Reports To: Chief Curator
Employment Status: Regular/Full-time
The High Museum of Art seeks an experienced and innovative curator to lead its department of photography.
Under the supervision of the Chief Curator, the Donald and Marilyn Keough Family Curator of Photography will manage all aspects of the Museum’s curatorial program for photography. The High’s photography department, with a collection of over 6,800 works, is one of the nation’s leading programs of its type, having realized an important series of exhibitions, publications, and programs. In addition to key strengths reflective of the American South and the Civil Rights movement, the collection is international in scope. Works by artists including Eadweard Muybridge, Eugène Atget, Edward Weston, Walker Evans, Harry Callahan, Margaret Bourke-White, Dawoud Bey, Diane Arbus, Gordon Parks, Thomas Struth, and Sarah Charlesworth are featured within holdings that cover the history of photography. The Museum is presently planning for a major reinstallation of its collections in 2018 and anticipates the new Curator will have responsibilities for developing a series of installations within galleries newly dedicated to photography and, importantly, organizing and overseeing major exhibitions for touring to national and international venues.
• Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following:
• Coordinating with the Chief Curator, plan and manage the development of the photography collections, exhibitions, related curatorial programs, and departmental staff;
• Supervise assistant curator of photography;
• Develop and manage important, creative exhibition projects in the field, including the organization of major collaborative projects with national and international participants.
• Remain actively engaged with contemporary photographers and their respective critics, galleries, and dealers to keep informed of and engaged with current work in the field;
• Research information pertinent to the identification, documentation, or authentication of works of art and develop appropriate object records in accordance with current professional standards;
• Conceive, develop, and publish exhibition catalogues, scholarly articles, and related works, including via digital formats;
• Maintain current knowledge of the art market and conceive and pursue strategic objectives of gifts, bequests, commissions, and other purchases to develop and refine the photography holdings;
• Regularly and effectively communicate and work with museum staff, trustees, colleagues, and others to enrich, expand, and otherwise facilitate the program of photography and to ensure that related content is accurately conveyed and represented;
• Work with collections staff and outside consultants to anticipate collections care and conservation needs for respective holdings;
• Work collaboratively with education and interpretation staff to develop and produce interpretive strategies and accompanying materials for collections-based projects and special exhibitions, as well as conduct training for docents and provide new opportunities for community outreach;
• In conjunction with program staff and others, help develop and participate in public programs on the collection and relevant special exhibitions;
• Propose and lead programs for the museum’s Friends of Photography support group and otherwise foster and maintain good working relationships with existing and potential patrons, trustees, and museum colleagues across the country and abroad, as well as with the academic community, art dealers, and collectors;
• Serve as a mentor to curatorial assistants and, as required, Mellon Fellows and interns;
• Train and serve as a designated museum art courier as necessary;
• Respond to scholarly and public inquiries related to the collection;
• Represent the museum in professional associations and at symposia and other scholarly meetings and events;
• Meet all responsibilities with the highest ethical and professional standards.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Education and Experience:
• M.A. required; Ph.D. in art history with a specialization in photography preferred;
• Minimum of five years of relevant experience and knowledge of museum practices;
• Expertise with exhibition development and organization, including both national and international collaborations;
• Strong record of research, scholarship, and public speaking, with proven experience in organizing significant exhibitions and publications;
• Familiarity with new technologies and their impact upon the museum field;
Skills and Abilities:
• Exhibits effective communication, organizational and time-management skills.
• Must be resourceful, creative, flexible, and have the ability to work effectively and positively with other professional staff across multiple divisions in a highly collaborative environment.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS/WORK ENVIRONMENT:
The work environment and physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
• Some standing, walking, bending, frequent use of hands, stooping and light lifting (at least 10 pounds) is needed.
• The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.