Northwestern University Opportunity (Job ID 25274):


Northwestern University seeks to employ a varied and diverse range of dynamic people who understand the importance of our mission and vision. When you consider a career at Northwestern University, you know that you are joining an institution with a deep history of academic, professional and personal excellence.


Currently, we have a career opportunity as a Curator (Evanston Campus).


Job Summary:

Northwestern University’s Block Museum is reshaping its curatorial program to engage and represent an expanded range of modern and contemporary art, and has created an exciting new position for a qualified candidate to play a pivotal role in activating this change. A leading research university situated in a major urban area, Northwestern is committed to global connections, interdisciplinary thinking, and collaboration. It is well known for its Art History curriculum that reaches across disciplinary boundaries and for the research-based practice of its MFA program, as well as for its world-class schools of communications, journalism, law, management, and medicine. It is the home of celebrated archival collections including the Herskovits Africana Library, the John Cage Collection, the Dick Higgins Archive, and the Charlotte Moorman Archive, among others. The Block Museum draws on these resources, its own permanent collection, and the university’s curriculum in presenting exhibitions and public programs that support teaching and engage students, faculty, and community.

The Block Museum seeks a Curator who is inspired by the creative and educational potential of connecting modern and contemporary art across diverse fields of study within and beyond the humanities. The Curator contributes to making the Block a dynamic site for exhibitions that cross time periods and cultures and that investigate ideas of broad contemporary relevance. The Curator brings expertise in modern and contemporary art with a diverse and global perspective and a strong interest in the wider issues of diaspora and post-colonialism. Because the museum’s collection is currently focused on prints, drawings, and photography, the ideal candidate will have some expertise in one of these areas; however, the curator should have the ability and desire to work beyond his/her area of specialization to support the museum’s inclusive artistic program. The Curator conceives and implements original exhibitions, serves as in-house curator for travelling exhibitions, and produces scholarly writing in relationship to exhibitions. He/she researches and writes about works in the permanent collection, and supports the evolution of the collection. The Curator is committed to collaboration, including working closely with Block staff and Northwestern University faculty and students. He/she may teach courses at Northwestern on occasion. This is a full-time position within the Curatorial Department and reports to the Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Exhibitions: Working closely with other Block staff, proposes, conceives, and implements original exhibition projects that build on the Block Museum’s historic strengths and vision for the future.  Combines strong art historical or related expertise with a willingness to work beyond his/her area(s) of specialization to support the museum’s diverse artistic program. Adapts and implements travelling exhibitions for the museum; contributes to the ongoing development of the Block’s exhibition schedule; contributes to publications; assists in grant writing or other fundraising for curatorial initiatives as requested.
  • Acquisitions and collection research: Researches proposed gifts of art and makes recommendations for acquisitions based on the Block’s collecting plan, aesthetic merit, condition, provenance, and relevance to teaching and learning at Northwestern. Participates in activities and cultivates relationships with existing and potential donors, foundations, collectors, and alumni; collaborates with University development staff on fundraising. Assists as requested in coordinating the Block’s exhibitions and acquisitions committees.
  • Collaborates on engagement programs, publications, publicity, and marketing related to curatorial projects. Gives lectures, attends programs, and contributes as requested to the museum’s communications. Responds when requested to queries related to exhibition and acquisition proposals; helps to field inquiries from the public. Serves as an ambassador for the Block and for Northwestern University on campus and beyond.
  • Works with Block Staff to increase student involvement in the Block. Embraces his/her teaching role in the classroom and in the museum. Works with undergraduate interns and graduate fellows. Mentors undergraduate and graduate students; advises students on career and educational opportunities.
  • Maintains ongoing, active professional relationships within his/her area(s) of expertise; as possible attends national professional meetings. Conforms to the AAM code of ethics, conflict of interest policies, and professional practice guidelines.
  • Performs related duties as required or assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A Master’s degree in an appropriate specialization or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.
  • Expertise in modern and contemporary art with a diverse and global perspective and a strong interest in the wider issues of diaspora and post-colonialism; some expertise in prints, drawings, or photography.
  • One or two years of curatorial or related museum experience.
  • Strong research, writing, and public speaking skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A PhD in the history of art or in the humanities with an emphasis on visual culture.
  • Expertise in modern and contemporary art with a diverse and global perspective and a strong interest in the wider issues of diaspora and post-colonialism; technical expertise in prints, drawings, or photography.
  • Three years of curatorial or related museum experience.
  • Experience developing exhibitions.
  • A record of scholarly art-related publications.

Working at Northwestern University:


Beyond being a place to learn and grow professionally, Northwestern is an exciting and fulfilling place to work! Northwestern offers many benefit options to full and part-time employees including: competitive compensation; excellent retirement plans; comprehensive medical, dental and vision coverage; dependent care match; vacation, sick and holiday pay; professional development opportunities and tuition reimbursement.


Northwestern greatly values work/life balance amongst its employees. Take advantage of recreational, cultural, and enrichment opportunities on campus. Employees also receive access to childcare solutions, retail discounts, and other work/life balance resources.


Northwestern University is an equal opportunity employer and strongly believes in creating an environment that welcomes students, faculty and staff of all races, nationalities and religions. In doing so, we offer our students the opportunity to learn and grow in diverse communities preparing them for successful careers in an increasingly global and diverse work force.


For consideration, please click on the link below. You will be directed to Northwestern University’s electronic recruiting system, eRecruit, where you will apply for current openings. Once you apply, you will receive an email confirming submission of your resume. For all resumes received, if there is interest in your candidacy, the human resources recruiter or the department hiring manager will contact you. Job Opening ID number for this position is 25274.


As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.


Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities.