The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University seeks candidates for the position of Associate Curator. Opened in 2012 at Michigan State University and designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, MSU Broad Art Museum has emerged as a leading university museum devoted to the presentation and advancement of the field of contemporary art, and the mounting of socially-engaged exhibitions. This position will be instrumental in further contributing to the research, conception, development, planning, production, implementation, and interpretation of both collections-based and loan exhibitions that explore the role of the museum within society and on a university campus, with a heightened awareness of the importance of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI).
The Associate Curator will work closely with the Senior Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, along with the museum’s Director, in the development of lead museum exhibitions, curating solo, group, and collections-based exhibitions, and functioning as project manager for all aspects of such assignments. This involves the preparation and oversight of exhibition checklists, budgets, artists contracts and travel, publications, the installations strategies and process, fundraising, tours, and participating in all other tasks related to the creation and implementation of museum exhibitions and their accompanying academic curatorial programs. The Associate Curator helps oversee student workers within the department, who offer support to their exhibitions, providing instruction and opportunities for their professional development within the field.
Through various aspects of their work, the Associate Curator is also charged with cultivating relationships across campus, developing opportunities for interdisciplinary partnerships and collaborations on and off-campus. In consultation with other curatorial staff and the Director, this position coordinates the Collection Committee at the museum and the acquisitions process, helping to determine collection strategies for the institution, and building relationships with community stakeholders, artists, galleries and collectors to initiate gifts and other acquisitions. The Associate Curator presents lectures and provides educational information including didactic materials, docent training and talks, museum tours, and so forth, and will maintain advantageous relations with the art community, locally as well as nationally and internationally, fostering healthy, creative relationships with artists, collectors, gallerists, other museum colleagues, and prospective donors.
The successful candidate will be an excellent project manager (meeting deadlines and established budgets), have deep understanding of the field of contemporary art (with focus on social practice) and its current trends, a wide range of art historical interests and experience working with collections from a DEAI lens. This position will be responsible for disseminating the resources of the MSU Broad Art Museum to colleges, faculty, staff, students, key community stakeholders, and the general public in an accessible and timely fashion— with a keen sense of awareness as to how considerations of diversity, equity and inclusion can better guide the equity work of the museum internally and externally to community partners and audiences.
Reports to the Senior Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs
Organizes strongly envisioned and accessible exhibitions at the highest level of scholarship, with an awareness of current developments within the field of contemporary art
Production of solo and group exhibitions, collection shows, oversees traveling exhibitions, develops artists’ commissions, and other special projects onsite and off
Responsible for the conception, research, development, planning, interpretation, budgeting/costs, meeting institutional deadlines, implementation and production of museum exhibitions in a timely manner and within budget
Organizes and produces curatorial-centric and exhibition-related public programs including artist lectures, scholars’ panels, community-driven events, screenings, and so forth
Responsible for disseminating the resources of the MSU Broad Art Museum to the museum team in a timely fashion and the various colleges of MSU, faculty, staff, students, as well to community stakeholders and the general public
Fulfills the role of project manager for their exhibitions, leading a team of co-workers drawn from a variety of museum areas and often involving external partners
Involved in the hiring and supervising of junior-level curators, part-time staff, student workers and interns
Coordinates the Collection Committee at the museum and produces materials (including research) to present to the committee. Working with committee co-chair to engages members in meaningful discussions around the collection, its related practices, and coordination of acquisition process.
Works closely with the museum registrar with regard to upkeep of the collection, creating and maintaining a strategic collecting plan and policies. Writes grants supporting good stewardship of the museum collections.
Coordinates the development and production of all aspects of catalogues, publications, and brochures in conjunction with lead exhibitions, overseeing the collation of texts and images, image rights and reproductions, and contributing to discussions around publication design and writing grants that support publications.
Provide educational information including didactic materials, docent talks, gives exhibition tours, participates in lectures, panels and symposiums, etc.
Maintain relationships and acts as spokesperson with the art community, local as well as national and international stakeholders, including artists, collectors, and prospective donors; represents museum in public eye
Fundraises through donor cultivation and the writing of grants
Art handling and training and ability to carry up to 40 pounds, as necessary
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.
Masters -Curatorial Practices, Art History, Museu
Doctorate -Curatorial Practices, Art History, Museu
Master’s degree in Curatorial Practices, Art History, Museum Studies or other related discipline, or equivalent professional experience.
At least 7 years of museum/gallery/art center experience; curatorial experience developing solo, group, and collection-based exhibitions; artists’ commissions; and knowledge of project management best practices.
Experience working in the university context with faculty and students from a wide range of disciplines, as well as the use of a variety of university collections
Experience working with a wide range of community stakeholders
Proficient knowledge of DEAI issues and considerations, especially as they relate to the cultural sector and museum strategies
Strong writing and research skills, with a record of authoring and publishing original content, as well as public speaking and remarkable communication skills
Knowledge of the field of contemporary art and its current trends, a wide range of art historical interests, and experience working with collections. Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet deadlines
Outstanding organizational and project management skills: ability to prioritize and organize multiple activities, meet deadlines and remain within budget, as well as supervise the activities of staff members around a common project, communicate efficiently and effectively
Ability to deal effectively and diplomatically with donors, artists, museum colleagues and other staff, and the general public; whether in person, on the phone, virtually, or in writing
Experience with art handling
Ability to work across departments in a collegial team environment
Required Application Materials
List of references (3)
Installation images of past curated exhibitions (5)
Published writing sample (1–2)
The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at: https://msu.edu/together-we-will/
Application materials should be submitted in Acrobat PDF or Microsoft Word formats.
Summary of Physical Demands
Handling art related materials, assist in physical installations of exhibitions and public curatorial programs, and basic supplies for installing exhibits/art and public curatorial programs
Using cart or dolly to move artworks to area of work
Ladder use for installation of art
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art museum is particularly interested in individuals with a history of promoting diversity in their research, teaching, and service. This description is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty that will be required of positions that will be given this title and shall not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct and control the work of employees under his or her supervision. The use of a particular expression or illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties not mentioned that are of similar kind or level of difficulty. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.
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