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Woody Internship in Museum Studies

Ready to take your interest in museums to the next level?

Woody interns will receive $4,000 to complete ten full-time weeks of intern and research activities during the summer. Successful applicants will be matched, according to their interests and previous experience, with museum partners, who will then have the opportunity to vet final candidates through interviews.  This opportunity is open to all W&M undergraduates.

Apply now!

Explore the following internship opportunities for Summer 2023, and apply by Dec. 1, 2022:  

bhmva-thumb2 Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia (Richmond, Virginia)

BHMCCVA

The mission of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia (BHMVA) is to provide, develop, and partner in the creation of educational resources, services, and opportunities to promote and advance understanding of the history and culture of Black people and African Americans in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Internship description

The intern will work with historical documents in the museum's collections, including will books, county records, and family records, to research the lives of enslaved individuals.  The museum's mission is to preserve stories that inspire.  The intern will experience working in an organization with a small, passionate, multi-tasking staff based in Richmond, Virginia.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests

  • attention to detail
  • flexibility
  • ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • interest in interacting with visitors from around the country and the world

Learn more about the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia here.

Chrysler-thumb Chrysler Museum of Art (Norfolk, Virginia)

 Chrysler-1

The Chrysler Museum exists to enrich and transform lives.  Its mission is to bring art and people together through experiences that delight, inform, and inspire.  The museum has fifty galleries, a growing collection of more than 30,000 objects, an interactive space for families, and the only glass studio of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Internship description

The Chrysler Museum has an internship opportunity in curatorial research, collections research, interpretation, and archaeology.

The intern will work with Chief Curator and Irene Leache Curator of European Art Dr. Lloyd DeWitt on researching and interpreting several items in the collection by indigenous artists. The Chrysler’s Ancient Worlds galleries will be going through an extensive re-interpretation, and the intern’s research will be part of this larger project. The intern will also work with Corey Piper, Brock Curator of American Art, on how to weave stories of indigenous peoples throughout our American galleries.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests

  • interest in archaeology
  • interest in ancient cultures and Native American art
  • passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion in museums
  • ability to work independently

Learn more about the Chrysler Museum of Art here.

Colonial National Historical Park (Yorktown, Virginia)

NPS,1Colonial National Historical Park (NHP) administers two of the most historically significant sites in English North America. Historic Jamestowne, the first permanent English settlement in North America in 1607, jointly administered with Preservation Virginia, and Yorktown Battlefield, the final major battle of the American Revolutionary War in 1781.

Internship description

The intern will assist the park with its overall Cultural Resources Program by researching the park's historical and cultural resources and helping to share information with the community locally and regionally. The intern has a wide, interdisciplinary array of possible projects, including but not limited to: research into the Yorktown African American Civilian Conservation Corps, working on an Enslaved Naming Project, conducting research related to historic waterman of Yorktown, and studying the distribution of ceramics from William Rogers - the Poor Potter. These projects can involve GIS research, data collection and interpretation, and public-facing reportage.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests

  • interest in cultural resources
  • previous coursework in archaeology and/or history
  • good public speaking skills
  • interest in engaging with a wide variety of visitors
  • basic understanding of archaeological methods and practices

 Learn more about Colonial National Historical Park here.

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (Williamsburg, Virginia)

CWF,2The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation operates the world’s largest living history museum in Williamsburg, Virginia—the restored 18th-century capital of Britain’s largest, wealthiest, and most populous outpost of empire in the New World. The mission of Colonial Williamsburg is to be a center for history and citizenship, encouraging national and international audiences to learn from the past through the preservation, restoration, and presentation of 18th-century Williamsburg and the study, interpretation, and teaching of America's founding democratic principles. 

The Colonial Williamsburg story of a revolutionary city tells how diverse peoples, having different and sometimes conflicting ambitions, evolved into a society that valued liberty and equality. Americans cherish these values as a birthright, even when their promise remains unfulfilled.

Internship description

An internship with Colonial Williamsburg provides the opportunity to assist with research, management, interpretation, and preservation of the Foundation’s fine art, decorative arts, architectural, and folk art collections. For 2023, the successful candidate will be assigned to the historic interiors unit to assist with the development of interior furnishing plans that align with interpretive plans for the Powder Magazine and the Williamsburg Bray School.

