Museum Hue

Curator of Contemporary Art DMA

Curator of Contemporary Art - Dallas Museum of Art


Reports to: The Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art 

Division: Curatorial

Department: Department of Contemporary Art 

Classification: Exempt, Full-time

DMA Mission: The Dallas Museum of Art is a space of wonder and discovery where art comes alive.

The DMA will:

  • Place art and our diverse communities at the center around which all activities radiate.

  • Pursue excellence in collecting and programming, present works of art across cultures and time, and be a driving force in contemporary art.

  • Strengthen our position as a prominent, innovative institution, expanding the meaning and possibilities of learning and creativity. 

About the Dallas Museum of Art 

Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 22,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the heart of the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum welcomes some 600,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. In January 2013, the DMA returned to a free general admission policy and launched DMA Friends, the first free museum membership program in the country, which currently has over 70,000 members. For more information, visit The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of Museum Partners and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts. 

Scope of Position 

The DMA has one of the leading collections of contemporary art in an American encyclopedic museum. The collection encompasses over 4,000 works from 1945 to the present, including major holdings of Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism; conceptualism, time-based media, and installation works; photography; and the work of emerging artists. The Museum has particular strengths in German, Italian, East Asian, and Latin American art, as well as art of the African diaspora.

Working closely with the Senior Curator of Contemporary Art the Lupe Murchison Curator will build upon our growing reputation for authoritative exhibitions and collection displays that both recognize and contribute to current debates in the visual arts and wider cultural field. She/he will possess a keen understanding of the local, national and international art community to provide creative direction to the shaping of a balanced and dynamic exhibition and public program schedule. 

As a department, we will work collaboratively to ensure that we are responsive to shifts in the field, addressing historical blind spots as we strive to remain at the forefront of new trends in contemporary artistic production. We will build on our current collections strengths to further our position ourselves as a leader in the presentation of the transnational development of postwar art and work with our curatorial colleagues to explore cross-departmental confluences in the presentation of art across time, space, and medium. 


Essential Functions:

  • Work closely with the Senior Curator of Contemporary Art to shape a balanced and dynamic exhibition and public program schedule

  • Monitor the Texas art scene through meaningful connection with the local artistic community and colleagues at other arts and learning institutions to advance the DMA’s goals to be a laboratory for ideas and collaboration

  • Work closely with colleagues in curatorial and exhibitions to innovate in terms of new ways of working across curatorial departments drawing on the collection for inspiration  

  • Collaborate on collections rotations with the Senior Curator and the Hanley Assistant Curator

  • Conceive and implement small, medium, and large scale exhibitions 

  • Consider, solicit, and submit possible gifts for consideration to the Senior Curator

  • Research and recommend potential acquisitions and present recommendations to the Committee on Collections

  • Develop and maintain advantageous local, national and international relationships with the community of artists, critics, dealers, museum colleagues, professional organizations, collectors, trustees, and friends of the Museum to enhance the DMA’s position and relevance locally, nationally, and internationally. 

  • Assist with fundraising and public relations efforts to support and promote departmental and museum activities. 

  • Collaborate with the Education Division to develop and present materials and programs relating to the interpretation of the collections and special exhibitions for the public such as gallery texts, publications, lectures, electronic media, and docent training

  • Supervise shared curatorial administrative assistants and interns, in conjunction with other curators in department 

  • Perform scholarly research on objects in the collection to deepen the Museum’s knowledge of its contemporary collection and for catalogues of the collection, exhibitions, and related materials to increase interest in the museum’s collections and programs 

  • Work across all departments to promote and support the contemporary department internally and externally

  • Be available for national and international travel, serving as a key representative of the department and the museum 

  • Remain well informed of the new art and artists and emerging movements by preparing scholarly articles and essays, presenting talks and lectures and the DMA and other institutions and participate in professional art organizations

  • Assist with fundraising and public relations efforts to support and promote departmental and museum activities 

  • Conform to the  AAMD codes of ethics governing the museum profession

  • Adhere to museum policies and supports management decisions in a positive, professional manner

Education, Experience, and Certifications:

  • MA required; Ph.D. preferred, with an expertise in modern and contemporary art

  • A specialization in African, African American, and/or arts of the African diaspora highly desirable

  • A minimum of five years curatorial experience working in a museum or equivalent institution with a demonstrated record of exhibitions and publications 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Desire to think differently and demonstrate creative problem-solving

  • Aptitude for public speaking

  • Ability to effectively manage projects with a high degree of organization and productivity 

  • Excellent time management, problem solving and analytical skills

  • Ability to assess priorities and work well under pressure

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Keen interpersonal skills

  • Aptitude for working collaboratively on projects with internal and external teams and with other curatorial staff, and members of the Education, Exhibitions, and Collections, and Public Programs divisions

  • Capacity and initiative to recommend solutions and solve problems

  • Computer literacy to work on the museum’s content management systems, the museums Microsoft Office system and the electronic archival systems 

  • Willing to work flexible schedule including evenings and weekends when needed

The Dallas Museum of Art is committed to building a culturally diverse staff and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, disability or genetics.