Assistant Curator of Pre-Columbian and Native American Art
Art Institute of Chicago
January 31, 2018
Full Time - Experienced
The museum's outstanding collection of art from North, Central, and South America constitutes one of the foremost of its kind in the United States. Comprising works dating from the pre-Columbian era to the late twentieth century, from banner stones made by hunters and gatherers in the American Midwest to basketry from the far West, the collection includes more than fifty years of acquisitions. In addition to the nearly 2,000 objects that are comprised within the departmental collection of the Arts of the Americas, the museum also holds a significant collection of Navajo and Andean textiles.
The Assistant/Associate Curator of Pre-Columbian and Native American Art is responsible for the permanent collection, exhibitions, and acquisitions of Pre-Columbian and Native American art.
Oversees and administers the collection of the arts of the Americas, including the display and care of the permanent collection and the assessment and recommendation of new acquisitions.
In consultation with the Department Chair, conceives, develops, and implements in-house exhibitions and national or international loan exhibitions and their accompanying publications.
Organizes regular rotations within the permanent galleries, and occasionally collaborates with the Textile Department and other curatorial departments on exhibitions and programs.
Conducts research and writes on the collection of Pre-Columbian and Native American art, including object labels, exhibition didactics, interpretive resources, online content, and catalogues, both internal and external.
Attends conferences and symposia, and gives on- and off-site public and scholarly lectures.
Provides training on Pre-Columbian and Native American art to departmental and other staff, and assumes responsibility over interns and volunteers working with the collection.
Builds and maintains relationships with academic and art institutions in Chicago and with national and international peer professionals and institutions.
Supports the Department Chair in fundraising for acquisitions, exhibitions, and programs, and contributes to the writing of grants for internships and other projects.
Initiates new and fosters ongoing relationships with collectors and donors.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Administers the permanent collections of pre-Columbian art and Native American art, including research, cataloguing, writing gallery didactics, and designing and supervising installations. Assumes the responsibility of care for the collection in collaboration with the department of Conservation. Assumes responsibility for connecting with museum departments involved with developing materials on arts of the Americas.
Supervises cataloguing of the arts of the Americas collection in departmental files and on the museum’s collection database. Researches and writes on the collection and area(s) of specialization for in-house publications and for monographs and journals in the field.
Develops and administers all facets of in-house and traveling exhibitions as well as of national or international loan exhibitions. As appropriate, conducts research, selects works, prepares budgets, writes grant proposals, writes interpretation materials, and designs and oversees the installation.
Researches and recommends artworks for acquisition to the Department Chair. Maintains contact with dealers and keeps abreast of the art market. Prepares justifications for and presents possible acquisitions to the departmental advisory committee. Recommends, documents, and implements deaccessions from the permanent collection.
Lectures on the permanent collection, museum exhibitions, acquisitions, and areas of specialization to museum and school groups, the general public, and at conferences. Teaches in the field when schedule permits.
Works closely with the Department of Learning and Public Engagement on written and audio? materials for presentation to a broad range of museum audiences. As appropriate, consults and collaborates with other curatorial departments on matters of mutual interest, including rotations, acquisitions, exhibitions, and programming.
Works closely with advisory committee members on matters pertaining to the collection of the arts of the Americas and introduces possible new members to the Department Chair. Works with donors and collectors in the field to build support for departmental acquisitions and activities and to stimulate collecting activity.
Travels nationally and internationally as the departmental budget permits to conduct research and lecture on the collection and on area(s) of specialization. When necessary or possible, travels as a courier for works of art from the permanent collection.
Advises departmental secretary and specialist on matters concerning the collection of the Arts of the Americas, and supervises interns and volunteers interested in working with this collection.
Answers correspondence and telephone inquiries from scholars, curators, dealers, collectors, and others. Maintains contact with colleagues and other professionals in the field. When required, acts as a spokesperson for the collection in the media, whether on the radio or on television, in print interviews, or on social media.
A Ph.D. or equivalent degree in art history, archaeology, or anthropology, with a specialization in one or more of the areas comprised in the collections of the Arts of the Americas, whether North, Central, or South America. A track record of object-focused scholarly and curatorial accomplishments through publications, lectures, or exhibitions. Prior museum experience preferred. Fluency in Spanish or at least one other foreign language pertinent to the areas of specialty and scholarship. Outstanding written and oral communication skills that demonstrate scholarly ability as well as interest in public engagement. Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team, and some mentoring and supervising experience.
***For full consideration please submit cover letter, CV, writing sample and three references*** (submit on-line as one attachment, system only allows for one document upload)
The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace.
About Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879, is a world-renowned art museum housing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. An encyclopedic museum, the Art Institute collects, preserves, and interprets works in every medium from all cultures and historical periods. With a collection of approximately 300,000 art works and artifacts, the museum has particularly strong holdings in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, contemporary art, early 20th century European painting and sculpture, Japanese prints, and photography. The museum’s 2009 addition, the Modern Wing, features the latest in green museum technology and 264,000 square feet dedicated to modern and contemporary art, photography, architecture and design, and new museum education facilities. In addition to displaying its permanent collection, the Art Institute mounts more than 30 special exhibitions per year and features lectures, gallery tours, and special performances on a daily basis.