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Behind the Scenes at the Museum: Summer Intern Edition

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Behind the Scenes at the Museum: Summer Intern Edition

Each year, college students from across the country set out to find internships. This summer, 26 undergraduate and several graduate interns are working throughout the museum to gain experience in their respective fields. (And, hopefully, have fun in the process!)

Alicia Hudson Garr, internship coordinator and associate director of interpretation, says this summer the interns are especially diverse, which reflects the nature of the museum’s program.

“We offer internships in all sorts of museum departments,” she says. “Having an art history background is useful for a variety of positions, not just for curatorial internships.”

Who are the interns?

Cleveland Museum of Art interns come from many different schools and areas of study. Marketing intern Brian Cash is a junior architecture major at Miami University, while education intern Mallory Potash graduated from Ohio University in 2009, with a degree in art history.

Mallory Potash, education intern

While both have strikingly different day-to-day activities (Cash often enters survey data and works on research projects, while Potash writes self-guided tours for visitors), both say they love the experience.

“My favorite part is having such open access to antiquities,” Potash says. “I can study the Apollo Sauroktonos on my lunch break!”

Cash says he is excited to apply his new knowledge and skills to his position as vice president of marketing for a student-run ethical T-shirt company at Miami. His second favorite part? “Getting to dress up,” he jokes.

What do they do?

Depending on the department, the day, and what the museum has planned, interns could assist with anything from making important discoveries about paintings, researching decades old archives, or even writing blog posts—like this one.

Carolyn Corrigan, a curatorial intern in the American paintings and sculpture department, says the most exciting part of her internship thus far has been identifying paintings that need to be renamed.

Carolyn Corrigan, a curatorial intern

“The labels on the back of the paintings, filled in by the artists, have a different title than what the museum has on file,” she explains.

 

Sometimes, interns get to work together on projects, such as special exhibitions and events. Both Cash and Potash volunteered at the museum’s Summer Solstice Party in June.

Cash says the most exciting tasks he has been involved in during his internship involved interdepartmental collaboration as well.

“I really enjoyed sitting in on the recent planning session for an exhibition,” he says. “It was great to see everything that goes into it.”

How can others apply?

To apply for one of the museum’s internships, candidates should send a résumé of their education and employment experience, including a list of any relevant courses taken, as well as a 500-word essay about career goals, interest in museum work, and reasons for applying to internships@clevelandart.org.

College credit is available, and internships are offered through the fall, spring, and summer. To learn more about program requirements and deadline details, e-mail internships@clevelandart.org.

(Editor’s note: This blog post was written by public relations intern and Kent State student Katie Young. This internship is a perfect fit, as Young is majoring in public relations with a minor in art history. Her favorite part about working at the museum? Writing for the blog, of course!)

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