Curatorial Intern

Position Details

Type Internship
Offered By Dumbarton House, NSCDA
2715 Q Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia
Salary $1,000 stipend and/or course credit
Deadline 1/15/2015
For More
Name: Stephanie Boyle
Title: Education Manager
Phone: 202-337-2288


Dumbarton House (DH), a Federal period historic house Museum in Georgetown, seeks a Curatorial Intern for the Spring Semester. Dumbarton House, headquarters of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, offers visitors an opportunity to enhance their appreciation of early American history. Dumbarton House strives to inform and educate the public, about life in Washington during the early Republic (c. 1800) and about Federal Period decorative arts and architecture. Dumbarton House's collection of furniture, paintings, textiles, silver, and ceramics, consists primarily, but not exclusively, of objects dating from the Federal period of U.S. history (approximately 1790-1830). The Dumbarton House manuscript and document collection includes one of the original known copies of the Articles of Confederation, as well as papers, journals, account books, ledgers and letters documenting nearly 300 years of Nourse family life. In addition to our permanent collection, we also offer a series of temporary exhibits that feature topics relevant to additional interpretation of the museum. The curatorial intern works directly with the Deputy Director & Curator and the Collections & Facilities Manager.


The Spring 2015 Curatorial Intern, under the guidance of the Curatorial Department, will work on all aspects curatorial and collections management. Activities will include assisting with exhibition build-out and installations, object handling, object photography, collections care including re-housing objects, updating object inventories in PastPerfect, completing object condition reports, general housekeeping in exhibition galleries, and assisting with other museum duties and functions.

The internship program at Dumbarton House is designed to provide research opportunities and practical, hands-on experience to students pursuing a graduate- or post-graduate degree in art, American history, exhibition design, museum studies, material culture studies, or related field.

Applicants with a recent degree, working toward a degree, and/or comparable work experience will be considered. Applicants must be able to work independently with minimal supervision, and be willing to assist with all aspects of working in a small, historic house museum.


  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Excellent, research, written, and oral communication skills;
  • Familiarity with proper decorative arts terminology and a particular interest in the Federal period a plus;
  • The ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • Experience with MS Office applications (Word and Excel), knowledge of databases and office equipment. Experience with Past Perfect 5 a plus; and
  • Strength, dexterity, and mobility to perform all duties.

How to Apply

Send cover letter, resume, and one (1) page writing sample to: with a subject heading: Curatorial Intern The incumbent is not eligible for museum benefits. Dumbarton House is an Equal Opportunity Employer. A background check is required for employment. Applications are accepted and interviews scheduled on a rolling basis until the position is filled Qualified applicants will be contacted to schedule an interview. Please do not contact Dumbarton House to inquire about the status of your application.