Emerging Art Leaders Internship – Collections and Loans (Fall 2019, Paid) – The Art Institute of Chicago – Chicago, IL

The Art Institute of Chicago

Do you have an interest in how museums are able to provide you with information about their collections and analyze their objects in interesting ways? Do you like leading group projects and understanding every detail of that project? Then you would be the right fit for an internship in Collections & Loans: Collections Information Internship.

As the fall 2019 Emerging Art Leaders intern, you will hone your project management skills as well as learn about essential databases that every museum works with including collection management system and digital asset management systems. You will also learn about enterprise applications like Tableau and Reporting Services which will take you into the exciting world of strategy and analytics.

During the course of your internship, you will interact with a wide selection of museum staff including, Registrars, Collection Managers, Program Developers, Project Managers, Analysts and many more. You will work directly with the Director of Collections Information and be exposed to a stratum of museum work which can only be viewed from behind the scenes. The selected candidate will be mentored through new skills and application of those skills to small projects in real-world situations.


  • Direct mentorship from experienced museum professionals.
  • Wide exposure to various museum jobs, essential to museum operations.
  • Exposure to core systems every museum uses for collections work.
  • Exposure to the fast-growing field of museum analytics with real-world applications.
  • Peer-to-peer relationships with fellow interns

Intern Information

About the Emerging Art Leaders Internship

The Emerging Art Leaders Internship is open to all qualified candidates with individuals from groups historically underrepresented in the arts museum field particularly encouraged to apply.
Priority will be given to those who demonstrate commitment to the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums.

This internship is part of a museum-wide effort to provide students from diverse backgrounds, including those underrepresented in the museum field, the opportunity to gain experience, career awareness, networks, skills that will together position them to succeed as future art museum leaders. Those selected join an intern cohort and have access to a range of programs to support their development in addition to their specific departmental placement. Mentorship is provided throughout the intern experience. Interns are also encouraged to remain connected to the museum and to other interns as part of an alumni network.

This project is made possible, in part, through the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative (DAMLI), funded by the Walton Family Foundation and Ford Foundation. Additional funding for DAMLI is provided by the James and Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation.


  • Research aspects of the collection using archival material or collection records.
  • Lead a small development project for collections systems.
  • Build a collections dashboard analysis based on an institutional collection goal.
  • Learn about the complex nature of migrating information from one system to the next, which is particularly relevant in the changing world of technology.
  • Opportunities to request informational interviews or shadow sessions with permanent staff.



  • Undergraduate or graduate student located in the Chicago metropolitan area who has completed at least one academic year of post-high school study; recent graduates (within one year of graduation) will also be considered.
  • A very strong interest in at least one facet of this application.
  • Excitement for learning about different aspects of museum collecting over the last century and new paths we are setting.
  • Comfort with asking obvious questions that challenge an established norm.
  • A detail-oriented person, who can look at a project from multiple perspectives.
  • Committed to the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums


Application must include the following materials:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter that also includes answers to the following questions:
    • What you hope to gain from this internship experience
    • What you will contribute to this internship
    • What challenge(s) or barrier(s) you face (personal, cultural, socioeconomic, educational, etc.) as you consider pursuing a career in the arts, and how this internship might play a role in helping to surmount those obstacles

Please combine all application materials into a single PDF for upload.


For fullest consideration, applications should be submitted by July 8, 2019 5:00 pm CST.

Intern Information:

Length of Program: Fall Academic Term (210 hours, August-December)

College Credit: Available

Compensation: Paid

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