The Portland Art Museum is recruiting for the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. The Modern and Contemporary Curator reports to the Executive Director, and actively acquires and organizes the permanent collection, exhibitions, and special presentations of works of art created through the 20th and 21st centuries. This experienced and collaborative Curator will cultivate relationships with collectors, donors, professional colleagues, partner organizations, and the community in furtherance of the Portland Art Museum’s strategic goals.

The mission of the Portland Art Museum is to engage the public with art and film of enduring quality, to facilitate dialogue with diverse audiences, and to collect, preserve, and educate for the enrichment of present and future generations. Founded in 1892, the Portland Art Museum comprises both the Museum and the Northwest Film Center, founded in 1971. The Museum’s encyclopedic collection of works are displayed in 112,000 square feet of galleries with 42,000 objects, which reflect the history of art from ancient times to today. The collection is distinguished for its holdings of arts of the native peoples of North America; modern and contemporary art; Asian art; American art of 18th and 19th centuries; photographs, prints, and drawings; and English silver.

The Museum began building a collection of 20th-century art in the late 1940s. A 1971 gift of funds in Evan H. Roberts’ name allowed a series of sculpture purchases by artists such as Henry Moore and Mark Di Suvero. In 2000, the Museum acquired the Clement Greenberg Collection of 159 paintings, prints, drawings, and sculptures by some of the most important American artists of the mid-20th century. The acquisition, supported by Tom and Gretchen Holce, and Carol and John Hampton, along with a number of major gifts, resulted in a quantum leap in the collection. Today, the collection includes works that date back to World War I and originate from North and South America, Asia, and Europe.

• Responsible for the care, research, exhibition, growth, and custody of all objects in the modern and contemporary art collections belonging to or on loan to the Portland Art Museum.
• Sets vision and strategy for the modern and contemporary collection.
• Conducts ongoing research on the Museum’s modern and contemporary art collections and on modern and contemporary art in general.
• Makes recommendations for acquisitions and deaccessions to the Director and the Collections Committee.
• Develops exhibitions and installations from the Museum’s permanent collection.
• Originates and organizes exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. Conducts research, selects objects, and works with registrars on coordination of loan agreements, packing and shipping, and other exhibition details.
• Writes catalogues, brochures, and other publications; writes exhibition wall labels and extended object labels.
• Serves as curator-in-charge of traveling exhibitions, when appropriate.
• Works with Education Department to develop programs and activities that relate to or enhance exhibitions and installations.
• Present gallery talks, docent lectures, and public lectures on relevant exhibitions and aspects of the permanent collection.
• Cultivates collectors for possible donations of art objects.
• Serves as advisor to the Contemporary Art Council; provides guidance and advice for programming and other council activities.
• Fundraising for acquisitions and exhibitions. Works with the Development Office to develop fundraising support for programs and activities.
• Works with Library in developing research and reference materials related to specific curatorial area.
• Participates in the professional and intellectual discourse related to contemporary art as well as the museum profession; provides services to the disciplines through participation as an active member of professional organizations.
• Is conversant with the modern and contemporary art market, maintains contact with dealers, galleries, collectors, fellow professionals, and other constituencies as appropriate as a basis for collection growth and exhibition development.
• Fields inquiries from the public in area of specialty.

Job Requirements


• M.A. or PhD (PhD preferred) in Art History or Museum Studies, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
• Minimum of five years of related experience.
• Strong background in art created through the 20th and 21st centuries, with an emphasis on art Post-War and Contemporary Art.
• Established record in publishing scholarly articles and books.
• Familiarity with art techniques, care of works of art, cataloguing systems, and collection storage.
• Keen interest in original objects.
• Proficiency in MS Office Suite, including Word, Excel, Outlook and web-based research tools.

• Possesses cultural interest and sensitivity.
• Values diversity and difference.
• Keen sense of organizational awareness.
• Exceptional interpersonal skills, able to quickly develop rapport, as well as build and maintain effective long-term relationships with trustees, staff, colleagues, volunteers, docents, and the art community.
• Strategic perspective to consider the impact of decisions, plans, and programs on the Museum, and make sound recommendations accordingly.
• Analytical and conceptual thinking.
• Displays drive and purpose.
• Demonstrates ethics and integrity.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to prepare and deliver concise, understandable, and effective presentations to a wide audience.
• Ability to work within a complex, fast-paced environment.
• Highly organized and attentive to detail with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.