Employment

Information on job, internship, and other opportunities to work at the University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art. 


Staff positions

There are no open staff positions at this time. Please check back in the future.


Docent program

Smart Museum docents serve as public ambassadors for the Smart Museum and assist the Museum in fulfilling its educational mission as gallery teachers for a range of K–12, University, and adult audiences. Docents also assist with the facilitation of programming across the museum, including family engagement, collaborative arts partnerships, and public programs addressing critical contemporary issues.  Docents are supported through paid training course, mentorship structure, and ongoing training sessions with guest facilitators.

Docent positions are available to University of Chicago students as well as Odyssey Project alumni.

The Smart does not have open docent positions at this time. Please check back in the future. 


University of Chicago student positions

The following jobs and internships are only available to University of Chicago students.


Internships

University of Chicago undergraduate and graduate students gain direct experience in museum work through year- and summer-long internships in a variety of areas, including our curatorial, registration, education, marketing, and business offices. Qualifications vary by department; all positions are paid and require approximately 10–19 hours of work each week.


Summer 2019 Undergraduate Internships

Archive & Collections Review Intern

This position is split between two separate projects at the Smart Museum, both working with the Assistant Curator of Academic Initiatives and Head Registrar. The archives project involves reviewing and archiving material related to the Smart Museum’s collections, exhibitions, and institutional history. The collections review position supports the beginning stages of multi-year project, reviewing the museum’s entire permanent collection of 16,000+ artworks.

Duties


Qualifications
Applicant must be a University of Chicago undergraduate student or a recent 2019 graduate. Must be reliable, attentive to detail, and highly organized. Must possess the ability to see projects through to completion. Must be able to work well with others and independently, and be able to maintain rigorous standards of security. Knowledge of archiving standards, art and varying artistic media, and/or database management is highly desirable. Physical demands include the ability to safely handle and transport artwork; the ability to carry moderately heavy objects; the ability to crouch, climb, balance, sit, and stand for long periods of time; and some office work, including typing and data entry. S/he/them should be sensitive to their own physical limitations.

Hours
Should be able to work full-time for 10 weeks during the summer. Able to be flexible with the candidate’s availability. $4,000 stipend.

To apply
Send cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Berit Ness, bness@uchicago.eduDeadline is April 8 at 11:59pm.


SUMMER 2019 UNDERGRADUATE INTERNSHIPS

Digital Collections & Photography Intern

This position supports the museum’s Registration department with three primary projects:  closely with our database administrator to assist in establishing and managing all records in Media Studio (a digital asset management system); photography of collections to be added to the Media Studio system; and collaborating with the Visual Resources Center in the Department of Art History (VRC) to integrate the Smart Museum’s collection and exhibition history into LUNA, the main database of art images used for teaching and research at UChicago.

Duties


Qualifications
Applicant must be a University of Chicago undergraduate student, or a recent 2019 graduate, with a strong interest in the visual arts, archives, digitization, and art history. General knowledge of art history and relevant research sources (including online museum collections) required. Must work well with others, without close supervision, and be able to maintain rigorous standards of security. Must be reliable, attentive to detail, and highly organized with a strong interest in research and problem-solving. Excellent writing/editing skills and experience with databases desirable. Physical demands include the ability complete office work, including typing, scanning, filing, and data entry. S/he/them should be sensitive to their own physical limitations.

Hours & Pay
Should be able to work full-time for 12 weeks during the summer. Able to be flexible with the candidate’s availability. $5,000 stipend.

To apply:
Send cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Sara Hindmarch, shindmarch@uchicago.eduDeadline is April 8 at 11:59pm.


SUMMER 2019 UNDERGRADUATE INTERNSHIPS

Conservation & Collections Review Intern

This position is split between two different projects at the museum. The Conservation part of this position will assist the Campus & Public Art Collections and Conservation Manager with conservation and maintenance treatments on works of art, integrated pest management, condition reporting objects, and researching materials. This position requires considerable technical hand skills, a familiarity with or interest in materials science, and the ability to work outdoors and indoors with chemicals.

The Collections Review project will involve working with the Head Registrar and Assistant Curator of Academic Initiatives to support the beginning stages of multi-year project, reviewing the museum’s entire permanent collection of 16,000+ artworks.

Duties


Qualifications
Applicant must be a University of Chicago undergraduate student or a recent 2019 graduate.

This position requires considerable technical hand skills, a familiarity with or interest in materials science, and the ability to work outdoors and indoors with chemicals. Physical demands include considerable documentation and handling of art objects, including careful handling, lifting, and photographing. Ability to navigate the entirety of campus. Applicant must be highly sensitive to the necessity of confidentiality and accurate record keeping. Must be extremely detail-oriented, highly organized, have excellent written and verbal communication skills, possess the ability to see projects through to completion, and be able to work well both with others and independently. An interest in art, art history, or art conservation—along with office or museum experience—is preferred. Knowledge of art and varying artistic media, previous experience handling sensitive or delicate materials, is highly desirable. Experience with Microsoft Word and Excel is essential; ability to go between PCs and Macs appreciated; familiarity with Adobe Photoshop CC and Bridge, scanning software, and an interest in museum database systems (The Museum System) is desirable.

