You are viewing a preview of this job. Log in or register to view more details about this job.

SAM Emerging Arts Leader, Conservation (Summer)

Seattle Art Museum Emerging Arts Leader Internship

Summer Quarter 2022

Applications Due Date: May 27, 2022
Position Start Date: June 22, 2022 (Flexible)

TITLE: Emerging Arts Leader Intern
DEPARTMENT/LOCATION: Conservation Department
DEPARTMENT STAFF MENTOR: Senior Objects Conservator

Seattle Art Museum connects art to life. SAM strives for its employees, volunteers, and interns to reflect the community in which it exists. We want to develop careers for individuals interested in the arts who bring dynamic backgrounds and perspectives to this paid internship program. While diversity can embody many characteristics, we are particularly interested in engaging with historically under-represented groups in the museum field.

This departmental internship will focus on caring for SAM’s collections, with points of focus on the new installation of SAM’s American galleries, outdoor sculpture conservation at Olympic Sculpture Park, and additional project work on other parts of the collection, as needed. During this 10-week program, the intern will gain hands-on experience with preventive conservation, and the examination, documentation, and care of works of art.

This internship will provide the candidate with a better understanding of professional conservation work and may prepare the intern for a future career in curation, collections management, or graduate study in conservation. The intern will have the opportunity to develop their skill set under the supervision of a staff conservator and will learn more about SAM’s operations and programs through enrichment sessions, job shadowing with frontline staff, and creation of a short tour, presentation, or gallery talk relevant to their work.

FSLA STATUS: Temporary, Non-Exempt

COMPENSATION: $17.27 per hour, up to 21 hours per week, for 10 weeks

15-21 hours per week, for 10 weeks. Schedule is flexible within Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm office hours. Start and end dates may be flexible depending on intern needs and academic schedule.

Working with their supervisors, the intern will further develop their knowledge of museum collections management and conservation techniques. They will also learn to navigate a multi-department organization, build a professional network, and learn about the career paths of other museum professionals.

  1. Assess and document the condition of works of art, with particular focus on outdoor sculpture. This may include photography and data entry. Condition survey work will be overseen by conservation and collections staff.
  2. Perform and document treatments on works of art under direct supervision from conservation staff and in consultation with project curators. The range and nature of treatment will vary, depending on the current schedule.
  3. As needed, assist with framing adjustments, preparation of archival display materials, or construction of storage mounts under supervision of conservator, curator or archival technician.
  4. Assist with general studio activities such as maintaining clean work areas and equipment.
  5. Attend and take part in department meetings and other activities.
  6. Develop a 30-minute tour, presentation, or gallery talk related to your internship or a work of art in SAM’s galleries.
  7. Participate in a job shadow with frontline staff and volunteers
  8. Attend Enrichment Sessions, workshops, and other professional development opportunities, as available.

Necessary training in art handling, conservation methods, use of TMS database, and other conservation protocols and ethics will be provided during the internship.
  • Demonstrated interest in and experience with the arts, either through school, extracurricular activities, or within a work setting. Competitive candidates will also demonstrate maturity and be able to articulate why this Emerging Arts Leader Internship supports their professional goals in museums or the wider arts industry.
  • Knowledge of materials and techniques related to artistic production.
  • Art historical knowledge or an interest in museums and the arts industry.
  • Highly developed hand skills and good judgement.
  • Proficiency in general computer use.
  • Ability to ask for help and accept supervision and evaluation of your work.
  • Ability to work with others professionally and tactfully.
  • Adherence to the code of ethics governing the American Association of Museums and the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
  • Abide by the Standards for Museum Volunteers/Interns as outlined in the Volunteer/Intern Packet.

  • Currently working towards or recent completion of a bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, or equivalent. Applicants with working experience in art fabrication, studio assistants, or other related trades are also encouraged to apply.
  • Applicants with a demonstrated interest in fine arts, art history, or museums are preferred.
  • Prior experience with art conservation is not required.

In order to be eligible for consideration, applicants must:
  • Be authorized to work in the United States for the Seattle Art Museum.
  • Be a member of a group underrepresented in careers related to art conservation, curatorial practice, museums, and visual arts organizations. More information about underrepresentation in the museum field can be found at Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey | Mellon Foundation

ExposureWork areas are both indoors and outdoors at Olympic Sculpture Park and in the Neukom Conservation Studio, galleries, and storage areas at Seattle Art Museum. This position will require work outdoors, including work under platforms, on ladders, and/or on grass and sloped surfaces. Noise levels will generally be light, and there may be exposure to varying air-quality levels when outdoors.

Hazardous Materials: The Conservation Intern should be prepared to work with conservation and artists’ materials, and they may be required to use appropriate provided protective equipment when working with toxic or hazardous art or collections materials. The employee may expect moderate exposure to solvent fumes that are being used in a controlled environment in the conservation studio.

Stationary WorkApproximately 50% of time is spent stationary while working at a desk. Balance of time (approximately 50%) is spent moving around the work area. Occasional extended periods of standing may be required when assisting with conservation projects.

Communication:  Clear and effective communication with volunteers, donors, members, the public, and co-workers is necessary.

Moving:  The ability to move up to twenty pounds on occasion is necessary for moving files, equipment, and supplies. Ability to use small hand tools is required for work on art.

Office Work:  Ability to effectively and regularly operate a computer, keyboard, and other office productivity machinery, such as copy machines and printers, and ability to inspect, prepare and use paperwork, files, equipment, and supplies is necessary.
Centering equity, diversity, and inclusion as an organization, and as individuals, Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is committed to ensuring that all employees and volunteers enjoy a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming workplace. SAM is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or any other protected class. 

Please contact the Human Resources Department at (206) 654-3188 or for additional information or to request reasonable accommodations for the application or interview process.

Offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check and proof that the applicant is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or qualifies for a testing exemption or accommodation.

Applications are only accepted via the online form at

Application materials in PDF format may also be sent to
Each application should include:
  • Application Form (completed online)
  • Personal Statement of no more than 700 words detailing:
  • How you represent diversity in terms of culture, background, or artistic/professional experiences.
  • How do questions of equity shape your personal and professional goals?
  • How and why interdisciplinary collaboration will aid your academic or artistic career.
  • What interests you about working in a museum?
  • What do you hope to gain from this experience and how might it enhance your education and/or career plans?
  • What do you feel you can contribute to the museum?
  • Resume
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation, ideally from teachers, supervisors, or mentors. References should be emailed directly to, with the applicant name noted in the Subject line.
Please reach out to for any questions or assistance with our application process.