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Katzenberger Foundation Art History Internship

2021 Timeline

January 13: Application opens

February 14: Deadline for applications

April 1: Award notification  

Internship Dates: 6/1/21-8/10/21 Interns must be available for the entire 10 weeks, 40 hours per week, and capable of carrying out their project virtually if needed.

 

Background & Purpose

The Katzenberger Foundation Art History Internship Program is a need-based program supporting internships for undergraduates in research and collections projects at the Smithsonian Institution. The program is generously funded by the Katzenberger Foundation and administered by the Office of Fellowships and Internships. Six internships are offered each summer.

 

Eligibility

  • U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.
  • Must be formally enrolled in an undergraduate program of study with academic standing as a junior or senior, or have completed their degree within the past six months.
  • Must be declared as an art history major, concentration, or related discipline.
  • Students are generally expected to have an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 or its equivalent.
  • Qualify for financial need. The aim of this program is to provide an opportunity for high achieving students with financial challenges to participate in a significant internship experience. Applicants must be eligible to receive federal student aid (i.e. Pell Grant, Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, etc…).

 

How it Works

Interns must be available for the entire 10 weeks, 40 hours per week.

Stipend: $3,750

 

How to Apply

Use the SOLAA System to Apply Onlinehttps://solaa.si.edu

  • Register for SOLAA
  • Select “Internship”
  • Select “Office of Fellowships”
  • Select “Smithsonian Katzenberger Art History Internship Program”
  • Apply for 2021

ALL documents must be received no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Time February 14, 2021.

 

Internship Projects

Update as of 1/14/21: Please revisit this list of internship projects periodically. A few more projects are pending confirmation and may soon be listed. 

Please choose only one intern project that interests you and name the project in your application essay. Your application will be considered only for the project you list. If you would like to be considered for more than one, please create a separate application for each project in which you are interested.

Project 1: Arts Writing - Folklife Digital Magazine

Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage (CFCH)

Project to be carried out virtually, if necessary.

Project Description: Folklife is the Smithsonian’s digital magazine of music, food, craft, and culture. We tell unforgettable stories about people, ideas, and a wide array of arts and traditions that help us explore where we have come from and where we are going. We delve into the complex lives of individuals and communities to find what inspires and motivates people as they respond to animating questions at the center of contemporary life.

This internship is perfect for a developing writer who is curious and driven, a self-starter interested not only in art and music, but the creators and communities behind them. The intern will research and author features and profiles on traditional and community artists, some coming from those countries and US regions invited to this year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Along the way, they will interface with editors, cultural historians, art experts, anthropologists, folklorists and ethnomusicologist. Depending on their interests, the intern may work with filmmakers and film students on interviews and short form documentary pieces, perhaps in the role of producer. As for writing style, the magazine’s constituency is a general, educated one. Although, we count among our readers a large percentage of professional cultural workers.

Learning Objectives: The intern will work directly with the media director and intern team members to accomplish these tasks, but it is their POV and fresh, yet informed interpretation that will drive the work. Through this internship, the writer will walk the entire path from research, through writing and production, to online presentation, gaining insights from each phase, making difficult concepts ring clear for their audiences.

Please look to folklife.si.edu and festival.si.edu for examples of published work. You’ll notice many features and perspective pieces produced by past and present interns.

Supervisor bio: Charlie Weber directs the video production efforts of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. He’s a storyteller and documentarian working in both short and long formats and has taught ethnographic and documentary film production workshops in both the U.S. and abroad. Weber is also a main editor with the Center’s digital magazine. Appropriately, he has an undergraduate degree in film and television and a graduate degree in creative writing. 

Project 2: Visual Storyteller/Video Producer - Folklife Digital Magazine

Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage (CFCH)

Project might be carried out virtually – further discussion needed.

Project Description: Folklife is the Smithsonian’s digital magazine of music, food, craft, and culture. We tell unforgettable stories about people, ideas, and a wide array of arts and traditions that help us explore where we have come from and where we are going. We delve into the complex lives of individuals and communities to find what inspires and motivates people as they respond to animating questions at the center of contemporary life.

This internship is perfect for a developing filmmaker/documentarian who is curious and driven, a self-starter interested not only in art and music, but the creators and communities behind them. The intern will research, shoot, produce and edit a mini-doc. Along the way, and depending on their subject, they may interface with cultural practitioners, social justice advocates, community leaders, writers, cultural historians, art experts, anthropologists, folklorists or ethnomusicologists. The magazine’s constituency is a general, educated one. Although, we count among our readers a large percentage of professional cultural workers.

