career help (interns)

  1. im doing a history of art degree and will graduate next year so right now im starting to think about the world of work. the thing thats bugging me is that i have no money at all and ill be in a lot of debt when i graduate (thanks to the student finance system in the UK). iv been thinking about applying to be an intern at MoMA or christies or something else in the field i want to work in but the money situation is bugging me. iv been thinking about taking a year out when i graduate and working in an office or something to build up some cash.
    the area i want to work in is really competative though and im worried that an employer might not want to take me on because i take time out. am i just being silly? would it be a better idea just to get a job in a gallery straight away even though ill be broke and wont be able to afford to move away from home, at least ill be doing what i want? HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. I have a degree in art history and you're right, it is a very competetive field. You pretty much need an MA if you want to work in a museum. I was lucky that I found a great job with a corporate art consultant. You should figure out what area you want to focus on in the art world and find a job that uses those skills. Do you want to work with artists? Do you like doing research? Do you enjoy the challenge of fundraising?

    Internships are great. They give you an idea of exactly what it is like to work in a museum or gallery. During my graduate training I was lucky to do internships with Sotheby's, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the California Historical Society. I focused mainly on registration because I love organization and research. Of course, now I'm a mom and I stay at home with my kids so my skills are being used for a different purpose.
  3. What about applying for jobs in local art galleries to help you get money but keep looking for the job you really want. That way you have shown a geniune interest in the field by continuing the career that interests you even though its temporary.
    If you just get an office job it may be hard to get your first foot in the door and time really does fly so you may end up stuck in job you don't like simply because it pays the bills
  4. I'm an Art History/ English Studies double-major. I graduated from a good university but even with connections failed to get into any major museum or auction house: EVERYONE has a daughter who wants to work in the field so unless your daddy is Rockefeller or Getty, even friends can't help!

    I'm now the marketing/communications director of an architecture firm in Chicago. My emphasis in art history was on architecture so I'm very pleased to be involved in it, even in a non-creative way (although marketing can get pretty creative at times!). You should look into something outside of dealing (auction houses) or curating (museums). What about development departments in museums (basically, you ask rich people for money)? Or you could work in the marketing department of an architecture firm if you're interested in architecture and have taken courses on it.

    Just a FYI: Don't expect to be well-paid by an auction house or a museum when you're starting out (or heck, even when you've got a Ph.D., where museums are concerned!). I have friends who work at the Gardner Museum who make $24,000. This does not go a long way in a city.

    Best wishes to you. It's a competitive field, but keep knocking on doors and you will find a job!
  5. thank you for your advice.
    label addict- there are very few galleries in the north east that ever advertise vacanceys and getting work experience is almost impossible.
    to the others- im doing history of modern art, design and film but specialise in design more than the other 2. im hopefully working at the zoo art fair in october thanks to a fab lecturer i have and i already have a little experience(working with a curator for a few weeks at a local gallery). 3 of my lectureres are well respected critics and publish there own art journal and are being so helpful. i either want to work in a museum or in somercial galleries im just not quite sure.
    i suppose its a plus that the art faculty at my university are so well respected and the course im doing is the only one of its kind in the UK but its just a luck thing when it comes to getting a job.
  6. i thought education was subsidized in the UK. thats what the british students told me when i went to Oxford Uni and my jaw dropped when they told me how much they had to pay compared to me. As for internships/jobs, i think the most popular and common places to look are museums, auction houses, and art galleries. Have you ever considered working as maybe an art professor? or lecturer? I think most museum curators have PhD's and Masters especially the Metropolitan Museum over here in NYC. you could definitely find a job that's not related to your field for money but if you really want to do art, you could try to work for some fashion houses. or you could go into the field of interior decorating. also, you could maybe help publishing magazines (artsy ones) and maybe work for the historical society in upkeeping/ restoring homes? Good luck!
  7. it is subsidized but everyone gets a loan at a low interest rate(£2400 a year for me) and then i have an interest free over draft at the bank. luckily i still live at home so my outgoings arent to bad
  8. DH & I are art collectors & go to the auctions a couple times a year. We know several people that work at Christies & Sothebys. It does seem like they tend to hire those with very prominent family backgrounds. We've also heard the positions are very well respected & don't pay worth a dang.
    There has been some great ideas mentioned here. Good luck!