The Birmingham Museum of Art seeks a dynamic and experienced Curator of Modern and Contemporary art. S/he will oversee a permanent collection of more than 3,000 American and European works of art dating from 1960 to the present.
The Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art is responsible for paintings, sculpture, video, and works on paper, including photography. The BMA’s collection includes abstract painting from the mid-century and 1980s and 1990s, including works by Joan Mitchell, Philip Guston, Barbara Hepworth, Grace Hartigan, Bob Thompson, Robert Motherwell, Juan Usle, Fabian Marcaccio, Sol Lewitt, Beatriz Milhazes, Odili Donald Odita, and Callum Innes. The Museum maintains an excellent photographic portrait of its city with works by William Christenberry, Robert Frank, Duane Michals, Gordon Parks, and Philip Trager, as well as images from the Civil Rights Era by Danny Lyons, Spider Martin, Chris McNair, Charles Moore, and Wayne Sides. The collection includes excellent examples of key contemporary artists and both William Christenberry and Kerry James Marshall are represented in some depth. An outdoor sculpture garden includes works by George Rickey, John Scott, Fernando Botero, Auguste Rodin, and Jacques Lipschitz. In addition to its holdings in 20th-century art, the Museum also has an enthusiastic commitment to new art and emerging artists working in a variety of media.
SPECIFIC DUTIES INCLUDE
- Researching works of art in the permanent collection and disseminating findings through publications, lectures, gallery talks, labels, web-based media, and other forms of communication.
- Working in partnership with other Museum departments to conceive and implement the installation and interpretation of modern and contemporary art in the permanent collection.
- Developing and implementing in-house and traveling exhibitions from the permanent collection; and bringing in significant exhibitions of modern and contemporary art from elsewhere.
- Works with the Development department to secure funding; with the Design department to determine gallery configuration and installation; and with the Education department to craft public programs and interpretive materials.
- Developing and implementing long-term goals and objectives for the modern and contemporary art collection through acquisitions that include gifts, bequests, and purchases.
- Working with fellow staff to ensure the highest quality of care and maintenance of the permanent collection.
- Participating actively in the intellectual life of the Museum by engaging in collection- and exhibition-related programming for public audiences, carrying out original research and publishing on the collection; expanding physical and electronic access to collection; supporting all fundraising activities to build the collection and develop the exhibition program; supporting all public relations efforts; working with partner organizations, and the community in furtherance of the BMA’s strategic goals.
- Working closely with collectors and prospective donors both locally and farther afield.
- The Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art is responsible for cultivating and providing direction to an active collection support group, the Collectors’ Circle for Contemporary Art, with 90+ members. This group is devoted to the continued growth and development of the Museum’s permanent collection, and to educating its members about contemporary art in general, and the Museum’s collection specifically.
- Participating in professional organizations and other opportunities that arise for professional development and to raise the profile of the Birmingham Museum of Art.
- M.A. required; Ph.D. preferred in art history with an emphasis on contemporary art.
- Minimum of five years museum experience and extensive knowledge of museum practices required.
- Strong record of research, scholarship, and public speaking, with proven experience organizing loan exhibitions and producing publications of high quality.
- Demonstrated skill at strategically building a collection through gifts and purchases.
- Must be a creative team player with strong collaborative, communication, and organizational skills.
- Ability to build positive and effective relationships with Museum trustees, members, donors, and the broader community.
- Must be articulate, with excellent presentation and writing skills, effective communication, organizational and time management skills. Must be resourceful, with creative problem solving skills; an objective decision maker; and have the ability to work under pressure.
Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes an excellent benefits package.
Candidates should submit below a letter of interest; curriculum vitae; names, email addresses, and phone numbers of three references; and a writing sample to Anne Forschler-Tarrasch, Ph.D., Chief Curator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Review of applications will be ongoing until the position is filled.