Museum Hue

Assistant or Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings - PMA

Assistant or Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings - Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Park Family Assistant or Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings will contribute to a robust program of exhibitions and publications within a highly collaborative environment. Reporting directly to the Head of the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Department, you will also help oversee the management and development of the Museum’s distinguished collection of works on paper. As a member of the Museum’s curatorial staff, the Curator (at the Assistant or Associate level) is expected to participate in all aspects of the work of the Museum, supporting its mission and maintaining the highest standards of scholarship, connoisseurship, and professional practices.

Specifically, you will:

  • Work under the direction of the Head of the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Department and in cooperation with other curators in the Department, as well as with other Museum staff to achieve the mission of the institution and its strategic objectives.

  • Work closely with the Museum’s conservation, collections management, and design and installation staff to ensure that the works of art in your care are properly documented, conserved when treatment is needed, stored in a safe and accessible manner, and effectively displayed in the Museum’s galleries for the enjoyment and education of the public.

  • Review and provide recommendations on loan requests received by the Museum.

  • Conduct or direct research on the collection or on related topics in accordance with a plan developed in consultation with the Head of the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. Utilize this research for a variety of purposes -- e.g., the development of exhibitions and public programming, the enrichment of the Museum’s collections database and interpretive materials in the galleries, and for presentation in collections catalogues, scholarly articles, public lectures and symposia.

  • Work collaboratively with the Education Division on the development and production of interpretive materials related to the collection -- e.g., object labels, introductory text panels, gallery and audio guides, and educational computing tools -- and on the content and presentational strategies developed for public programs and distance learning programs.

  • Organize and/or coordinate special exhibitions, either individually or in collaboration with colleagues from the Museum or peer institutions. This work should be understood as encompassing every aspect of the development and implementation of special exhibitions, from initial project planning and research to participation in budgeting and resource development, the production of the catalogue, the creation of the installation design and a marketing plan to promote the exhibition, and the development and presentation of interpretive programs that will accompany it.

  • Identify and recommend works of art in your area of responsibility to be acquired for the collection and provides supporting documentation (e.g., the historical and aesthetic significance of the objects, the history of their ownership, and their state of conservation) to justify their acquisition by gift or purchase. In accordance with institutional policies, periodically assesses the area of the collection for which you are responsible and makes recommendations for the disposition of works of art that should not be retained. With the Department Head, the Assistant or Associate Curator will undertake a collection assessment and make recommendations about collecting strategies. Consult with the Museum’s library staff on book and journal acquisitions in your area of responsibility.

  • With the Department Head, devise a plan to mentor the fellows by delegating curatorial tasks, developing collaborative working assignments, and providing professional feedback. May also play a role in assisting the fellows develop and implement an exhibition.

  • Develop, in consultation with the Department Head, a professional development plan that will enable you to keep up-to-date on scholarship and curatorial developments in the field and address any agreed-upon professional needs (e.g., managerial training, communications skills, etc.).

  • Work closely with the Development department and donors, participate in events with individuals or groups who support the department’s acquisitions and projects. The Curator at the Assistant or Associate level will also address the Museum’s diverse public constituencies with strategic exhibitions, publications, and acquisitions.

  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Department Head.

Your diverse background includes:

  • Associate level: PhD with a minimum of 4 to 6 years’ experience

  • Assistant level: PhD or ABD with 3 to 5 years’ experience.

  • Broad familiarity with the history of prints. Consideration will be given to applicants who specialize in the Modern period and pursue a serious interest in Contemporary art.

  • A proven record of research and curatorial achievement, which includes the development of small and large-scale exhibitions and publications, the acquisition of works of art, and collections research and cataloguing. You must possess a solid understanding of museum practices in terms of conservation, collections management, processing of loan requests, and budget management.

  • You must be able to multi-task, maintain effective lines of communication within the Department and Museum, and efficiently meet overlapping deadlines. Excellent written and oral communication skills are essential.