Jobs & Internships

A Washingtoniana intern works on a project in the study center
One of the museum's conservation interns at work. Photo by William Atkins / The George Washington University

Employment Opportunities

For an up-to-date list of available positions, visit the GW Jobs website and search for the keyword "museum."

Internships

The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum is a wonderful place to volunteer and gain skills in the museum field, and we welcome applications for our internship program year-round. Designed to provide real-world experience and help interns solidify their career goals, these internships are varied in format and can be tailored to the needs of the individual. Interns have the opportunity to work closely with a small staff and are involved in a variety of museum projects. There is no regular schedule for internships, which are organized on an as-needed basis by department. While GW students will have priority consideration for internships, applications are welcome from students from all universities.

Internships are on a volunteer basis, but we will help students arrange course credit.

Collections Management

The primary objective of the collections management department is to ensure the stewardship, safety, and care of the museum's collections for the diffusion of knowledge. We strive to realize this objective by meeting museum industry standards and practices for collections care. We are seeking interns with a professional attitude, sense of commitment, flexibility to adapt to shifting circumstances, and ability and willingness to work under pressure of deadlines.

Our staff is diverse, interesting, and eager to share their knowledge, and collections management interns have a unique opportunity to be part of an active, dynamic museum environment. Interns will gain experience in basic collections management practices and protocols including processing incoming objects, object inventory, environmental monitoring, integrated pest management, condition reporting and object documentation, database maintenance, digital imaging, and other duties that contribute to the stewardship of the collections. Interns are encouraged to participate in all staff activities, including monthly staff meetings and educational events.

To Apply
Please complete the online application form.

Conservation

Through an internship with the museum’s Conservation Department, students or recent graduates of conservation programs will become familiar with the procedures of conservation, including:

  • Documentation: condition and treatment reports
  • Basic treatment (e.g. sewing a Velcro band, passive mount, custom padded hanger)
  • Familiarization with various archival materials
  • Budget planning
  • Training in preparing textiles for exhibition
    • Decision-making criteria for selecting textiles for display and appropriate mounting methods
    • Experience with various mounting methods
  • Knowledge of the work and organization of a conservation lab
  • Interdisciplinary teamwork

Qualifications
In order for the candidate to be integrated into the museum's work, he/she is required to have work experience with a textile collection in the following areas: storage (knowledge of basic storage techniques), preparation of textiles for exhibition, condition reporting and basic treatment (knowledge of basic stitching techniques). Other desired qualifications include:

  • Interest in conservation, particularly in preventative conservation and basic treatment
  • Hand skills
  • Meticulous and detail-oriented
  • Ability to manage long- and short-term projects

As a policy, the museum only accepts interns under specified conditions. These include:

  • Candidates must be graduates from a two-year recognized conservation program or those in an internship period of a four-year conservation program.
  • Special circumstances would permit internship to full-time employees, working in collection management, with a minimum of four years experience (e.g. collection manager, museum technician).

Duration: Between 2 to 6 months

To Apply
Please send a cover letter (which should include information about your availability), your resume, and at least two references to Esther Méthé, chief conservator, at emethe@gwu.edu.

Curatorial

The primary objective of the Curatorial Department is to ensure the strength of the museum’s collections for the diffusion of knowledge. We strive to realize this objective through the processes of accession, collections documentation, and research; as well as the dissemination of information by means of exhibitions, publications, lectures, public programming, and by addressing public inquiries. Our goals are to contribute both to the development of a field of scholarship and to broadening public awareness and understanding through research and collections. We are seeking interns with a professional attitude, sense of commitment, flexibility to adapt to shifting circumstances, and ability and willingness to work under pressure of deadlines.

Our staff is diverse, interesting, and eager to share their knowledge, and curatorial interns have a unique opportunity to be part of an active, dynamic museum environment. Interns will gain experience in basic curatorial activities, including collections care and exhibition planning, implementation, and installation. Interns will also participate in the museum’s administrative work, including but not limited to attending task force meetings related to exhibitions, research, and education programs. Interns are encouraged to participate in all staff activities, including monthly staff meetings and educational events.

To Apply
Please complete the online application form.

Development and Membership

The goals of the museum’s Development and Membership Department are: to support museum activities through the cultivation of potential and longstanding donors (e.g. individuals, foundations, and corporations); to provide stewardship to the museum board of directors, advisory council, and major donors; to enhance the museum membership program through benefits, events, member services, and outreach to our local, national, and international members; and to increase museum revenue through membership, annual giving, planned gifts, and special project fundraising.

The small size of the museum’s development team means significant opportunities for interns to gain first-hand experience.

Internship Projects
An intern within the Development and Membership Department must be have excellent communication skills, be personable and detail-oriented, and be comfortable working independently. Graduate student applicants with an interest in museum development or arts administration are preferred. 

A typical internship will last one semester (spring, summer, or fall). Days and hours are flexible and will be negotiated based on the intern’s availability. Academic credit may be given depending on the approval of the student’s university.

Interns will have opportunities to:

  • Aid in the compilation and submission of grant proposals and final reports
  • Be involved in drafting sponsorship packages
  • Draft donor and member materials (e.g. correspondence, magazine content, gift acknowledgements, and membership renewal letters)
  • Prepare membership packets
  • Coordinate volunteers and RSVP lists for member and donor events
  • Conduct research on prospective funders (individuals, corporations, foundations)
  • Gain valuable skills in fundraising operations systems

To Apply
Please send a cover letter and resume to Emily Johnson, development and membership manager, at epjohn@gwu.edu.

Education

We wish to extend a warm welcome to prospective interns in the museum's Education Department. Our goal is to provide meaningful learning experiences that inspire our visitors to make connections between the textile arts and their own lives.

Interning is a wonderful way to learn new skills and share and use specialized talents. Interns are requested to commit to a minimum of three months.

To Apply
Please send a cover letter and resume to Tom Goehner, curator of education, at tgoehner@gwu.edu.

Arthur D. Jenkins Library

Goals
In support of the work of The Textile Museum, the Arthur D. Jenkins Library fosters and facilitates the creation of textile arts knowledge by collecting and making accessible resources on the importance of textiles in human history. The library's multilingual collection emphasizes scholarship on the textiles of Asia, Africa, and the indigenous Americas.

Opportunities
Library interns—graduate and undergraduate students—have the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of routine and special project-related library activities, including collection assessment, resource description and processing, marketing, and participation in a digital repository initiative. Library interns are afforded a unique opportunity to be part of an active, dynamic museum, and to gain a first-hand experience in museum librarianship.

Qualifications

  • Demonstrable commitment to libraries and librarianship
  • Demonstrable attentiveness to detail
  • Ability to commit to 10 hours a week or more
  • Professional and positive attitude
  • Excellent communications skills
  • Willingness to work cooperatively under deadline pressures

To Apply
Please send a cover letter (which should include information about your availability), your resume, and at least two references to Lynora Williams, librarian, at lynorawilliams@gwu.edu.