With emphasis on the decorative arts and contemporary design fields, deliver exceptional experiences to a broad audience by studying the IMA’s permanent collection and presenting these works afresh through exhibitions, innovative installations, programming, and publications.  Work with colleagues across the institution to ensure the preservation of the collection, as well as the expansion of interpretation through research. Provide curatorial oversight for the Miller House and Oldfields estate mansions.  Make intelligent and visually engaging acquisitions of works of art with special consideration of how new works will enhance the visitor experience.  Make art deaccession recommendations as appropriate.  Work with Advancement staff to secure funding for decorative arts and design projects and acquisitions through fundraising and donor cultivation.


  • With an understanding and acknowledgment of the evolving role of museums in the 21st century, define a long-term vision for the IMA’s decorative and design arts program that capitalizes on the capacity of these objects to engage audiences in innovative ways.  Develop detailed plans in advance within the constraints of budget, schedules, and scholarly focus.
  • In concert with IMA staff, propose and develop publications, exhibitions that can travel to national and international venues, as well as educational and public programs dealing with decorative arts and contemporary design that result in exceptional experiences for museum visitors and broader understanding in the field.
  • Propose new acquisitions and loans to enhance the collection.  Prepare reports and recommendations for collecting priorities, as well as potential deaccessions in the decorative arts and design areas.  Working with registrars, conservators, and scientist, oversee the maintenance of the collection, including cataloguing and preservation.
  • Conduct research on the permanent collection and related materials that may result in scholarly articles that are published in appropriate journals, exhibition catalogues, museum brochures, other publications, as well as become the basis for public programs, docent training, the enrichment of the IMA’s online collection database, website, and gallery interactive materials. Work with Advancement staff in soliciting outside support for exhibitions, educational programs, publications, and the department in general.
  • Correspond and maintain on-going contacts with collectors and professionals in the decorative art and design field.  Represent the museum in appropriate professional associations, gatherings, etc.  Interact with students, designers, collectors, professional colleagues, donors, etc. who wish to engage with curator and collections. Respond to inquiries about the collections.
  • Consult with historic preservation manager and interpretation staff on Oldfields estate house (1913) and Miller House (1953) with respect to curatorial matters like furnishing programs, conservation, and interpretation.


Shares supervision of a coordinator and interns.



M.A. art history (or equivalent) required.  PhD preferred.  Minimum five years museum experience in collections management through previous position at associate or full curator level or equivalent work experience outside of a museum.   Extensive general knowledge of decorative art and design aesthetics and production, with an emphasis on 20th – and 21st –century design and architecture.  Demonstrated commitment to interpretation through research, publications, public programs and exhibitions.  Knowledge of general museum management principles and systems is desired.  Excellent writing skills, as well as public speaking ability.  Acquisitions experience is expected, as is the ability to work as a team member with colleagues.


Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common academic journals, financial reports, and legal documents. Familiarity with relevant to speak foreign language(s) as needed for collection responsibilities desired.


Ability to multitask and use modern technology in the workplace.   Knowledge of art-related activities, including art handling, installation techniques, and familiarity with conservation issues, practices, materials, and techniques.  Knowledge of and ability to interact with other museums, professional organizations, and art market/sources for art purchases.  Ability to mentor junior professionals, work on staff teams, and engage positively with collectors and donors.  Some national and international travel required.

Job Information
  • Indianapolis, Indiana, 46208, United States
  • 26466764
  • January 7, 2016
  • Curator of Decorative Arts and Design
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art
  • Curator
  • No
  • Full-Time
  • Indefinite
  • Master’s Degree
  • 5-7 Years
  • 10-25%