The Department of Contemporary Art is responsible for the acquisition, study and display of art created from 1955 to today. Contemporary art at the MFA encompasses many media including film and video art, sculpture, installation, photography, paintings, design, craft, decorative arts and performance. In September 2011, the Museum opened its renovated Linde Family Wing as a space dedicated to contemporary art, vastly expanding the department’s capacity for exhibition.
The Department of Contemporary Art is seeking two highly motivated graduate research interns to build the research files for objects in the collection: creating, organizing, and maintaining object files, identifying gaps in documentation, and gathering relevant research material. The interns will research exhibition, publication, and provenance history and ensure that this information is properly documented in both the object files and our electronic database.
Both interns will have the opportunity to write and contribute to texts. One intern selected will focus on objects that will be included in an upcoming book of highlights of the collection. He/she will use the materials gathered to draft selected entries on individual objects. The other intern will focus on recent acquisitions and objects slated for exhibition. He/she will use the materials gathered to draft preliminary interpretive texts for exhibition which will be used in the galleries and online. Projects will be assigned based on the needs of the curators and the intern’s interests and skills.
These are unpaid positions, working under the Contemporary Art Department curators. Each 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 most dynamic and varied collections in the Museum.
Over the course of the internship, the Research Interns will:
• Become familiar with the Museum’s world-renowned collections and in particular the collection of contemporary art
• Get a firsthand view of how a curatorial department functions
• Learn Museum standards for editing text and formatting information
• Draft and edit object-related texts and gallery-specific text panels with a focus on the general visitor
• Work collaboratively with the curators and interact with staff across the Museum
• Enrollment in a B.A. (juniors and seniors preferred), M.A. or M.F.A. program in Art History, History of Decorative Arts, Museum Studies, Arts Administration or Art program, or B.S. or M.S. program in Library or Information Science with an interest in museums.
• Demonstrated written and communication skills
• Strong interest in and at least some knowledge of contemporary art
• Familiarity with computer databases
• Careful attention to detail
• Submission of writing sample no more than 500 words with professor’s comments
• Ability to commit at least 10-15 hours per week through mid August
• Ability to attend orientation on either Tues. May 27th (9:30 am-12 pm) or Tues. June 10th (9:30 am-12 pm)