History of Art is excited to announce the new Summer Museum Internship initiative. Its purpose is to get our students out in the field and help them find ways to use their classroom learning in the public sphere by pursuing internships at museums or related institutions (galleries, auction houses, non-profit organizations, etc). Because internships are usually unpaid, many students of merit who might devote a summer to acquiring such experience are prevented from doing so by financial constraints.

Our driving assumption is that such internships can be life-changing, sometimes helping students to embark on a specific career path but always allowing them to gain an understanding of how institutions work that is applicable to many professions and pursuits. One of our aims is practical: we wish to make certain that U-M students  are competitive as they seek to enter the job market, having strong dossiers and rich experience on which to draw. But we also care about students’ broader education. We believe that hands-on experience of this kind beautifully supplements what we can give them in the classroom. Through course work, field trips and excursions, and now internships, we hope to prepare students for a lifetime’s engagement with art and also to ready them for playing a part in today’s increasingly complex global community.

We launched a pilot program this past summer with seed money, to conspicuous success. Four undergraduates – two of them History of Art Majors, two of them Museum Studies Minors – were enabled, through departmental support, to work at the Freer|Sackler Museum in Washington DC, the Flint Institute of Arts, and U-M’s Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.

Support the Summer Museum Internship Initiative

Individual internship costs vary between $2,000 and $3,000, so a gift at this level is enough to make at least one internship possible. A multiyear pledge has the added benefi of providing continuity as our department seeks to establish long-term relationships with our external partners. Gifts at higher levels open the possibility of accessing matching dollars at the University level, and of establishing named endowments that can provide support in perpetuity. For more information, contact Brian Arbeiter at arbeiter@umich.edu or call 734.615.6238.

How to apply.