Student Opportunities

Student Opportunities

Museums on campus provide W&L students academic opportunities including internships, undergraduate research and work experiences, independent study and capstones, special classrooms and programming, student engagement, and more. 

Academic Engagement

The Art and Art History Department offers a Minor in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies. In support of the minor, the Museums at W&L offer ARTH 398: Seminar in Museum Studies and ARTH 348: Chinese Export Porcelain and the China Trade, 1500 to 1900, instructed by museum staff.

Named after the former Director of the Reeves Collection, the Thomas V. Litzenburg Jr. Prize recognizes outstanding academic work on objects in the Museums at Washington and Lee University.

Past Recipients:

  • 2020 Kassidy Strosnider
  • 2019 David R. Salchert
  • 2018 Julie Ruth Malone
  • 2017 Arianna India Dial
  • 2016 Hannah Tyler Wilson
  • 2016 Kendall Christine Knoll
  • 2013 Ellen Margaretta Archie
  • 2012 Rachel Elyse Denniston
  • 2011 Kathryn Bradley Gephart
  • 2010 Lauren Frances Sturdy
  • 2008 Madeline Lilia Gent
  • 2007 Anne Taylor Tipton
  • 2005 Michael David Letournea
  • 2004 Clay Tillman Jackson, Jr.

Student Engagement

During the academic year, the Museums at W&L provide a mix of art, food, and entertainment programs, both virtually and in person. Including lecture series, interactive experiences, mindfulness workshops, gallery talks, and much more. Follow us on social media for event updates.

Studies have shown that art enhances brain function, well-being, and boosts creative thinking. Surrounded by art, the Elisabeth S. Gottwald Gallery is the perfect place for quiet study and contemplation. Quiet hours are held every Monday and during exam week, with limited stations. The gallery is located between Tucker Hall and the Admissions Office in the Reeves Museum of Ceramics.

The Museums at W&L wishes to help each student grow into engaged and change-making citizens. It’s essential that Washington and Lee students know that they are seen, heard, and valued by the Museums. Incorporating student reflections into exhibitions and programming is a continued goal. Below are just a few ways in which students engage with and reflect on Museums collections.

Get Involved

Throughout the year the Museum at W&L offers various paid employment opportunities for WLU undergraduate students. These can include curatorial work and museum education, and positions in the Museums Shop. Student employees contribute to, and experience, diverse areas of Museum work. It is an exciting opportunity for someone with a passion for art, business, culture, history, and/or museums. Work schedules for student staff are flexible to accommodate class schedules and include some evening and weekend hours.

Positions include:

  • Museum Assistants serve as a liaison between the museum and the university and work one-on-one with a museum staff member on education, exhibition, and/or collections research, contributing to upcoming shows.
  • Museum Attendants serve as a front-line ambassador to the Reeves Museum of Ceramics and Watson Galleries. Attendants are directly responsible for setting the tone of every museum visit by welcoming each visitor. Museum Attendants are hired to provide excellent visitor services while maintaining a safe and secure environment, and protecting the museum’s collection.
  • Collections Assistants provide students with an introduction to basic museum policies and practices. Duties include researching, cataloging, and handling objects in the Museums' Collections of Art, Ceramics, and History.

What are you going to do this summer? The Museums at W&L have some suggestions!

  • Be part of a department that organizes exhibitions and cares for objects in the collection
  • Assist the Collections team with research and planning for upcoming shows
  • Learn about the steps involved in putting an exhibition together, as well as the day-to-day tasks of working in an academic museum

The Museums at Washington and Lee University is offering two eight-week paid summer internships that focus on collections management and exhibitions to currently enrolled W&L students. The internships will start on June 13 and run through August 5. The eight-week program consists of regular workdays, Monday through Friday, beginning at 9:00 AM and ending at 4:00 PM.

Collections Management:

This position will assist the Collections Manager with inventory, photography and updating collection records. The intern's projects will include finding objects using the museum's collections database, maintaining storage areas, marking and rehousing objects, and documenting new information about the objects in the database. 

Exhibitions:

This position will assist the Senior Curator of Art with curating and installing an exhibition for Fall 2022 in the Watson Galleries. Duties will include, but are not limited to: managing exhibition checklists and timelines; collections research; writing interpretive materials, including labels and text panels; and exhibition layout and preparation for installation.  In addition to this general support, the intern will also curate a small exhibition of figure drawings that will be on display in September 2022 in Wilson Hall.

Interns will have the opportunity to gain invaluable museum work experience as part of the daily operations of the organization’s Collections department. We hope that after eight weeks, students will leave the program with a basic understanding of the major collections and administrative issues all museums face, regardless of the different types of collections they possess.

Preferred candidates will possess skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, research, communications, writing, and building interpersonal relationships. The intern should possess intellectual curiosity, flexibility, and openness to give and receive feedback. Applicants must be prepared for a hands-on experience. Interns will have the ability to work with diverse partners, listen, ask questions, adapt, and collaborate.

Interested candidates, please send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to kswanson@wlu.edu. All applications are due by Thursday, March 31.
Please call 458-4120 or email kswanson@wlu.edu if you have any questions. Washington and Lee University is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to excellence through diversity.

Our Mission

The Museums at W&L advance learning through direct engagement with the collections and facilitate an interdisciplinary appreciation of art, history, and culture.