Ellen Johnson '33 Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Oberlin College
Ohio, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Nov 16, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) at Oberlin College is seeking applicants for a curatorial position in modern and contemporary art at the assistant, associate, or full curatorial level. The curator will oversee all aspects of the museum’s research, interpretation, and presentation of its important post-1900 art collections and will collaborate with the curator of academic programs, curator of education, and other staff to engage students in curatorial and research projects and plan a broad range of public programs. The curatorship is a continuing 12-month Administrative and Professional Staff position at the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, reporting to the director of the museum.

The curator will oversee an outstanding permanent collection of approximately 5,500 works of art from 1900 to the present and approximately 1,200 works in the Eva Hesse archive. Responsibilities include developing in-house and traveling exhibitions in close collaboration with curatorial colleagues and the director; participating in collection- and exhibition-related programming for campus and public audiences; carrying out original research and publishing on the collection; identifying acquisitions through purchase and gift; teaching with the collection for Oberlin College classes and for other groups; expanding physical and electronic access to collections; working closely with the director and Oberlin College advancement staff to cultivate a broad donor base; preparing a long-range plan for post-1900 holdings; monitoring and making recommendations for care of the collection; and other duties as assigned. Active participation in identifying and writing grant proposals is critical. In addition to overseeing post-1900 American, European, and global works, the curator will oversee the circa 120-work African art collection, much of which dates to after 1900, and will liaise with the Curator of Asian Art on oversight of post-1900 Asian works.

The AMAM’s collection of post-1900 art serves nearly all Oberlin College departments in the Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music, including Africana studies, anthropology, art, biology, chemistry, cinema studies, comparative American studies, creative writing, environmental studies, foreign languages and literatures, history, Latin American studies, mathematics, music and historical performance, politics, and religion, among others. The curator will be actively involved in conceptualizing and initiating teaching exhibitions, mentoring students, and supervising student curatorial assistants.

Required Qualifications:

A Ph.D. in art history preferred (ABD required), with at least 4 years of museum experience, demonstrated knowledge of the exhibition process, a record of publication and public speaking, and some teaching experience. The position requires broad knowledge of art history, particularly from 1900 forward, with a strong commitment to contemporary art and to expanding access to the collection for diverse audiences, as well as excellent communication and effective leadership and interpersonal skills. As an important liaison between the museum and faculty, students, donors, supporters, and artists, the successful candidate must be an outstanding collaborator with highly-developed administrative and organizational capabilities, a high degree of professionalism, close attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines, collegiality toward colleagues, and a deep commitment to a contextual, cross-disciplinary approach to original works of art. The position requires an ability to work occasional evening and weekend hours and an ability to lift and carry objects weighing up to 25 pounds; foreign language skills are desirable.

Oberlin College is committed to professional staff, faculty, and student diversity, equity, and inclusion. The incumbent will bring understanding of or experience working with underrepresented and diverse academic populations. Oberlin is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the excellence and diversity of the academic community. Oberlin recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran’s status, and/or other protected status as required by applicable law.

Candidates should submit a letter of application; curriculum vitae; statement addressing a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and names, addresses and phone numbers of three references by January 18, 2021 via Oberlin College’s PeopleAdmin portal at https://jobs.oberlin.edu/postings/9620. All applications must be received via the Oberlin jobs portal; if you have a question, please contact Sally Moffitt, AMAM Administrative Assistant, at smoffitt@oberlin.edu. Review of applications will begin in January 2021 and applications received after the deadline may be considered.