STUDENT INTERNS AT THE PEGGY GUGGENHEIM COLLECTION
A major project of the Trust is to sponsor the participation of UK students in the renowned internship programme of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice. In 2014 the Trust sponsored 19 students from the United Kingdom who came from a diverse range of backgrounds. The internship programme delivers vital inspiration to young people as they start out on their careers in the art world and makes a lasting impact on their career development. Please do have a look at the remarks from students who have been on this programme over the past years.
Intern: February–April 2014
The opportunity to intern at the eminent Peggy Guggenheim Collction is onethat I am most grateful for. To be embroidered in the daily fabric of this enchanting city and work in the truly international environment was a great privilege.
Engaging with the impressive permanent collection and innovative temporary exhibitions will enhance your previous and future studies in boundless measures.
In the PGC I discovered that la vita è bella. Indeed, the unprecedented intimacy of this institution and the chance to engage with like-minded individuals renders this experience one not to be missed; I recommend it most highly. “Molto speciale per me!”
Intern: January–March 2013
As workplaces go, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is probably the most enjoyable and energizing I have ever known. Being surrounded by the modernist masterpieces of Peggy’s collection and by an inspiring group of international colleagues was a unique daily learning experience. For me, the most valuable part of the internship was the opportunity to research and deliver talks to the public about Peggy’s colorful life and the artworks in her stellar collection. Other personal highlights included supporting Education staff in events for schools and families and assisting in the re-hang of the Palazzo at the changeover between exhibitions. Outside the museum, one extraordinary perk of the internship was of course having the chance to explore Venice as a resident rather than a tourist, to absorb as much art and history as possible in the city and further afield in Italy. For all these reasons and more, my three months at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection were unforgettable.
Intern: January–April 2013
As I write, and pool together the golden memories of my time in Venice, feelings of such great happiness and excitement resurface that I hardly know where to begin. Peggy Guggenheim’s wonderful collection, housed in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, which sits languidly, dipping its toes into the Grand Canal, inspires me still, from afar. Experiencing it close at hand, day to day, for weeks, was mesmerizing. Existing as Peggy did, within the great walls of the Palazzo that drip with twentieth-century masterpieces, was an enormous privilege. Every morning I would weave through the Venetian calle with a privileged sense of purpose, to work in Peggy’s former home and rub shoulders with Picassos and Pollocks, as one of an inspired - and inspiring - team of international interns. We interns worked all over the museum, in a sort of spider’s web of positions, from the ticket office to the galleries, to departmental offices, sometimes independently but usually in collaboration with each other, or with permanent members of staff. As the weeks went by and our competence and confidence developed, our responsibilities increased, and so we constantly faced fresh, motivating challenges. Always motivated and enthused, our morale was hugely buoyant, and there was a tangible sense of fun to each working day. One month into the internship, many of us were leading tours of the permanent collection, which was very rewarding. The rewards that we reaped from the internship program were not limited to the working day – far from it. At the close of the museum, we would attend seminars from inspiring experts, including the director, Dr Philip Rylands, give seminars ourselves, go on cultural tours, explore Venice and – very importantly – socialize over a spritz or two. The Guggenheim funds two trips a month for its interns, both of which are culturally oriented and art specific, one taking place within Venice and the other beyond. In my three months as an intern I travelled to Bologna, Ferrara and Padua, courtesy of the Guggenheim and, in each city, I discovered cultural treasure troves. I really cannot speak highly enough of the Peggy Guggenheim Internship program. My experience of it was truly golden. I have left it with great confidence, wonderful friends and a rasping thirst for more.
Intern: October, November and December 2012
Where to begin? What an invaluable 3 months I’ve had here at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Every month has been a different chapter of my Venetian life, each so different and unique, according to the opportunities of the month, as well as those surrounding me. What has struck me most during my time here is the friendships I have made, spending every day with people who have come from all over the world. At the risk of sounding trite, being so far from home, those you work with during the day and go out with in evening become your family.
As an intern you are able to participate in all sections of the museum, guarding the artworks, selling tickets and audio guides, giving talks and tours and thus interaction with the public is key and by far what I have adored most about this experience. With the daily challenges of the museum, you are encouraged to perform at your very best and more than that, really given the opportunity to prove yourself.
