Employer Opportunity Highlight: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

🎨Employer Background

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the largest museums in the United States. It contains more than 450,000 works of art, making it one of the most comprehensive collections in the Americas.

As one of the world’s renowned art museums, the MFA boasts a collection that spans nearly all cultures and time periods—ranging from the art of ancient Egypt to French Impressionism to Contemporary. There’s art and so much more to interest people from all walks of life. The Museum is a lively social destination that offers concerts, films, and lectures while also serving as an important community and educational resource for schools and families.

Our mission is to preserve and share our treasures with Boston and beyond while providing an engaging and memorable experience for all our visitors. This would not be possible without our talented staff, volunteers, donors, members, and community partners.

Our culture is built on scholarship, collaboration, trust, and mutual respect. We embrace change and the opportunity it brings and are committed to develop, reward, and retain our valuable staff.

Join us for what promises to be an enriching, vibrant, and ever-changing experience. And, yes, a fun place to work!

đź“‹Current Intern Openings – You can apply to them all in Handshake!

  • Black Arts and Artists Curators Circle Intern, Photography
    The Department of Photography at the MFA is looking to hire a talented undergraduate student with an interest in pursuing a museum career.
    The Black Arts and Artists Curatorial Internship will include curatorial collection research and support on specific projects related to exhibitions and recent acquisitions. Throughout the internship, the selected candidate will learn about the breadth of curatorial work and gain an understanding of how museums operate internally. This will include opportunities to work closely with the Curator on collection advancement and also provide exhibition support, as well as work on other projects related to the Curator and Department’s varied interests within the field of photography.
    The internship provides an opportunity to learn first-hand about curatorial careers and exhibition planning as well as about the history of photography and the MFA photography holdings. We encourage applications from students who are strongly interested in curatorial work in a museum setting, but who may not yet have had the opportunity to experience it much or at all. The intern will receive training and database orientation necessary for research, as well as guidance and support from the Curator. Successful candidates will be mature, organized, and enthusiastic about museums, research, and photography.
    The internship will be in the Department of Photography which is responsible for the acquisition, study, and display of photographs from the medium’s entire history. The collection represents multiple histories of photography across cultures including but not limited to fine art photography, photojournalism, documentary photography, fashion photography, portrait photography, vernacular photography and more. Supervisory mentorship for this position will be provided by the Estrellita and Yousuf Senior Curator of Photographs.Essential Responsibilities:
    Assist in curatorial research and record keeping related to the ongoing projects including upcoming exhibitions
    Compiling and analyzing library and archive materials on specific topics related to our collection; compilation and editing of bibliographies, tracking down sources online or in libraries
    Assist with the digital maintenance of checklists and other logistics related to the curatorial care of the photography collection
    Learn about and assist with daily curatorial tasks such as program planningInternship Duration:
    The ideal candidates must be able to work four days a week over the summer and join in intern enrichment activities. Internship will take place mainly remotely with a few opportunities to work in the Museum with the Curator (to be determined given evolving COVID protocols).What you will gain from the experience:
    Mentorship and professional development is an integral part of the fixed-term position. There will be bi-weekly one-on-one meetings throughout the internship, as well as arrangements made for informational interviews with a range of museum and arts professionals inside and outside the Museum, dedicated to helping the successful applicant explore and refine their career path.
    Interns are paid $16 per hour over the course of 9 weeks.

    Eligibility Requirements:

    Designed to foster intentional training and professional development within museum curatorial practices, the MFA’s Black Arts and Artists Curators Circle is pleased to support paid internships for undergraduate and graduate students who are currently enrolled in an academic program and self-identify as any of the following: African American, of African descent, Black, Latinx, or Afro-Latinx. In order to consider your candidacy, you need to fulfill all the given requirements:

    • Must be enrolled (for the duration of the internship) in an undergraduate program in art history, history of decorative arts, museum studies, arts administration or art program with an interest in museums; and provide proof of employment eligibility
    • Self-identify as any of the following: African American, of African descent, Black, Latinx, or Afro-Latinx
    • Strong interest in and at least some knowledge of photography
    • Excellent organizational skills with keen attention to detail, ability to multitask, and to be self-motivated in a moment in time when the internship experience will be remote due to the pandemic
    • Previous successful experience with organizational tasks and systems, and proficiency in Microsoft office
    • Demonstrated written and communication skills; strong research skills

    Apply Here!

