The Barnes Foundation
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Intern Lunch at the Barnes Foundation

The Barnes Foundation offers internships for undergraduate and graduate students seeking job experience and continued education.

Application deadlines
Summer internship program: March 1
Fall internships: June 1
Spring internships: October 1

Be sure to submit all your application materials on time.

What you can expect from a Barnes internship:

  • Work side-by-side with experts in the field
  • Engage in meaningful work
  • Gain valuable job experience

Interns may contribute in the following areas:

  • Arboretum
  • Archives
  • Art Education
  • Art Library
  • Conservation
  • Curatorial
  • Development: Individual Giving
  • Development: Institutional Giving
  • Finance
  • Graphic Design
  • Horticulture Education
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Legal
  • Marketing and Social Media
  • Membership
  • Public Programs
  • Public Relations
  • Publications
  • Registration   
  • Visual Resources
  • Website

Summer internship program requirements:

  • The summer internship program is June 1–August 7, 2015. Interns must be available during this time.
  • Interns must commit to a minimum of eight consecutive weeks and two days per week.
  • Applicants must be either currently enrolled in or recently graduated (within one year) from undergraduate or graduate studies.
  • Summer interns must be on site or available to attend enrichment activities every Friday during the program.

Read the Barnes Foundation’s non-discrimination statement.


Internship descriptions
Interns assist departments with their projects; duties vary depending on the needs of the department at any given time. These descriptions detail some of the projects interns may work on. Please note that internships are not available in every area each semester.

Arboretum Internship
The Foundation maintains a twelve-acre arboretum in Merion, Pennsylvania, and is responsible for the grounds at the Foundation’s historic Ker-Feal property in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.

Interns may

  • Research historic plant collections to help expand the plant database
  • Document plant accessions and gifts from historical files
  • Gather data for the care and management of the living collections
  • Propagate rare and unique plans in the greenhouse
  • Work in the perennial garden to remove old plants, relocate plants, and identify and tag plants
  • Prune shrubs and small trees
  • Add new specimens to the herbarium
  • Help with electronic documentation of herbarium and slide collections
  • Research the history and sources of plant collections
  • Help map and document plants for the database using GIS or other advanced technology

Archives Internship
The Barnes Foundation Archives provide documentation about the history of the Barnes Foundation to staff, students, faculty, and others. The archives identify, preserve, organize, and make available the historic records of the Foundation.

Interns may

  • Preserve historic papers with protective sleeves and folders  
  • Pull records and photocopy requested documents for researchers
  • Assist the archivist with projects utilizing the collections management database
  • Assist the assistant archivist and librarian with projects in the archives and in the horticulture library
  • Process a small collection as a practicum for credit towards an MLS degree

Art Education Internship
The Education Department offers programs for learners of all ages to appreciate the fine arts.

Interns may

  • Research and develop curricula for various audiences
  • Help with program planning and execution
  • Help develop lesson plans and materials for pre-K–12 education programs
  • Help plan and assess community and Family Programs projects

Art Library Internship
Honickman Art Library provides reference information to staff, students, faculty, and the general public. The library contains approximately 9,000 volumes, primarily related to art, art history, philosophy, art education, and the history of the Barnes Foundation. The library offers free access to databases like ARTstor, JSTOR, Oxford Art Online, and the letters of John Dewey.

Interns may

  • Help with reference requests from visitors and staff
  • Process, label, and cover books
  • Participate in gallery check of the collection
  • Re-shelve, shelf-read, and shift books
  • Work on special projects as needed

Conservation Internship
The Conservation Department encompasses all aspects of collections care, including preventive conservation, examination, documentation, treatment, and technical research. Internships in preventive conservation, paintings conservation, and objects conservation are available for undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students.

  • Undergraduate InternshipFor students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in art conservation or a related field. Duties depend on the applicant’s previous experience and skill level. The internship meets the requirements for application to one of the three US graduate programs in fine art conservation. Applicants must have completed an introductory course in general chemistry.
  • Graduate/Post-Graduate Internship

Twelve-month short-term research projects or eight-week summer internships for students enrolled in a graduate program for art conservation, or for recent post-graduates with a degree in art conservation.

Curatorial Internship
The Curatorial Department is responsible for care, research, and interpretation of the art and artifacts in the Barnes collection and the development or coordination of exhibitions.

Interns may

  • Research objects in the collection, consulting primary and secondary sources at the Barnes, web databases, and local university libraries
  • Do research for upcoming exhibitions
  • Help develop and manage content for the online and print interpretive materials
  • Do research on artists, objects, periods, styles, locations of works, and photographic sources for works
  • Help with catalogue and didactic preparation
  • Enter data into the collections management database

Development Internship
The Development Department is the primary fundraising group for the Foundation. It comprises Membership, Visitor Services, Institutional Giving, Individual Giving, and major gifts.

Interns may

  • Work with development staff and the Education Department to complete reports on grant-funded programs
  • Research prospective funders online and using in-house documents
  • Create and update prospect and donor files
  • Help write Corporate Council monthly e-newsletter
  • Help with development events
  • Input mailing list information into database
  • Create member records and files

Finance Internship
The Finance Department is responsible for accounting functions within the Foundation, including accounts receivable, accounts payable, grant reporting, tax reporting, and audit compliance.

Interns may

  • Review and update purchase order lists
  • Create spreadsheets
  • Scan, copy, and file documents
  • Research and answer vendor inquiries

Graphic Design Internship
Part of the Communications Department, the graphic design team is responsible for maintaining the look of the Barnes Foundation in print and online.

