Pre-program internship in Conservation (Washington DC, USA)

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is the only facility in the United States dedicated exclusively to the exhibition and preservation of Africa’s traditional and contemporary arts.  With generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the NMAfA is offering a paid pre-program internship for individuals preparing to apply to a graduate-level training program in art conservation.  As part of an initiative to promote diversity in the field and conservation training, the program will offer the opportunity to gain broad experience in multiple specialties, which may include objects, textiles, paper or paintings.

Learning objectives for interns include:

  • Learn to perform condition exams, carry out written and photographic documentation, treat artworks
  • Participate in preventive conservation activities
  • Gain: an understanding of materials and techniques; an introduction to treatment problem-solving; hands-on experience.
  • Develop a portfolio for application to graduate programs.

Desired Prerequisites: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with demonstrable academic commitment to fulfilling the pre-requisites in art history, studio art and chemistry for application to a conservation graduate program.

  • Term(s):  The 6-month, 40 hours/week internship will commence in Fall 2018
  • Stipend:  $600/week stipend plus additional funds to help defray the cost of travel to Washington DC.
  • Deadline:  March 1, 2018
  • Contact Information: Dana Moffett,

Apply Through: Applicants must register and submit an online application via the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment system (SOLAA). After registering, sign onto the SOLAA system.  At the top of the screen, select “Start your Application”; Select “Internship” and “National Museum of African Art” from the drop-down program lists; choose “Pre-program Internship.”

Application requirements via SOLAA:

  • Short essay (no more than three pages total)
  1. A statement of your interest in this internship at the NMAfA and what you hope to gain from the experience.
  2. Please discuss the impact that a funded internship would have on you and your education.
  3. Provide a short biography describing your background, personal history, and interests.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Undergraduate transcripts (unofficial)
  • Two letters of reference

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