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Internship ,
submitted by
Rachel Rowland

Paper Conservation Lab Intern (Summer 2024)


The Art Institute of Chicago’s department of Conservation and Science is excited to offer this summer internship opportunity to work within their paper conservation lab to study and document a recent acquisition of Dutch art from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Ranging chronologically from the 1530s to c. 1650, the prints chart the history of Dutch printmaking at the period of its greatest technical and artistic sophistication. This extraordinary group of 1,265 prints and print series (for a total of 1,440 sheets) documents in depth the development of a style in European printmaking that came to be known as Dutch Mannerism.

In addition to the subject matter and imagery captured in the collection, the concentration of high-quality, datable sheets of handmade papers provides a rich opportunity for study and characterization. This internship would initiate such a study by focusing on a representative sample set of the collection, to be selected by the curator. The outcome of the pilot study will in turn inform the implementation of a broader survey, with the ultimate goal of creating content for a forthcoming exhibition catalog or standalone publication in the vein of Watermarks in Rembrandt’s Prints (1998).


At the end of this internship, the intern will have:

  • Gained experience in handling and examining works of art;
  • Gained familiarity with sixteenth and seventeenth-century handmade papers and printing processes;
  • Participated in department-wide conservation activities;
  • Developed mentor relationships with field practitioners;
  • Built peer-to-peer relationships with fellow interns through museum-wide internship activities.


Collaborating with the Associate Paper Conservator and the Prince Trust Associate Curator and steward of the acquisition, the intern will be responsible for:

  • Handling and characterizing the prints as well as acquiring beta radiographs of each work and photographic documentation as needed;
  • Providing feedback and updates as necessary to our current guidelines;
  • Assisting in crafting a new workflow for the larger collection survey;
  • Providing documentation for each work in the select group;
  • Attending regular meetings with their supervisors and team members;
  • Attending 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 duration of the internship;
  • Interest in paper conservation and/or art history required;
  • Meticulous attention to detail;
  • Familiarity with databases or has an interest in learning about collection management systems;
  • Basic knowledge of Excel and Photoshop;
  • Ability to be open-minded and work collaboratively with colleagues across the museum.


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, please submit the following materials:

  • A cover letter outlining your interest in this internship and how it will help you in the next steps of your career;
  • A résumé or CV.


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: 8-10 weeks / June 2024 through August 2024, exact start and end dates to be determined.

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

Schedule: This is a full-time, 8-10-week position for a currently enrolled or recently graduated undergraduate or graduate student. The intern will work 35 hours per week, for a total of up to 280 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 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. Technological accommodations will be provided by the Art Institute of Chicago.

Number of openings: 1

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