  • Pre-Program Conservation Internship
    The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s Conservation and Collections Management is actively looking to hire a pre-program Conservation Intern for summer 2021.
    Conservation and Collections Management is an integral part of the Museum’s stated purpose to hold its collections in trust for future generations. Members of the department promote the long-term preservation of artworks through development of conservation treatments, study of materials and techniques, scholarly research and documentation. The department follows internationally established standards to document and maintain the aesthetic and physical integrity of works of art through six conservation disciplines, an analytical facility, and a collections management division responsible for safe exhibition, storage, transport, as well as the collections database.
    What you will gain from the experience:
    • Intern will assist with the maintenance of outdoor sculpture and the consolidation of Japanese lacquer.
    • The care and treatment of outdoor sculpture around the MFA campus will include examination, washing, waxing, buffing, and written and photographic documentation (including 3D scanning) of objects before and after treatment.
    • Intern will be introduced to conservation issues particular to outdoor sculpture, including deterioration mechanisms, maintenance needs, and treatment protocols.
    • This work will take place in a public conservation studio.
    • Intern will learn basic skills of photographic documentation, conservation principles, and condition reporting.
    • Intern may also have opportunity to participate in other activities that offer hands-on experience and valuable insight into the day-to-day operations of a conservation lab.
    • Intern will be expected to perform tasks in support of collections care and conservation procedures.
    Responsibilities may include:
    • Assisting conservators with examination, condition reporting, and written and photographic documentation
    • Assisting conservators in the treatment of works of art in the MFA’s collections
    • Undertaking research necessary to support conservation treatments
    • Engaging with visitors in the public Conservation in Action studio
    • Performing other duties as appropriate
    Qualifications:
    • Currently enrolled undergraduate student (or very recent graduate) pursuing a career in art conservation and seeking to gain experience with a pre-program internship before enrollment in a conservation graduate program
    • Previous museum experience desirable
    • Must be able to work in an outdoor environment under summer weather conditions
    • Must be able to climb ladders, work on scaffolding, and carry equipment weighing 15-20lbs
    • Must be comfortable working in public view
    • Must work well in a team environment focused on learning conservation skills and techniques
    • Attention to detail
    • Good hand skills
    • Facility with Microsoft Word, Excel, and database programs (training in use of the Museum’s database system will be provided)
    • Ability to perform tasks in professional manner and with discretion when working with confidential records
    • Ability to commit 4 days per week for 8 weeks between June and August 2021
    Interns will be paid at a rate of $16.00 an hour.

    Apply Here!

  • Art of the Americas Undergraduate Intern for Museum Diversity
    The MFA is delighted to offer this internship supported by the Luce Foundation. This is a paid internship offered to an outstanding student who is committed to diversifying the museum field’s curatorial ranks.
    Internship Description
    The Art of the Americas Department, spanning the Ancient Americas times through the 20th century, is responsible for exhibitions, installations, programs, and a range of initiatives focused on one of the MFA’s largest and most distinguished permanent collections. Encompassing the art of North, Central, and South America, including paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts, the Art of the Americas’ curatorial staff coordinates installations in the permanent galleries, organizes special exhibitions, researches the collection, and supports a range of loan activities to other institutions.
    The department is currently seeking an undergraduate level intern to assist with work on evaluating the success of the curatorial and interpretation approaches in three recent exhibitions supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, including the current exhibition, “Collecting Stories: The Invention of Folk Art.” The intern will also help consider how to implement successful elements into the permanent collection galleries. This is a paid internship working directly with the Curatorial Research Associate under the supervision of Art of the Americas Chair, as well as Curators in Paintings and Decorative Arts & Sculpture. It offers an opportunity to gain invaluable practical experience by learning first-hand about museum work while personally contributing to one of the world’s best collections of American art. The AoA Undergraduate Curatorial Intern will assist with a wide variety of administrative and research duties vital to a current exhibition and the ongoing Folk Art Initiative. The internship will take place mainly remotely with a few opportunities to work in the Museum with the Curator (to be determined given evolving COVID protocols).
    Responsibilities:
    • Receive formal training in TMS (the Museum System), a valuable tool in collections management
    • Learn about and assist with the general functions of a curatorial department via participation in departmental zoom meetings
    • Assist with research on the Art of the Americas folk art collection
    • Research and administrative support for exhibition evaluation and future gallery implementation
    Qualifications:
    • Enrollment in or recent graduation from a B.A. program in history, art history, or museum studies
    • Basic knowledge of art history or museum studies
    • Demonstrated interest in learning about museum activities
    • Previous office experience or related work
    • Familiarity with computer programs and databases is desirable
    • Demonstrated attention to detail and reliability; ability to work independently
    • Ability to commit 35 hours per week for 12 weeks through mid-August
    To apply, please submit a single document (MS Word or PDF) containing the following elements: 
    1. Your cover letter;
    2. Your current résumé/c.v.;
    3. Your responses to the following five questions (maximum of 250 words per question);
    4. Recognizing that diversity is multifaceted, how do your unique experiences and perspectives contribute to diversity at the MFA, Boston and in the museum field in general?
    5. Describe how your academic/research interests align with the Museum’s Art of the Americas collection.
    6. Highlight specific artists/artworks in the MFA’s Art of the Americas collection that relate to your academic/research interests.
    7. Describe how the Internship for Museum Diversity will help you further your career goals.
    8. What does the term “folk art” mean to you?

    Apply Here!

  • Intern, Teen Programs
    Description of Teen Programs 
    The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Learning & Community Engagement Division is responsible for programs that give visitors of all ages opportunities to make direct connections with the Museum’s collection and exhibitions. The Division offers internships to college students who enjoy working with teens and are interested in learning more about the many facets of Museum Education.
    Teen Programs includes four major program areas: The Teen Arts Council (TAC), STEAM Team (Science, Technology Engineering, Art and Math), Curatorial Study Hall (CSH) and our soon to be launched, Teen Summer Docent Program.
    The TAC is a 15-year-old program that employs 15 Boston-area high school juniors and seniors. TAC members are introduced to a wide range of museum professions and learning opportunities while also gaining valuable work experience. They have the opportunity to work on a variety of activities such as creating and producing teen focused events, greeting and giving information to Museum visitors, and creating wall labels to accompany the Museum’s art collections. They also attend workshops and training sessions designed to develop their creative and critical thinking skills and workplace competencies while serving as ambassadors to their peers by inviting them to engage with the MFA.
    The STEAM Team centers around science, technology, engineering, art and math and consists of six (6) teens. The STEAM Team works closely with the museum’s Conservation staff. They watch art go through its metamorphosis from existing out in the world to being displayed in the galleries.
    Our Curatorial Study Hall allows four (4) teens the opportunity to curate exhibitions within the museum. CSH Teens research, pick pieces from the collection, write labels and curate their thought process as an exhibition in the museum galleries.
    Finally, in our Teen Summer Docent program, ten (10) teens help visitors become familiar with artwork in the MFA’s collections. Teens will learn valuable Visual Thinking Strategies that will allow them to provide constructive tours in the galleries.
    This internship is a one-year position and takes place on-site in the Museum’s galleries and office space as well as virtually via Zoom. Teen Interns assist by helping the teens to understand a range of art concepts, navigate museum culture through our various programs, and explore the galleries. Interns are expected to carry out their daily responsibilities, assist with the development of systems that help the teen programs run efficiently and implement lesson plans within the four programs. This is a valuable opportunity for those interested in working with teens, explore working in a museum setting, as well as gain pre-practicum experience when applying to the workforce.
    The Teen Programs Intern will receive tangible educational benefits such as planning and implementation process required in launching/sustaining new initiatives within the MFA’s Teen Programs. Interns will have the chance to pursue learning and networking opportunities within the Museum. They will also have the chance to contribute to the inner workings of the department with particular emphasis on youth initiatives and daily facilitation. The four distinctively different programs allow for diverse new challenges.
    Benefits
    • Work alongside a range of experienced professionals who are motivated to provide mentorship and guidance.
    • Gain valuable skills in customer service by communicating with a variety of audiences, visitors, and teens.
    • Understand the different stages of teen development by working directly with high school students.
    • Learn skills in program management, conflict resolution, and meeting diverse needs.
    • Learn valuable communication skills by working both in-person and in virtual classroom spaces.
    • Learn the intricacies of art inquiry discussions, galleries, and programming by working in an encyclopedic institution.
    • Review the process of curriculum development and effective lesson planning.
    • Develop reflective practice habits to set goals.
    • Hear from museum professionals during enrichment sessions to gain more exposure to museum life.
    Responsibilities
    • Support Teen Staff with program management and implementation of all four programs within the museum.
    • Maintain the organization and technical support in the office.
    • Help Coordinators prepare projects for Teens.
    • Supervise Teens during programming and dinner periods.
    • Escort Teens around the museum and other various locations.
    • Support the Teens in developing career, organizational and social competencies.
    • Maintain communication with both internal staff and external community partners who work with Teen Programs.
    Qualifications
    As we intensify our efforts toward becoming a truly inclusive institution, ensuring that diversity, equity, and access are lived values, we actively encourage candidates from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to apply for the MFA Teen Programs Internship. We are especially mindful of those in our community impacted by inequity due to ability, language, class, age, gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity, and are working diligently to address perceived and real barriers that keep anyone from fully experiencing an internship at the Museum.
    • Currently enrolled in a degree at an accredited university.
    • Proof of Federal Student Aid eligibility (i.e. page one of FAFSA report declaring you are eligible for aid: please redact your income and any award amounts)
    • Proof of eligibility to work for pay in the United States.
    • Passionate interest in Youth and/or Program Development, Art, Community Relations and Public Affairs
    • Interest in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) disciplines
    • Proven ability to work as part of a team as well as independently.
    • Proven ability to interact successfully with high school students.
    • Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills.
    • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and take initiative.
    • Those studying Art Education, Sociology/Psychology Education and Liberal Arts are encouraged to apply.
    Schedule
    The Teen Programs Intern will work weekly during the school year (September through June), 3 paid hours a week on Wednesdays 4pm-7pm for 40 weeks. During the summer, interns work Tuesday through Friday at 30 hours per week (for 6 to 7 weeks) all at $16 an hour (pre-taxed). Interns are allowed up to one week off.

