Fellowship and Internship opportunities 


The Thomas Cole National Historic Site welcomes interns to work on site and gain valuable, behind-the-scenes museum experience. Interns play a vital role, work closely with staff, and participate in day-to-day operations. They have the opportunity to work on various projects that may include exhibitions and research, collection management, planning and design, special events and education, interpretation, and volunteer and visitor services. This is an excellent opportunity to gain in-depth experience for those looking to pursue a career in the museum field.

Internships are available year round (spring, summer, and fall). Anyone is welcome to apply but students and recent graduates who have completed at least two semesters of study in the following fields are encouraged to apply: American History, American Studies, Art History, Education, Humanities, Museum Studies, or Public History. Academic credit can be arranged for students who complete a minimum number of hours per week, as determined by their college or other academic institution. Most interns work two to three days per week for a period of three to six months. Applications are considered on a rolling basis throughout the year and the site is currently reveiwing applications for FALL (September - December) 2015.

For more information and to download application instructions please click here or contact Melissa Gavilanes, Education Director: mgavilanes@thomascole.org



The Thomas Cole National Historic Site selects three Fellows each season to work with the staff on site and participate in the research and interpretation of the work, home, and studio of Thomas Cole. Designed for exceptional graduating or recently graduated college seniors, Cole Fellows are afforded an opportunity to conduct significant research and to gain professional museum experience through a combination of research, interpretation, and hands-on projects. The program runs from early June through early November, and participation in the entire five months is required.   

 Selected candidates have the opportunity to: 

  • Conduct in-depth research that leads to a major project or paper based on her/his work over the season.
  • Lead tours of the historic site and have full engagement in interpretive programming.
  • Work closely with the Collection and Exhibition Manager and other staff on projects including collection care and research, educational programming, and special events.
  • Participate in staff meetings and learn about the structural, strategic, and creative decisions involved in the day to day operations of a historic house museum. 
  • Make field trips to area museums and historic venues, meet other museum professionals, participate in presentations and assigned readings, and benefit from professional development opportunities, including resume review, and next step planning for each Fellow based on individual interests and career goals.
  • Qualifications We seek self-motivated recent graduates, graduating college seniors, and graduate students who have expressed a commitment to pursue careers in history, art, material culture, decorative arts, collection and exhibition management, research, museum studies, and/or education. Applicants should be organized, energetic, have a passion for art and ideas, and an affinity for working with the public. A car is helpful, but not required.   

A monthly stipend and free shared housing at the site is provided. 

How to Apply We will begin review of 2016 candidates in December, so please check back or consider applying for a fall internship, details for which are above. 

For questions contact Kate Menconeri, Director of Exhibitions & Collections: kmenconeri@thomascole.org


Words from a few of our Fellows:

 Overall it was amazing – definitely the right choice. I can’t believe how lucky I got. It taught me so much - what I am capable of, and what I will do with my life. I didn’t expect to get such good career advice – that was invaluable and one of the best surprises. This program is unique and special, and I am so happy it is what I chose to do. Here, you get to do so much, have responsibility, and interact with all levels of staff. Having complimentary housing is a really big deal too! - Meredith Mueller, 2011 Cole Fellow

It was an incredible experience, more than I thought it would be. I saw every level of museum management --- other places only showed me one department. It allowed me to experience a museum as a whole. The professional development was great, with access to high-level people, and it was great to have so many people look at my resume – it lead directly to a job. I now feel invested and want to see the place develop, and know I’ll be keeping up with it. It affects you. - John Kingsley, 2011 Cole Fellow

Recent Fellow Projects include:

 A Worthy Pupil - The Relationship between Thomas Cole and his most celebrated student, Frederic Edwin Church - Kelsey Hoffman, 2013 

In their Own Words – Central Themes in Thomas Cole’s Art and Writing and Their Continued Relevance Today - Catherine Popovici, 2013

 "An Alter [sic] onto Mammon” – Thomas Cole, Industrialization, and Reverent Editing - Anne Rich, 2013

 Thomas Cole’s Paintings at Home: 1836 - 1848 - Margot Mache, 2012

 Thomas Cole: Art & Tourism in the 1820s - Amara McMann, 2012

From Passion to Painting: Thomas Cole & the Visual Representations of his Intellectual World - Madeline Turner, 2012