Learning Objectives: The intern will work directly with the media director and video production intern team members to accomplish these tasks, but it is their POV and fresh, yet informed interpretation that will drive the work. Through this internship, the producer will walk the entire path from research, through writing and production, to online presentation, gaining insights from each phase, making difficult concepts ring clear for their audiences. A slight possibility exists that this could work virtually, if the filmmaker can accomplish all work from their location, with frequent check-ins and virtual meetings with the media director. We would need to discuss the possibilities.

Please look to folklife.si.edu, folkways.si.edu and festival.si.edu for examples of published work. You’ll notice many video features and written pieces produced by past and present interns.

Supervisor bio: Charlie Weber directs the video production efforts of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. He’s a storyteller and documentarian working in both short and long formats and has taught ethnographic and documentary film production workshops in both the U.S. and abroad. Weber is also a main editor with the Center’s digital magazine. Appropriately, he has an undergraduate degree in film and television and a graduate degree in creative writing. 

Project 3: Art Speaks: Making Contemporary Artists Approachable

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (HMSG)

Project to be carried out virtually, if necessary.

Project Description: Despite a common perception that contemporary art is elitist and difficult to understand, the stories behind many artworks and artists are inherently human. With a commitment to making art accessible and relevant for visitors of all ages, the Hirshhorn education team has translated our inclusive programming goals to the development of meaningful virtual content.

To date, the Hirshhorn education team has published over 30 maker videos and 35 kids projects, launched a Learning Lab page, and led virtual art camps. Demand for virtual content persists; Hirshhorn KIDS projects are consistently in the top five web pages with over 20,000 visits since its launch.

Building on this body of work, we have laid the groundwork for building an online portal featuring artists in the Hirshhorn collection. Art Speaks will be an engaging cross-disciplinary interactive on the Smithsonian Learning Lab (see sample), responding to immediate needs for inclusive and representative digital content. This portal will feature online collections telling artist’s life stories and accomplishments. Testing content with local partners will enable the building of a high-quality online portal with sustainable and lasting impact at the national level.

Learning Objectives: The intern will be directly involved in all aspects of this project including researching artists, selecting artists for inclusion, writing content, testing content with partner organizations, and identifying outreach strategies to ensure content is reaching our target audiences. This work will be done under the mentorship of Hirshhorn educators, and will be a cross-disciplinary effort. The intern will gain experience collaborating with museum departments including editorial, curatorial and communications. The Art Speaks project has the potential to have a lasting and national impact on art education resources.

Learning Objectives include:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of best practices in art education, both in-person and virtual;
  • Gain a deeper understanding of child development, with a focus on how this knowledge can inform the development of online and virtual resources;
  • Conduct in-depth research on contemporary artists, with an emphasis on broadening the art narrative to be more inclusive of women and people of color;
  • Gain practical experience supporting museum education activities, including programs and tours for adults and visitors with children;

About our work: Hirshhorn Education programs empower visitors of all ages and abilities through gallery experiences, family programs, ARTLAB teen programs, and online resources. With our shared goal of making the Hirshhorn inclusive and welcoming, we develop new audiences and activate museum spaces (both physical and virtual) through visitor participation. Our programs build visitor confidence and creative literacy skills, encouraging meaningful connections with artists and artworks, building a lifelong love of the arts.

Education Programs offer programs for visitors of all ages, including STORYTIME, family days, hands-on art making programs, ARTLAB (for teens), and gallery tours and experiences. Since March of 2020, Youth and Family Programs have shifted to developing online resources including HIRSHHORN KIDS at Home, MAKER MORNING and a complementary series of Learning Lab content. Programs and resources are developed with the belief that all children are capable, and take a proactive approach to working with a wide range of contemporary art. Educators working within youth and family programs have developed a unique set of strategies to support children’s understanding and appreciation of art. The Fellow would work closely with the Youth and Family Programs Manager, and her staff, to review resources, analyze resources learning potential and accessibility, and research and develop artist resources for publishing.

Project 4: Research and Writing for the National Air and Space Museum’s Art Collection

National Air and Space Museum (NASM)

Project to be carried out virtually, if necessary.

Project Description: The National Air and Space Museum’s art collection is one of the primary collections of aeronautical and space related art in the world. The collection consists of over 6,000 art works including paintings, drawings, original prints, reproductions, architectural drawings, sculptures, photographs, and textiles. The collection includes works by Alexander Calder, Francisco Goya, Annie Leibovitz, Man Ray, Robert Rauschenberg, Norman Rockwell, Jamie Wyeth, Alma Thomas, Audrey Flack, Richard Estes, and Chesley Bonestell. The art collection also contains the complete artworks from the beginning of the NASA Art Program through the Apollo era.

