Exhibition Design Internship

Whitney Museum of American Art Whitney Museum of American Art Employer:
New York, NY, USLocation:
Tue, Jul 13 '21Posted on:

The Whitney’s paid Academic Year Fall Internship program offers a semester long internship for undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in an accredited academic program. For Fall 2021, interns will commit from 16 to 21 hours per week for 10 to 12 weeks for a total of 200 hours. The decision as to whether or not the internship will be virtual or hybrid as not been determined.

Please review the department descriptions and refer to the list of departments requesting interns on the application tab—not all departments will be taking interns for the Fall semester.


  • $3,000 stipend (200 hour requirement for the semester)
  • Interns are assigned to a specific museum department for the duration
  • Monthly speaker series featuring museum professionals from across the Museum
  • Interns are eligible for course credit


  • Undergraduates and graduates currently enrolled in accredited academic programs are eligible.
  • Applicants must have completed a minimum of two years of academic course work. Freshmen are not eligible.
  • Certain positions may require graduate-level training and/or professional experience, noted in the department descriptions.
  • While a demonstrated interest in art and art history is preferred, students in all majors are encouraged to apply.
  • Previous museum experience is not required.

Instructions for Application 

  • RESUME Use the following naming convention when uploading your resume: LAST NAME_FIRST NAME_RESUME.pdf
  • COVER LETTER Reflect upon how the Whitney’s mission connects to your background and life experience, address your reasons for applying to the internship program, and describe what you hope to gain by this experience.
  • GRAPHIC DESIGN Portfolio is required. Please upload to the application. 
  • In order to apply, please complete an application located on the Museum’s website:  

The deadline for submissions is: August 16, 2021, and the internship will begin the week of September 27,2021.  

Department Specific:

Projects/work assignments:  

The Exhibition Design Department Intern will provide design support for exhibitions in various stages of planning:

  • Interns will participate in departmental design charrettes and meetings with exhibition curators to review design concepts and art layouts as well as planning meetings involving colleagues across the institution (via Zoom and in-person)
  • Interns will also assist in making art layouts, scaled maquettes of the artwork, study models, full scale mockups and presentation materials.
  • When possible, interns will observe and assist on the floor during construction and installation.

Skills and qualifications required including technology skills:

  • Enrolled in architecture or related design program
  • 2D drafting skills, preferably Vectorworks, 3D modeling skills, preferably Rhino and V-Ray, and fluency in Adobe Suite.
  • Facility with building both study and finish models
  • Ability to think abstractly and creatively
  • Concern for details
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work in a flexible, fast-paced environment on simultaneous projects
  • When applying, candidates must provide a link to their design portfolio

Training to be provided:

  • Interns will be exposed to the process of how exhibitions are realized from conception to installation and the role of Exhibition Design in that process.  
  • Interns will work alongside designers and curators to develop an exhibition’s narrative and environment.
  • Interns will learn the tools designers use to communicate spatial and conceptual ideas to curators and the larger institution. This includes training in developing scaled models of the art work, working with architectural models of the exhibition, developing larger mock ups, developing architectural drawings, and looking critically at art layout in terms of the curatorial narrative.


  • Learning the skills to help assess art checklists, developing three-dimensional thinking with 2D and 3D work, learning the fundamentals of exhibition design planning.
  • Gaining insight from how a large museum of this scale works and how other departments affect exhibition design.

About the Whitney

The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. From her vision arose the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has been championing the most innovative art of the United States for 86 years. The core of the Whitney’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit American art of our time and serve a wide variety of audiences in celebration of the complexity and diversity of art and culture in the United States. Through this mission and a steadfast commitment to artists themselves, the Whitney has long been a powerful force in support of modern and contemporary art and continues to help define what is innovative and influential in American art today.

EEO Statement

The Whitney Museum of American Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Museum does not discriminate because of age, sex, religion, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage or citizenship, disability, marital status, partnership status, veteran status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, or any other factor prohibited by law. The Museum hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled. The Museum encourages all qualified candidates to apply for vacant positions at all levels. This description shall not be construed as a contract of any sort for a specific period of employment.             


Application Instructions:

In order to apply, please complete an application located on the Museum’s website:  

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