Founded in 1935, SFMOMA was the first museum on the West Coast devoted to modern and contemporary art. From the outset, the museum has championed the most innovative and challenging art of its time, and we continue to exhibit and collect work by both modern masters and younger, less-established artists. By embracing the challenge of the new and unexpected, we hope to encourage fresh ways of seeing, thinking, and engaging with the world. SFMOMA's internship program offers insight into the operations of one of the country's leading art museums and allows interns to gain valuable hands-on experience.
Media plays a major role in everyday life, from cinema and television to surveillance and the Internet. Our Media Arts collection reflects how artists have used various technologies in their work since the 1960s. The collection encompasses a diverse range of time-based media artworks, including video, film, slide, sound, computer-based, and online projects as well as live performances.
From immersive installations to participation-based pieces, the works in the Media Arts collection become activated when exhibited. We not only commission new work for our dedicated galleries, but also explore how to create engaging experiences in public spaces throughout the museum. Reflecting the Bay Area's tradition of technological innovation and forward thinking, SFMOMA is a leader in the presentation, collection, and preservation of time-based media works. Our Department of Media Arts, established in 1987, was among the first of its kind in the United States. SFMOMA has additionally been a pioneer in the presentation of film. Now within the department of Media Arts, SFMOMA's cinema program is committed to exhibiting film as an essential medium of modern and contemporary art. We strive to bring a new dimension to cinema as a multifaceted social and educational experience.
Full time, starting Monday, June 10, 2019 - Friday, August 16, 2019
The Media Arts Intern will work closely with the assistant curators of Media Arts on a core research project that deeply considers the department's history and future in relation to organizing live activations within the Museum's galleries and multi-use spaces. The intern will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Museum's collection artists, exhibition activity, and visitor engagement. The Intern will also have a chance to learn about our public program activity, including SFMOMA's signature Modern Cinema program that presents screenings, related talks, and live cinema productions that shed new light on historical film masterpieces. The internship will provide invaluable hands-on experience with the practical operations of the Museum, as well as the long-term creative planning of the Department's curatorial priorities and exhibitions. In addition to online and library research, the intern will have the opportunity to engage directly with staff across museum departments, including working closely with Media Arts curators, gaining diverse perspectives on the process of collaborative exhibition planning and production.
Successful candidates must be enrolled in a degree-granting program (at the undergraduate or graduate level) at the time of their internship. Additional qualifications include:
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Strong interest in and familiarity with contemporary art. Interest in media art, performance, and film preferred
- Experience with independent library research
- Experience with computer database and word processing software
- Be able to work independently, with a professional attitude towards all levels of tasks
- Enjoy problem-solving and creative thinking
- Flexible and organized, an ability to work thoroughly with an attention to detail
- Collaborative and comfortable working with staff, museum visitors and artists
The Media Arts Intern will conduct in-depth exhibition, archival, and art-historical research into the topic of curating live gallery activations and performances in a museum context, with specific attention to their history at SFMOMA. This may include the occurrence of performances, participatory events, and gallery activations related to SFMOMA's permanent collection works, special exhibitions, and film program. One key proposed case study on view during the internship period will be the installation Alterations, 1994-95, by Suzanne Lacy, Susanne Cockrell, and Britta Kathmeyer, which will be part of the retrospective Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here. The parameters of "live activations" will be determined in conversation with Media Arts curatorial staff and in part defined by the Intern's interests and findings. Avenues of approach may include: preparing a summary of collection works that require performers or participants; Conduct staff interviews and visitor surveys; Research and report on related presentations at similar institutions.
- Intern Application on SnapHire
- Cover letter stating the department(s) (up to three areas) you are interested in. Describe the experience you bring to these particular areas.
- Statement of purpose: No more than one page, describing why you are interested in museum or nonprofit work, your reasons for applying to SFMOMA, and your goals for the internship.
- Two Letters of recommendation from a college professor or former employer
- College transcript: Transcripts can be unofficial, but need to be readable.
- Availability for an in-person interview starting in early April. Skype and phone interviews will be considered for students who are abroad or far from California.
We are happy to work with your educational institution to provide credit for this internship.
To learn more about our internship opportunities, visit the Internships Section of our website at https://www.sfmoma.org/join-the-team/internship-program/
Please apply online for an internship opportunity.