The intern will initially explore the art collection though The Museum System (TMS) computer based system where records for the Museum’s artifacts are stored. The intern will be tasked to review the current TMS data and input existing or newly researched data pertaining to specific works in the collection. Other research will include activities related to the art collection for an upcoming exhibition in Gallery 211.

For planning and future exhibition purposes, the internship will research the holdings of the art collection and compile comprehensive documents in its entirety. This research will be a valuable resource for both Smithsonian and academic scholars for research, exhibition planning, and loan purposes.

Learning Objectives: Through this internship, the learning objectives achieved range from making research contributions to a significant art collection, obtaining the complete knowledge of logistics involved for acquisitions and storage of an art collection, to the preliminary process of creating a museum publication and exhibition.

Project 5: Mail Art Resources and Program Creation

National Postal Museum (NPM)

Project to be carried out virtually, if necessary.

Project Description: The internship will focus on the Mail Art movement as well as how it informs “Postal Moderns” who currently create and send mail art. It will include research, both general and using current Postal Museum resources, speaking with curators, and compiling a document with bibliography that can be used for future programming around both Mail Art and the Postal Modern movements. The creation of this document will involve interdepartmental cooperation, working with Collections staff to identify objects that can be featured as well as curatorial staff not only on research but on approving potential text that could be used in programming. The document can be used to help plan future programming, from social media or web posts to tours and large scale programs. The culmination of the internship will be the intern using their document, in concert with the Public Programs Manager, to plan a virtual program in the Wine and Design series, which focuses on a lecture paired with a craft demonstration.

Learning Objectives: This project will allow the intern to learn about the functioning of a museum from multiple angles, working within the Education and Visitor Services department but with other departments, to hone and refine their research skills, communicate in multiple formats (audio, visual, spoken presentation, written publication/ pamphlet, informal blog post, etc.) for multiple publics, and to learn about and do hands-on craft programing and adult-education curriculum development.

Project 6: Curatorial Assistant for the African American Craft Initiative and the Crafts of African Fashion

Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage (CFCH)

Project to be carried out virtually, if necessary.

Project Description: This virtual internship will involve work on two interrelated projects, The African American Crafts Initiative and the Crafts of African Fashion both projects support the cultural sustainability of living artists and artisans.

The African American Craft Initiative aims to expand the visibility of African American artists and makers by highlighting the importance of their practices as essential to community economic and social health. Critically, the Initiative aims to broaden the understanding of contemporary craft in the United States and demonstrate African American craft’s contribution to pride in cultural heritage. Through collaborative research, documentation, and public programming, the African American Craft Initiative will create and nurture new models for a cultural ecology of craft production and learning. These efforts will contribute to the continuity of these vital arts, adapted to local settings in ways that consider new environmental, social, and cultural factors.

Crafts of African Fashion (CAF) supports African artisans, designers and other stakeholders in the cultural industries sector to sustain heritage craft. CAF launched at the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival Marketplace in partnership with the National Museum of African Art and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The success of the launch, which brought artisans and designers together for collaborative demonstration and sales in a marketplace context, suggests that museums have a role to play in supporting artisans in their communities to ensure the vitality of the heritage craft in Africa. A supportive cultural sector can nurture diverse and distinct local African fashion design identities while at the same time developing sustainable local artisan enterprise. Working with local partners across Africa, CAF brings together artisans, designers, museums, scholars, educators, government officials, craft organizations, training centers, cultural tourism or and other stakeholders for collective activities to sustain heritage craft through increasing knowledge and awareness of artisans work and their contributions to fashion. CAF also works toward more equitable collaboration practices. CAF operates through three main objectives, detailed in the following section.

Objective 1. Enhance visibility of heritage craft through documentation and shared media. CAF aims to increase the visibility of African artisans, highlighting the importance of their traditional practices as essential to pride in cultural heritage, community economic and social health and well-being. CAF recognizes that equitable collaboration between artisans and designers can create a clear path to sustaining heritage craft practices. Documentation and storytelling can play a critical role in raising awareness of craft practices and showcasing exemplary collaborations between artisans and designers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Assisting in research, coordination, creating a database of Senegalese artisans and designers.
  • Assisting in the research and preparation of background materials for training workshops.
  • Researching artisan stories through edited photo, video and text narratives published on Folklife Magazine, Smithsonian.com, local media and other relevant outlets.
  • Creating digital content with local partners by aggregating content and interpretation for sharing on Smithsonian and other platforms.

