Applications for the 2014 Peggy Guggenheim Collection summer internship are due November 6. Read what Julianne Kolb (T’13), recipient of the 2013 sponsored internship, wrote about her experience there this past summer.
My two-month internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy was a very instructive and eye-opening experience. I learned a great deal about the day-to-day operations of an important and influential museum, as well as some of the higher-level work that goes into research and conservation efforts the Guggenheim supports. Above all, I received an unparalleled education in modern and postwar art, and for that I am truly thankful.
One of my favorite aspects of the internship was giving periodic talks to the public. Every intern is required to give a 10 minute talk on a work of art in the collection of the intern’s choosing, a 15 to 20 minute talk on Peggy Guggenheim’s life, and a 30 minute mini tour of whatever temporary exhibit the museum currently has up. These talks made me nervous at first, but then I realized they are a great way to learn more about Peggy and the collection while sharpening your public speaking skills.
Another wonderful feature of this internship was its unbeatable location. I felt so incredibly lucky to be able to work in one of the most influential modern art museums in Europe while living in one of Europe’s most beautiful and culturally relevant cities. Venice is a gorgeous, romantic, safe, and culturally rich city to lose yourself in. My personal experience was enriched all the more by the Venice Biennale, which happened to start just as my internship did. Thus I could surround myself with modern masterpieces during the day and then on my off days surround myself with the best contemporary art the world has to offer. What’s more, the Guggenheim sponsors two art-related trips a month, one based in the city of Venice and the other to an important art-related location elsewhere in northern Italy.
In short, I would recommend this internship to others. I believe it is both instructive and in many ways fun. It allowed me to get a keener sense of what working in a museum is like as well as realize my own potential when it comes to being responsible, interacting with the public, and living on my own in a foreign city. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, indeed, and I believe any Duke student would feel very fulfilled after this internship, much as I feel now.