Deknatel Curatorial Fellow in Japanese Works on Paper
Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
Duration of Position:
About Vassar College
Located in the scenic Mid-Hudson Valley, Vassar College is a highly
selective, residential, coeducational liberal arts college. Vassar
stands upon the homelands of the Munsee Lenape.Vassar College is
deeply committed to increasing the diversity of the campus
community and to promoting an environment of equality, inclusion,
and respect for difference. The College is an Equal Opportunity and
Affirmative Action employer, and especially welcomes applications
from veterans, women, individuals with disabilities, and members of
racial, ethnic, and other historically underrepresented
groups.Vassar College is a smoke-free, tobacco-free campus.Note:
Vassar College has a universal vaccination policy requiring a
COVID-19 vaccination, including a booster, for all employees except
for those exempt for medical or religious reasons.
Position Summary and Responsibilities
Founded in 1861 as one of the earliest women's colleges (and the
first to become co-educational in 1969), Vassar College opened its
doors with both an art gallery and an observatory, signaling
Vassar's enduring educational philosophy of sending students “to
the source.” Today's Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, designed by
Cesar Pelli, is an accredited modern museum whose collections
originated with a superb acquisition of Hudson River School
paintings at the College's inception. Between then and now the
collection has grown to more than 22,000 works, charting the
history of art from ancient Egypt to the present, and featuring
important examples of modern and contemporary painting, sculpture
and photography as well as Old Master paintings and prints. The
collection includes approximately 10,000 works on paper with
current areas of concentration in European prints and drawings
(1500 to 1980); American prints and drawings (1800 to the present);
and Japanese prints and scrolls (1750 to 1950). The collection
supports the educational mission of the Loeb Art Center through
faculty and student use, as well as an ambitious schedule of
exhibitions offered to all of our audiences.
The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center seeks a full-time, two-year
(with the possibility of renewal) Curatorial Fellow in Works on
Paper, who will work primarily with its permanent collection of
Japanese woodblock prints and will participate in all aspects of
curatorial work. While historically the Loeb's holdings of East
Asian art are not extensive, it has affirmed and deepened its
commitment to expanding this area through recent gifts,
acquisitions, exhibitions, and scholarship.
The Loeb currently holds over 450 Japanese woodblock prints,
prints of the Edo and Meiji periods, which
require further research and cataloguing. The strength of this
group is in nineteenth-century landscape prints, with particularly
representative examples by Hokusai and Hiroshige. There are fine
examples of surimono prints and figurative prints, as well as a
strong subset of Meiji Period prints related to the events of the
Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars. The Loeb is also actively
cultivating Japanese photography as a strength of its collection,
which spans the medium's history. Works in need of further research
include four nineteenth-century ambrotypes housed in hand-carved
wooden cases. Other highlights include photography by Reiji Esaki,
Kusakabe Kimbei, Eikoh Hosoe, Naoya Hatakeyama, Naoki Honjo, Tomoko
Sawada, Rinko Kawauchi, and Toshio Shibata.
The Curatorial Fellow will play a key role in surveying the current
collection of Japanese works on paper, and developing avenues for
research, acquisitions, interpretation. They will provide
curatorial support with the aim of deepening public awareness and
access to the collection, help curate focused exhibitions, and
coordinate conservation and preservation recommendations. They may
assist with wider curatorial initiatives as needed such as
permanent collection gallery rotations and reinstallations. Support
for professional development as well as time for independent
research and writing will be structured into the fellowship. This
position is an exceptional opportunity to work with a broad range
of material, and to receive invaluable curatorial experience in
collection research, as well as in exhibition planning and
- Research Japanese works on paper in the permanent collection
with an eye to improving the accessibility of the collection.
- Assist in classifying works in the collection based on subject
matter, style, specific medium, and other identifying
- Contribute on both scholarly and programmatic levels to support
exhibitions, faculty use of the collection, and other projects that
bring strengths of the works on paper collection to light.
- Coordinate internal projects with collections management team,
faculty, students, and other stakeholders.
- Participate in organizing exhibitions, installations, and
digital displays, including writing and reviewing interpretive
texts, collaborating with staff and project partners, and
performing additional duties as needed.
- Provide general curatorial support to the Curator of Prints and
Drawings, including cataloguing, managing related data entry,
assisting with loans, supporting gallery rotations, and responding
to inquiries about the collection.
- Identify conservation and storage needs under consultation with
- Research and write on proposed acquisitions for the collection,
both gifts and purchases.
- A minimum of two years in a collecting museum environment or
similar visual art institution.
- Broad knowledge of the history of works on paper; expertise in
the area of Asian art or Japanese woodblock prints.
- A demonstrated commitment to scholarship, accuracy, and
attention to detail.
- A demonstrated commitment to a culture of diversity, equity,
- Excellent skills in research, writing, and verbal communication
(foreign language/s desirable).
- Knowledge and aptitude in art handling best practices and safe
handling of prints in a museum environment.
- Prior experience with collection management software, The
Museum System (TMS), preferred.
- Technical proficiency with personal computers and Microsoft
- A high degree of organization, self-motivation, ability to take
initiative, exercise independent judgment, manage projects with
minimal supervision, and adjust as new projects are assigned.
- Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work
collaboratively with a wide variety of constituents including
faculty, artists, patrons, and the public in a knowledgeable and
- Ability to exercise discretion and to be a team player in an
active office environment.
BA in art history or
related field; MA in art history or related field. PhD
Special Instructions to Applicants
To complete your on-line application, you will be required to
attach your resume, cover letter, and contact information for 3
professional references. All attachments must be in PDF format.
Review of applications will begin immediately. If you have any
questions, please contact Human Resources, 845-437-5820.
For full consideration applicants should apply by:
All applicants must apply online at: https://employment.vassar.edu/postings/3067