The Guggenheim Model and exceptional work placements



Many university courses pride themselves on connecting their students with the real-world work environment, either by inviting in guest lecturers, taking students on work place visits or offering internships and work placements

Sarah Fallon in the sculpture garden of the Guggenheim
Sarah Fallon in the sculpture garden of the Guggenheim

Liverpool John Moores University students receive these opportunities as well as going through the World of Work, a programme which coaches students into developing many of the skills and proficiencies employers are looking for from graduates.

For students studying on the BA (Hons) History of Art and Museum Studies, a flexible undergraduate course which develops students’ competencies and passion in curating, art history and museum studies, work placements and internships play an integral role.

The course has a long and successful history of helping to place its students with exceptional employers in the field of curatorial and museum practice. This is helped by well-established partnerships with local arts organisations, alumni wishing to find protégés and organisations that have, over time, come to trust the quality of LJMU History of Art students.

The History of Art team has developed and maintained a long-standing internship model with the world famous Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice. The Guggenheim is a cornerstone of curatorial practice, and holds a warm place in the hearts of artists and the public. Its permanent collections are vast, ranging from Dali to Pollock and it has world-class exhibitions throughout the year.

Each year, one second year student from LJMU is chosen to undertake the month-long internship at the museum and to live in Venice. The museum is situated in an exceptional spot on the banks of the Grand Canal, and the lucky student each year works there and learns curatorial, archival, research and museum education skills.  Tourists, curators and art lovers from around the world visit the museum and the LJMU intern student learns from interactions with customers and curators.

Elena Minarelli, manager for education grants and special programs sees a great deal value in this intern model.

“We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to continue our collaboration with Liverpool John Moores University through the inclusion of one of your students each year within our internship program.”

A recent intern who has just returned to Liverpool from Venice is Sarah Fallon (pictured).

“My month at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection was an amazing one and one that went by too quickly,” said Sarah.

“Everybody at the gallery was so lovely and welcoming and as every day was different there was always something new to be learned- professionally and personally.  It was hard work but realising that you’re working on one of the most prestigious galleries of modern and contemporary art makes it all worthwhile.  I’d urge all second year students on the History of Art programme to apply for it this year as it is something that should not be missed out on!”

The School and course team highly value our placement opportunity with the Peggy Guggenheim Museum.

Sarah enjoyed the experience so much and the staff at the museum reported that she was an asset to the team.

Students should embrace all such opportunities because it is so important to put the skills and knowledge gained on the degree course into practice, becoming highly employable in the process.  The staff team on this course and other courses across LJMU, as well as the employment support teams, do everything they can to provide our students with exceptional learning and work placement experiences.



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