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Internship ,
submitted by
Rachel Rowland

McMullan Arts Leadership Internship, Prints and Drawings

The department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago is excited to invite current undergraduate students, graduate students, and/or recent graduates to apply for their McMullan Arts Leadership internship position. In this position, the intern will receive training on identifying print and drawing techniques, the care and handling of works on paper, collection database software, object-based research, and museum policy issues such as ethics and security. The intern will have the opportunity to work with curators on individual research projects and in the context of the regular operation of the department study room, the Jean and Steven Goldman Study Center.

Located in the Art Institute’s Michigan Avenue building, the Jean and Steven Goldman Study Center houses the museum’s collection of works on paper. The collection includes over 60,000 prints, drawings, artist portfolios and books. Within the study center is the Glore Print Study Room which is open to the public by appointment. Visitors are allowed to request works in advance and view them in the study room under the supervision of curatorial staff. The study room also houses a library of catalogues raisonnés, exhibition catalogues and reference books.

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 Prints and Drawings. 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:

  • Become familiar with objects in the Prints and Drawings collection;
  • Gain experience and familiarity with collection software;
  • Develop a skillset for the safe handling and storage of works on paper;
  • Learn to identify various printmaking and drawing techniques;
  • Work with curators on individual research projects;
  • Develop strong communication and organizational skills;
  • Develop mentor relationships with field practitioners;
  • Build peer-to-peer relationships with fellow interns.


  • Work with study room staff to measure and catalog recent acquisitions
  • Complete research projects as assigned by curators
  • Assist the study room manager in preparing the study room for visitors
  • Facilitate daily operations of the Prints and Drawings study room
  • Safely move art objects to and from their home locations
  • Support the work of Prints and Drawings staff as needed
  • Attend weekly check-ins with the position’s mentors: the Study Room Manager and Collection Assistant and the Rothman Family Curator
  • 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 for the summer and/or attending school in the Chicagoland area
  • Major or focus in art history, studio art, museum studies, or a related field
  • Demonstrated interest in Prints and Drawings as a curatorial field and area of study
  • Enthusiasm for engaging with researchers and scholars across the field of Prints and Drawings
  • Eagerness to learn collection software systems
  • 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


  • Awareness of and/or curiosity about art museum culture and current events in the field


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?

To apply: Visit to find job posting and apply online. Upload all materials into one pdf document and list your last name and “Summer 2023” in the title of the file (example: [LAST NAME]_Summer2023.pdf.) The application will close on February 28, 2023 at 10:00 PM CDT. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so early application is suggested. Selected applicants will be asked to interview via video call.


Duration of Program: 10 weeks / June 2023 (start date anytime during the week of June 5–June 9) through August 2023 (end date anytime during the week of August 7–August 11)

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

Schedule: This is a full-time, 10-week position for a currently enrolled or recently graduated undergraduate or graduate student. The intern will work 30–35 hours per week, for a total of up to 350 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 on select Fridays mornings at 10:00 AM CDT unless otherwise noted; we ask that the intern make this part of their internship schedule.

Format: The internship will be onsite at the museum. Due to onsite necessity, applicants based or attending school in the Chicagoland area during the internship timeframe will be prioritized. All museum staff, interns, and fellows are required to provide a COVID-19 vaccine attestation upon acceptance of the position. 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.

Contact Info:
Academic Engagement and Research Department
(312) 857-7146
Job Type: Paid Internship
Location: Chicago, IL / Loop