Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Loo Family Global Indigenous Intern - 18355BR

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Loo Family Global Indigenous Intern

Spencer Museum of Art
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Employee Class: 

Position Overview

Interns will participate in a full range of professional staff activities. They will have the opportunity to conceptualize and write for gallery installations and exhibitions when the exhibition schedule allows. All interns will assist with a variety of departmental duties in order to gain broad understanding of museum operations, including attending various staff meetings and assisting at the visitor services desk.

Job Description

The Global and Indigenous Art Intern works on various projects involving the Museum’s collection of art and material culture made by Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, and Oceania. These research-based projects will contribute to ongoing efforts to document these collections fully and accurately in the Museum’s internal and public databases and to share them with the public. The 2021-2022 Intern will also assist with with a long-term gallery reinstallation project focused on works from the Museum’s diverse collection and a publication related to the intersections between art, health, and community.

  • Assisting the curator with exhibitions, object selection, research, label-writing, and working across Museum departments to identify innovative methods for display and interpretation.
  • Collaborating to develop outreach initiatives.
  • Conducting interdisciplinary research as relevant to ongoing curatorial projects, including programs and publications.
  • Attending relevant lectures and other events on campus and in the community, as well as selected Museum meetings.
  • Determining when objects were made, collected, and donated to the University.
  • Working with the Collections Manager to document, house, organize, photography, and conserve items in the collection.
  • Performing other duties as specified.

Required Qualifications

  • Must be a University of Kansas graduate student seeking a master's or Ph.D. degree.
  • Enrolled in six credit hours of graduate coursework or at least one hour of thesis/dissertation (approval form from graduate program required).
  • Strong spoken and written communication as evidenced by application materials and interview.
  • Demonstrated computer competency (Office, Outlook, databases, web skills).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience with and interest in working with contemporary artists.
  • Interest in a museum career is taken into consideration.
  • Flexibility, creativity, initiative, and dedication to social justice.
  • A flexible schedule with availability to work occasional weekends and after hours, if needed.
  • Background in and/or enthusiasm for Indigenous studies, African and African-American Studies, visual art, health humanities, or other related field.
  • Ability to work both independently and in collaboration with museum staff, university faculty, students, artists, and indigenous communities.
  • Prior experience with relational databases, especially as used for museum collections.
  • Expertise or familiarity with Native American, Latin American and Caribbean, African, and/or Oceanic art and culture.
  • Competence in language skills relevant to curatorial area.
  • Acceptance of Federal Work Study (for eligibility please fill out a FAFSA form through the KU Financial Aid Office).

Additional Candidate Instructions

Please provide the following information in your application materials (CV and cover letter), attached as one document, PDF preferred.
  • The Spencer Museum of Art currently has multiple internship opportunities available beginning August 2021 through July 2022. Please rank in order of preference which internship you prefer to be considered for.
  • Museum or related career goals.
  • Educational experience in relevant fields of study.
  • Work experience.
  • Brief writing sample.
  • Language skills.
  • Other skills such as computer use, database experience, matting and framing.
  • Provide telephone number and email address where you can be reached.
Additional Information:
  • This position is also eligible to participate in the university health insurance program. Visit for more information.
  • This position is an 11 month appointment beginning August 9, 2021 and ending July 9, 2022.
  • Students may apply for one or more positions.
  • Students who previously have held an SMA internship are also eligible to apply again for the same internships or different internship.
  • Interns are also eligible for a $1,000 travel stipend contingent upon available funding.
  • SMA interns qualify for in-state tuition and fee rates.

Statement on Diversity & Inclusion

As a premier international research university, the University of Kansas is committed to an open, diverse, and inclusive learning and working environment that nurtures the growth and development of all. KU holds steadfast in the belief that an array of values, interests, experiences, and intellectual and cultural viewpoints enrich learning and our workplace. The promotion of and support for a diverse and inclusive community of mutual respect requires the engagement of the entire university.

Contact Information to Applicants

Cassandra Mesick Braun
785 864 6794


Jennifer Talbott
785 864 0135

Advertised Salary Range

$16.50 per hour

Work Schedule

20 hours per week, schedule to be determined by Supervisor.

Anticipated Start Date


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Posting Information
Posting ID:
Spencer Museum of Art
Primary Campus:
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Employee Class: