Former Intern with the Chief Curator at Whitney Museum of American Art
almost 2 years ago
It depends! When I was there, the department was working on the Laura Owens retrospective, which was a big show with lots of moving parts. I worked on organizing their database, preparing acquisition proposals, building models of exhibition space, making power points for meetings--which is kind of a big deal, I was surprised to learn! PowerPoints, that is. Your work is always looked over by your supervisor before it goes anywhere important, but you should make sure you are handing in the project in really good shape.
While working on the Owens show, which was in pretty late stages, I also was asked to step in an out of the preparations for the Surrealist show they were thinking about putting up in about three years.
I was also asked to do some research at the Whitney archive, which was really great.
So it really depends on what the department will need help with. But, from my experience, your supervisors will go out of their way to make sure you are exposed to as many aspects of museum work as possible!