“The Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellow”


Cranbrook Art Museum is accepting applications for its 2016–2017 Resident Curatorial Fellowship. This is a unique opportunity for an emerging museum curator with a passion for art, craft, and design history to play an important role in the presentation and interpretation of Cranbrook’s diverse collections and programs. The fellowship includes an apartment in Thornlea Studio on the Cranbrook campus.

Cranbrook Art Museum is a leading center for the presentation of twentieth- and twenty-first-century art, craft, architecture, and design. Located in the town of Bloomfield Hills on a beautiful 319-acre campus of the Cranbrook Educational Community about 20 miles north of downtown Detroit, the Art Museum is part of Cranbrook Academy of Art, a top-ranked graduate school of art, architecture, craft, and design. A restoration and renovation of the original 1942 Art Museum building by Eliel Saarinen was completed in 2011. The project also added a new, state-of-the-art Collections Wing, which allows for a curated and publicly accessible viewing of selections from nearly 7,000 works of art.

Since its inception in 1998, the Jeanne and Ralph Graham Collections Fellowship at Cranbrook Art Museum has attracted talented new curators who have gone on to lead curatorial programs in major museums across the country.

Duties and Responsibilities

Reporting directly to the Art Museum Director, and working collaboratively with the staff of the Art Museum and Art Academy as well as the Institute of Science, the Center for Collections and Research, and Cranbrook Schools, the Fellow will research the collection of the Art Museum and assist with the development of their research and documentation as well as their display and interpretation. The fellowship is a full-time curatorial position that:

  • supports research on the museum’s holdings and potential acquisitions;
  • assists with object research and display and interpretation within the museum’s open storage Collections Wing;
  • works with the Director, Curator of Contemporary Art and Design, and other museum staff to present the 2016-2017 exhibition program, including curated presentations from the permanent collection, a large-scale video installation culled from the Cause Collective’s In Search of the Truth project in and around the Detroit area, as well as a large-scale retrospective of the work of designer Alexander Girard;
  • develops research for an exhibition drawn from Cranbrook’s collections;
  • writes interpretive texts for exhibitions, programs, acquisitions, and projects;
  • develops collections-based education programs for students and adults;
  • assists with cataloging records and representing the collections on the Art Museum’s new website;
  • writes and edits the Art Museum’s Cranbrook Sightings blog; and
  • provides public and private tours of temporary exhibitions and the Collections Wing.


The ideal candidate should have an M.A. in decorative arts, design history, art history, architectural history, material culture, or a related field (completion of M.A. coursework required), with an emphasis on 20th-century art and architecture and a specialty/interest in the decorative arts, craft, and design; demonstrated object-based research and interpretation skills; outstanding speaking, writing, and editing skills; attention to detail; strong computer skills (Microsoft Office and PowerPoint); and collections database experience (TMS strongly preferred). Previous curatorial experience or internships preferred but not required.

Ideally, the 12-month fellowship begins in July of 2016 and continues through June of 2017. The fellowship may be renewed for a second year, allowing for the continued development and realization of larger projects. Position provides annual compensation of $26,780 and a free apartment in the historic Thornlea Studio (no pets or smoking permitted). Applications reviewed until position filled with priority given to applications received by June 13.

To Apply

Please send letter (including Fellowship and career goals), résumé, writing sample, list of three references, and completed Cranbrook Employee Application (which can be downloaded from the Employment page of our website at to:

Cranbrook, Human Resources, P. O. Box 801, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48303-0801, or email

Cranbrook is an equal opportunity employer and strives to provide a work environment that welcomes diversity.

Job Information
  • Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, 48304, United States
  • 28676176
  • May 23, 2016
  • Resident Curatorial Fellowship
  • Cranbrook Educational Community
  • Curator
  • No
  • Temporary
  • 6-12 Months
  • Master’s Degree
  • None
  • None