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Associate Curator of Contemporary Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia, PA
Expired: May 31, 2023 Applications are no longer accepted.
  • Full-Time
We Are Committed to an Inclusive Workplace
At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we actively seek to employ a diverse group of people who embody our organizational values. We welcome and encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply, especially those from marginalized and underrepresented groups in the museum field, who are inspired by our shared purpose and enjoy working collaboratively with others.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status.

How You Will Contribute
Under the supervision of the John Alchin and Hal Marryatt Curator of Contemporary Art and interim department head, the Associate Curator of Contemporary Art will contribute to the care, presentation, interpretation, and development of the museum's collection of contemporary art, which constitutes international holdings in film, video, new media, painting, sculpture, installation, and performance by artists working from 1950 to today. Demonstrating rigorous scholarship and a capacity for bold and inventive thinking, the Associate Curator will contribute an original curatorial perspective and make the collection available to the public through research and publications, the development of special exhibitions, gallery installations, and educational programs. Candidates are preferred who demonstrate an interest in global contemporary art across geographies and disciplines, as well as in creating dialogues between art of today with that of historical collections of the PMA, particularly those in non-western traditions and of international scope that includes Africa, East Asia, South Asia, and Latin America. In addition to offering an area of expertise, the ideal candidate possesses a broad-based knowledge of contemporary art and its theoretical and historical frameworks that inform current discussions of presenting contemporary art in an institutional context.

Specifically, you will:
  • Work under the supervision of the Curator of Contemporary Art and interim department head to realize a robust and dynamic curatorial program that promotes scholarship in the field and invites our audiences to experience and enjoy contemporary art.
  • Work in cooperation with other members of the museum's staff to achieve the mission of the institution and its strategic objectives, in an environment that promotes diversity, equity, inclusion and access.
  • Work closely with the museum's conservation, collections management, and design and installation staff to ensure that contemporary works of art are properly documented, conserved, stored in a safe and accessible manner, and effectively displayed in the museum's galleries for the enjoyment and education of the public.
  • Conduct original research on the collection or related topics in accordance with plans developed in consultation with the department head.
  • Work collaboratively with the Division of Education on the planning and production of interpretive materials related to the collection, including but not limited to, texts, labels, essays, catalogue entries, etc., for both print and digital delivery systems, as well as on public programming related to contemporary art.
  • Provide subject matter expertise to visitors, scholars, docents, and staff.
  • Propose, organize, and install presentations of the collection, either individually or in collaboration with colleagues from the PMA or peer institutions, and work in cooperation with relevant PMA staff in all phases of project development, from initial planning and research to participation in budgeting, fundraising, and marketing efforts related to the presentations.
  • Represent the museum to various public constituencies in the city and region and attends civic and social events that advance the work of the department.
  • Collaborate with local institutions (where relevant) to promote the collection, the museum, or the arts in general.
  • Identify and recommend works to be acquired for the collection and provide supporting documentation to justify their acquisition by gift or purchase. In accordance with institutional policies, and under the direction of the department head, makes recommendations for the disposition of works of art that should not be retained.
  • Work closely with the museum's senior staff and Development department to identify and cultivate individuals who are able to support the development of the collection.
  • Remain abreast of the art market in the field of contemporary art and shares insights with the department, including but not limited to visiting artist studios, attending art fairs and exhibitions, and staying up to date with current research.
  • Undertake administrative responsibilities as assigned and participate in the day-to-day activities of the Department of Contemporary Art.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Your background and experience include:
  • At least five years of experience working in the field of contemporary art at museums or comparable arts organizations.
  • MA in art history, with a preference for specializations in non-western and international contemporary art.
  • A proven capacity to present complex ideas to publics of diverse educational, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds in addition to scholarly or specialized audiences.
  • An investment in the formation of new and original perspectives on art historical narratives in global contemporary art.
  • Proven record of exhibition development, research, and scholarly publications.
  • Excellent communication skills (English) including writing and public speaking.
  • Foreign language skills in at least one language addition to English preferred (reading required, written, and oral skills preferred).
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to interact well with others and record of working collaboratively with others toward shared goals.
  • Proven abilities in project management.
  • Excellent organizational skills, including meticulous attention to detail and capacity to balance daily tasks and big-picture thinking.
  • Ability to assess priorities.
  • Ability to receive productive feedback regarding communication, organization, and interpersonal skills.
  • An interest in working closely with others to realize shared visions and goals.
  • Competence with MS Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint (or other presentation software) required.
  • Ability to learn museum database, The Museum System (TMS).

Position and Compensation Details
  • The minimum salary for this position is $70,000
  • This position is full-time, exempt, and 35 hours per week
  • The position requires occasional evening and weekend work
  • This position reports to the John Alchin and Hal Marryatt Curator of Contemporary Art
  • Physical requirements:
    • Able to remain stationary for extended periods of time, to utilize computers and other office equipment required of this job, to perform physically administrative duties in a typical interior office environment, gallery, or exhibit space, and to access most public and staff areas of the museum campus
    • Able to move up items up to 40 pounds
  • COVID-19 vaccination required.
  • Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

Institutional Requirements
  • Uphold the professional standards of the field, always acts in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of the museum, and protects and enhances its reputation and standing within the community of museums.
  • Adhere to the museum's code of ethics and Employee Handbook and avoids any real or perceived conflicts of interest.
  • Show respect for co-workers and visitors and an understanding of and appreciation for the diversity of the museum's staff, volunteers, and audiences.
  • Maintain confidentiality.
  • Adhere to all museum protocols, procedures, rules, and policies.

Application Timeline
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage candidates to apply early as the position will close once we have a robust applicant pool or a candidate has been selected.

What We Offer
Our employees are at the center of the museum. As an employee, you will have access to numerous museum perks including, but not limited to:
  • Free general admission to the museum for you and your immediate family
  • Discounted guest tickets for admission
  • Discounts on gift memberships
  • Special staff tours and presentations from our curatorial and conservation teams
  • Discounts at the museum restaurant, museum cafés, and museum retail and online stores

We offer a comprehensive benefits package for employees* including:
  • Medical, dental, and vision benefits
  • Fully paid short-term disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, and life insurance
  • Health savings or flexible spending account program
  • Retirement savings program with museum match
  • Paid vacation, personal days, sick days, and holidays

*Eligibility for certain benefits is based on a variety of factors including the employee's regular schedule and tenure.


Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia, PA
View All Philadelphia Museum of Art Jobs



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