Hours
Should be able to work full-time for 10 weeks during the summer. Able to be flexible with the candidate’s availability. $4,000 stipend.

To apply
Send cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Berit Ness, bness@uchicago.edu (accepting applications while Anna Weiss-Pfau is on maternity leave). Deadline is April 8 at 11:59pm.


SUMMER 2019 UNDERGRADUATE INTERNSHIPS

Exhibitions & Publications Intern

This position will be focused on supporting our fast-paced exhibitions program, specifically our fall projects and their related publications. This intern supports our Exhibitions and Publications Coordinator by providing managing timelines, checklists, and interpretative materials, as well as offering vital assistance for book projects.

Duties


Hours
Should be able to work full-time for 10 weeks during the summer. Able to be flexible with the candidate’s availability. $4,000 stipend.

To apply
Send cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Gail Gomez, ggomez2@uchicago.eduDeadline is April 8 at 11:59pm.


SUMMER 2019 UNDERGRADUATE INTERNSHIPS

Public Practice & Development Intern

This position is divided between two different projects, allowing the candidate to hone a broad set of skills. The student intern will be a vital member of the Public Practice team to support projects across the museum, focusing intensively to support teen engagement.  Teen programming at the Smart Museum provides multivalent opportunities for South Side youth to access their lived experience, step into their creative brilliance, and contribute to civic dialogue through artful expression.  The intern will support our flagship program, produced in partnership with Chicago Housing Authority, where teen participants pursue ambitious real-world, human-centered design projects that will impact the larger community.  The work will span sites across campus and the South Side, working on an ambitious multi-year project centered within Washington Park. 

This position also provides key support to the museum’s Development department by digitizing historical funder and board information and supporting the Museum’s fundraising and stewardship activities.

Duties


Hours
Should be able to work full-time for 10 weeks during the summer. Able to be flexible with the candidate’s availability. $4,000 stipend.

To apply
Send cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Jason Pallas, jpallas@uchicago.edu. Deadline is April 8 at 11:59pm.


2019–2020

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Internship

The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago is pleased to offer the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Internship for 2019–20. Application Deadline: April 1, 2019.

Goals
To provide a comprehensive curatorial opportunity for advanced graduate students in art history and related disciplines.  With mentorship and assistance from the Smart’s curatorial team, the Mellon intern will propose, research, design, and then install an exhibition at the Smart Museum in fall of 2020.

To advance substantive object-based research at the Smart Museum, which will be incorporated into the Smart’s permanent research files, online collection database, and teaching and programming.

Duties
The successful candidate will work 10 hours per week (average) on a 10-month appointment at the Smart Museum of Art (January 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020), and will be fully integrated into the life of the Museum. The Mellon Foundation Curatorial Intern will also be invited to participate in activities sponsored by the Chicago Object Study Initiative (COSI) and will be part of the cohort of COSI fellows, including graduate students from UChicago and Northwestern.

The intern will not be required to work onsite at the Smart for the entire ten-month period, but onsite work will be required during most of the summer of 2020 to implement the fall exhibition.

Stipend
The successful candidate will receive $20,000 for a 10-month, 10 hours/week appointment.

Eligibility
Candidates must be advanced graduate students at the University of Chicago in good standing in the Department of Art History, ideally in the late stages of the dissertation. Students in other circumstances will be considered but must at a minimum have finished their graduate coursework. 

The successful candidate will have a strong knowledge of art history, including research sources and methods, and reading knowledge of languages pertinent to the project. Previous museum experience, along with general background in museum practices is desirable. The position requires excellent research and writing skills, excellent oral communication, the ability to work collaboratively, and strong computer skills.

Application
Applications should include the following elements: a letter of interest, a 250-word exhibition proposal, an illustrated list of at least ten proposed objects (including the option of a limited number of loans from other institutions*), a CV with detailed information about course of study, contact information for three references (at least one of whom should be consulted about the exhibition proposal); and a writing sample. Please send applications no later than April 1st, via e-mail, to Issa Lampe, Deputy Director for Academic and Curatorial Affairs, issalampe@uchicago.edu.

* Applicants should be prepared to begin work immediately on loan requests and are advised to consider local collections if loans are proposed.


Smart Scholars and Research Associates

Summer Undergraduate Research Associates

The Smart Museum is seeking two "Exhibition in Practice" Summer Undergraduate Research Associates. These opportunities build on the work produced in “Exhibition in Practice I,” a spring 2019 Art History course in which students develop the concept and object checklist for an exhibition of their own design to be installed at the Smart Museum of Art in fall 2019.

