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 2017 the Trust sponsored 17 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: August 2017–October 2017
My three months at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection were unforgettable and genuinely life changing, opening my eyes to the possibilities of a career in the art world. Through the versatility of tasks, the personal insight offered by museum staff, and the many inspiring and motivated people I met, I left the internship feeling excited for the future.
Every day I found myself working with a team of likeminded, hardworking people to share a common passion for art with the public, and to teach the world about Peggy Guggenheim and her exceptional life and achievements.
The PGC internship program is unlike anything I have experienced before. As interns you are trusted with the day-to-day running of an international museum; you gain an unmatchable knowledge of a world-famous collection and its history; and you are lucky enough to live in Venice and learn to be a local. Venice, the PGC and the people I met will stay with me for a long time to come – thank you PGC!
Intern: August 2017
As the new recruits gathered outside Peggy’s palazzo on the first day of the internship and engaged in eager chitchat, it immediately became clear that, although we came from all over the world, we had one thing in common: a love of art and a fascination with this incredible collection. Warmly welcomed by existing interns and members of staff, we soon felt like bona fide ‘Guggies’ and settled into a daily routine.
I genuinely enjoyed all of our duties: acting as a gallery attendant was the perfect opportunity to really get to know the paintings, selling tickets let me welcome people and practise my languages, and a particular highlight for me was giving talks to the visitors. I especially appreciated the opportunity to do in-depth research in the museum’s specialist library on some of my favourite artworks, and then present my findings in an accessible and entertaining way to a varied public.
We worked hard, but played hard too: our wonderful intern coordinators organised pizza nights, a day trip to the picturesque microstate of San Marino, and a fantastic end-of-month party. As clichéd as it might sound, my fellow interns soon became great friends, and it was just amazing to be able to spend time with such a vibrant and kind group of people. Walking out through the museum’s sculpture garden at the end of each day, I could not quite believe that this was where I worked.
Intern: July 2017
When the Art History department last year sent round an e-mail advertising an internship opportunity at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, I was quick and eager to apply. The experience I had during my month as an intern in Venice has been an experience hard to summarise in words.
The internship program is comprised of roughly sixteen students on a very international scale. During my introductory meeting with the staff and other fellow interns, we were told that our daily tasks within the museum would include public talks, research on behalf of the museum, working in the ticket office and guarding the various rooms during the day.
During my time at the Guggenheim, I delivered seven talks including detailed analysis of specified paintings, the Guggenheim’s temporary exhibitions and a biographical presentation on the life of Peggy Guggenheim herself. Whilst I was nervous at the start of these talks, my public speaking skills eventually developed to a high standard, vastly aided by the extensive research materials provided by the museum and the constant support provided by my peers.
From one arty historian to another, one can easily understand the important of Venice as a renaissance capital. My days away from the museum were spent frequenting renowned institutions such as the Ca’ Pesaro, the Fortuny Palace, the Accademia, the Ca’ D’Oro, the Museo Correr and often just getting blissfully lost in such a magical place. Luckily, whilst working there I got the chance to visit the internationally celebrated Biennale, a showcase of the world’s best and upcoming artists, finely picked from each country.
Having done the preliminary research suggested by the Guggenheim, I had no idea that once I arrived, my knowledge of modern art and its context would grow to such an extent. Spending every day surrounded by works by the likes of Jackson Pollock, Yves Tanguy, Salvador Dalì, Alberto Giacometti and many many more, my understating of Peggy Guggenheim as a collector and the curation of the museum grew in tandem.
My internship at the Guggenheim gave me a truly fantastic insight into the daily running of an internationally recognised museum. Alongside the invaluable base of knowledge I acquired, I had a chance to live in one of the most magical cities, get a handle on the basis of the Italian language and meet some of the most amazing people from all over the world that I will never lose touch with. I loved every day of my experience and would strongly suggest that you apply and make some incredible memories too!
Intern: January 2017–March 2017
Three months is such a brief period, and it truly whizzes by when interning at the Guggenheim, but the time I spent at the gallery was hugely stimulating, challenging and rewarding, if fleeting, and I will always remember and treasure it.
