Curatorial internships and fellowships provide behind-the-scenes museum experience, access to myriad resources, and mentorship with the Art Institute’s distinguished curators—invaluable experience for pursuing a career within the museum field.
Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program
Established in 2013, the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program aims to make a critical impact on American art museums by expanding the diversity of their curatorial staff. The program was originally implemented at five partnering institutions: the Art Institute of Chicago; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA); the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH); and the Nelson–Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City. In the fall of 2017, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation generously approved a five-year renewal grant to continue supporting the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program across the consortium of museums, with the addition of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). Each partner museum holds a world-class, encyclopedic collection that represents the broad range of artistic production across history and around the globe, and at each site the program is organized around two components: the Summer Academy and the Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program.
Seeking to make a critical impact on American art museums by developing gifted curators who are committed to engaging with the full spectrum of museum audiences, the program provides specialized training for students across the United States from groups historically underrepresented in the curatorial field and those who support the goal of promoting inclusive, pluralistic museums. Students must be currently enrolled at a university, college, or community college, and, if selected, be able to commit to at least two years in the program prior to graduating. Applicants should express an interest in art, art history, or the museum field. In addition to having a strong academic record, a candidate should be able to demonstrate, through areas of study, extracurricular activities, background, or other experiences, how they will contribute to the program.
The Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy is a weeklong intensive program exposing undergraduate students to museum professions through workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, field trips, and networking events. After completing the Summer Academy, participants have the opportunity to apply for a two-year curatorial fellowship.
The two-year curatorial fellowships provide students with hands-on experience inside a museum setting, working with curators and staff on exhibitions, collections, and programs. Fellows are matched with a museum mentor who works to enrich their academic experience and to increase exposure to the museum context while broadening a fellow’s understanding of art and art history. Fellowships include engagement during the academic school year and two consecutive summer internships.
The Summer Academy is a weeklong intensive program exposing undergraduate students to museum professions through workshops, behind-the-scenes tours, field trips, and networking events.
The Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program is a two-year program providing fellows with hands-on experience inside a museum setting, working with curators and staff on exhibitions, collections, and programs.
Learn about our Summer Academy participants and Undergraduate Curatorial Fellows.
It is our goal to stay connected to Summer Academy participants and to continue to provide critical auxiliary support in the form of career counseling, professional development, internships, and networking opportunities. We encourage Summer Academy students to consider themselves part of the museum network, as the weeklong intensive is merely the beginning of their relationship to the Art Institute. Cohort events are organized quarterly to keep our 45 alumni connected to the museum and to one another. Additionally, a Facebook group for alumni is regularly populated with arts opportunities, and one-on-one meetings for career and academic guidance are scheduled upon request.
Please contact the Department of Academic Engagement and Research at firstname.lastname@example.org.