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Internship ,
submitted by
Rachel Rowland

McMullan Arts Leadership Internship, Architecture and Design (Academic Year 2024–2025)


The department of Architecture and Design (A&D) is excited to host a McMullan Arts Leadership intern to work with their collection management team.

The department of Architecture and Design at the Art Institute of Chicago collects and exhibits work that demonstrates the impactful role that architects and designers play as agents for change in society and culture. Our collection is distinguished by its strong holdings of modern and contemporary architecture and urban design, with a focus on work by architects and designers practicing in Chicago, including Louis Sullivan, Daniel Burnham, Marion Mahony Griffin, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Bertrand Goldberg, Stanley Tigerman, Douglas Garofalo, and Jeanne Gang. Other collection highlights include postmodern architecture and increasingly diverse holdings of work by contemporary architects including Tadao Ando, Andreas Angelidakis, Tatiana Bilbao, Frida Escobedo, Andrés Jaque, Johnston Marklee, Pezo von Ellrichshausen, and Amanda Williams.

The department’s collection of design includes important midcentury holdings by Charles and Ray Eames, Henry Glass, Charlotte Perriand, Charles Harrison, and the New Bauhaus/Institute of Design, as well as contemporary works of experimental and speculative design by Shigeru Ban, Dunne and Raby, Hella Jongerius, Julia Lohmann, Christien Meindertsma, and Norman Teague, among many others.

The department seeks an enthusiastic and organized undergraduate or graduate student to assist in an inventory of the Architecture and Design collection. The goal of this internship is to expose the student to key aspects of collections management work and digitization of art through a hands-on learning approach.

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 Architecture and Design. 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:

  • Develop first-hand experience in collections database records;
  • Partake in the processing of archival collections and digitization efforts;
  • Understand strategies and methods of collections care;
  • Develop mentor relationships with field practitioners;
  • Build peer-to-peer relationships with fellow interns.


  • Review information on A&D’s collection database records and make revisions as necessary;
  • Draft digital content on behalf of A&D’s web presence, including drafting artist biographies, alt- text caption, digital tagging, and stylized web descriptions;
  • Review and update art object images for the museum’s website;
  • Maintain and organize information pertaining to the ordering materials for rehousing projects;
  • Digitize physical documents for A&D to assist with collection research projects;
  • Attend weekly check-ins with mentors: Collection Manager and Collection Inventory Manager;
  • 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;
  • Due to onsite necessity, applicants must be based in the Chicagoland area and/or attending school in the Chicagoland area over the course of the internship term;
  • Demonstrated interest or background in art history, museum studies, archival work, art handling, or other related field;
  • Strong organizational skills with a propensity for cross-collaboration;
  • Excellent interpersonal, analytical, multitasking, and writing skills;
  • Familiarity with Google Suite is preferred.


Apply on must upload all of the requested materials below (résumé and essay responses) into only one pdf document and list your last name and “AY 24-25” in the title of the file (example: [LAST NAME]_AY 24-25.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
  • Instead 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?

DEADLINE: The deadline to submit an application to this position is Tuesday, July 16 at 11:59 pm CDT. We will not accept late applications. We will contact the candidates we want to interview within three weeks of our deadline.


Duration of Position: 32 weeks / September 2024 (start date anytime during the week of September 23–27) through April/early May 2024 (end date anytime during the week of April 28–May 2)

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

Schedule: This is a part-time, 32-week position for a currently enrolled or recently graduated undergraduate or graduate student. The intern will work 14 hours per week, for a total of up to 448 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 a hybrid of onsite and remote workdays. Internet access and appropriate technology will be necessary to complete this internship; technological accommodations will be provided by the Art Institute of Chicago.

Number of openings: 1

Contact Info:
Academic Engagement and Research Department
Job Type: Paid Internship
Compensation: $16.32/hr
Location: The Art Institute of Chicago