Responsibilities

  • Undertake research of primary research materials such as inventories, daybooks, correspondence, and other paper documents in support of the Powder Magazine and Williamsburg Bray School historic interior projects. 
  • Support CW staff by using documentary evidence, including primary archival documents as well as architectural and archaeological evidence to develop furnishing plans.
  • Undertake research to support other department projects as needed.
    Perform other duties as assigned.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests

  • strong research skills, including ability to use primary documents
  • patience, orderliness, logic, curiosity, and thoroughness in work habits
  • previous coursework in American history, Art History, American Studies, a plus
  • interest in museums and learning about related career opportunities

Learn more about the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation here.

Jamestown Rediscovery (Jamestown, Virginia)

Jr,2The search for a richer story about Jamestown, the site of the first successful English settlement in North America, continues inside the Jamestown Rediscovery Research Center where over three-million excavated artifacts and ecofacts are housed. In addition to illustrating documented people and events at Jamestown, the collections help interpret the unwritten past. These lost or discarded items were touched, treasured, traded, used, or broken by the people who helped lay the foundations of America’s birthplace.

Internship description

This intern will be helping Jamestown Rediscovery staff to work on a major initiative: the development of their Reference Collection. This assemblage of materials is intended to best represent the breadth and depth of the collection excavated on this site since 1994. While the research element of this internship is critical, the intern will also learn some of the practical processes that occur in an archaeological lab, processes that must occur in order to further research of our artifacts. The intern will digitally catalog and interpret a wide array of artifacts, including but not limited to: ceramics, shell beads, animal remains, and unusual materials in the collection. 

Preferred skills, experiences, and interests

  • Interest in findings from archaeological sites
  • Student of Archaeology, Anthropology, Biology, History, or a related field
  • Basic understanding of archaeological methods

 Learn more about Jamestown Rediscovery here.

jamestown-yorktown.png Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

JYF,2The mission of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation is to foster through its living-history museums – Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown – an awareness and understanding of the early history, settlement, and development of the United States through the convergence of American Indian, European, and African cultures and the enduring legacies bequeathed to the nation.

Internship description

This is a mulitdisciplinary internship, providing a well rounded view and experience working in public history, museum education, preservation, marketing, development and public/private partnership management. The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation intern will be given the opportunity to learn the practical skills, and everyday working functions of all aspects of museum education and operations, from program development, creating successful marketing and fundraising campaigns, to liasing with Foundation boards and operating as an agency of the Commonwealth.

Interns also have the opportunity to assist in creating 3D reproductions of museum artifacts so that they may be used in classroom spaces and onsite programs. This project would expand accessibility of the Foundation to visually impaired visitors as well as classrooms facing economic or geographic barriers.

Preferred skills, experiences, and interests

  • Student of History, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Education, or a related field
  • Interest in working in an interdisciplinary environment

Learn more about the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation here.

Standard File Preservation Virginia (Richmond, Virginia & multiple locations)

presva,2Preservation Virginia owns and operates six historic locations open to the public. It’s roughly 100 miles from Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown in Hanover County to Cape Henry Lighthouse in Virginia Beach- 100 Miles of History! Along the way, visit the John Marshall House, Historic Jamestowne, Smith’s Fort and Bacon’s Castle.

Internship description

Preservation Virginia, a privately-funded, statewide historic preservation leader founded more than 100 years ago, works to ensure the relevancy of the Commonwealth’s historic places. The multifaceted and impactful nature of our advocacy programs, six historic sites and partnerships with otherorganizations has allowed us to create a holistic approach to saving the places that connect us to our diverse, complex history. The Summer Internship is an opportunity to learn more about the life of a preservationist with hands on experiences at our historic sites. This internship will cover a multidisciplinary range of possible responsibilities and activities, from site interpretation and exhibition to communications and design to philanthropy and outreach. 

Preferred skills, experiences, and interests

  • Student of History, Architecture, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Archaeology, or related field
  • Interest in social justice and preservation

 Learn more about Preservation Virginia here.

Standard File Taft Museum of Art (Cincinnati, Ohio)

taft_facade.jpgBuilt around 1820 as a private home for several of Cincinnati’s most prominent citizens, the Taft Museum of Art is now one of the finest small art museums in America and holds National Historic Landmark status for its historic house and Duncanson murals.