Ideal candidate will have French/English fluency, interest in writing , and familiarity with African fashion.

Project 7: Animating 19th-Century American History Through Multi-Media Online Exhibitions

National Portrait Gallery (NPG)

Project to be carried out virtually, if necessary.

Project Description: The intern selected for this project will be part of a team developing multi-media online exhibitions intended to enliven and elucidate aspects of 19th-century American history that bear on issues of the present day. Responding to present-day concerns about racial equity and social justice, these exhibitions will draw connections between past and present, demonstrating how the people and events that shaped the 19th century have a continuous legacy that impacts institutions, policies, and attitudes of the present. Potential themes include the abolition movement; the Underground Railroad; the Civil War; the Reconstruction era; and the architectural history of Washington, D.C.

Working closely with the supervising curator, the intern will contribute to the development of one or more online exhibitions featuring objects from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection as well as digital content from other sources (such as video clips, podcasts, and historic audio files). 

Learning Objectives: The intern will learn how to navigate the museum’s collection database (TMS) to identify objects for consideration in the exhibition. Through discussion with the supervising curator, the intern will gain understanding of the considerations that underpin exhibition organization and design, and how they are adapted to a digital platform. The intern will research selected objects, gaining experience in best practices for conducting advanced historical research, particularly in relation to American history, art history, and biography. With guidance from the supervising curator, the intern will draft labels and captions. The intern will be part of a working group drawn from several departments at the National Portrait Gallery. As a result, the internship will provide opportunities to learn about a variety of aspects of museum practice, including New Media, Communications, Image Rights, Accessibility, Publications, and Education.

Project 8: American Ginseng Art Exhibition: Formatting an Art Collection of an Iconic Plant into a Smithsonian Learning Lab Collection

Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage (CFCH)

Project to be carried out virtually, if necessary.

Project Description: This project follows up on research and curation of a digital collection of art work depicting the plant American Ginseng (panax quiquefolius) into a Smithsonian Learning Lab collection which can be linked to other materials of the web site, “American Ginseng: Local Knowledge, Global Roots.” The research, digital files, and captions/labels (all with permissions already obtained) were researched and curated by 2019 Katzenberger Intern, Cate Johnson. Cate did not have sufficient time during her interships to work with CFCH web experts to format the exhibition into a digital format, so the exhibition files have been awaiting publication.

The online exhibition of ginseng art researched and written by Cate will be linked to a major web site for the project as an additional resource. The main body of the web site contains the stories of 50 individuals involved in the harvest, cultivation, trading, medicinal use, and conservation of American ginseng, which has been an important source of supplemental income in the Appalachian region for hundreds of years, and ties Appalachia to markets in China, the largest importer of the plant for Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Project curator Betty Belanus realized that the award-winning and widely disseminated platform, Smithsonian Learning Lab https://learninglab.si.edu/ , could be an excellent platform for the exhibition, and learning to use Learning Lab to create the online art exhibition could be an excellent project for another Katzenberger intern.

Learning Objectives: 

The Katzenberger Intern’s tasks would include exploring the Smithsonian Learning Lab for good models for online art exhibitions and discussing options with intern mentor; learning how to add information and formulate an effective collection on the platform through self-instruction using guides for using the site, and, as necessary, consulting Learning Lab staff (who give periodic workshops and are always available for one-on-one advise on using the platform); reviewing the work of Cate Johnson to be sure all information is up to date, and uploading and arranging the exhibition materials in an aesthetically pleasing and easy to use collection on Learning Lab, in consultation with intern mentor.

  • Reviewing the work of previous Katzenberger intern in preparation to make it accessible;
  • Discovering what elements add up to an aesthetically pleasing and easy to use collection on Smithsonian Lab;
  • Learning how to convert existing online exhibition materials to a tried and tested online platform.

Project 9: Unsettled Nature: Artists Reflect on the Age of Humans - Creating Exhibition Programming

National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)

Project to be carried out virtually, if necessary.

Project Description: The Office of Education, Outreach, and Visitor Experience (EOVE) creates programs and associated marketing and outreach materials that highlight, support, and promote research, exhibitions, and collections management at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH).

The Community Programs branch of EOVE produces lectures, film screenings, discussions, demonstrations, workshops, science cafes, art/science programs, and other events that are open to the public. Since March 13, 2020, these programs have been presented virtually – streamed live over the internet and also recorded and archived for viewing anytime.

