The museum will be closed Friday, July 1. We regret any inconvenience.
Museum closed Friday
The museum will be closed Friday, July 1. We regret any inconvenience.
Enjoy the intimate setting of an acclaimed college art museum.Learn More
The Allen presents changing exhibitions along with engaging guest speakers and public programs.Learn More
The Allen's collection is particularly strong in 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting, Japanese prints, early modern art, African art, and more.Learn More
Explore the full range of museum programs through free events, guided and self-guided tours, and resources for professors and PreK-12 teachers.Learn More
Find podcasts, activities, and information for all age groups.
Support for the museum continues our tradition of bringing art to the people.Learn More
Student assistants get museum experience by helping to plan and research exhibitions, give public tours, facilitate Oberlin class visits, and more.
The museum acts as a career incubator for students across campus, offering professional-development workshops and some opportunities for teaching, research, and curation. Our student employees receive in-depth training on handling, interpreting, and writing about art. Recent graduates may further their experience by pursuing a position as a full-time post-baccalaureate curatorial assistant.
The Allen is a place to build concrete skills for a career in the arts. We always have students working in the museum, closely collaborating with the curators of Asian art, European and American art, modern and contemporary art. Opportunities are also available for students to assist with the work of the Office of Academic Programs and the Education Department.
“My time at the AMAM has given me valuable work experience in an environment that values me as a whole student. Student work at the museum has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done during my time at Oberlin College, in no small part because of the staff’s dedication to making it a space for learning that belongs to everyone.”
—Jen Gallagher ’21, student assistant in the Office of Academic Programs
"I only became a curatorial assistant the spring semester of my senior year, but my work here has nonetheless been one of the most rewarding and influential parts of my time at Oberlin. From researching works in the collection, to developing thematics for an upcoming exhibition, to writing wall texts and labels, my contributions as a curatorial assistant have not only offered me opportunity for growth, but a chance to engage with art and the wider Oberlin community in new and meaningful ways.”
—Molly Bryson ’20, student assistant in European and American Art
“The opportunity to engage with each considered step of crafting an exhibition not only taught me the art of curation, but influenced how I contextualize my own practice as an artist. This duality, of creating art in an academic setting while simultaneously learning how it is catalogued, preserved and exhibited in a museum, has enhanced my approach to arts engagement as both an organizer and an artist.”
—Amy Baylis ’20, student assistant in modern and contemporary art
To provide Oberlin College graduates with professional experience in museum work, the AMAM has two full-time staff positions, with eligibility for those who have completed (or will complete) their degree within the past five years in any academic major. These are 12-month, paid positions with the possibility of renewing for a second year, subject to approval. Application deadlines are in early spring and the jobs begin on July 1.
Because the Allen is a small museum, our students are able to do meaningful work that wouldn’t be available at larger institutions. The museum benefits from student interest and input in developing exhibitions and programs that speak to topics that excite Oberlin students. Students in these positions regularly handle artworks in the collection, support co-facilitated class sessions in the museum, contribute to exhibitions in the planning stages, and even organize exhibitions themselves.
Our curatorial assistants apply academic training and skills to real-life experiences in an intimate work environment. They work to make the AMAM’s encyclopedic collections accessible to a wide range of audiences. The curatorial assistant in the Office of Academic Programs collaborates with faculty members to co-facilitate class sessions. In the Education Department, the assistant develops tours and outreach initiatives for K-12 student groups and communities throughout Northeast Ohio. In these roles, our assistants reshape their connections to communities in Oberlin and beyond while preparing for museum careers. In recent years, post-baccalaureate curatorial assistants have gone on to hold positions in museums and galleries and to pursue advanced degrees in art history and other fields.
These positions provide opportunities for current students who have completed Oberlin College's Practicum in Museum Education course to work in a museum setting. Gallery Guides greet and interact with visitors of all ages, as well as assist with public tours, events, and other Education Department initiatives. This is a part-time academic calendar appointment reporting to the Eric & Jane Nord Family Curator of Education.
I feel so fortunate to have actually applied my academic background immediately out of college, providing interdisciplinary and engaging programming for Lorain County’s K-12th graders. I learned so much about the history and significance of art from the Allen's incredible encyclopedic collection, curatorial staff, and most importantly, through teaching and organizing programs for others. (The best way to learn in my opinion, is to teach!) I felt that my contributions to the department and to Oberlin truly mattered and that I was encouraged by the Allen's staff to think critically and get creative. Every day I felt challenged and excited, and I had a hand in nearly every aspect of the department, giving me a hefty leg up in a competitive field when I completed my contract.”
—Ava Prince ’18, curatorial assistant in the Education Department
“Working in Academic Programs had a profound effect on how I view and think about art. I learned to look at a work and consider not just what it meant in the context of art history but how it might help a biology student interpret visual data, a comparative American studies student understand a complex social movement, or a political science student interpret propaganda produced during a specific time period. It was constant proof that art can teach us about everything, and I'm so lucky to have learned that in my first job out of college.”
—Olivia Fountain ’17, curatorial assistant in the Office of Academic Programs
Try the Allen App
Free narrated tours, object labels, music, and more—all on your own cell phone or device.
Learn more about the collection with a variety of in-person programs.
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