Here, you’ll find gems of history nestled into every nook and cranny in our period-inspired rooms—each their own canvas of creativity—that surround you in stories that have endured for generations. Our 200-year-old house holds a remarkable collection that spans the Middle Ages through the 19th century with European and American paintings, and 18th-century watches, Chinese porcelains, and French Renaissance enamels. The collection features iconic artists including Rembrandt, Goya, Gainsborough, Turner, Ingres, Whistler, and Sargent, as well as Federal-period American furniture and the most significant pre-Civil War domestic murals in the United States.

Internship description

The intern at the Taft Museum of Art will focus on the development and implementation of education programming while having the opportunity to work on projects like grant writing and social media strategies. The TMA's smaller size ensures that the intern will have exposure to all areas of museum operations and experience a teamwork-focused environment. The intern will come away from the internship with a broader understanding of the great variety of career paths available in the museum field.

Preferred skills, experience, and interests

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Passion for community-focused work
  • Desire to work in a team setting
  • Demonstrated research skills
  • Experience working with children or adults in an informal education setting

Learn more about the Taft Museum of Art here.

Standard File Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, Virginia)

vmfa,5Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is a state-supported, privately endowed educational institution created for the benefit of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art, to encourage the study of the arts, and thus to enrich the lives of all.

Internship description

A VMFA intern will join the exhibition planning department to learn more about how traveling projects are created and managed. Special exhibitions are supported by nearly every department across the museum, and this internship will provide the opportunity to work on multiple aspects of the exhibition planning process. Intern will assist in project management of overall traveling exhibitions via schedules, programs, publication and related activity across the museum.

Preferred skills, experiences, and interests

  • Interest in art and art history
  • Hands-on and open outlook on learning
  • Eagerness to work as a part of a larger team
  • Interest in project management inside and outside of a curatorial lens

Learn more about the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts here.

Standard File Virginia Museum of History & Culture (Richmond, Virginia)

vmhc,1The Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) connects people to America's past through the unparalleled story of Virginia. By collecting, preserving, and interpreting the Commonwealth's history, the museum links past with present and inspires future generations.

Internship description

The internship will primarily involve the intern authoring research articles for the VMHC website. This will involve conducting historical research with primary sources held by the VMHC and writing public-facing pieces that promote the VMHC’s collections and serve as sources of information for library patrons. In addition, the intern will gain experience and familiarity with some of the day-to-day operations involved in the running of a research library by assisting library staff with tasks such as finding material for finding aids, handling basic reference questions, helping patrons navigate the catalog, digitizing finding aids, shelf reading, and scanning finding aids/catalogs for outdated language.

Preferred skills, experiences, & interests

  • Student of Arts or Humanities discipline
  • Previous experience with historical research
  • Interest in underrepresented histories (such as Civil Rights history, LGBTQ+ history, and disability history)

Learn more about the Virginia Museum of History & Culture here.

new-w-stacked.jpg Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library (Winterthur, Delaware)

img_0128.jpgWinterthur is the premier museum of American decorative arts, with an unparalleled collection of nearly 90,000 objects made or used in America since 1640. The collection is displayed in the magnificent 175-room house, much as it was when the family of founder Henry Francis du Pont called it home.

Winterthur is also 1,000 acres of protected meadows, woodlands, ponds, and waterways. The 60-acre garden, designed by du Pont, is among America’s best, with magnificent plantings and massive displays of color throughout the year. The graduate degree programs and extensive research library make Winterthur an important center for the study of American art and culture.

Internship description

Winterthur offers a unique opportunity for the Woody Intern to work across the Collections and Interpretation Division which spans the following departments: curatorial, exhibitions, conservation, estate history, public programming, and registrations. The focus of the internship will be content development for the museum's 2025/2026 exhibitions. During the 10 weeks, the Woody Intern will have an opportunity to conduct primary material culture research, mentored by the museum's curatorial and exhibition staff while also having myriad opportunities to engage with the division's interpretation and engagement team.

Preferred skills, experiences, and interests

  • Student of Art History, History, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, or a related field
  • Willingness to undertake a multidisciplinary set of tasks
  • Familiarity with archival research
  • Interest in working with numerous museum departments and partners

 Learn more about the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library here.

 

Thanks to the generosity of Carol and Robert Woody, we are pleased to offer a range of inspiring new internships for Summer 2023 in the expansive field of museum studies.

Host institutions provide interns with mentored research experiences that align with their needs and strategic objectives.  Students are expected to apply and practice what they learn by contributing to the creation of an original project (e.g., exhibit, publication, or digital initiative) that reflects the latest methods, best practices, and innovative technologies in the field.

