Cantor Arts Center boasts a proud and venerable history, as it was conceived with the founding of Stanford University in 1891. The Stanford family, including Leland Jr., traveled the world collecting objects of art and cultural interest. The museum was originally created to make this collection available to students and the public and opened in 1894 serving the University and the community. In 1945 the Museum was closed because of disuse, but a successful revival began in 1963 and in 1985 the B. Gerald Cantor Rodin Sculpture garden was established.  The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the museum, and once again it was closed to the public. In 1995 groundbreaking for a major new wing and restoration of the historic building began in earnest with the revitalized museum opening in 1999 as the Iris and B. Gerald Canto Center for the Visual Arts.  This wonderful new museum offers significantly more exhibition space, a delightful café and study spaces for students and professors. The Cantor’s encyclopedic collection spans 5,000 years, includes 44,000 artworks and beckons visitors to travel around the world and through time: from Africa to the Americas to Asia, from classical to contemporary. With 24 galleries presenting selections from the collection and more than 20 special exhibitions each year, the Cantor serves Stanford’s academic community, draws art lovers from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, and attracts campus visitors from around the world. Free admission, free tours, lectures, family activities, plus changing exhibitions make the Cantor one of the most well-attended university art museums in the country and a great resource for teaching and research on campus.

Two large galleries are devoted to the art of Europe and America before 1900. Wares from Cyprus, red- and black-figure vessels from ancient Greece, and Roman sculpture are featured in the northern gallery together with European paintings and sculpture dating from about 1500 to 1800. Roughly divided into British, Dutch, French, and Italian areas, the display includes Joseph Wright of Derby’s Portrait of Edward Becher Leacroft of Wirksworth, Cornelis van Dalem’s panoramic Landscape with Adam and Eve, Abraham van Beyren’s Still Life with Crab, François-André Vincent’s Zeuxis Choosing His Models from Among the Maidens of Croton, and Bartolomeo Guidobono’s intriguing Sorceress.


The curatorial position reports to the Associate Director for Exhibitions, Collections, and Curatorial Affairs and works closely with the Director and the museum’s other curators to create a collaborative environment that encourages the development of programs and exhibitions. Curators are encouraged to work together and with faculty and students across all areas including collections, exhibitions, research, publications, engagement and education.

As a thought leader fully engaged with the artistic program and museum practice, the Associate/Curator will bring in-depth knowledge about medieval –19th century European art, oversee the Rodin collection, work to implement an exciting vision for the museum with his/her colleagues and be driven by interests in artists, scholarship, innovation and public engagement.


The Associate/Curator is expected to manage many aspects of the artistic program, such as oversight of acquisitions, exhibitions, curatorial meetings, and publication programs.  The Associate/Curator will have the opportunity to cultivate donors and work with the University’s development department to assist as requested.

Specific Functions:

  • Conceive, research, develop and collaborate with colleagues to organize and mount changing exhibitions of varying scope; develop related programming, including lectures, symposia and other educational programs. Execute strategies in all program areas ensuring high standards of excellence.
  • Contribute scholarship to and develop exhibitions, projects and engagement programs.
  • Develop collections through selectively acquiring important objects through purchase and gifts; cultivate prospective donors and art dealers. ?
  • Work with the Director’s Advisory Board and other auxiliary committees as appropriate including the preparation of reports.
  • Monitor and manage the stewardship needs of donors in adherence to the university’s stewardship standards. ?
  • Develop rotations of the collections for display in permanent collection galleries; consult with others to determine preservation/conservation needs. ?
  • Research, write and oversee production of related publications, brochures, guides, catalogs and books. ?
  • Develop and oversee collaborative projects with faculty and staff, oversee project budgets. ?
  • Develop a cooperative and productive relationship between the Center and the art community. ?
  • Develop, prepare and maintain exhibition budgets, serve as a liaison to the University community, other institutions and the public. ?
  • Participate in teaching courses at the Museum, training and continuing education of staff, mentor student interns. ?Advocate through written and oral communication for the institution in all relevant professional and public forums.


Candidates will have a strong background in scholarship,  managing staff, budgets, teams and complex projects; be a skilled advocate for the institution and its mandate; be able to support fundraising initiatives and have extensive networks in the field, including  collectors, donors, publishers, curators, and educators.

Specific qualifications include:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills and professionalism to interact with a wide range of people at different levels of an organization. ?
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication, demonstrated presentation skills. ?
  • Demonstrated experience and background in research and published writing that establishes expertise in an area of study. ?
  • Proven ability to effectively and efficiently manage multiple priorities, with competing deadlines. ?
  • Demonstrated proficiency in MS Office Suite and database management applications. ?
  • Demonstrated project management skills. ?
  • Demonstrated ability to build effective long-term relationships both internally and externally and the ability to clearly articulate and advocate the Center’s goals. ?
  • Proven experience working with collectors and donor cultivation.
  • PhD preferred with Master’s degree acceptable under certain circumstances.
  • Five-seven years curatorial or program development experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute a sustainable multi-year program.
  • Demonstrated experience managing substantial department, project and program budgets.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with all staff members.
  • Demonstrated skill in the use of a computer using the Microsoft Office Suite and collection management systems.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and foster effective relationships with trustees, volunteers, collectors, donors and sponsors.
  • Ability to maintain a high level of professionalism, discretion, and confidentiality.


• Frequently perform desk based computer tasks, seated work and use light/ fine grasping.

• Occasionally stand, walk, and write by hand, lift, carry, push pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.

* Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.


• May work extended or non-standard hours, weekends and holidays based on business needs.

• Occasional local and overnight travel may be required.

• May work in areas with exposure to dust, paint, chemicals and other toxins.


• Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.

• Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.

• Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,

Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


Summer 2016


The salary is highly competitive and dependent upon skills and experience.

PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATION: Applications (including a cover letter, resume and the names of three references) as well as nominations and expressions of interest should be submitted to Management Consultants for the Arts, an executive search firm working with the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

All inquiries should be directed to Diane Frankel, MCA Associate via email to

Job Information
  • Stanford, California, 94305, United States
  • 28686032
  • May 24, 2016
  • Associate Curator or Curator of Pre-19th Century European Art
  • Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
  • Curator
  • No
  • Full-Time
  • Indefinite
  • Master’s Degree
  • 5-7 Years