Conservation Internship

The Chinati Conservation department is pleased to offer two types of internships:

Pre-program Conservation Internship

The pre-program conservation internship is a learning position that allows an intern to work directly with the conservator. Internship tasks and objectives vary but introduce the intern to art conservation ethics and practices that include written and photographic documentation and condition reporting, conducting surveys, preventive and interventive conservation treatments, and assisting with temporary exhibitions. Interns may be involved in decision-making and research. Internships are typically full-time with a range in duration from three months to one year.

Career Path: Internships can provide training for technician positions, allied professions, or graduate programs, and contribute toward preparation for professional conservation positions. Typically, an intern moves on to pursue further training or a paid position after gaining competence in the areas covered by the internship.


Graduate/Post Graduate Conservation Internship

The graduate/post-graduate Conservation Internship is for recent graduates or students already in a master’s level conservation training program, or emerging conservators and offers a unique opportunity to work with a massive modern & contemporary art collection.

Current students or recent graduates of a master’s degree Program in Art Conservation may apply for a conservation internship working directly with the conservator. Internships are preferably twelve months in duration. Research that is specific to Chinati’s collection is encouraged.


In general, conservation internship activities include:

Examination, Documentation, Analysis, Treatment

Collection Surveying

Exhibition/Loan and Digitization preparation

Lab Maintenance

Preventive Conservation (e.g., environmental & pest monitoring, collections housing, emergency preparedness, and collections surveys)

Conservation Research

Raising Awareness for Preservation and Conservation (e.g., through speaking and writing)

Conservation Professional Activities such as visiting other area labs, participating in the Western Area Art Conservation Group


How to apply:

The following materials should be included in your application:

  1. Formal letter of interest identifying which internship is being applied for
  2. Résumé
  3. Two letters of recommendation (one from conservation school faculty, if applicable)
  4. Applicants should submit a portfolio (e.g., written and photographic treatment documentation 


Housing & Stipend:

Modest onsite housing is provided for the intern on Chinati grounds and a small stipend is offered.



Shelley M. Smith – Conservator



Applicants must have U.S. citizenship or authorization to work in the United States.


Application Schedule:

November 15 – February 1:   Applications accepted

February 15-29:   Interviews conducted

March:   Applicants notified

May-September:   Internship begins during this period depending on the successful applicant’s availability