Reports to: Deputy Director & Chief Curator
Status: Full time, two-year appointment
Job Purpose: The Mellon Fellowship offers the opportunity to gain professional curatorial experience in a mid-size museum setting. The Fellow is primarily responsible for collection- and exhibition-related research focusing on African American art and artists and related issues, with an emphasis on developing engaging exhibitions and publications, researching and identifying acquisitions through purchase and gift, audience development, fundraising and public relations, and additional duties as appropriate to specific projects. The Fellow also oversees educational and social events, travel and acquisitions for the Sankofa Society, an active Museum collection support group.
Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art is one of the premier museums of the southeast, with a collection of more than 25,000 objects that represent a rich panorama of international cultures, past and present. Six curators oversee the collection in the areas of European Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, Decorative Art, Asian Art, Arts of Africa and the Americas, and American Art. The Museum’s educational programs are designed around the collection and special exhibitions, and provide opportunities for all ages and levels of experience to connect with art. Visit www.artsbma.org for more information.
AFRICAN AMERICAN ART COLLECTION AT THE BMA
The Museum boasts impressive holdings of African American art in a wide variety of media by artists such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Robert S. Duncanson, Bill Traylor, Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks, Ernest Withers, Thornton Dial, Jack Whitten, Lorna Simpson, Kerry James Marshall, Carrie Mae Weems, Glenn Ligon, Odili Donald Odita and numerous others. In addition to this impressive foundation, there exists an avid local collector base and a concentrated commitment on the Museum’s part to further acquisitions of African American art, especially the work of emerging and mid-career artists. The Birmingham Museum of Art aims to amass a world-class collection that illuminates the range of motivations, creativity and aesthetics of black artists working in all artistic media, with the eventual goal of being a center and requisite destination for anyone with an interest in viewing, studying and researching the art of 20th- and 21st-century African American artists.
The successful candidate must hold a Ph.D. in art history or related discipline, with demonstrated expertise in African American art, and strong collaborative and organizational skills. In addition, the Fellow must be a passionate and energetic person with the ability to manage, research, exhibit, and develop an important collection. S/he must have the interest and ability to share the collection with diverse audiences and to build a positive image and lasting relationships for the Birmingham Museum of Art. S/he must be an innovative thinker and a great communicator with the ability to present exhibitions of African American art and works in the permanent collection to all internal and external Museum constituencies.
As a two-year, full-time commitment, the Fellow is exposed to all aspects of curatorial operations and participates in the daily activities of the Museum’s curatorial department. The fellowship carries a yearly salary of $44,000 plus selected benefits. Additional operating resources are designated to support the research and implementation of programs and exhibitions devised by the Mellon Fellow.
Candidates should submit via email a curriculum vitae, contact information for three references, and a statement specifying: 1) the applicant’s research goals; 2) how these goals relate to or will benefit the Birmingham Museum of Art and Birmingham community; 3) how resources at the BMA might be used to accomplish these goals.
The application deadline is June 17, 2013, however review of applications will be ongoing and applications received after the deadline may be considered. Position start date is September 9, 2013.
The Birmingham Museum of Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Application materials should be sent to:
Jeannine O’Grody, Deputy Director & Chief Curator
Reports to: Deputy Director & Chief Curator
Status: Full time
The Birmingham Museum of Art seeks a dynamic and experienced Curator of European Art. S/he will be a leader in the field, and will oversee an outstanding permanent collection of approximately 1400 works of art dating from the end of the thirteenth-century to ca. 1920. The curator is responsible for paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. The Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods are represented by one of the largest gifts from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, with important additions over the years. The Dutch and Flemish collection includes fine works by artists such as Balthasar van der Ast, Jacob van Ruidsael, Ferdinand Bol, Jan Mijtens, Jan Steen, Allaert van Everdingen, and François van Bossuit, Another area of strength is eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French art with works by artists such as Etienne-Maurice Falconet, Jean-Marc Nattier, Claude-Joseph Vernet, Louis Tocqué, Jean-Baptiste Pater, Nicolas Lancret, François Hubert Drouais, Jean-Baptiste Pillement, Jean-Honore Fragonard, Christophe Huet, Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Joseph Marie Vien, Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Narcisse Virgile Diaz del la Peña, Gustave Courbet, Camille Pissarro, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, and Max Klinger.
The European collection lends itself to the continuation of innovative acquisitions, exhibitions, and publications. Further research on the collections of Dutch, French, and British art provide particular opportunities for new discoveries.
The Birmingham Museum of Art has a collection of more than 25,000 objects within six collecting areas: European Art, Asian art, American art, Africa and the Americas, European Decorative arts, and Modern and Contemporary Art. Our Hanson Library holds more than 35,000 titles and is among the most comprehensive art research libraries in the Southeastern United States. The BMA provides inspirational cultural and educational art experiences to diverse communities while constantly evolving and enhancing our visitors’ interactions with our Museum and interests in the visual arts.
SPECIFIC DUTIES INCLUDE
- Researching works in the European painting, sculpture, and works on paper collections and disseminating findings through publications, lectures, gallery talks, labels, web-based media, and other forms of communication.
- Working in partnership with other departments, conceives and implements the installation and interpretation of the European art permanent collection.
- Developing and implementing ambitious and intellectually rigorous in-house and traveling exhibitions from the permanent collection; and bringing in significant exhibitions of European 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 European Art collection through acquisitions that include gifts, bequests, and purchases; also works to refine the collection through strategic de-accessioning.
- Working with fellow staff to ensure the highest quality of care and maintenance of the permanent collection.
- The incumbent actively participates 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.
- The Curator of European Art is responsible for cultivating and providing direction to the European Art Society, a collection support group with 70+ members. The group is devoted to the continued growth and development of the Museum’s collection, and to educating its members about European 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.
- Ph.D. in art history (Dutch, French, or British specialty preferred).
- Proficiency in at least one European language.
- Minimum of five years' experience as a museum curator, 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.
- Effective leadership and interpersonal 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 and managerial skills, and organizational and time management skills. Must be resourceful, with creative problem solving skills and proven leadership skills; an objective decision maker; and have the ability to work under pressure and operate efficiently.
- Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes an excellent benefits package.
Candidates should submit via email a letter of interest; curriculum vitae; names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references; and a writing sample to:
Jeannine O’Grody, Ph.D., Deputy Director & Chief Curator
Review of applications will be ongoing until the position is filled.
The Birmingham Museum of Art is an equal opportunity employer.