Curatorial Internship Program Creates Powerful Opportunities

EMERGING SCHOLARS > CURATORIAL INTERNSHIP GRANTS

In 2009, the Trust added an annual Curatorial Internship Grant to our Emerging Scholars Program of continuing education scholarships and summer research grants. Over the past seven years, we have partnered with six organizations and provided seven internships to promising up-and-coming curators, recently expanding from a single one-year internship to sponsoring a pair of two-year positions.

Trust Governor Brock Jobe suggested the introduction of the grant program in 2009 when the economic downturn began to reduce the number of curatorial opportunities available to recent graduates. The internship grant is a matching program, whereby the host organization contributes dollar-for-dollar the funding provided by the Trust through directed gifts from our members. Matching grants ensure that our partners are equally committed to the endeavor, requiring that they raise funds to complete the match or allocate the necessary monies from their annual operating budget. Hosts typically have limited staffing and see our grant program as a rare opportunity to recruit much-needed manpower.

The program seeks to provide the interns with a comprehensive curatorial skillset that will further their career, either through continued employment at the host organization or another museum or historical society. The diverse tasks assigned to the intern provide an introduction to the full breadth of responsibilities. The experience is akin to a curatorial boot camp, where interns receive hands-on experience, hone research and writing abilities developed in graduate school, and gain exposure to collections care, exhibition development, fundraising, and public programs.

The Trust’s Education Committee, which oversees the Emerging Scholars Program under the direction of Governor Robert Leath, undertook a recent survey of our past interns and institutional hosts to analyze the impact of the program as well as the areas in which it could be expanded and improved. The feedback we received was enormously valuable. Not only was the significance of these internships reinforced, the recommendations offered will help the Trust chart a path for enhancing the quality of the program in the years to come. A primary thrust will be to increase the grant funding with the goal to raise the interns’ salary above the current level of $25,000 per year while also providing support for professional development endeavors, such as research trips and continuing education programs.

We hope you enjoy reading these comments from our past interns and will generously support the grant program in the years to come as we look to improve the experience and training of future curators and museum professionals.

Intern: Sarah Parks
Year: 2010-11
Host: Nantucket Historical Association, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Current position: Project Manager, Boston Furniture Archive, Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, Delaware
Our inaugural Trust intern, Sarah brought her enthusiasm, strong work ethic, and Winterthur training to Nantucket, where her one-year internship was followed by three additional years of employment.

The internship provided hands-on experience with a broad collection of decorative arts and the ability to become deeply involved in many activities in Nantucket. I was granted considerable latitude to explore, learn from, and draw on the collection. The internship had enough flexibility that I was involved in cataloging, acquisitions and deaccessioning, furnishing plans, conservation, exhibitions, education and interpretation, and public programming. I built on existing skills while also filling functional gaps in my resumé and look back upon the experience with great appreciation for the opportunity!

Intern: Louisa Brouwer
Year: 2011-2012
Host: Fairfax House, York, England
Current position: Keeper of Art & Place, Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury, England
Louisa’s internship was unique in that her host organization was located across the Atlantic. Building upon her thesis research on a London jeweler, Louisa relished the opportunity to work in York and recently returned to England following a fellowship at Yale.

My time as the Trust’s curatorial intern at Fairfax House had a direct and lasting impression on my career trajectory. Since completing my year-long internship, the skills and experiences I gained have allowed me to progress in my museum career, leading to a two-year fellowship at the Yale University Art Gallery and to my current position at Gainsborough’s House. On a daily basis, I rely on the foundational museum skills I learned during my Trust internship–from exhibition research and object cataloguing, to care of collections and grant applications.

Intern: Anne McBride
Year: 2012-13
Host: Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts
Current position: Director of Development, Old Sturbridge Village
Occasionally a curatorial internship leads the recipient toward an allied discipline, as was the case with Anne, who pursued a career in fundraising following her year in the curatorial department at Old Sturbridge Village. Her experience remains a significant asset as a development officer.

Trust Governor Brock Jobe encouraged me to apply for the internship and was a constant source of advice and support. While an intern, I had the opportunity to work closely with Jim Donahue, the President and CEO of Old Sturbridge Village, on a number of fundraising projects. That experience influenced my decision to pursue development work. My current position as Director of Development, however, is directly linked to the internship. The connections made while I was an intern brought me back to the Village. I work closely with the curatorial department on grants and other funding opportunities; my knowledge of the collection and the curatorial department has made a tremendous difference. I truly would not be where I am today without the Trust’s internship.

Intern: Caryne Eskridge
Year: 2013-14
Host: Classical Institute of the South, New Orleans, Louisiana
Current position: Marsha Brady Tucker Curatorial Fellow, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut
Caryne faced the daunting task of interning for a recently created organization as its only full-time staff member. As the director of a regional decorative arts survey, Caryne harnessed nascent management and leadership skills without the advantage of onsite mentorship but achieved impressive results.

While Project Director for the Classical Institute of the South, I cultivated skills that I use every day in my position at Yale. The experience of planning and managing a survey project helped me become more comfortable balancing the numerous duties and responsibilities of curatorial work. Being in close contact with objects enhanced my visual and mental encyclopedia and strengthened my confidence in rigorously interrogating objects and interpreting them on different levels. All of these skills gained through the Trust’s support serve me in my work at Yale and will continue to be crucial throughout my career.

If you would like to support the Trust’s Curatorial Internship Program and further the development of promising young scholars, please make a donation or by calling 610.627.4970.

