability to attend an orientation on either Wed, Jan 21 (6pm) or Wed, Feb 4 (10am or 6pm)




Part Time


10.00 - 15.00 hours per week

<p>Flexible within M-F, 9a-5p parameters</p>


November 5, 2014


Art of the Americas