Interns may

  • Design new ads and update existing ads for digital and print distribution
  • Create digital postcards and collateral for events at the Barnes
  • Help with layout of institutional print projects
  • Research design strategies and find inspiration for Barnes print and digital branding
  • Communicate with print vendors to manage printing process and negotiate estimates
  • Accompany graphic designer on press check to approve print projects

Horticulture Education Internship
The Horticulture Education Department offers primarily adult education and lifelong learning in various disciplines related to the field of horticulture.

Interns may

  • Help with the horticulture e-newsletter and other publicity
  • Do outreach to prospective horticulture students
  • Coordinate scheduling and timelines for horticulture programming and for volunteer Garden Guides
  • Work to identify additional programming opportunities

Human Resources Internship
The Human Resources Department is responsible for hiring and processing benefits for the Foundation’s employees and volunteers.

Interns may

  • Help implement and maintain a fully integrated HRIS, payroll, and time/attendance system, including developing employee training programs
  • Maintain employee files, documents, and paperwork
  • Process clearance applications and documentation; track required clearances and compliance status for employees, volunteers, and contractors
  • Help at new staff and volunteer orientations and other HR-related trainings; track training
  • Help with job evaluation, including conducting survey matches, benchmarking jobs, helping with annual compensation survey, and working on internal evaluation plans 
  • Update job descriptions and coordinate the job description-gathering process
  • Track performance reviews
  • Research policies and best practices as part of our policy-development process
  • Draft employee communications
  • Participate in meetings and committees
  • Help develop metrics and benchmarks with dashboards and reports
  • Shadow and observe the management of investigations and resolution of employee relations issues
  • Participate in departmental special projects as needed

Legal Internship
Legal interns work with the Foundation’s general counsel to gain skills applicable to careers in the legal field.

Interns may

  • Conduct research on various topics in the areas of tax, non-profit governance, and corporate intellectual property and/or employment law
  • Review and occasionally draft institutional policies (e.g. volunteer policy, rights and reproductions policies)
  • Draft and review agreements in various areas of the institution's operations

Marketing and Social Media Internship
The marketing and social media intern works closely with the director of marketing and the Communications Department to support implementation of strategies, campaigns, and partnerships. Tasks include supporting media and community outreach efforts to meet program attendance goals.

Interns may

  • Generate, schedule, and track content for the Barnes Foundation’s main social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest) using Hootsuite
  • Support online conversations and track feedback; respond to comments and questions
  • Post to social media accounts in real time at events
  • Research new social media tools and platforms
  • Coordinate blog content
  • Create media outreach to community groups
  • Contribute to search engine optimization and search engine marketing strategies
  • Compile and organize press clippings

Membership Internship
This group is responsible for member relations. The Foundation currently has 20,000 member households.

Interns may

  • Research potential topics and speakers for future member programs
  • Create and update reports to track member participation and feedback
  • Help with various member program and events, including setup, check-in, and orientation
  • Do administrative work, including fulfillment and stewardship mailings, filing, and other duties as needed

Public Programs Internship
Public Programs is responsible for managing First Friday! and Free First Sunday programming, including researching, booking, and overseeing musicians, speakers, and performers as the event requires. 

Interns may

  • Research performers and themes
  • Scan, copy, print, and file documents
  • Help set up the event space
  • Welcome and direct guests on performance days

Public Relations Internship
The Public Relations Department is responsible for increasing national and international awareness of the Barnes collection, programs, and educational courses to drive participation, visitation, and earned revenue. The department works with all areas of the institution—including Collections, Education, Publications, Development, and Events—and with the news media and external partners.

Interns may

  • Draft social media posts
  • Help with press events and outreach
  • Create press kits
  • Scan, copy, and file documents
  • Research media and social media outlets for future outreach
  • Compile media clips for reporting purposes

Publications Internship
The Publications Department is responsible for editing the Barnes Foundation’s print and web ephemera—including e-newsletters, Facebook posts, blog posts, invitations, press releases, and program booklets—and for the production of art books and exhibition catalogues.

Interns may

  • Proofread materials for spelling, grammar, syntax, style, voice, and consistency
  • Fact-check printed and web-based materials
  • Work with various departments and program managers to edit and produce print and web ephemera
  • Create schedules and manage small projects
  • Write blog or Facebook posts about Barnes Foundation activities

Registration Internship
The Registration Department is responsible for the care and management of art and artifacts in the Barnes collection and on loan, including facilitating and tracking all movement of collection objects internally and externally, and maintaining all records regarding collection objects and loans. The department works closely with the Curatorial and Conservation Departments to maintain best practices for the care of the collection. The registrar also works with lending institutions and organizes exhibition installation and deinstallation schedules.

Interns may

  • Help inventory collection items in all Barnes locations
  • Help plan special exhibitions       
  • Help manage records for collection and loan objects
  • Enter data into the collections management database

Visual Resources Internship
The Visual Resources Department catalogues and maintains the inventory of all digital media in the Barnes Foundation.

Interns may

  • Identify objects where digital photography is needed
  • Help convert analog photography to digital format
  • Add images to the collections management database
  • Research rights and reproduction policies and trends across cultural institutions
  • Help with image data and licensing related to publication projects

Website Internship
As part of the Communications Department, the web team updates and maintains the look and content of the Barnes website.

Interns may

  • Follow the web content schedule to make updates on the website and blog
  • Create email and newsletter layouts using HTML/CSS
  • Use Google Analytics to research website stats and usage trends
  • Tag and sort promotional photo/video assets
  • Help the webmaster gather and evaluate user experience research from our website through surveys, interviews, analytics, and test cases
  • Update press contacts and pull trend reports from Meltwater

Apply Today

Ready to join us for a summer, a semester, or maybe even longer? Fill out an internship application.

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