When you visit the Met this summer, you will likely come across one of our twenty-two lilac-badged Summer College Interns—assisting visitors at one of the Information Desks (sometimes in a language other than English), lugging monographs out of Watson Library, or taking a break in the shade of Big Bambú. Or you may see us—and even join us—as we lead guided tours of the permanent collection.
We offer two kinds of hourlong tours several times a week: Highlight Tours and Special Topics Tours. Interns leading Highlight Tours select some of the Museum’s most popular and treasured objects to provide an overview of the encyclopedic collection. Longtime visitors will recognize featured works like the Roman Statue of Aphrodite, Pieter Bruegel’s The Harvesters, the Egyptian Portrait of a Boy, Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), and the Astor Court. Though they are well known, we hope to illuminate these works further by moving across regions and time periods to offer new comparisons.
Special Topic tours vary widely and are based on the individual interests of each intern. Some, like this summer’s “Lions and Tigers and Bears (Oh My!),” are theme based, while others, such as “À l'italienne: Italianate Idioms in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century French Painting,” are more traditionally academic. For those of us hoping to enter the museum world as educators and curators, this is a great exercise in selecting and grouping art objects.
During an intensive two-week orientation, Inés Powell, the Museum educator in charge of our internship program, trains us in public speaking and in tour logistics. We also get an in-depth look at the Met through presentations by curators, conservators, librarians, administrators, and other members of the staff. These talks offer advice on careers in the museum world as well as information on the works of art in the collection.
We hope our tours will appeal to everyone—from the first-time visitor to the lifelong Member. Though the Met is marked by tradition and history, each crop of summer interns comes in with fresh perspectives, and the Museum's wonderfully broad and flexible collection allows us to draw endless connections.
Ryan Wong is a 2010 Summer College Intern.
Summer Intern Highlight Tours
Summer Intern Special Topics Tours
Learn more about internships or fellowships at the Met.