UPCOMING EVENTS

SAVE THE DATE
  • Spring Symposium  New Orleans, April, 2018
  • Sweden & Denmark May/June 2018
  • Fall Symposium Upper Hudson River Valley, September 2018
  • Fall Study Trip Abroad Vienna, Prague & Budapest, October 2018

In 2009, the Trust added an annual Curatorial Internship Grant to our Emerging Scholars Program of continuing education scholarships and summer research grants. Over the past seven years, we have partnered with six organizations and provided seven internships to promising up-and-coming curators, recently expanding from a single one-year internship to sponsoring a pair of two-year positions.

Trust Governor Brock Jobe suggested the introduction of the grant program in 2009 when the economic downturn began to reduce the number of curatorial opportunities available to recent graduates. The internship grant is a matching program, whereby the host organization contributes dollar-for-dollar the funding provided by the Trust through directed gifts from our members. Matching grants ensure that our partners are equally committed to the endeavor, requiring that they raise funds to complete the match or allocate the necessary monies from their annual operating budget. Hosts typically have limited staffing and see our grant program as a rare opportunity to recruit much-needed manpower.

The program seeks to provide the interns with a comprehensive curatorial skillset that will further their career, either through continued employment at the host organization or another museum or historical society. The diverse tasks assigned to the intern provide an introduction to the full breadth of responsibilities. The experience is akin to a curatorial boot camp, where interns receive hands-on experience, hone research and writing abilities developed in graduate school, and gain exposure to collections care, exhibition development, fundraising, and public programs.

The Trust’s Education Committee, which oversees the Emerging Scholars Program under the direction of Governor Robert Leath, undertook a recent survey of our past interns and institutional hosts to analyze the impact of the program as well as the areas in which it could be expanded and improved. The feedback we received was enormously valuable. Not only was the significance of these internships reinforced, the recommendations offered will help the Trust chart a path for enhancing the quality of the program in the years to come. A primary thrust will be to increase the grant funding with the goal to raise the interns’ salary above the current level of $25,000 per year while also providing support for professional development endeavors, such as research trips and continuing education programs.

We hope you enjoy reading these comments from our past interns and will generously support the grant program in the years to come as we look to improve the experience and training of future curators and museum professionals.

Intern: Sarah Parks
Year: 2010-11
Host: Nantucket Historical Association, Nantucket, Massachusetts
Current position: Project Manager, Boston Furniture Archive, Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, Delaware
Our inaugural Trust intern, Sarah brought her enthusiasm, strong work ethic, and Winterthur training to Nantucket, where her one-year internship was followed by three additional years of employment.

The internship provided hands-on experience with a broad collection of decorative arts and the ability to become deeply involved in many activities in Nantucket. I was granted considerable latitude to explore, learn from, and draw on the collection. The internship had enough flexibility that I was involved in cataloging, acquisitions and deaccessioning, furnishing plans, conservation, exhibitions, education and interpretation, and public programming. I built on existing skills while also filling functional gaps in my resumé and look back upon the experience with great appreciation for the opportunity!

Intern: Louisa Brouwer
Year: 2011-2012
Host: Fairfax House, York, England
Current position: Keeper of Art & Place, Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury, England
Louisa’s internship was unique in that her host organization was located across the Atlantic. Building upon her thesis research on a London jeweler, Louisa relished the opportunity to work in York and recently returned to England following a fellowship at Yale.

My time as the Trust’s curatorial intern at Fairfax House had a direct and lasting impression on my career trajectory. Since completing my year-long internship, the skills and experiences I gained have allowed me to progress in my museum career, leading to a two-year fellowship at the Yale University Art Gallery and to my current position at Gainsborough’s House. On a daily basis, I rely on the foundational museum skills I learned during my Trust internship–from exhibition research and object cataloguing, to care of collections and grant applications.

Intern: Anne McBride
Year: 2012-13
Host: Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts
Current position: Director of Development, Old Sturbridge Village
Occasionally a curatorial internship leads the recipient toward an allied discipline, as was the case with Anne, who pursued a career in fundraising following her year in the curatorial department at Old Sturbridge Village. Her experience remains a significant asset as a development officer.

Trust Governor Brock Jobe encouraged me to apply for the internship and was a constant source of advice and support. While an intern, I had the opportunity to work closely with Jim Donahue, the President and CEO of Old Sturbridge Village, on a number of fundraising projects. That experience influenced my decision to pursue development work. My current position as Director of Development, however, is directly linked to the internship. The connections made while I was an intern brought me back to the Village. I work closely with the curatorial department on grants and other funding opportunities; my knowledge of the collection and the curatorial department has made a tremendous difference. I truly would not be where I am today without the Trust’s internship.

Intern: Caryne Eskridge
Year: 2013-14
Host: Classical Institute of the South, New Orleans, Louisiana
Current position: Marsha Brady Tucker Curatorial Fellow, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut
Caryne faced the daunting task of interning for a recently created organization as its only full-time staff member. As the director of a regional decorative arts survey, Caryne harnessed nascent management and leadership skills without the advantage of onsite mentorship but achieved impressive results.

While Project Director for the Classical Institute of the South, I cultivated skills that I use every day in my position at Yale. The experience of planning and managing a survey project helped me become more comfortable balancing the numerous duties and responsibilities of curatorial work. Being in close contact with objects enhanced my visual and mental encyclopedia and strengthened my confidence in rigorously interrogating objects and interpreting them on different levels. All of these skills gained through the Trust’s support serve me in my work at Yale and will continue to be crucial throughout my career.

If you would like to support the Trust’s Curatorial Internship Program and further the development of promising young scholars, please make a donation or by calling 610.627.4970.

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