Internship in Historic Artifact Research U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Reception Rooms

2020 Summer Internship applications are now being accepted through 11:59 p.m. ET on October 4, 2019

The Office of Fine Arts, U.S. Department of State, offers an unpaid, experience-oriented internship in American cultural historic artifact research and museum education in the Office of the Curator at the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, in Washington, D.C.

The 42 Diplomatic Reception Rooms, located on the top two floors of the U.S. Department of State, are the site for many of our nation’s diplomatic meetings and events including international summits, treaty negotiations, official U.S. State Luncheons, and important Presidential speeches. The rooms house a historic museum-quality collection of more than 5,000 fine and decorative art objects valued at more than $150 million that tell the story of our country’s founding and formative years. The fine and decorative arts collection is comprised of paintings, sculptures, prints and manuscripts, furniture, silver, glass, textiles, export porcelain and earthenware from 1730-1840. A significant portion of the collections relate to important moments in our country’s history and represent excellent examples of fine and decorative art from important artists and craftsman.

The internship is open to graduate students pursuing a Master of Arts degree in American fine or decorative arts, American history, American studies, art history, arts management, exhibition design, history of decorative arts, material culture, museum education, or museum studies. The internship provides opportunities for historic object research to help educate and encourage the development of future professionals in the field. The Diplomatic Reception Rooms is also preparing to launch a national fundraising campaign to provide funding for their national education program and website. Currently in the quiet phase, this campaign will identify, cultivate, solicit and close major gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations, and non-profits. As such, this internship provides hands-on training and experience in major gift fundraising, campaign research, and strategy to help educate and encourage the development of future professionals in the field. Candidates must have a demonstrated interest in historic artifact research, and must have prior experience researching historic objects and art, or show interest in major gift fundraising, campaign research, and/or campaign strategy.

The intern supports the work of the Collections Manager and office staff for the Diplomatic Reception Rooms as a collections research or campaign assistant. Duties include: conducting additional research on fine and decorative arts objects in the DRR collection including researching important historical figures associated with the selected objects, associated historical time period/s, and potential uses of the object to identify related primary resources and assets. Additionally, the intern will engage in conducting donor research, campaign planning, and assist in developing campaign strategy including marketing, messaging, and branding. Based on ability and interest, the intern will have the opportunity to draft memos and donor recognition letters.

Candidates must demonstrate excellent research and writing skills, and have the ability to work independently and as part of a team. The intern will conduct research on and off-site, and will document findings and sources using standard museum research practices.

The Diplomatic Reception Rooms internship requires a minimum of 20 hours/week. Working hours are between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and some work can be conducted off-site. Days and hours are flexible, depending on the student’s course schedule.

The successful applicant must pass an official security background check and receive a Secret level clearance before final acceptance for this internship. The application process for security clearances can take up to four months. Students notified of their acceptance to the internship program will  need to begin the process immediately upon selection, working with the U.S. Department of State and Diplomatic Reception Rooms.

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