I had previously studied art history for undergrad and architectural history for postgrad; however my modern art history was pretty minimal. Giving talks and leading tours was the best way possible to learn not only about the incredible artists in the collection, but also about the modern canon more generally. I became particularly attached to Boccioni's Dynamism of a Moving Horse owing to its powerful, expression of energy and speed.
The other interns completely made the experience. I strongly believe that I have made some very special, lifelong friends. What makes the friendships all the more firm is the fact that despite being united by a passion for art, the interns come from places from all over the world and have their own specific interests, stories and peculiarities. I would highly recommend the internship: you are surrounded by wonderful art, architecture and people. Finally, it was a privilege to live in Venice, a labyrinth for exploring.
Intern: July 2016
I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to intern at The Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The month I spent there was enriching, useful and not to mention really great fun. I have seen the positive effects it has had on my personal and professional life, even only 3 months after (reluctantly) leaving Venice:
Firstly, the skills and practical experience of working in a museum I gained from the internship have improved my CV no end, and been a real help when searching for full-time employment in the art world. More than my MA in Art History, employers have been really interested to hear about the public talks, research, and workshops I was involved with during my time at the PGC. As one of Venice’s most popular museums, the work interns do carrying out the daily operations of the collection is really meaningful, and indicative of a high level of quality and competence.
Secondly, I have benefited greatly from the time I spent among the work in the PGC, and learnt a huge amount about twentieth century art just from being around one of the best collections in the world. Educationally, the experience offers complete immersion in modernist art, and since interns need to quickly become au fait with the collection and its history, is extremely enriching intellectually, albeit somewhat challenging.
Last but not least, The Peggy Guggenheim Collection Internship is a rare occasion to spend an extended period with other people who all share the same interest in art and Italian culture. Without fail it seems, interns have the time of their lives sharing in the unique experience with like-minded individuals, coming from all over the world, taking the occasion to explore Venice together. The interns are treated by the PGC to numerous excursions and seminars, all of which I found fascinating and which really added to the exclusivity of the experience: for example we were allowed inside a private palazzo to view some gorgeous frescoes which otherwise are not open to the public; then the PGC Director, Dr Rylands, gave up hours of his time talking to us about the collection and about his position in the museum.
All in all, I credit my time at The Peggy Guggenheim Collection with equipping me with the necessary skills and practical experience to go confidently into the world of work after getting my degrees. It was then an added bonus that my month in Venice was one of the most enjoyable I have ever known!
Intern: April 2016–June 2016
Interning at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection has been a rewarding, entertaining and truly unforgettable experience. From the very beginning of my time at the PGC I realised how important and valued the interns are to the daily operations of the museum. The hands on experience of opening and closing the museum on a daily basis and the variety of tasks interns undertake from guarding the rooms to selling tickets, gave me a tremendously broad insight into the workings of an art museum. The opportunity to study Peggy’s amazing collection of 20th Century Modern Art every day and find out more about her extraordinary life was just one of the many highlights of the internship. Others included the chance to give talks to the public on artworks in the Collection and develop my public speaking, to get involved with museum education by taking part in ‘Kid’s Day,’ (the Collection’s weekly children’s workshop) as well as having the opportunity to talk to and work with members of staff from many of the museum’s different departments. It was not just the professional experience that has left its mark on me, I met and worked with the most amazing group of people (interns and permanent staff) from all around the world. All of us with different as well as shared interests and working day in, day out, meant that I forged friendships for life. To top it all, you get to live in Venice, one of Italy’s most beautiful and magical cities! My three months at the PGC has certainly left its mark on me and I’m already reminiscing about my time there!
