Internship in Art History

ARH 490, 3 credits

The Internship in Art History is designed to help students gain professional work experience in a visual arts institution. Students pursuing one-semester internships in art history spend approximately nine hours per week working in an institution such as a museum, art gallery, or conservation lab. (Some of this work may take place off-site.)

Students are responsible for finding and applying to an internship program of their choosing (see link below for some possibilities). Duties carried out during the period of the internship may include: curatorial research; assisting in the researching and writing of materials distributed to the public; conducting tours and classes; assisting in the installation of exhibitions; or working with objects in art conservation. The student’s specific tasks will be established by his or her immediate supervisor in the institution, in consultation (if necessary) with the internship advisor at the University at Albany. It is expected that, while completing the internship, the student will make use of his or her academic skills in research, writing, and visual analysis, namely, those skills learned in lecture courses and seminars at the University at Albany. For art history majors considering graduate school, there is also the possibility of teaching internships. Please see the internship advisor if you are interested in this option.

To register for ARH490, Internship in Art History, students must be of junior or senior standing and have a minimum 2.0 average; students do not have to be art history majors. The internship is normally done during the fall or spring semester. A student who wants to do the internship during the summer should see the internship advisor to obtain special permission. At the end of the semester, students must submit to the internship advisor a written report of their activities during the internship, together with documentation of the research and/or writing they completed for the internship. The written submission should comprise at least fifteen pages (double-spaced, 12-point font, 1-inch margins). The submission should have two primary parts, and each should be approximately half of the final report:

  1. The first part should be a description, in either prose form or presented as a log, of what was done over the course of the semester. Students should describe in detail their responsibilities, accomplishments, and the challenges they faced during the internship period.
  2. The second part should contain material that represents the work accomplished over the course of the semester. Students do not need to produce new material for this section; they should simply include examples of representative work from the internship. For example, if students wrote up wall text (the labels placed next to works of art in museums), they can include the texts themselves as well any reports compiled in order to write the labels. Or, if they catalogued images, they can include lists of images compiled.

It is recommended that students keep an ongoing diary of their internship activities to provide the core material for the final report.

N.B.: For art history majors, the internship counts towards the upper-division elective requirement. Other majors should consult with their advisors about how the course fulfills their major requirements.

Supervising Faculty: academic year 2015-16: Rachel Dressler
See some examples of internships in the Albany area here