Columbus Museum of Art is seeking exceptional candidates for The William and Sarah Ross Soter Assistant or Associate Curator of Photography to inspire our communities through compelling exhibitions, programs, and publications, as well as, advance the museum’s efforts to build a significant, widely recognized photography collection. The curator will be depended upon for their scholarly expertise and curatorial vision, as well as their ability to build positive and effective relationships with prospective donors, professional colleagues, partner organizations, and the community at large.
Comfortable and committed to working in a visitor-centered museum environment, the successful candidate will be an excellent communicator who thinks creatively and fosters creativity in others. They will be distinguished by a strong background and record of accomplishment in 20th-century photography, ideally with additional background in 19th-century photography. They will also be comfortable working with CMA colleagues in overlapping areas of interest and expertise, particularly in the area of contemporary art. The candidate will also have a commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive program of exhibitions and acquisitions.
The Columbus Museum of Art’s photography collection was largely initiated in the 1970s by gifts from Richard M. Ross and, today, the medium makes up nearly 25 percent of the permanent collection. Continuing the Ross family support of the Museum’s photography program, William J. and Sarah Ross Soter generously endowed this curatorial position in 2010.
CMA’s photography collection is tied to the Museum’s strengths in American and European modernism and contemporary art. Its New York Photo League Collection is the largest of its kind in an American museum. The collection also includes works by Berenice Abbot, Adolphe Braun, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lewis Hine, Deana Lawson, Mary Lucier, Trevor Paglen, Lucy Raven, Allan Sekula, Charles Sheeler, and Edward Steichen. In conjunction with the Schiller Collection of American Social Commentary Art, the Photo League Collection provides the interested candidate an opportunity to help build a focused and unique collection that charts socially engaged and conceptual modes of documentary photography from the early twentieth century to today.
Duties and Responsibilities
Think creatively about how visitors experience the Museum and connect with art.
Research and develop an active photography exhibition program that includes temporary exhibitions. Oversee relevant exhibition budgets and design, as well as organize related publications and programs. Work on occasion with guest curators to successfully realize temporary exhibitions
Thoughtfully manage the care and display of the Museum’s permanent collection of photography, including research, installation, outgoing loans, conservation, labels, and text panels.
Actively refine and grow the photography collection through gifts and purchases.
Participate with internal colleagues on programming for The Contemporaries institutional support group
Actively cultivate relationships with diverse community of artists, collectors and potential donors.
Support the Museum’s various departments as needed, including Administration, Development, Learning, Visitor Experience, Marketing and Communications, Retail, and Finance. Serve on museum committees as needed.
Represent the Museum and actively engage in the broader art community with high standards of professionalism
Qualifications, Skills, and Abilities:
Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field required, PhD preferred.
3–5 years of previous museum experience.
Accomplished art historical research and writing.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and ability to adapt material for a variety of audiences.
Experience that includes engagement with diverse audiences work in urban areas.
Strong organizational and time management skills.
Ability to work well and connect with a broad range of people.
Willingness to travel for a variety of professional purposes. A valid driver’s license is recommended.
Prepared to work evenings and weekends as needed, and to take on responsibilities as the need arises.
Proficiency with common office applications, and competency with collection management software.
This is a full-time position. Compensation commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits package includes health, vision, dental, life, short and long-term disability, and 403(b) retirement plan. Generous paid time off and holidays
The Columbus Museum of Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing all persons with equal employment practices and opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, veteran or marital status or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.
How to Apply
Interested candidates should submit the following materials by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Human Resources, Columbus Museum of Art, 480 E. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215:
A cover letter expressing the candidate’s interest and intent in applying for this position.
A curriculum vitae detailing education and experience.
A writing sample
Three professional references.