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Internship ,
submitted by
Rachel Rowland

McMullan Arts Leadership Internship, Prints and Drawings (Academic Year 2024–2025)


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:

  • Directly handle works of art and learn about the materials and processes of prints and drawings;
  • Gain experience interacting with instructors, students, and scholars visiting the study room;
  • Develop strong communication and organizational skills;
  • Develop mentor relationships with field practitioners;
  • Build peer-to-peer relationships with fellow interns.


  • 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;
  • Work with study room staff to measure and catalog recent acquisitions;
  • 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 year and/or attending school in the Chicagoland area;
  • Alumni of Chicago’s Marwen organization are particularly encouraged to apply;
  • 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.


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 “AY2425” in the title of the file (example: [LAST NAME]_AY2425.pdf.). Please upload your materials where the application asks for a “résumé/cover letter.”

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 and prompts in short essays (maximum 300 words except for the last prompt.) 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 fully onsite. Internet access and appropriate technology will be necessary to complete this internship; technological accommodations will be provided by the Art Institute of Chicago based on necessity.

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