RISD MUSEUM FELLOWS PROGRAM
Theory and History of Art and Design Concentrators have the opportunity to engage in collaborative learning experiences through semester-long fellowships at the RISD Museum. In conjunction with the RISD Museum of Art, THAD allows selected concentrators to participate in the Museum Fellows program, which offers a firsthand look at a range of museum professions, along with a rare level of access to the museum’s diverse collections. Museum Fellows complete a semester-long apprenticeship with a specific department at the RISD Museum. The positions carry course credit, require significant time commitments (about 8-9 hours per week), and involve serious engagement in the real work of curators, conservators, registrars, and educators.
The Museum Fellows program enables both undergraduate and graduate students to experience the behind-the-scenes workings of a significant art museum while also learning the finer points of handling sensitive and valuable art objects.
Application Deadline: March 1, 2019 11:59PM
The following positions are available for the academic year 2019-2020. The Department of Theory and History of Art and Design invites all eligible concentrators to apply to the Museum Fellows Program (eligibility guidelines are defined below). For a list of all application material please see below. All eligible applicants will receive consideration without discrimination based upon race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, or any other protected category.
Collection Information and Digital Resources Management
1 Fellow — Fall 2019
The fellow will assist in an ongoing program of publishing collection works on the Museum website, developing a broad range of digital-content and imaging skills relevant to a career in museum computing and asset management. The fellow will learn how museums manage collection objects using museum-specific software and how digital multimedia (photos, audio, and video) resources are managed and linked, and will review and edit descriptive information about collection works and exhibitions for publication on the Museum website. The ideal candidate is computer fluent, has a strong interest in learning about museum documentation of objects, is detailed oriented, and possesses excellent organizational skills. 8-9 hrs/week, reports to Denise Bastien, Registrar, Documentation and Digital Resources Collections Information & Digital Resources Management.
2 Fellows — 1 in Fall 2019 and 1 Spring 2020
The fellow will assist with the basic care and preservation of three-dimensional works of art. Fellow will learn techniques of examination, condition reporting, and basic cleaning for frames and other three-dimensional objects. The fellow will also learn about preventive conservation and undertake dusting and inspection of objects on display. The ideal candidate is comfortable working with their hands, detail-oriented, observant, and patient, and is a creative thinker and problem-solver. 8-9 hrs/week, reports to Ingrid Neuman, Conservator.
Contemporary Art: Object Research and Collection Management
1 Fellow — Fall 2019
The fellow will assist in providing research on prospective additions to the contemporary art collection, on works in the collection being considered for forthcoming presentations, and on works in the collection based on requests from other museums. The fellow will also assist with ongoing collection management and cataloguing, including a large-scale collections and exhibitions file digitization project. Further duties may include providing research for exhibitions and projects to be determined. The ideal candidate is detail oriented and possesses strong research, writing and organizational skills. 8-9 hrs/week, reports to Dominic Molon, Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art.
Costume and Textiles
1 Fellow — Fall 2019
The fellow will aid in object cataloging, inventory, and data entry (recording, entering, and tracking). They may also assist with research, preparing objects for exhibition, and ongoing collection care and collection management, including cataloging, inventory, and data entry (recording, entering, and tracking). The ideal candidate is detail oriented, has basic sewing skills, possesses strong research and organizational skills, and is comfortable working with their hands. 8-9 hrs/week, reports to Laurie Brewer, Associate Curator, Costume and Textiles.
1 Fellow — SPRING 2019
Fellow will develop ways for the Museum to connect to family audiences and will create research methods for understanding how families learn in museums. The fellow will gain an understanding of gallery-based learning and family-focused programs in museums and the tools and methods used in researching program impact. Previous experience working with children is necessary. A strong candidate has an interest in community learning and possesses strong verbal and written communication skills and some familiarity with art. 8-9 hrs/week, reports to Christina Alderman, Assistant Director, Family and Teen Programs.
1 Fellow — Fall 2019
The fellow will be trained to prepare works from the collection for exhibitions, create protective supports and containers, and assist with the cleaning and ongoing organization of the conservation studio. The ideal candidate is comfortable working with their hands, detail oriented, and observant. 8-9 hrs/week, reports to Linda Catano, Assistant Conservator, Prints, Drawings, and Photographs.