After Hours programming focuses on evening and weekend events for adult audiences. This programming includes the Beyond the Exhibition series, which highlights the content, curators, and conversations inspiring new and developing exhibitions at the National Museum of Natural History. Currently, the Museum has on display an exhibition featuring contemporary artists engaging current issues of human impact on the environment, entitled Unsettled Nature: Artists Reflect on the Age of Humans. When the Museum reopens to the public – and possibly even before – we will offer a series of thought-provoking and participatory public programs and web components in support of the exhibition, under the Beyond the Exhibition umbrella.

The Public Programs Intern will assist NMNH staff with research, development, promotion, implementation, and evaluation of public programs and web pages related to the exhibition Unsettled Nature: Artists Reflect on the Age of Humans. The programs will be both virtual (in the near term) and on site (in the longer term). Among the intern’s responsibilities will be to research potential program topics and presenters including artists, curators, authors, scientists, filmmakers, critics, and others who can deliver accessible presentations for the general public; assist in development of program agendas; assist with program logistics such as scheduling presenters; contribute to the content and development of an Unsettled Nature landing page on the Museum’s Education website; assist with development of marketing materials to broaden our audience and encourage program registration; learn to measure performance by assessing registration numbers, survey responses, revenue from paid programs, and e-newsletter and web engagement. Training and guidance will be provided by NMNH staff.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Practicing her/his professional skills by working as a member of a diverse, creative team and focusing on collaboration, critical thinking, and data-driven decision making.
  • Developing proficiency in production of marketing/outreach content demonstrated through a portfolio of materials.
  • Developing an understanding and appreciation for effective art and science communication techniques and approaches for audience development.
  • Gaining an understanding of research, curation, event development and marketing practices within NHMH and throughout the Smithsonian.
  • Gaining knowledge of opportunities that connect the museum, art history & curation, scientific research, education, and media fields.
  • Gaining proficiency in development and analysis of business reports and spreadsheets, useful in evaluating the effectiveness of museum programs and business activities.
  • Gaining knowledge and experience in behind-the-scenes logistics of running museum programs.
  • Gaining an understanding of ways that art can elicit thoughtful conversations, new perspectives, and varied interpretations.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR (VIRTUAL) INTERACTIONS:

  • Biweekly team meetings and monthly Education, Outreach, and Visitor Experience staff meetings
  • Film screenings
  • Public programs with artists, curators, filmmakers, scholars, and scientists
  • Telephone and/or video meetings with program participants (possible in-person meetings depending on Smithsonian guidelines at the time)
  • Networking opportunities with staff and interns from other Smithsonian units (virtual or in-person, depending on Smithsonian guidelines at the time)

Project X: General Katzenberger Project

Project to be carried out virtually, if necessary.

Overview: If you aren’t sure which of the projects would fit you best or none of the listed projects address what you would like to learn in an art history related internship, you can indicate in your application essay an interest in a “General Project.” You will also need to describe in that essay your broad interests, career & academic goals, what you hope to learn in an art history related internship, and what interests you the most about the Smithsonian. Staff will see if they can find a possible match between the information you provide and a unit who has not listed a specific Katzenberger intern project this year but who may still be interested in hosting one.

 

Files you will need to upload:

Essay

  • 2 pages double spaced
  • 12 point type
  • Must address the following:

1) Your past and present academic history and other experiences which you feel have prepared you for an internship

2) What you hope to accomplish through an internship, and how it would relate to your academic and career goals

3) What about the Smithsonian in particular interests you and leads you to apply for an internship – particularly the project you have chosen

Transcripts (or other materials when transcripts are not issued) from all appropriate institutions are required. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable. If transcripts or other materials are not in English the applicant should provide translations.

Resume

References

  • Names and email addresses of two academic references
  • All reference letters are considered confidential unless confidentiality has been waived by the reference
  • Through SOLAA you will send an email to these referees so they can provide references through the web
  • Have the reference submit in sufficient time to meet the application deadline

 

Selection Criteria

  • Substantial course work in Art History or related museum disciplines.
  • Demonstrated interest or experiences in museums, galleries, libraries, or archives.
  • Demonstrated research and writing skills, attention to detail, and knowledge of computer programs.
  • The relevance of an internship at the Smithsonian to the student’s academic and career goals will be an important part of the evaluation of an applicant.
  • Applicants should note that it is not possible for the Office of Fellowships and Internships to arrange an internship project or award a stipend to all qualified candidates.
  • The Smithsonian does not discriminate on grounds of race, creed, sex, age, marital status, condition of handicap, or national origin of any applicant.

 

Questions?

Please send questions about this program Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships at siofi@si.edu  

 

Contact Phone: (202) 633-7070

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