Below are the general application requirements. You can find more information in the links provided above, including expected duties and qualifications for each internship.

Eligibility

Applicant must be:

  • a student in good academic standing.
  • a continuing undergraduate student (i.e., not a graduating senior).
  • eligible to work in the United States on or before May 1, 2023.
  • available to complete ten full weeks of intern and research activities in Summer 2023.
Requirements
  • Internships will have a research component with specifics to be arranged with the internship supervisor. Students receiving internship funding are required to blog about their research experience during the summer on the Charles Center Summer Research Blog.
  • Students are required to participate in the Fall 2023 Undergraduate Research Symposium. 
Application

Your application for the 2023 Woody Internship in Museum Studies includes:

  • Woody Museum Studies Internship Application form (online)
    • You will be asked to enter the names of two references :
      • One reference must be a faculty member who has taught you in class.
      • A second reference may be a former supervisor, acquaintance, etc. who can speak to your ability to be successful in the internship.
  • Cover Letter, addressed to the Charles Center, explaining the following:
    • why you are interested in the museum studies internship
    • the skill sets, academic preparation, and special interests or experiences you possess that qualify you for the internships you selected
    • why you consider yourself a good fit for your chosen internships
    • your personal qualities that make you suitable for this opportunity
    • how this internship relates to your career and academic goals
    • what you hope to gain from this experience
  • Writing sample, ranging from 3 to 5 double-spaced pages
    • The writing sample should be a reflection of your ability to conduct research and craft an argument using primary and/or secondary sources. This can be an essay for a class, independent research, a journalistic article, etc. 
  • Resume
  • Banner (unofficial) transcript 
    • To access your unofficial transcript, log in to Banner at banweb.wm.edu, navigate to the “Student” tab, select "Student Records" and then “Student Profile.” On the left-hand menu of your student profile, click “Unofficial William & Mary Academic Transcript.” Select “Undergraduate” and “Web Self-Service” on the drop-down boxes. This will take you to your unofficial transcript; right click anywhere, select “Print,” and select the destination as “Save as PDF.”

For more information or questions about the internship program, please contact Maxwell Cloe at mmcloe@wm.edu .

Applications for Summer 2023 must be submitted by Dec. 1, 2022. 

Apply now!

Previous Interns:
2022

Noah Broude - Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Winterthur, Delaware
Junior | History and Linguistics

Caroline Donovan - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia
Junior | Anthropology

2021

Emma Eubank - Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Ohio
Junior | Anthropology and Medieval & Renaissance Studies
Morgan Sanders - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia
Junior | History and Geology
Hannah Sanner - Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Winterthur, Delaware
Senior | Chinese Language & Culture

2020
Jamie Carkenord - The Phillips Collection in Washington DC
Sophomore| American Studies
Julia Gibson- J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California
Sophomore | History
Grant Wong- Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia
Junior | History
2019

Clara Poteet - J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California
Junior| Art History
Katie Gibson - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia
Sophomore| History
Grace Ford-Dirks- Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Winterthur, Delaware
Sophomore| History
Hannah Lowe - Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Ohio
Sophomore| History

2018

Charles Parsons - The Phillips Collection in Washington DC
Sophomore| Art & Art History major, Art History concentration

Hannah London - J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California
Sophomore| Undeclared

Caitlin Wagner - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia
Junior | Anthropology major, Art History minor

Lydia Heaton- Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Junior | History major, French & Francophone Studies minor

2017
Helen Cameron - J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California
Junior | Art History & Classical Studies major, University of St. Andrews Joint Degree Program
Sarah Farver - The Phillips Collection in Washington DC
Junior | History major, Art History minor
Emily Knoche - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia
Sophomore | Global Studies major, French & Francophone Studies minor
Anna South - Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
Sophomore | English major, University of St. Andrews Joint Degree Program
2016
Kelsey Frenkiel - The Phillips Collection in Washington DC
Senior | Anthropology major, History minor
Emma Merrill - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia
Sophomore | History major, Public Policy minor
Isabel Stevens - J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California
Junior | History and Classics major
2015
Carter Lyon - The Phillips Collection in Washington DC
Junior | History major, University of St. Andrews Joint Degree Program
Rachel Rosenfeld - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia
Sophomore | History and Film and Media Studies majors
Claire Tinsley - J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California
Junior | Art History major