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
1 Fellow — Fall 2019
The fellow will learn to handle works of art and use the collection database. The fellow will assist students in accessing works of art during the department’s open-study hours and will retrieve and return works of art for classes. In addition, the fellow will learn to catalogue (record, enter, and track) works of art, especially as new gifts and purchases enter the collection. The fellow may be asked to conduct basic research on objects in the collection or for departmental exhibitions. The ideal candidate is detail oriented, possesses strong research, writing, and organizational skills, and is comfortable working with their hands. 8-9 hrs/week, reports to Jamie Gabbarelli, Assistant Curator, Prints, Drawings, and Photographs.
Registration and Collections Management
1 Fellow — SPRING 2019
The fellow will assist with the management of the Museum’s permanent collection. Working under the supervision of the registrars, the fellow will participate in physical inventories of the Museum’s collection, updating and creating records in the collections database, processing collections photography, and other registration tasks as time permits. The fellow will become familiar with the role of Museum registrars and will gain knowledge of basic collections management practices, object handling and care, documentation, and information systems. Strong candidates will be detail oriented and possess strong organizational skills. 8-9 hrs/week, reports to Jac Parker, Associate Registrar, Collections Management.
Application Material and definitions
An application to the RISD Museum requires the following material:
All applicants to the Museum Fellows Program must request the application form on this website. Those eligible will receive a PDF form, which they need to fill out and submit before the deadline with all other required application material on this website. All application material must follow the file naming convention explained on the application form.
Your cover letter should include a short statement of purpose on why you are interested in the RISD Museum Fellows Program. It should also state how you imagine the fellowship to contribute to your overall education at RISD and your studies in your THAD concentration. In the order of your preference, list three Museum Departments in which you wish to work and provide a paragraph for each position explaining how it is related to your studio practice and concentration. The cover letter must not exceed two pages. It must be in letter size (8.5 × 11 in.), with a minimum of 1-inch margin from each side, typed in 12pt Times New Roman or any equivalent Serif font, single-spaced, less than or equal to 5 MB in size, and uploaded to the website as a PDF file.
Applicants are required to provide a copy of their most recent transcripts.
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Applicants are required to provide a copy of their most recent curriculum vitae (CV, Resumé). Your curriculum vitae should not exceed 3 pages and 1 MB in size.
A Writing Sample
You may choose a paper you have written for a THAD course or any other writing sample to upload with your application. Your writing sample must not exceed 12 pages. It must be in letter size (8.5 × 11 in.), double-spaced, with a minimum of 1-inch margin from each side, typed in 12pt Times New Roman or any equivalent Serif font, less than or equal to 5 MB in size, and uploaded to the application site as a PDF file.
In order to apply to the RISD Museum Fellows Program, applicants who are current THAD concentrators in good academic standing (definition below) must submit an online request in order to receive an application form.
Application cycle begins in early February each year and closes on March 1st of the same year for admission to the program in the following academic year.
You will be given the chance to choose three museum departments in order of preference on your online application. Please note that since there is only a limited number of positions available per department, students may be assigned to interview in a department outside of their preference.
Museum Fellowship Credit
All Museum Fellows receive 3-credits that counts toward both their degree and their concentration in THAD. Three credits translates to a minimum of 9 hours commitment to the RISD Museum Department in which you are placed as a fellow.
All THAD (formerly HAVC) concentrators in “good academic standing” are eligible to apply for a RISD Museum fellowship. Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis and they are not guaranteed to every qualified applicant.
Good Academic Standing
Students who have a GPA of 3.0 and by the end of this academic year have completed Introductory courses, i.e., Introduction to History of Art and Visual Culture (H101 and H102), as well as at least 3 electives (for all of which the grades received must be above C+) are in “good academic standing.”
In special circumstances an applicant who is not in “good academic standing” might be eligible to apply to the Museum Fellowship Program. Such applicants must use the application form request page to present a compelling case for their eligibility to the concentration coordinator prior to the application period (February 1 to March 1) and obtain the coordinator’s permission to apply.