    Apply Here!

  • Black Arts and Artists Curators Circle Intern, Contemporary Art
    The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s Department of Contemporary Art is actively looking to hire a talented undergraduate or graduate student with the interest in a museum career.
    This post is designed to conduct research, support special projects and events within the department, and assist with the administrative functioning of the department. Over the internship, selected candidates will learn about the curatorial process and museum administration while gaining practical museum experience. This will include learning about and participating in the development of exhibitions, research, collection advancement, and other special projects related to the Curator’s and Department’s varied activities and interests in the overlapping fields of contemporary art, crafts, and design.
    This internship has a particular focus on the histories of and current practices in contemporary craft and design. We encourage applications from candidates who are strongly interested in curatorial work in a museum setting, but who may not yet have had the opportunity to experience it much or at all. The internship will suit someone with a love of reading, writing, and research who wants to learn how to direct these skills as part of museum work.
    The internship is housed within the Department of Contemporary Art which is responsible for the acquisition, study and display of art created from 1955 to today. Contemporary art at the MFA encompasses many media including film and video art, sculpture, installation, photography, paintings, design, craft, decorative arts, and performance. In September 2011, the Museum opened its renovated Linde Family Wing as a space dedicated to contemporary art, vastly expanding the department’s capacity for exhibition. While the position will interface with all Department staff, supervisory mentorship will be provided by the Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Arts
    Essential Responsibilities:
    The Curatorial Intern will provide general curatorial support by fulfilling many of the following functions:
    ●   Assist in curatorial research in conjunction with collection-related activities, exhibitions, and publications, including gathering and analyzing library and archive materials
    ●   Assist with the digital and physical maintenance of checklists and other logistical details related to the curatorial care of a museum collection
    ●   Assist curators in working with artists, collectors, and Museum colleagues
    ●   Obtain permissions and copyright clearance for images and maintain accurate credit lines, and help to ensure accuracy of information on publications, in print and online
    ●   Occasionally work with the Curator in conjunction with Learning and Community Engagement, Development, and Marketing and Communications staff to prepare programs and materials to promote, publicize, and interpret the collection and exhibitions
    ●   Assist with coordination of logistical needs for artists/curators visits including arranging honoraria, travel, lodging, meals, and any event-related logistics
    ●   Work with the Curator and Registrars in updating and maintaining exhibitions and loans database
    Internship Duration:
    The ideal candidates must be able to work four days a week over the summer and join in intern enrichment activities. Internship may take place on-site, remotely, or in a hybrid mode.
    What you will gain from the experience:
    Mentorship and professional development is an integral part of the fixed-term position. There will be bi-weekly one-on-one meetings throughout the internship, as well as arrangements made for informational interviews with a range of museum and arts professionals inside and outside the Museum, dedicated to helping the successful applicant explore and refine their career path.
    Interns are paid $16 per hour over the course of 9 weeks.
    Eligibility Requirements:
    Designed to foster intentional training and professional development within museum curatorial practices, the MFA’s Black Arts and Artists Curators Circle is pleased to support paid internships for undergraduate and graduate students who are currently enrolled in an academic program and self-identify as any of the following: African American, of African descent, Black, Latinx, or Afro-Latinx. In order to consider your candidacy, you need to fulfill all the given requirements:
    • Must be enrolled (for the duration of the internship) in or recently graduated from (within the last two years) a BA or MA program in art history, history of decorative arts, museum studies, arts administration or art program with an interest in museums; and provide proof of employment eligibility
    • Self-identify as any of the following: African American, of African descent, Black, Latinx, or Afro-Latinx
    • Strong interest in and at least some knowledge of contemporary art, design, and/or craft
    • Excellent organizational skills with keen attention to detail, ability to multitask, and to be self-motivated in a moment in time when the internship experience will be remote due to the pandemic
    • Previous successful experience with organizational tasks and systems, and proficiency in Microsoft office
    • Demonstrated written and communication skills; strong research skills

    Apply Here!

By Misha D'Andrea
Misha D'Andrea Recruiting Coordinator, Employer Relations Misha D