The Museum offers unpaid internships for undergraduates, graduate students, as well as recent graduates, during the fall and spring semesters and in the summer. Availability is dependent upon departmental requests and specific responsibilities are determined by the needs of the department. Interns work on specific projects, but are introduced to all facets of museum work. Additionally, interns gain practical work experience and a chance to interact with their peers and Museum staff. Museum staff may assist in an intern’s pursuit of academic credit. Each intern will be offered a complimentary 6-month Junior Patron membership.
Summer interns generally work 20 hours per week beginning in late May and ending the last week in July.
Fall (September-November) and spring (February-April) semester internship hours are more flexible in order to accommodate class schedules.
Internships are offered in the following departments with availability depending on departmental needs:
Additionally, the Birmingham Museum of Art is able to offer three paid internship opportunities.
The Goodrich Internship
The Birmingham Museum of Art announces a new PAID internship opportunity made possible by the Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation. The Goodrich Internship provides undergraduates or graduate students in art, art history, museum studies or related fields the chance to explore the possibilities of a museum career.
The Goodrich Internship is a year-long, part-time position. The Intern will rotate between the four major departments within the Museum (Curatorial, Education, Registration, and Development) and will work closely with staff throughout the Museum. He/she will be given considerable responsibility during his/her tenure, allowing him/her the opportunity to gain an in-depth perspective on museum work, from programming to exhibitions and beyond.
The Goodrich Internship will begin in September 2013 and the Intern will be paid a monthly stipend of $1,000. Application deadline is July 1, 2013.
The Thomas N. Carruthers, Jr. Internship for Diversity in the Museum Profession
The Thomas N. Carruthers, Jr. Internship for Diversity in the Museum Profession is awarded at the discretion of the Museum to an exceptional graduate or undergraduate student. The internship is designed to give minority students with a serious interest in a future museum career a semester-long exposure to the inner workings of and the various departments that exist in the Museum. A stipend of $3,000 will be offered for the semester.
The UAB/BMA Curatorial Fellowship
UAB/BMA Fellows are graduate students in the Art History department at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, who have already developed an area of concentration within their studies. The Fellowship gives students the opportunity to spend one year working in the Curatorial department at the Museum. It is designed to provide in-depth experience in the workings of a museum and in the nature of curatorial work. Interns are assigned specific projects and duties based on the needs of the department and work directly with the Museum’s Curatorial staff. The UAB/BMA Curatorial Fellowship begins and ends in August of each year. Deadline for applications: April 1, 2013.
To apply, all internship candidates should submit the following:
- application form (click link at the end of this section)
- a cover letter of interest. Cover letters should indicate which opportunity from the list below the applicant is applying for.
- a personal statement of no more than 500 words that explains why the applicant is interested in an internship at the Museum, why he/she is applying for a specific internship opportunity, what he/she hopes to achieve from the experience, and what he/she believes he/she can contribute
- two letters of recommendation
- copy of transcripts
- resumé (optional)
Fall Semester (September-November)
Applications due: July 1
Spring Semester (February-April)
Applications due: November 1
Applications due: March 1 (CLOSED for Summer 2013)
Please send complete application to:
Birmingham Museum of Art
ATTN. Anne Forschler-Tarrasch
2000 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd.
Birmingham, AL 35203
Current internship opportunities are listed below:
Education: Advanced undergraduate (junior/senior), graduate student, or recent graduate
Area of Study: Art history, art education, or museum studies preferred
Purpose: To work on strategies for engaging onsite and offsite visitors with the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions.
- Research and write Spotlight on the Collection web content for February, March, April, and May 2014.
- Compile existing content, and generate new content, for the Museum’s mobile application. Duties may include meeting with staff to prioritize artworks, generating photography requests, researching and writing text, producing multimedia content, finding relevant web pulls, etc.
- Engage the public with at least one ArtBreak gallery talk (Tuesdays at 12 noon).
- Research and write dynamic content for the Education sections of the Museum’s website.
- Assist with visitor surveying. Duties may include working with staff to identify surveying opportunities, distill information sought, develop questions, and administer surveys.
- Build target-audience contact listing for the Museum’s accessibility programming.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Coursework in art history required.
- Ability to write clearly and concisely for non-specialist audiences. Excellent knowledge of English vocabulary and grammar.
- Facility with Microsoft Office suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) for Windows. Experience with iPhoto and iMovies a plus.
Applicants should submit a 2-4 page writing sample, preferably from an art history or art education course.
Education: Advanced undergraduate (junior/senior), graduate student, or recent graduate
Area of Study: Art, art history, or education
Purpose: To assist the Associate Curator of Education for Teacher & School Services and in the preparation of teacher resource materials and to assist the Artist In Residence in the preparation, administration and facilitation of community outreach programs. This position may require some classroom and/or community teaching.
Hours: Flexible for 10-20 hours per week
- Assist in creating teacher resources such as culture cases, lesson plans and videos
- Research objects from the collection and use to enhance lesson plans, culture cases and other teacher resources
- Write lesson plans and other teacher resources
- Public speaking
- Organizing supplies for teacher and school programs
- Place supply orders
- Make phone calls related to teacher and school programs
- Update files and create excel documents for programs
- Frame student exhibitions
- Assist with the preparation of materials for community outreach programs
- Organize supplies for community outreach and school programs, including ordering supplies
- Make phone calls and inquiries related to outreach and school programs
- Assist with the facilitation of programs in the community
- Update files, create Excel documents, and enter data to maintain accurate records for participation statistics and contact information
- Assist in creating community outreach lesson plans and videos related to the Museum’s collection
- Strong communication skills
- Highly organized with the ability to handle multiple tasks at once
- Proficient in Microsoft Office, Outlook and PowerPoint
- Skills with filming and video-making, preferred
- Must be able to lift 25lbs
- Valid driver’s license and transportation to offsite events
The Education Department of the Birmingham Museum of Art provides opportunities for active audience engagement that relate directly to the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions in order to help the Museum fulfill its mission of providing an unparalleled cultural and educational experience to a diverse public.
Education: Graduate student or recent graduate preferred. We will consider motivated undergraduates who want to learn more about working in a small, special collections library.
Area of Study: Library and information science or a related field
Purpose: Support the day-to-day operations of the Clarence B. Hanson, Jr. Library at the Birmingham Museum of Art
- Provide reference assistance to Museum staff and the public
- Get books shelf-ready
- Manage the Museum’s periodicals
- Assist with marketing and outreach
- Assist with shelving, filing, and general library maintenance
- Weed books as needed
Library interns also work on one major project, which is tailored to meet individual interests. Examples include:
- Processing archival collections
- Creating finding aids for archival collections
- Converting existing finding aids to EAD
- Grant writing
- Creating educational materials such as reading lists to accompany exhibitions
- Outreach projects
- Creating digital content for Museum website, Wikipedia, and other web pages
Library interns also interact with other Museum departments and participate in meetings and events in order to get a better understanding of the role of the library within the Museum.
- Strong desire to work hard and engage in hands-on learning
- Computer literacy and experience doing research on the Internet
- Some art, art history or library experience is helpful, but not required
About the Library:
The Clarence B. Hanson, Jr. Library supports scholarly research on the Museum’s permanent collection and changing exhibitions. Holdings include over 30,000 books, 60 periodical subscriptions, artist files, databases, auction catalogs, archival collections, and a rare books collection. Our clientele include Museum curators, docents, students, and the general public. The Library strives to contextualize and strengthen the visitor’s experience and interaction with art.
For more information, please view our menu items under ABOUT, VOLUNTEER.