Current Opportunities

Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

job requisition id  R0002482

Must apply with the following link:

Job Description
Museum Curatorial
Pay Rate Type:
Salary - $50K-$55K
Employee Type:
Job Summary:
Colby College Museum of Art
Full-Time, Exempt, Salaried, Administrative Staff Appointment

Reporting to the Head Curator, the Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Colby College Museum of Art assists in shaping a dynamic and innovative program of exhibitions and publications that supports the Colby Museum’s work as a premier teaching museum at a leading liberal arts college, and a place for education and engagement with local, national, and global communities. As a member of the curatorial team, the Assistant Curator realizes exhibitions of varied scales and contributes to the arrangement and interpretation of permanent collection displays. The Assistant Curator contributes to stewardship of the museum’s significant and growing collection of twentieth- and twenty-first century art; participates in the identification of and research related to potential acquisitions; and supports collection planning and assessment. The Assistant Curator will also help to shape the Colby Museum’s identity as a forum for American art that surfaces new narratives and embraces the complexity of the American experience.

In dialogue with the museum’s academic engagement department, the Assistant Curator supports curricular and co-curricular use of the collection. The Assistant Curator also researches the collection and assists the work of outside researchers. The Assistant Curator is responsive to the work of the Lunder Institute of American Art and other opportunities for cross-departmental collaboration. The Assistant Curator provides content for grant applications and supports grant stewardship related to curatorial projects. In collaboration with colleagues, the Assistant Curator supervises and mentors curatorial interns and advises them on career pathways in the arts.

The Assistant Curator works closely with the head curator and curatorial team colleagues to build and strengthen a network of artists, museum peers, collectors, donors, prospects, community members, and other constituents aligned with the museum’s mission. The Assistant Curator also contributes to the museum’s strong relationships with its Board of Governors and campus and local communities.

Located in Waterville, Maine, the Colby Museum opens access to art and artists for the Colby community, for Maine residents and visitors, and for audiences beyond, creating a forum for experimentation, research, dialogue, and connection. We grow and use our stellar collection in ways that activate the power of art to expand imagination and forge new connections, fostering a more open, creative, and compassionate society. We teach to inspire and open possibilities, so that students at Colby and other visitors can become more curious, nimble, and able to contribute within a changing world, in keeping with Colby’s dynamic liberal arts mission. We incubate art scholarship and practice in ways that explore and expand how the idea of America is understood and how art is made, interpreted, and shared. We do so by supporting new research, providing mentorship, and convening a diversity of people and perspectives. The Lunder Institute for American Art and our exhibitions, programs, and publications facilitate field-wide impact. We are committed to our audiences, including the Colby College community, residents of Waterville and the broader Maine region, national and international visitors, and the artists, scholars, and partners with whom we collaborate.

Working to advance equity and inclusion in the field of American art—and, by doing so, in the wider world—is core to our mission. We feel the urgency of national and campus conversations on inequality and are keenly aware of the unique responsibility that we have as an academic art museum—as a place where we can listen, ask questions, and challenge assumptions—to engage in this dialogue, and to act. We affirm the Colby Museum’s commitment to multidisciplinary teaching and learning and our potential for deep engagement with students will be leveraged in this effort toward fighting racialized violence, injustice, and inequality; and we encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our college, including its cultural and ethnic diversity.
•       Organize and/or contribute to timely, field-leading exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, including projects that put works in dialogue with historical art, in ways that garner local interest and national attention, advance new scholarship, and affirm the museum’s mission. These projects may include artwork commissions, guest curatorial arrangements, student-curated projects, and other strategic initiatives.
•       Collaborate with curatorial, collections, and engagement teams in the rotation of permanent collection installations and associated interpretive content in the subject areas of modern and contemporary art
•       Contribute to ongoing collection assessment and planning through research, reports, and presentations
•       Identify and select new acquisitions—purchases and gifts—of modern and contemporary art
•       Serve as venue curator for traveling exhibitions as assigned
•       Contribute to the curatorial vision and planning for the Museum’s downtown initiatives including the Joan Dignam Schmaltz Gallery of Art at the Paul J. Schupf Art Center
•       Support academic and public engagement with the collection and exhibitions by leading or participating in museum class visits arranged by academic engagement staff,  shaping public and community programming and interpretation with engagement staff, and attending events across the museum’s spaces
•       Author or contribute to original scholarly publications and other forms of writings (essays, exhibition texts, labels, and digitally shared content)
•       Help to develop the content of grant proposals and prepare reports of activities, ensuring the effective management of grant-funded projects
•       Participate in the cultivation of strong relationships with donors, lenders, alumni, the Museum’s Board of Governors, and key partners across the campus and in the Waterville community
•       Develop and sustain a network of relationships—peers, mentors, and mentees—in the museum field; remain well-informed about trends in this field and in the arts and culture sector broadly; and generously share knowledge
•       Supervise and mentor interns and student collaborators
•       Represent the Museum at events or through speaking engagements related to curatorial projects
•       Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in education and experience; advanced degree in art history or related humanities field preferred
•       Minimum of one to three years of curatorial experience, including collections and acquisitions, development, interpretation and public programs, and project management
•       Demonstrated research interests in American and/or modern and contemporary art with additional broad subject knowledge across art history preferred
•       Ability to help assess and develop the narrative complexity and diversity of the Museum collection and programs and advance equity in our daily practices and work culture; unwavering commitment to fostering an antiracist, equitable work environment supportive of people from different cultures, backgrounds, and life paths
•       Appreciation for the role of art museums in a liberal arts education; demonstrated track record of collaboration and commitment to teaching and learning across disciplines; interest in engaging a broad and diverse audience that includes undergraduate students as well as local community members, museum visitors, scholars, curators, and artists
•       Exceptional interpersonal and relationship skills, and the ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
•       Excellent organizational skills, time management, and attention to detail
•       Proven capacity for creative and critical project development and overall problem-solving
•       Demonstrated initiative and strong, self-motivated work ethic
•       Ability to manage multiple tasks among competing priorities and meet deadlines
•       Flexibility and proven ability to work both independently and collaboratively as a member of a diverse community
•       Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite and Google applications; familiarity with digital cloud collaboration platforms preferred
•       Valid driver’s license required and must meet the College’s Fleet Safety Policy requirements; willingness and ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed
This position will work closely with the Head Curator, Lunder Curator of American Art, Lunder Curator of Works on Paper and Whistler Studies, Anne Lunder Leland Curatorial Fellow, Senior Manager and Assistant Manager of Exhibitions and Publications, Carolyn Muzzy Director, Deputy Director, Lunder Institute Director, education and engagement colleagues, collections management and registrarial staff including art installers, the Director and Associate Director of Museum Development, as well as with other museum staff members and with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and Lunder Institute guests and fellows.
General open office and campus environment. Position involves sitting, although frequent movement is necessary. Occasional lifting is required. Computer usage involving repetitive hand/wrist motion is also necessary. Some night and weekend work required based on museum events.
Successful and satisfactory completion of a background check (including a criminal records check).
Interested candidates should apply electronically by clicking the "Apply" button on the Colby Careers website. Please submit a letter of interest, resume, and the contact information of three professional references. Materials should be addressed to:
Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Search Committee
Office of Human Resources
Colby College
5500 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME  04901-8855

Salary Range: 
$50,000 - $55,000

About This Job

  • Colby College Museum of Art
  • Waterville, ME
  • Category: Professional
  • Salary Range: $50,000 - $55,000
  • Posted: May 19, 2023