Applications Due July 25, 2014


The curator of American art is integral to mission of the Museum with primary responsibility for the care, presentation, and interpretation of the Museum’s American art collection, which encompasses all aspects of the field and all media from Colonial to contemporary. They contribute to expanding the understanding and appreciation of Museum collections through scholarship that supports exhibitions, education and publications, and informs the public, students and scholars.  As a department head, the Curator assumes a leadership position within the curatorial division, with additional responsibilities including the development of project and departmental budgets, the management of curatorial staff, and the creation of annual reports.


Overall responsibility for the care, well being and documentation of the collections in his/her department.  The curator works closely with the Registrar’s Department to assure their physical safety in storage or in transit and with the Exhibitions Department to assure their integrity and safety during installation and exhibition. Curator acts in accordance with the Collections Care section of Collections Management Policy. The curator works with Registrar’s Department to assure that collection records exist for objects in his/her care and that accessioning and cataloguing of objects is accurate and up-to-date. Curator responds promptly to research inquires.

The Curator of American Art also collaborates with both the Decorative Arts department and the Art of theAmericasdepartment, with particular focus on the projected moving and reinstallation of the Native American galleries in the Museum’s north wing atrium galleries.

Suggests exhibition ideas that further the institutional goals of the Museum and expand the public’s understanding of subjects relevant to the collections in his/her care. Ideally, exhibitions should either highlight or complement a permanent collection or introduce new material to the public.  These exhibitions should be based on sound scholarship and contribute new ideas to the understanding of a particular subject. In organizing exhibitions, curator considers the possibility of traveling them to other institutions. Curator also actively solicits exhibition proposals from colleagues in other institutions. Curator serves as project director when exhibitions are placed on the schedule, leading an in-house team usually consisting of an educator, designer, registrar, fundraiser, and publicist/marketing representative.

Responsible for acquiring new objects for the collections acting in accordance with departmental Collecting Guidelines approved by Board Acquisitions Committee and following the Acquisitions section of Collections Management Policy. The curator cultivates collectors to encourage donations of appropriate objects, as well as the donation of funds to purchase objects curator has identified. S/he is well acquainted with the market—auction houses, galleries and private dealers—for the objects and cultures for which s/he is responsible.  The curator also initiates all recommendations for the disposition or deaccessioning of works from the collection in his/her care.  The curator also provides guidance and support to the development department through Founder’s Society events and activities.

Makes regular contributions to, and keeps abreast of, scholarship in his/her field. This includes publishing articles and essays in museum and professional publications, attending and presenting papers at scholarly conferences, and speaking about exhibitions and/or objects in his/her care to museum visitors or other interested people in the city, state and region. To support and facilitate scholarly activity, curators are allowed sustained periods of concentration necessary for ongoing research and professional engagement in the curator’s field of specialization, including leave and travel.

Conceptualizes projects to further departmental and overall museum goals. Curator must have a collaborative spirit and be able to work with inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural teams. Should be able to conceive exhibitions beyond traditional museum formats. Curator structures large and small departmental projects for potential volunteers, interns, and when funds are available, paid assistants. When he/she is Project Director, curator holds regular planning meetings and coordinates creation of budgets and marketing and fund-raising presentations when requested.

Job Requirements


M.A. or Ph.D. in appropriate discipline plus at least five years experience in a museum or equivalent. An ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing. A record of exhibitions and publications. Mastery of current scholarship in his/her field and knowledge of collections care and documentation issues. Ability to both lead and participate in project teams and committees.

The application deadline is July 25, 2014. Applications and letters of recommendation should be submitted to:

Human Resources


49 Washington Street