During my time here, we ventured outside Venice to cities such as Milan, Verona, Ferrara – and able to discover a bit more of Italy. I was also interning during the winter months so I got to experience ’acqua alta’ in all its glory, somewhat a nuisance if you are unprepared, but an absolute dream if you’ve got appropriate footwear! And which made my experience of Venice all the more surreal and magical. These 3 months have been so enriching, I am taking so much back home with me, and am positive that this experience will stay with me forever.
Intern: October and November 2012
Deciding to do the Peggy Guggenheim internship was the best decision I made in 2011. The chance to live abroad and work with such a significant art collection does not come around very often and the Guggenheim staff do all in their power to make this an experience fulfilling as well as good fun. On top of coming to grips with the running of a small museum – selling tickets, guarding rooms – you have the opportunity to listen to lectures, present seminars and give talks and tours to the public on Peggy’s fantastic collection. A wonderful way to become immersed in modern art history. Whenever the opportunity arises you will assist the curators, art handlers and conservators - I was lucky enough to be part of a large re-hang of the museum for example - which was just incredible. And all this while being in Venice – a hard life I tell you! Venice is an unbelievably beautiful place to explore and I feel so privileged to now know the city as a resident not just a tourist. I knew the Peggy Guggenheim internship was going to be good but on top of all the above, I don’t think I ever imagined I would that I would meet such incredible people in my fellow interns or fall in love with early 20th century abstract art for that matter. If you get the chance to be part of this internship programme – take it!
Intern: October, November and December 2011
I feel so lucky to have been part of this internship programme. Having heard so much praise of the scheme before my arrival in Venice, I had feared that the reality would disappoint, but I can honestly say that my high expectations were well and truly met, if not exceeded. There was never a dull moment and always something exciting in our diaries each day, not to mention the ever-present inspiring beauty of Venice itself.
Having previously specialised in the European Old Masters, I have relished the opportunity to improve my knowledge of early 20th Century art movements that are so well represented in the Collection. I likewise greatly valued the introduction to contemporary Italian art provided by the temporary exhibits. Although daunting at first, I appreciated being granted the freedom and responsibility to research and present talks and tours on Peggy and her collection; through preparing for and conducting these presentations, I not only gained confidence in public speaking, but also self-belief in my art-historical skills of research, object interpretation and writing. An added perk was the extra-curricular programme, which included lectures given by the Chief Conservator and Director as well as trips within Venice and further afield.
To top off the experience, I got to work alongside likeminded young people from across the globe, all ready to exchange an impressive range of experience and knowledge. Ultimately, a Peggy Guggenheim intern leaves the Palazzo feeling inspired, enriched and ready to take on the art and museums world!
Intern: August and September 2011
The Peggy Guggenheim Internship scheme is truly unique. During my two months at the collection, in the summer of 2011, I was able to familiarise myself with the international art movements and also really get to know Peggy’s personal collection. The interns have an incredible opportunity to understand how a museum functions, and in doing so are allowed to become a fundamental in its everyday mechanics. The Guggenheim prides itself on interaction with its visitors, through tours, talks and seminars; this was the perfect way to also consolidate my Art History, as well a practicing some Italian! There were several interns with me, all from different cultural backgrounds with different interests, and in them I found not only advice but also friendship. The internship programme is founded on tutelage and didactic support – giving interns the chance to go on cultural trips around Italy and the city of Venice itself – allowing us to constantly expand our knowledge. A month into my internship I was given the opportunity to work alongside the Conservator of the collection – he taught me so much about the fascinating history of the collection, as well as the artworks themselves. I am truly grateful for my exceptional experience at the Guggenheim, and how accommodating both the permanent staff and my fellow peers were.
Intern: August and September 2011
My experience of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection internship was not only highly rewarding and beneficial to my hopes to pursue a career in the art world, but above all greatly enjoyable. The well-organised, fun-filled and educational programme was like no other internship I had previously taken part in. What sets it apart is the breadth of skills and knowledge that one takes home from this experience; from learning about the day-to-day running of a renowned and busy museum and acquiring an in-depth knowledge of one of the most important collections of modern art in order to inform the public through tours and talks, to discovering new cultures and countries through meeting other interns from all over the world. The emphasis of the internship programme is placed equally on education, including lectures by artists and art historians as well as the museum Director and seminars held by the interns themselves, and fun, with planned trips every month and lots of social events. Having the opportunity to meet wonderful, art-loving, international people in the most beautiful city in the world was one of the best parts of the internship. Therefore being a Peggy Guggenheim intern has broadened both my knowledge of art history and how museums work and my social circle. All in all, on the Peggy Guggenheim internship you are in the best company every day – surrounded by your family of interns, spending time with some of the most beautiful modern artworks in the world, and becoming acquainted with the stunning city of Venice.
