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Internship ,
submitted by
Rachel Rowland

McMullan Arts Leadership Internship, Arts of Asia (Academic Year 2024–2025)


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.

Much of the Arts of Asia collection is showcased through robust programs in the galleries and online. Working collaboratively with the department’s director of curatorial administration and research assistant, the intern will assist the department's gallery and web projects to ensure the successful implementation and documentation of those projects. The intern's major responsibilities include drafting and maintaining the departmental gallery activity calendar, monitoring project progress and deadlines, and documenting project materials and object information for the museum’s database and website.

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;
  • Develop strong understanding of museum gallery and web activities;
  • Receive museum project management training;
  • Gain exposure to art and art history of Asia;
  • Observe behind-the-scene collection care and gallery installations;
  • Develop strong communication and organizational skills;
  • Develop mentor relationships with field practitioners;
  • Build peer-to-peer relationships with fellow interns.


  • Work collaboratively with all curators in the Department of Arts of Asia;
  • Assist in researching and updating object records for online publishing;
  • Initiate and facilitate collection-based web and in-gallery projects;
  • Participates in departmental efforts to maintain object, artist, dealer, donor records and files;
  • Monitor ticket requests in the museum’s cross-departmental digital project management systems;
  • Support curatorial research projects as needed;
  • Attend weekly check-ins with the department’s collection 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 in arts administration, art history, or an art museum curatorial profession;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Suite and Google Suite;
  • 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;


  • Knowledge of Asian art history and/or Asian language(s);
  • Demonstrated ability in database management;
  • Demonstrated ability in project management;
  • Basic photo and video editing skills;
  • Intersectional understanding of art museum culture, current events, and curatorial trends;
  • Awareness of and/or curiosity about art museum culture and current events in the field.


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