Job Description

The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum seeks a creative, highly motivated individual with strong organizational skills, professional demeanor, and great attention to detail for the newly created curatorship dedicated to contemporary art.

This position will perform responsibilities related to building the museum’s collections in the area of contemporary art textiles, refining and extending the schedule of exhibitions, developing programs that build academic and popular interest, expanding participation by GW faculty and students, and building collaborations with peer institutions in contemporary art.

The acquisition of modern and contemporary art textiles enhances the museum’s core mission to expand knowledge and appreciation of the world’s textiles. Modern and contemporary art textiles broaden the narrative scope of the museum’s collections by documenting the ongoing continuum of textile making. The Museum collects art textiles that build on ancient traditions of textile making and are a creative response to historical textiles, especially those in The Textile Museum’s collections.

Curator of Contemporary Art Textiles reports to the Senior Curator and is a full-time position.



Working with museum colleagues and stakeholders, and experts from the art world, the curator will begin to build a collection of contemporary art textiles for the museum. The curator will also develop and cultivate a corps of collectors and donors to help build acquisition funds, as well as solicit work from collectors and, when appropriate, artists themselves. Studio visits, working with galleries, and traveling to contemporary art fairs and major expositions will be necessary.


The curator will identify and develop concepts for future research and exhibitions on contemporary art textiles from around the world through collection assessment, and primary and secondary research. The curator will assist with the development and implementation of exhibitions and catalogues and will conceptualize original ideas for audiences that include the university community and the general public. Strong dialogue with GW faculty and students, and wider contemporary art world in this process is a must.

Education/professional and public service

Collaborating with GW academic departments and the Corcoran School of Art + Design, the curator will assist the museum’s education team in developing lectures, discussions, workshops, screenings, and other special events to build an audience for contemporary art textiles within the university and the general public. Sharing his/her specialized knowledge on contemporary art textiles through public and scholarly lectures, publications, and other means with diverse museum audiences is a must. .

Given the many and vibrant museums already involved in contemporary art in D.C. – the Phillips Collection, National Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn, National Museum of American Art and the Renwick Gallery, among others – the curator has to establish a differentiated niche for the museum’s contemporary art activities through leveraging the work of these local institutions in developing partnerships, collaborative projects, and coordinated programs. Beyond local reach, collaborative work with national and international partners will be encouraged.

GWU Engagement

The curator will serve as the primary programming link to the university’s contemporary arts initiatives, including the Corcoran School of the Arts + Design, the Luther W. Brady Gallery, and the Department of Fine Arts and Art History. The curator will strive to increase the museum’s relevance to a broad range of courses and academic disciplines. A major portion of the curator’s duties includes developing opportunities for student and faculty research, collaborative academic projects, and museum career training.



MA required; PhD preferred in Art History/Visual & Cultural Studies or related field, knowledge of contemporary art textiles desired. Two or more years of museum experience or experience working directly with art objects required. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written, oral, and visual), highly organized and detail oriented, ability to work under pressure and collaboratively with staff, students, faculty, artists as well as diverse museum audiences. On-site time includes days/evenings/weekends as appropriate. Some travel required.

The following knowledge, skills, and abilities are also desirable:

  • Knowledge in means of textile creation, and contemporary art textiles and artists
  • Rich understanding of art history and the contemporary art world; interest in foreign cultures.
  • Excellent research and writing skills for both scholarly and public audiences, and verbal and interpersonal communications;
  •  A self-starter with the ability to operate with purpose, urgency and accuracy both independently and as part of a team in a dynamic environment with concurrent deadlines and rapidly changing priorities;
  • Ability to share projects and form alliances with institutions
  • Comfortable communicating with Board Members, faculty, university executives and VIPs; professional demeanor and ability to interact with all levels within the organization.
  • Exceptional time management, project management and organizational skills;
  • Detail oriented with ability to prioritize, manage and multitask; ability to coordinate complex schedules and analyze and solve problems;
  • Experience in nonprofit or higher education setting a plus, as well as willingness to work non-traditional business hours on occasion.
Job Information
  • Washington, Dist. Columbia, 20052, United States
  • 27323518
  • March 10, 2016
  • Curator of Contemporary Art
  • The GWU Museum and The Textile Museum
  • Curator
  • No
  • Full-Time
  • Indefinite
  • Master’s Degree
  • 2-3 Years
  • 10-25%