Intern: October 2015–January 2016
Being a part of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Internship Program is one of the most wonderful experiences there is. The insight that the interns get into the world of galleries, museums, curating and the logistical workings of such a highly regarded organisation is incredibly interesting and valuable. The team here at the Guggenheim Collection in Venice is so tight-knit and encouraging that, as an intern, you become part of running the exhibitions, and are given the opportunities to get involved with different projects that might particularly interest you. Studying the art in the collection, giving talks and tours to members of the public, learning to manage large groups of visitors are all excellent abilities that enhance your skill set. Naturally, the internship comes with much more than just a name for your CV. Living in Venice is another magical experience! Seeing all that the city has to offer along with the trips organised by the Guggenheim to other cities beautifully increases your understanding of Italy and its culture. Equally, all of the incredible people either interning with you, working around you, or that you meet through events and functions only help to expand the enjoyment of your time at the gallery. These were an incredible few months that I will remember very fondly forever.
Intern: September–December 2015
Working at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection has been one of the most satisfying and enriching experiences of my life. The internship itself is unique in the sense that the museum is effectively run entirely by some thirty interns, so you are surrounded day to day by a young, international, vibrant community of art enthusiasts. From working in the ticket office, guarding the art, and giving talks and tours, I learned so many skills, some basic and some – such as public speaking – invaluable. Part of the joy of the internship is, of course, the experience of living in Venice. You spend your working days surrounded by the masters of the twentieth century and during your days off you are surrounded by those of the Renaissance. The working environment is probably the most intimate and friendly I will ever experience. This feeling was only heightened once you came to understand the true unique aspect of Peggy’s collection: its provenance is unmatched in the sense that in every other museum the works will have come from scattered sources, perhaps owned by ten or fifteen others beforehand. At the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the works have only been owned by one person, and so Peggy’s influence, as a collector, curator, and force of life, establishes itself in every aspect of working in her Palazzo.
Intern: October–November 2015
My two months at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection has been truly one of the best experiences. There are not many workplaces where you are not only surrounded by, but also responsible for, incredible twentieth-century modern masterpieces and able to work with a wonderful group of international interns. Nor are there many walks to work that parallel crossing the Accademia Bridge and seeing the beautiful view of the Santa Maria della Salute. The internship is what you want it to be; the opportunities are there to be taken. The best things for me were giving talks on Peggy’s life, paintings in the collection and the temporary exhibition, helping with Kids Day and, probably most of all, getting a
spritz after work and getting to know everyone I work with. When I look back on my time I feel warmth and excitement for having had the privilege to be involved with a respected collection and for having made amazing friends. I only wish that I could have had more time here!
Intern: September–November 2015
Working at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection has been an incredibly enriching experience for me. I have so much enjoyed learning and broadening my knowledge daily about the collection, twentieth-century art and Peggy Guggenheim herself. Delivering talks to the public not only boosted my confidence in public speaking but helped me to go into depth about different works of art in the museum. The different tasks we do each day have also helped me to understand the way businesses and institutions work. This internship has developed my interest in customer service and is extremely valuable for any future job prospects. Overall, the experience has been amazing. I have made life-long friends, grown as a person and learned so much!
Intern: July–August 2015
Interning at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection was an incredibly rewarding experience and one that I am most grateful for. The internship offers an entirely unique learning environment in which you gain extensive training in museum operations surrounded by the work of Miro, Picasso and Rothko, whilst overlooking the Grand Canal. Arguably in no other location are so many art historical resources at your feet. In my two months interning at the collection I gained invaluable experience in the daily administration of a world renowned art establishment, from ticketing and guarding to giving tours of the collection to large groups and VIP guests. Additionally, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection cultivates an environment where interns are constantly encouraged to learn, whether it be from the staff who generously share their expertise with interns each day, the visiting artists or from fellow interns. At each stage of my internship I was offered the opportunity to take on new responsibilities. Acting as a cultural mediator with the public as part of the AMATA incentive was a particularly educational and enriching experience for me. The benefits of this internship are not, however, entirely academic. A factor that made my time at the Peggy Guggenheim so special was the exchange of ideas I had with my fellow interns. When working at the collection I met like-minded individuals from all over the world and gained lasting friendships. I cannot praise the Peggy Guggenheim Collection internship program enough. I can honestly say that experience was truly unforgettable and enriching both professionally and personally.
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.