The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco is seeking a Curatorial Assistant to work in The Caroline and H. McCoy Department of Textile Arts starting January 2, 2013. Under the supervision of the Curator of Textile Arts, the Curatorial Assistant provides support to the curatorial staff for the day-to-day operation of the costume and textile arts department.  Assists curatorial staff in all areas, including collections records, research for exhibitions and publications, loans, and general curatorial inquiries.

The department has experienced an invigorated exhibition program since the re-opening of the new de Young in 2005.  The ideal candidate should have a strong academic background in either textile or costume studies, have a desire to work with all areas of the collection, be highly motivated, and have an innovative spirit­ – preferably with an interest in new media and film.

­­­­Typical Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Participates in the day-to-day administrative operations of the department, including in-house actions required for the permanent collection’s maintenance and exhibition preparation. Handles incoming and outgoing loans.
  2. Assists with correspondence with scholars and facilitates research visits of colleagues from the broader museum/academic community.
  3. Works with the Registration Department to ensure proper documentation of collection and assists Curator with maintenance of the department’s object files.
  4. Assists with the creation and execution of programming and outreach for the department, working closely with colleagues in Education and Marketing.
  5. Assists with monitoring activities on the art market, the auction houses, and private dealers.
  6. Works with Curator in the preparation of exhibitions and related educational materials.
  7. Performs other duties as assigned, including writing labels and short pieces for in-house publication, preparation of digital presentations, and directed research projects.


Minimum Qualifications:

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in art history, fine art, anthropology, or a closely related discipline. Master’s Degree preferred.

Work Experience: 1-2 years of curatorial experience or other relevant museum experience. Experience in staging costume exhibitions preferred.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Specialized knowledge in either textile or costume history.
  • Reading knowledge of French language.
  • Strong knowledge of textile structure. Ability to complete structural analysis.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), FileMaker Pro, and other standard computer programs.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a willingness to be part of a team.
  • Demonstrated customer service orientation.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Excellent research skills with the ability to conduct directed and independent research.
  • Ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects in a demanding and fast-paced work environment.
  • Flexibility in meeting shifting demands and priorities.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Possesses a high level of initiative and energy.
  • Interest in new media and film.
  • Ability to achieve and sustain best curatorial practices.


This is a full time postion with a full benefits package, including medical, dental and vision insurance, plus a generous time off package.

Application Deadline: Open until filled.


The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are the city’s largest public arts institutions and comprise the de Young and the Legion of Honor museums. The de Young, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and located in Golden Gate Park, showcases American art from the 17th through the 21st centuries, international contemporary art, textiles and costumes, and art from the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa. The Legion of Honor displays a collection of over 4,000 years of ancient and European art including Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker and houses the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts in a Beaux-Arts style building overlooking Lincoln Park and the Golden Gate Bridge.

COFAM is the Corporation of Fine Arts Museums and is the privately funded non-profit corporation which supports the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, a department of the City and County of San Francisco.


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