San Antonio Museum of Art seeks an experienced, dynamic curator with a passion for presenting art for the position of Coates-Cowden-Brown Curator of Asian Art. The Curator will be part of a curatorial division comprised of six curators and a support staff, working to advance the individual collecting areas of the Museum, as well as the unified goals of the overall department for the benefit of the Museum’s visitors.

San Antonio Museum of Art is located north of downtown San Antonio on a beautiful campus located on the Museum Reach of the city’s famous Riverwalk.  San Antonio is currently the 7th largest city in the U.S. with a rich cultural history stretching back 300 years.  Robust economic growth and rapidly growing population make San Antonio one of the nation’s top “brain gain” cities.

The Museum’s collection of Asian art is housed in a 15,000-square-foot suite of galleries that opened in 2005. The Lenora and Walter F. Brown Asian Art Wing includes a collection of over 2,000 works from China, India, Japan, Korea, Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Spanning 6,000 years of Asian art history, this collection is internationally recognized as a center of excellence.

The Chinese collection is the most extensive of the Museum’s Asian art holdings. Comprised primarily of fine ceramics and porcelain, the collection also includes archaic bronze vessels, furniture, textiles, cloisonné and various decorative arts. The Liao dynasty ceramics collection is among the largest outside China, while the Imperial Chinese Art Gallery boasts a strong collection of Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasty ceramics that includes all major ware types. Stunning installations of a Scholar’s Studio and a Woman’s Bedroom offer an intimate glimpse into the arts of Imperial China.

The Japanese art collection at the Museum includes masterpieces of lacquer and painting by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891), excellent paintings and screens from the Edo period (1603-1868), and a wide variety of decorative objects. Indian sculpture and Tibetan Buddhist bronzes and paintings highlight the artistic achievements of South Asia and the Himalayas. The Museum’s small yet impressive collection of Korean art includes fine examples of medieval ceramics. The Southeast Asian Art Gallery contains noteworthy works by Vietnamese and Thai ceramicists over several millennia.

Overview of Responsibilities:

The Curator will be responsible for San Antonio Museum of Art’s collection of Asian art in all media, including but not limited to, collection research, acquisitions, interpretation, installation and exhibitions.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

Supervises Curatorial Assistant for Asian art; interns and other staff assigned as needed.

Reports to:

Andrew W. Mellon Chief Curator and The Marie and Hugh Halff Curator of American Art

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

The functions and responsibilities listed below are those that represent the majority of time spent working in this job.  Management may assign additional essential functions and responsibilities related to the type of work of the job as necessary.

  • Responsible for the focused growth of the department’s collection, through strategic acquisitions, both gifts and purchases, as well as loans.  Recommend and prioritizes important acquisitions, as well as identifies objects for deaccession that do not meet the standards of the collection.
  • Conduct ongoing research and propose/organize exhibitions of Asian art for national and/or international tour that advance the Museum’s mission, vision, and strategic direction.  Collaborate with other curators to identify and manage exhibitions from other departments and institutions
  • Manage Visiting Committee for Asian Art and provide programs and stewardship for museum support groups and selected major donors
  • Work with the Director, Chief Curator and senior staff to cultivate trustees, collectors, donors, and artists for gifts to the collection, acquisition funds, program support, and capital support.  Participate in fundraising events; organize travel opportunities for selected donors and trustees
  • Regularly network with peers nationally and internationally to develop collection exchanges, co-organize exhibitions, and tour Museum-originated projects
  • Perform other duties as assigned within the scope of responsibility and requirements of the position
  • Travel both nationally and internationally in order to represent the Museum’s Asian program to the local, regional, national, and international art communities
  • Working with the Education department, devise interpretative strategies for understanding the collections, through labels and other media.  In addition, work with other departments to devise a calendar of lectures, symposia, and other programs for all audience levels to complement the Museum’s modern and contemporary program
  • Research the Museum’s collections of Asian art, both permanent collection and proposed additions to the collection, to add to the body of knowledge and, when appropriate, for publications
  • Revise collections plan for growth of Asian collection, including initiating de-accessioning research
  • Work with the Exhibits and Collections departments to re-imagine and re-install permanent collection galleries of Asian, to provide maximum art historical and aesthetic clarity and coherence
  • Collaborate with guest curators and artists on project-based installations and programs

Supportive Functions and Responsibilities:

The functions and responsibilities listed below are required as they support the essential functions and responsibilities listed above.  Management may assign additional supportive functions and responsibilities related to the type of work of the job as necessary.

  • Must be able to prioritize and delegate work as needed
  • Must communicate effectively with all levels of management and staff
  • Maintain high standards of professional etiquette
  • Have working knowledge of all museum operation procedures
  • Routinely report accurate financial and performance data to the Director, Chief Curator and other management as needed
  • Attend any required meetings or training as required by Management
  • Must be able to use standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, scanners and fax machines
  • Follow and enforce all San Antonio Museum of Art policies, including but not limited to, the Museum’s attendance policy, which requires predictable attendance at the museum in order to meet all essential and supportive functions and responsibilities of this job

Job Requirements

Physical Demands and Requirements:

  • This is largely a sedentary role; however, some filing is required.  This would require the ability to lift files, open filing cabinets and bend or stand as necessary

Education and Job Requirements:

  • Minimum M.A. in art history or other related area; Ph.D. preferred
  • Five years or more of professional curatorial experience
  • Established record in organizing major traveling art exhibitions
  • Established record of building collections, through gifts, purchases and loans
  • Excellent organizational, written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, in all departments and all levels of responsibility, with collegiality, grace and humor
  • Proven abilities in donor cultivation and relations
  • Established network of national and international contacts, including dealers, galleries, curators, artists and other museum colleagues
  • Must be authorized to work for any employer in the United States of America
  • Must be able to authorize and satisfy Museum requirements of a background search and investigation, which may include, among other items, criminal background information, confirmation of educational and employment history, and confirmation of any professional references provided

This job involves a significant amount of contact with Museum staff, board, volunteers, and the public that may be of a sensitive or confidential nature.  Discretion and sound judgment is required.  All staff must be able to relate well to individuals with a variety of backgrounds and be able to positively represent the Museum.

The position is full-time salaried position and eligible for the museum’s benefit package.

Applications should include the following:  a cover letter that includes the applicant’s interest in the position; a statement, not to exceed two pages, about the applicant’s research and interest in curating the Museum’s collection; examples of writing and publication; curriculum vitae; and names of three professional references.

San Antonio Museum of Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Applications should be submitted to:

Elda Martinez

Human Resources Manager

San Antonio Museum of Art

200 West Jones Avenue

San Antonio, TX 78215


Contact Person: Elda Martinez Phone: 210.978.8150
Email Address: