Employment at the Thomas Cole Historic Site

Join Our Team

Working at the Thomas Cole Historic Site is to be part of a team of excited and committed professionals, each with his or her own role to play in realizing our collective goals. There are several ways to become part of our operation, which are listed below. We look forward to welcoming you aboard.

Call for Fall Interns

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is now seeking winter-spring exhibition associates and educational interns to help plan and implement the 2017 season of exhibitions and events. Interns are welcome on a rolling basis year-round. The winter-spring season spans: February-May, Summer: May/June-August, and Fall: September – December. All selected Interns work closely with staff and gain valuable, behind-the-scenes museum experience. Projects may include exhibitions and research, collection management, planning and design, and museum education and interpretation.

This is an excellent opportunity to gain in-depth experience for those looking to pursue a career in the museum field. Candidates with a passion for art, museums, history, and/or education are encouraged to apply. Academic credit has been arranged for students who complete a minimum number of hours per week, as determined by their college or other academic institution. Interns may work two to four days per week for a period of three to six months.

To Apply please email (PDF files only):

+ Letter of interest
+ Current resume
+ Names and contact infomration for 3 references (professional or academic)

Contact: info@thomascole.org


We are always looking for exceptional docents. Please see our volunteer page for more information about this opportunity to join the fun and fascinating group of people who give tours of the historic site, conduct programs for visiting children, or lead hikes into the beautiful surrounding landscape.

Now Seeking 2017 Cole Fellows

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site selects four Fellows each season to work with the staff on site and participate in the research and interpretation of the work, home, and studios 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 2017 program runs from June 1 through November 11, 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 directly with the Director of Exhibitions & Collections, as well as staff across departments 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.

Download Application & Guidelines

Once you have read the guidelines, please 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:

  • The Appreciation of ‘Pure, Simple Nature’: Friends and Patrons of Thomas Cole – Amy LeFebvre, 2015
  •  Traveling Through Time with Thomas Cole: Creating an Engaging Web Experience – Elena Ostock, 2015
  •  “The Social Importance of Art:” Imagining Thomas Cole’s East Parlor – Keith Lebel, 2015
  •  Catskill Calling: Thomas Cole’s 1825 Hudson River Journey  – Rita Carr, 2014
  •  Making Commitments: Revisiting the letters, poems, and journals of Thomas Cole, 1835-1836 – Kathryn O’Dwyer, 2014
  •  Then and Now: Tracing the Histories of Thomas Cole’s Paintings – Jennifer Morales, 2014
  •  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
rootEmployment at the Thomas Cole Historic Site