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Be a Part of the Museum

Duke University undergraduate and graduate students can gain important work experience at the Nasher Museum in many ways: internships for academic credit, paid summer internships and museum study grants, work at the museum, or graduate assistantships.

Undergraduate Internship Course

ARTHIST 310 and ARTHIST 311 are practicums held at the Nasher Museum, designed to provide professional museum experience as well as an opportunity to explore the museum and its operations from a variety of viewpoints. Students must be available for a total commitment of approximately 6 hours/week for a weekly seminar with museum staff, plus 5 hours working in the intern’s assigned department (schedule to be arranged between the student and supervising staff). Students are evaluated on their work in their assigned departments, participation in the weekly seminar, and the completion of short, written assignments such as a blog post, artwork spotlight, and exhibition analysis. Grades are assigned by the supervising staff in consultation with the instructor.

Interns may apply to work with the following departments: academic initiatives, business office, curatorial, communications/marketing, development/external relations, museum education, or registrar/collections management. NOTE: only one student each semester will be assigned to the curatorial department.

Want to learn about museum career paths? Find out more.

To apply for a permission number for ARTHIST 310, the internship, email a current resume and cover letter that outlines how the museum internship fits into your educational and future career plans, as well, specify your choices for departments in which you would like to work to email nasheracademics@duke.edu. 

Relevant departmental staff will review applications and if selected, you will be sent a permission number to enroll.

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Summer Internships in Museum Studies

The Nasher Museum offers paid summer internships for Duke Students:

  • Check back on this page to find the 2018 application for the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy
  • Looking for an internship at an art museum? Find a list of them here.

Security Guard

Security guards help keep art safe and enhance the visitor experience. Pay is $10/hour, work study is welcomed, and shifts are flexible. If interested, contact Sgt. Jimmie Jones, Manager of Protection Services, (jimmie.jones@duke.edu) or 919-684-3352.

Yijun Qian, who graduated in December 2016 with a master’s degree in engineering management, chose Allegorical Portrait of a Lady (after Caspar Netscher), attributed to Pieter Cornelisz van Slingeland, as one of her favorite works of art at the Nasher. The museum could not open without the student guards who assist with museum security.

This painting always catches my eye when I enter the gallery. The woman is depicted so elegantly with her silver dress and her pose. I also like how everything in the painting is symbolic, like the plant the woman is stepping on. It’s like a puzzle trying to figure out what the details mean.

Yijun Qian, who graduated in December 2016 with a master’s degree in engineering management.

Duke Student Jobs

Students fill many part-time paid positions at the museum. Work-study students are welcome.

Visitor Services Representative

Visitor Services Representatives handle admissions fees, answer the telephone and direct calls, greet and keep an accurate count of visitors, assist visitors with the purchase of museum memberships and answer visitors’ questions. If interested please contact Myra Weise, Visitor Services Manager, (myra.weise@duke.edu).

Gallery Guide

Gallery Guides lead tours of the museum for K-12 students, adult groups and the public. Students must commit to 3 semesters. Recruiting is held at the end of the spring semester. If interested contact Jessica Ruhle, Manager of Public Education, (jessica.ruhle@duke.edu).

Office/Research Assistant

Periodically work-study positions are available with specific museum departments, including curatorial, education, membership, registrar, special events and public affairs. For information about possible openings, contact Kate Piva, Deputy Director of Operations, (kate.piva@duke.edu) or 919-684-5126.

Academic Initiatives Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistants provide support to the office of Academic Initiatives. Assistants organize and lead tours for university classes visiting exhibitions at the Nasher, lead discussions in study storage, research on the permanent collection, and complete various administrative tasks, among other responsibilities. If interested, contact email nasheracademics@duke.eduComplete details.

For general information on application and hiring procedures, please contact Kate Piva, Deputy Director of Operations, (kate.piva@duke.edu) or 919-684-5126.

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