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Barnes Foundation Internship Descriptions

Duties vary depending on department needs. Internships are not available in every area each summer.

The mission of the Barnes Archives is to identify, preserve, organize, and make available historical records that document the activities of the Barnes Foundation, its collections, and its community, which includes staff, teachers, docents, students, and alums. The internship focuses on the accessibility of digitized archival files and will involve working with Transkribus, an AI-software platform that can perform handwritten text recognition (HTR).

Interns may:

  • Prepare files for Transkribus system.
  • Review transcriptions for accuracy.
  • Reformat text for integration into files.
  • Work with PDF and Word document files to create accessible files.

Collections and Exhibitions Research
Collections and Exhibitions Research internships include work with the Curatorial or Research and Interpretation departments. These teams are responsible for research and interpretation of the art and artifacts in the collection and the development and coordination of exhibitions. Preference is given to applicants who are graduate students in art history and whose studies cover a period of art history represented in the collection.

Interns may:

  • Research one or two underexamined works of art and produce an “object white paper,” or scholarly report, for the internal curatorial files.
  • Work on the implementation of special exhibitions.
  • Present their ongoing research and give a final presentation of their findings at the internship’s conclusion.
  • Work with the Museum System (TMS), the Barnes’s collections management system.

Collections Registration
Collections Registration is responsible for record keeping for all art and artifacts in the Barnes collection. This includes facilitating and tracking movement of collection objects as well as maintaining and updating the digital and paper files for these objects. The Collections Registrar works closely with the Curatorial and Conservation teams to maintain best practices for the care of the collection. Preference for the internship is given to graduate students.

Interns may:

  • Help inventory collection items in all Barnes locations.
  • Help manage records for collection objects.
  • Enter data into the collections management database.

Community Engagement and Family Programs
The Community Engagement and Family Programs team creates engagement initiatives and activities at the Barnes and in local communities. This team collaborates with other departments and local organizations to promote and implement our programming year-round. Multilingual educators, visual artists, and community organizers are encouraged to apply. Applicants with a passion for museum equity and social impact are preferred.

Interns may:

  • Help plan and implement intergenerational programs, including summer art camps, family workshops, and special initiatives.
  • Aid instruction and facilitation of community conversations through inquiry-based learning and artmaking.
  • Support special initiatives through research, evaluation, and documentation.
  • Codevelop written and visual content for early learners and adult audiences.

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 postgraduate students.

  • Undergraduate summer internship:
    The undergraduate internship is designed for students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in art conservation or a related field. The internship will focus on preventive conservation and collections management with an introduction to the examination of objects. Treatment projects will be dependent upon the applicant's prior experience. Applicants must have completed an introductory course in general chemistry.
  • Graduate/Postgraduate internship:
    12-month, short-term, or summer internships for graduate students enrolled in an art conservation program or recent postgraduates with a degree in art conservation.

The Development department is the primary fundraising team at the Barnes. It comprises Annual Giving, Institutional Giving, Major Gifts, and Development Services.

Interns may:

  • Assist with drafting proposals, reports, and acknowledgment letters.
  • Research prospective funders online and using in-house documents.
  • Create and update prospect and donor files.
  • Research fundraising programs at peer organizations to measure best practices.
  • Collate historical fundraising data for reporting purposes.
  • Assist with departmental mailings and communication.
  • Help with Development events.

Editorial and Publications
The Editorial and Publications department is responsible for editing all of the Barnes’s print and digital publications, including exhibition materials, invitations, web pages, e-newsletters, posters, press releases, and program booklets.

Interns may:

  • Edit text for spelling, grammar, syntax, style, voice, and consistency.
  • Write or rewrite materials as needed.
  • Fact-check and research information.
  • Build web pages and perform photo research.
  • Help create schedules and manage small projects.

Education—Adult Education
The Adult Education department is responsible for all on-site and online classes and workshops taught at the Barnes for adult learners.

Interns may:

  • Assist with planning and setup for on-site and online classes and workshops.
  • Research and update adult education teaching resources.
  • Analyze adult education end-of-course surveys.

