Internships are valuable endeavors for students, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. This includes students who seek a major in art history. If you are seeking a degree with a major in art history, several different types of internships can be particularly valuable to you.
Art Museum Internship
A premier internship for a person seeking a degree in art history is one at an art museum. Oftentimes, there is an inherent historical element in the mission and work of an art museum. This can even be the case at a modern art museum because even modern art has a storied history. These types of internships tend to be found in larger U.S. cities.
Internships at art museums tend to be highly competitive. They typically are also paid internships. With the possibility of compensation noted, a person should not immediately shy away from an unpaid internship at an art museum. The intrinsic value of this type of internship renders it a wise course for an art history major even if compensation is lacking.
Also a highly competitive option, an internship abroad can be particularly beneficial to an art history major. For example, there are a variety of different art history internship possibilities in Europe and Asia, both of which are primary geographic areas in which some of the most compelling art has developed through the centuries.
Internship opportunities abroad can include museums but also cathedrals and other historic sites that are home to amazing collections of art. Oftentimes, an art history major will elect to take a semester abroad to accomplish this type of internship.
Community Arts Agencies
Many mid- and large-size cities in the United States have community arts agencies or arts councils. These organizations tend to be umbrella agencies that promote visual, performing, and other arts within the community. These are nonprofit organizations that undertake an array of different types of programming during a given year. These organizations are involved in promoting the arts as a driving force in the larger community, including what Forbes describes as “the great unappreciated engine of the economy.”
Many of these local arts organizations engage the assistance of interns to accomplish their missions. For example, these local arts organizations oftentimes embark on different types of educational programs, including arts in education efforts. Thus, they may be eager to add art history majors to their teams to assist in their overall mission to the community served.
Yet another internship opportunity an art history major may want to explore is in the education arena. Some school districts and private schools have specialized internship programs specifically designed for individuals pursuing a variety of different types of majors, including in art history. These are different than standard student teaching opportunities. For example, a student might be able to obtain a school-based internship assisting in the development of an art history curriculum.
Some libraries have established internship programs of different types. The internship programs might be more generalized. However, that doesn’t mean that an art history major is precluded from seeking an internship position and pitching the idea that a library or library system would benefit by engaging an intern that focuses his or her efforts on art history matters. Also, some art museums maintain specialized libraries, according to the Art Institute of Chicago. One area in which an art history intern can be particularly helpful in a library or library system is community enrichment programming. For example, an intern can assist in developing community education programs on different aspects of art history.
Related Resource: What Can I Do With An Art History Degree?
A considerable percentage of art history majors that embark on internships do so during the summer between their junior and senior years in college. Some adjustments to that timeframe are made when a semester abroad is the internship route pursued. The key to obtaining an ideal internship is to plan and be as proactive as possible in seeking an opportunity.