Junior art and design major Matthew Fields, a native of St. Louis, will be spending his Summer at the Smithsonian Institution in America’s Capitol as a participant in their Undergraduate Conservation Internship program. Introduced to him by the UAPB Office of Career Services, Fields will be attending a 10-week conservation internship at the American Art Museum.
The program is designed to introduce underrepresented students to the museum conservation and restoration profession. Interns will be involved in the process of preserving the museum’s collections, including documentation, treatment, and research. Intern conservators will gain multi-disciplinary experiences in learning about historical objects, paintings, textiles, paper, time-based media, and other remarkable materials. Students will explore the most advanced equipment and materials used for conservation practices, industry standards, and educational experiences.
Fields will be learning through a practical cooperative learning style and connecting with other peers across the nation. Intern students selected to attend the Smithsonian Institution Internships must have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, completed coursework in the sciences, and in the arts. Students must also have an interest in the museum conservation setting and be able to attend a 10-week internship, which will commence on June 4 and end on August 10, 2018. Students will be full-time and carry 40 hours/week workload. They will be paid $600 per week, with travel allowances and housing support will be included.
“This is once in a lifetime opportunity for Matthew; he has shown leadership and a genuine interest in the museum conservation profession,” said Department of Art and Design chairperson, Danny Campbell. “I feel if he continues this personal interest, he will become a well sought-after museum conservator in a few years.”
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo—shaping the future by preserving heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing resources with the world. The Institution was founded in 1846 with funds from the Englishman James Smithson (1765–1829) according to his wishes “under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”