Undergraduate research associates will conduct in-depth object research, compile bibliographies, organize and participate in interviews with collectors and artists, and perform administrative duties in support of the exhibition. The students’ work to compile essential information will be enormously helpful in providing material for sharing the content of the exhibition internally at the Smart, around campus, and to our broader communities. Course instructor for “Exhibition in Practice,” Leslie Wilson (Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts, Smart Museum of Art) and the curatorial assistant for the project, Berit Ness (Assistant Curator of Academic Initiatives, Smart Museum of Art) will coordinate and advise the research associates' activities.

Primary Responsibilities
Students are at the helm of “Exhibition in Practice.” Summer research associates for this project will gain hands on experience in object research and the ways that the work in question can drive methods of investigation, sending them everywhere from archives to individuals to conservation for answers. Object-research is combined with the incremental tasks of gathering key information and laying the foundations for the next steps of exhibition development, which includes compiling bibliographies and timelines, writing short artists’ and collectors’ biographies, and conducting preparatory research for interviews. The undergraduate researchers hone skills in research that emphasizes primary sources. In meetings over the summer, interns meet with the project advisors to discuss strategies for getting deeper into their research and to explore how to bring those sources to bear on narratives produced for the exhibition. They are encouraged to not only find answers, but to also develop and track important questions to be pursued in the future. As such, they participate in the process of long-term research in an institutional setting, which involves prioritizing aspects of their investigations and making plans for future research efforts.

Research and writing produced by summer researchers will feature in the final exhibition, which will be installed in fall 2019 as part of “Exhibition in Practice II.” Summer interns also have the opportunity to see first-hand how their work connects to other aspects of the museum’s mission. While their research is conducted under the auspices of curatorial practice, they will be able to see how coordination between all parts of the museum is vital to completing their respective projects. They will attend exhibition process meetings with Exhibitions and Registration staff. They will also participate in get-togethers with all summer researchers from across the museum, including presentations by researchers about their projects and lunchtime chats with staff about their career paths and museum specialties.

Required Courses (Optional):
Summer researchers should have completed coursework in Art History, preferably modern and contemporary art. Preference will be given to students enrolled in “Exhibition in Practice I” in spring 2019 and/or “Exhibition in Practice II” in fall 2019.

Knowledge or skills gained from the experience
Through these summer research experiences, undergraduates will gain hands-on experience with object research and the ways that the work in question can drive methods of investigation, sending them everywhere from archives to individuals to conservation for answers. Object-research is combined with the incremental tasks of compiling key information and laying the foundations for the next steps of exhibition development. Students hone skills in developing bibliographies that emphasize primary sources and writing for a variety of audiences. They also have the opportunity to see first-hand how their work connects to other aspects of the museum’s mission as a necessarily collaborative endeavor. Students will be supervised and mentored by Leslie Wilson, Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts, and Berit Ness, Assistant Curator of Academic Initiatives at the Smart Museum of Art.

Eligibility
Open to UChicago College students

Compensation
$4,000 summer grant

Duration
Opportunity begins on July 1, 2019 and continues for a 10-week period. 

To apply
Applications must be submitted through the College Center for Research and Fellowships. The application will ask you to include the following in ONE combined PDF file: (1) Current academic CV (up to two pages); (2) 350 Word Statement of Interest: This is not a cover letter, it is a statement of interest that should detail why you are interested in the opportunity, what skills you will bring, and what you hope to learn from your research experience; (3) Names, titles, and emails of two references; and, (4) Unofficial Transcript (please download an unofficial copy from the registrars office; do not submit a screen shot of your myuchicago page). 

Please submit your complete application ONLINE HERE. Deadline is April 19, 2019


 

Gallery Attendants

The Smart Museum of Art’s Gallery Attendants are responsible for maintaining security within the Smart Museum gallery and lobby areas during public hours. Within this role, the Gallery Attendant acts as a public representative of the Museum and the University by greeting patrons and providing information as needed. Work schedules are flexible quarterly and can be designed to fit around a student’s class schedule. Docents who wish to receive additional working hours at the Museum are strongly encouraged to apply and will receive a premium hourly rate.

Qualifications
University of Chicago student. Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills. Interest in visual art encouraged. Ability to stand for long periods of time. Work-study encouraged, but not required.

Hours
Starting immediately with year-round employment, approximately 8–15 hours per week.

Pay rate
$12/hour; higher if a multi-session docent cross-training program is completed

To apply
To apply, please fill out an application at the Museum’s information desk. Applications are always accepted.


The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information, please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination. Academic job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773.702.5671 or email ACOppAdministrator@uchicago.edu with their request. Staff job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773.834.1841 or email talentacquisition@uchicago.edu with their request.