Education—School Programs
The School Programs department engages students in pre-K–12th grade through in-gallery and in-school programs. The team provides culturally relevant learning opportunities that encourage curiosity and foster meaningful connections with art in a welcoming environment. Through inclusive and anti-racist teaching practices, we nurture a sense of belonging in art spaces and promote visual literacy skills, empowering students to see the possibilities in art.

Interns may:

  • Learn teaching strategies and engage camp or community groups during tours or programs.
  • Create engagement activities for gallery lessons.
  • Create resources for teachers to use in their classrooms.
  • Assist with professional development workshops for teachers.
  • Help market pre-K–12 programs, programs for teachers, and the internship program.

Evaluation and Impact
Evaluation and Impact exists to deepen the institutional capacity for data-driven decision making in support of the Barnes’s mission to promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts. We do this cross-institutionally to drive increases in visitation and program participation, optimize visitor and audience experience, monitor progress toward strategic goals, and complement departmental work as a resource and thought partner. For matriculated students, preference will be given to graduate students.

Interns may:

  • Implement systematic, integrated, and timely data collection efforts.
  • Conduct qualitative and/or quantitative data analysis.
  • Create data visualizations.
  • Support research project design and development.
  • Provide administrative support as needed.

The Finance department is responsible for the Barnes’s accounting, 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.

Human Resources
The Human Resources department is responsible for hiring and processing benefits for Barnes employees and volunteers.

Interns may:

  • Interview staff for the Barnes HR newsletter spotlight segment. The intern will be able to familiarize themselves with job roles and people around the organization, and practice interviewing and writing skills to produce written profiles on these staff for internal publication throughout the year. Support HR staff in producing monthly employee newsletter.
  • Audit and archive Barnes job descriptions. The intern will learn basic mindsets and mechanics of internal audits, as well as electronic and physical record keeping processes.
  • Shadow and provide capacity building support to employee committees. Work collaboratively with staff leaders from across the organization to produce town hall and all-staff meeting events, employee appreciation committee’s summer event, and DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion, access) initiatives woven through the work of each committee. Barnes employee committees are: Core Values, Employee Appreciation, Learning Culture, Sustainability, and Wellbeing.
  • Observe or participate in daily activities of the HR department, including phone and in-person job interviews, preparation of job offers, onboarding, payroll, workplace culture, department and inter-departmental standing meetings.

Marketing and Membership
The Marketing and Membership teams work to promote the Barnes through advertising, email communications, direct mail, and paid and organic social media. The Marketing and Membership intern will provide support and assist in outreach efforts to meet mission and business-based goals across the institution.

Interns may:

  • Perform market/competitor analysis and research.
  • Help manage reporting on email metrics and produce insights.
  • Assist with departmental email, mail, and social communications.
  • Support and attend member events and tours.
  • Copywrite and edit content and collect assets for email and advertising campaigns.
  • Contribute to community outreach or grassroots promotional efforts.
  • Provide administrative assistance as needed.
  • Support and attend public programs.
  • Support and attend marketing photo and video shoots.

Public Programs
The Public Programs department is responsible for managing public-facing events hosted at the Barnes, including live music, performances, and panel discussions.

Interns may:

  • Research the Barnes’s history and collection, as well as area performers and potential collaborators to advance ongoing program planning within the department.
  • Assist in supporting programs on event days, including First Friday, PECO Free First Sunday Family Day, and our annual outdoor festival, Barnes on the Block.
  • Collect, organize, and analyze data as it pertains to Public Programs.

Public Relations
The Public Relations department is responsible for increasing regional, national, and international awareness of the Barnes and its myriad programs and initiatives. The department works with the media, external partners, and all areas of the institution—including Advancement, Business Development, Marketing, Collections, Curatorial, Education, Editorial/Publications, Events, and Public Programs. The Public Relations intern will receive an introduction to PR practices, materials, and tools, and their uses in a museum setting. The intern will also gain an understanding about the major local/regional general news publications and arts/culture media outlets relevant to museums.

Interns can expect to learn how to:

  • Assist with press events and outreach.
  • Use Cision (public relations platform) to research and update media contacts.
  • Draft press releases, other media materials, and pitch emails.
  • Submit calendar listings for programs, events, and exhibitions.
  • Assist with grassroots outreach to drive program attendance.
  • Create press kits and clippings.
  • Scan, copy, and file documents.