Intern: July, August and September 2011
As a student of German & Italian with a long-standing interest in Modern Art, the Peggy Guggenheim internship programme was the perfect start to my year abroad. What makes the PGC internship so special is the amount of responsibility you are given, the faith they have in your abilities and the amount of support you are given by the friendly staff and fellow interns alike. Educating yourself and the visiting public is at the core of what the interns do. By giving regular talks at the PGC I built up a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the collection. You start with short 10-minute talks focusing on a single work of art, contextualising it in relation to the artist's œuvre and a movement. As someone not studying art history these were a great way to build up my knowledge. The research library provided the source material and then often the best insights came from fellow interns who would give you an angle to approach a particular artist or movement from; this was particularly helpful for Picasso who I've always found so difficult to approach. To complement your knowledge of the art itself you also give talks on Peggy's colourful life which are always much appreciated by the public. By the middle of my second month I was giving tours of the entire collection fairly regularly, which allowed me to trace the trajectory and developments of artists and art movements through the 20th century and I really enjoyed visitors’ questions and comments which were often thought-provoking, making me consider an aspect of a work I’d never seen before.
In addition to educating the public about the collection I had the opportunity to get involved with many different facets of the museum. I did translation work, covering all manner of texts from press material to wall texts. I also co-edited the monthly intern magazine, 'Backstage’, which was a lot of fun to put together, pooling everyone's different skills and ideas.
My three months at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection were educational, exhilarating and a whole lot of fun. I’ve come away with a wealth of knowledge that will be invaluable to me for my future career and a whole lot of memories and experiences that I’ll treasure for a long time to come.
Intern: September-November 2009
Being an intern at the PGC has been a brilliant experience for me in so many different ways. For anyone interested in pursuing a career in the art world, it is an incredible opportunity to learn about the inner-workings of a museum. From the day-to-day work of guarding galleries and selling tickets, to working alongside museum professionals in the various different departments, you play a part in all aspects of running a museum, from the bottom to the top! Moreover, you get to know a really amazing collection of artworks. I constantly find myself referring to ‘our Picassos’ or ‘our Brancusi’s, because you can’t help but develop a personal attachment to the collection. I particularly enjoyed giving talks on individual artworks and on Peggy’s life, which not only allowed me to develop my public speaking skills but also brought me into contact with new and interesting people everyday. It was so rewarding to feel that one was helping people to look at the artworks with fresh eyes and a greater appreciation. Aside from this, being an intern is like joining a giant family of young art-lovers, and through our seminars and general day to day discussions, I feel I have learnt so much and made some lifelong friends! And finally, on top of all this, the internship gives one the chance to live in Venice and really get to know this incredible, beautiful city. In short, what’s not to like?
Intern February-April 2008
I spent three months at the Peggy Guggenheim collection in Venice, from January to May 2008. The daily tasks consisted of front of house jobs such as selling tickets, keeping coats, guarding galleries, cleaning, and carrying posters. After a few weeks I began to work with the registrar department on the administration of a private donation and the re-installation of works to the gallery. By the end of three months I was working with the chief conservator on his biennial sculpture restoration and re-shuffle of his storage. Meanwhile I had perfected public speaking in regular talks to the public about works in the collection and Peggy Guggenheim’s life, and was working as a tour guide to visiting groups. Every week seminars were given by fellow interns, presenting a wealth of fascinating information on various subjects. Talks from the Director of the Museum were complemented by museum visits and artists’ talks. And in the meantime I had the opportunity to spend time and become familiar with one of the most special collections of Modern art. I encountered at every step helpful and passionate staff. I also learned some Italian. The internship program at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection offered the opportunity to expand and develop various skills. It also provided an opportunity to meet inspirational and international people, and to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.