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After several years of discussions and deliberations, the Board of Trustees of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) approved a resolution calling on art museums to pay their interns. The resolution, which discussed issues of labor and equity in museums, was recommended by the organization’s Professional Issues Committee, co-chaired by museum directors Jill Medvedow (The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston) and Mark Bessire (Portland Museum of Art).
The resolution reads:
WHEREAS, internships provide critical opportunities for students considering careers in art museums, as well as experience necessary for entering the workforce; and
WHEREAS, paid internships are essential to increasing access and equity for the museum profession;
NOW, THEREFORE, the Board of Trustees of the Association of Art Museum Directors:
RECOMMENDS, that art museums should pay interns, except in special circumstances justifying such an arrangement.
“Special circumstance,” the statement explains in a footnote, refer to students who are receiving academic credit for their internship. Those may not be eligible to be paid in addition to course credit.
“Providing paid internships is an important step for the art museum field in creating and sustaining a diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive set of opportunities,” said Jill Medvedow in a statement. “Internships are an important gateway for those seeking careers in art museums, providing incredible opportunities for hands-on experience in many aspects of an institution’s operations,” she continued, “Yet by failing to pay interns, we ensure that these experiences are only really accessible to those who already financially secure and, often, people who have established career networks available to them.”
The Association of Art Museum Directors represents 227 art museum directors in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The new resolution builds on a paid internship program launched by AAMD last year as a pilot initiative with ten participating museums.
Earlier in June, a Google Spreadsheet created by museum employees detailing their workplace, position, and salary rates, circulated widely among workers in the field. Although the responses on the survey have not been verified, the “Art/Museum Salary Transparency” spreadsheet, which now lists 2616 workers, demonstrates low wages in museums across the country, including a number of unpaid internships.
Change might need to come gradually, AAMD said. “AAMD recognizes the different capacities of member museums to implement this change in the near future,” the association said in its statement. “However, addressing access and opportunity is essential to creating diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive art museums.”
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
In 1850, when Dr. Robert W. Gibbes commissioned J. T. Zealy to make daguerreotypes of persons held in slavery in and around Columbia, South Carolina, for Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz to use in support of his theory that African people were a separate species, daguerreotypes were at the height of fashion.
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.