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Internship ,
submitted by
Rachel Rowland

McMullan Arts Leadership Intern – Arts of Asia (Summer 2024


The Art Institute of Chicago’s department of Arts of Asia is excited to offer a McMullan Arts Leadership intern position to work with their team.

Formally established in 1921, Arts of Asia holds one of the largest Asian art collections in North America, consisting of nearly 30,000 objects that span five millennia and represent all artistic traditions of the entire continent. Distinguished artworks include Hindu and Buddhist sculpture; Chinese jades, bronzes, ceramics, and paintings; Japanese screens and woodblock prints— one of the finest assemblages in the world; Korean celadon; and Indian and Persian miniature paintings.

This is a project-based internship that will focus on the study and collection management of Arts of Asia’s Chinese bronze objects. The intern will assist the Pritzker Chair, Arts of Asia, and Curator of Chinese Art and visiting researchers with updating the catalog and documentation of the collection.

The intern will join a museum-wide intern cohort and have access to a range of programs to support their development in addition to their placement in Arts of Asia. Mentorship is provided throughout the experience and connections with an intern alumni network will be established.

Goals of the McMullan Arts Leadership Internship Program

The McMullan Arts Leadership internship program is part of a museum-wide effort to provide students the opportunity to gain experience, career awareness, networks, and skills that will position them to thrive as future art museum leaders.

This program specifically aims to support students who encounter economic challenges when considering a career in the arts. Aligned with this goal, we aim to help shape a diverse group of leaders whose actions are informed by a wide range of perspectives, varying career paths, and values inspired by their own lived experiences.


In this position, the intern will have the opportunity to:

  • Gain hands-on experience of managing curatorial projects in an art museum;
  • Hone object-based research skills;
  • Receive museum collection management training;
  • Gain exposure to art and art history of Asia;
  • Develop strong communication and organizational skills;
  • Develop mentor relationships with field practitioners;
  • Build peer-to-peer relationships with fellow interns.


  • Work collaboratively with the Arts of Asia Team
  • Assist with the research of the Art Institute's Chinese bronze collection
  • Collect data for cataloging and documentation of the Art Institute's Chinese bronze collection
  • Attend weekly check-ins with the position’s mentor: the department’s chair
  • Attend intern cohort professional development programs and museum practice seminars


  • Undergraduate or graduate student; recent graduates (within one year of graduation) will also be considered
  • Applicants must be based in the Chicagoland area for the summer and/or attending school in the Chicagoland area
  • Demonstrated fluency in Chinese (Reading, Speaking, Writing)
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Suite, Google Suite, and Photoshop
  • Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to be open-minded and work collaboratively with colleagues across the museum
  • Detail-oriented mindset and demonstrated organizational skills; ability to multitask and be flexibly prioritize when appropriate


You must upload all of the requested materials below (résumé and essay responses) into only one pdf document and list your last name and “Summer 2024” in the title of the file (example: [LAST NAME]_SUMMER2024.pdf.) Please upload your materials where asked in the online application.

PLEASE NOTE: You will not be considered if any requested application element is missing.

To apply for this internship, tell us your story. We want to understand who you are, what motivates you, how you think, and where you’re coming from. Please submit the following materials:

  • Résumé
  • In lieu of a traditional cover letter, please respond to the following questions in short essays (no more than 300 words per answer.) We encourage you to provide specific examples to support your answers or to illustrate your ideas:
    • What about this job description interests you the most?
    • With the mission of the McMullan Arts Leadership intern program in mind, what perspectives might you bring to this role that you think museums need more of?
    • How do you envision this opportunity helping you towards your professional goals?


This application will close on Thursday, February 29th at 11:59 pm CDT. Selected applicants will be asked to interview via video call after the deadline passes.


Duration of Position: 10 weeks / June 2024 (start date anytime during the week of June 3–7) through August 2024 (end date anytime during the week of August 5–9)

Compensation: Paid / $16.32/hr / part-time / Temporary

Schedule: This is a part-time, 10-week position for a currently enrolled or recently graduated undergraduate or graduate student. The intern will work 21 hours per week, for a total of up to 210 hours over the course of the internship. Work days will occur between Monday–Friday; the start date and schedule will be determined upon agreement with the candidate and the host department.

Hourlong virtual and in-person intern professional development programs will be scheduled throughout the internship term that the student is strongly encouraged to attend. These programs will occur during the week; we ask that the intern make this part of their internship schedule.

Format: The internship will be fully onsite. Due to onsite necessity, applicants based or attending school in the Chicagoland area during the internship timeframe will be prioritized. Internet access and appropriate technology will be necessary to complete this internship, but technological accommodations can be provided by the Art Institute of Chicago based on necessity.

Number of openings: 1

Contact Info:
The Art Institute of Chicago
(312) 857-7146
Job Type: Paid Internship
Location: Chicago, IL / Loop