What does a Museum Studies Internship Entail? Pt. 4

In order to complete the Masters in Museum Studies degree, our students must complete 200 hours of an internship for academic credit. In the past, these internships have ranged from institutions located in Europe to North America, in areas of interest including history, art, photography, science, and local history.

In the summer of 2017, our intelligent and hardworking MAs are interning in museums such as: the Smithsonian, the Guggenheim, First Mayor’s House, and the Uffizi to name a few! Below highlights Makenzie Hall’s perspective on her internship with the Springville Museum of Art (SMA), Springville, Utah.

Why did you choose this internship?

I chose to intern at the Springville Museum of Art because of its exciting art collection and the convenience toward research relating to my thesis. I wanted a museum that would give hands on experience in the curatorial department and allow me to participate in art related projects. 

How long is your internship? How many hours a week do you work?

My internship is from June 7th to August 14th where I work 20 hours a week.

Please describe some of the projects that you are working on.

My duties at the museum can change day to day but currently I have been helping curate and set up a permanent exhibition that will be on display for the next few years. When I am not helping with exhibitions, I work on the museums archival binders dating to the early 1900s. I take the old documents and digitize them to the museums database for future use and research.  

What is your favorite part about the internship?

There are so many aspects to the internship that I love. It’s so exciting to work with the assistant curator everyday with tasks that benefit the museum and art collection. To be unclose and personal with the art that has history and Influence makes everyday rewarding. 

What have you learned so far?

I have learned so much from this experience! I have learned all about daily curatorial tasks, art handling, theories and ideas that help create exhibitions and educational programs within the museum. I have also learned how vital the public is in helping maintain a community museum. The museum would not be possible without their constant volunteer efforts and love for art. 

What lessons from the two semesters of coursework in Florence are you applying to your internship?

I’ve thought a lot about our lessons  and discussion in working together as a cohort that have applied to my internship. Working with a group of people with strong opinions and educational experience has helped me remember that all ideas matter and should be considered valuable. Art is subjective and influential just like the employees and groups you work with in creating exhibitions and educational projects.

Which class prepared you for your position best?

I feel like most of our courses helped prepare me for my curatorial internship, however I constantly think back to the History of Collecting. The discussions within the course helped me think about how I conduct myself as a museum professional. Curatorial work is precise and meticulous – like so many of the lessons we talk about during all of our courses.

 Kenz and National Gallery
Thanks Kenzie! Check back next week for another perspective on interning in the museum world.

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