|Institution Type:||College / University|
|Location:||California, United States|
Museum Curator - 61073
Cantor Arts Center
The Phyllis Wattis Curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas
The Curator of the Arts of Africa, Native America and Ancient America is responsible for the development of this area of the collection, including its documentation, research, preservation, presentation, and growth. The collection includes objects in several media from Africa, American Indian tribes primarily from the western parts of North America, including art from the modern and contemporary period, and ancient Native American cultures from before the period of western contact. We are committed to developing these areas of the collection, and expect the successful curator will specialize in either the arts of Africa or Native American cultures, and also have a strong interest in the other area of the collection. We are especially interested in a curator who can offer new and fresh perspectives on the collection and will integrate contemporary art and issues into the collection and exhibition program.
The successful candidate will have the ability to work with faculty to integrate the use of the Center's collections into the teaching curriculum. The curator will also have demonstrated experience to foster appreciation and understanding of art through teaching, lecturing, and organizing exhibitions, and educational programs. We are looking for a creative individual who enjoy contributing in a team-oriented environment, and will thoughtfully transmit their knowledge, ideas, and enthusiasm to visitors, volunteers, students, faculty, and staff. This curator position is an endowed position and reports to the Director of the Cantor Arts Center.
The Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University’s only museum, is a vital and dynamic institution with a venerable history. Founded in 1891 with the university, the historic museum was expanded and renamed in 1999 for lead donors Iris and B. Gerald Cantor. The Cantor’s encyclopedic collection spans 5,000 years, includes 32,000 artworks and beckons visitors to travel around the world and through time: from Africa to the Americas to Asia, from classical to contemporary. With 24 galleries presenting selections from the collection and more than 20 special exhibitions each year, the Cantor serves Stanford's academic community, draws art lovers from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, and attracts campus visitors from around the world. Free admission, free tours, lectures, family activities, plus changing exhibitions make the Cantor one of the most well-attended university art museums in the country and a great resource for teaching and research on campus.
The museum builds on existing collection strengths through selective purchases and the encouragement of important gifts. An active exhibitions program supplements the display of the Cantor Arts Center collection. The curator develops exhibitions, some of which travel to other institutions. The curator is also responsible for soliciting and evaluating proposals for exhibitions organized at other institutions and coordinates the presentation at Stanford of those selected by the exhibition team. The curator actively solicits, encourages, and helps faculty members and qualified students to develop exhibition proposals that are derived from primary research.
This curator has the following specific responsibilities:
1. Collection Development
a. The curator will work with the Director to selectively acquire important objects through purchase with the museum’s acquisition funds and selectively acquire objects by gift. Conduct research on possible purchases and/or gifts with attention to issues of provenance, cultural sensitivity and legal constraints.
b. Develop a cooperative and productive relationship between the Cantor and the art community, cultivating potential donors and identifying desired gifts.
c. Be well informed as to availability and market value of objects, the proposed dispersion of private collections, and other available resources.
d. Be accessible as a resource for information on specific objects or general areas of interest.
2. Collection Management
a. Work with relevant museum staff to ensure the proper display, storage, conservation, documentation, and registration of all works of art within the African and Native American collections.
b. Recommend and present acquisitions and deaccessions that will strengthen the collection, in consultation with the Director, other curators, relevant faculty, and other scholars.
c. Consult with the museum’s conservator to determine preservation/conservation needs and priorities and possible solutions.
d. Consult with the registration staff on all matters of shipping and insurance having to do with works of art owned, loaned, borrowed, or being considered for acquisition by the museum.
3. Exhibition Development
a. Proposes ideas for original exhibitions that place the collection areas in cultural and historical context. Organizes all aspects of scheduled exhibitions, including generating loans, securing venues for travel, organizing installations, and researching and writing printed materials and/or wall texts; coordinates the work of guest curators/essayists. Works with museum curators and university faculty and students on developing ideas for the exhibition and implementing them.
b. Develop a long-range plan for collection installations including rotation of objects and writing label copy. Oversee the
c. Manage and implement exhibitions borrowed from other institutions as assigned by the Director.
d. Develop, prepare, and maintain exhibition budgets, working with the exhibition coordinator and administrator; work with external relations staff on press materials and promotion of installations and exhibitions.
e. Work with established deadlines and procedures developed by the exhibitions team.
f. Assist with the development of grant proposals for exhibition projects and publications and help to identify potential sources of support.
4. Academic and Public Engagement
a. Collaborate with colleagues on the development of materials that will make the African and Native American collection more accessible and relevant to diverse audiences, including volunteers, docents, students, faculty, and the community as a whole; participate in the recruitment and training of docents, when necessary.
b. Research and write exhibition catalogues, gallery introductions, labels, texts, and supplementary essays.
c. Collaborate with University departments to bring visiting scholars to Stanford and organize the annual Franklin symposium or lecture.
d. Teach about the collection to Stanford students as time permits.
5. Campus and Community Relations
a. Serve as liaison to the University community; encourage diverse academic departments and student groups to use the resources of the museum. This includes the various departments and programs focusing on Africa, and Native American cultures and outreach to multi-cultural staff groups.
b. Encourage and facilitate the study of specific works in the collection, by scholars at Stanford and elsewhere, to fulfill the Center’s research and teaching mission.
c. Work closely with the external relations office on matters of development, membership, and public relations as they relate to this curatorial area.
d. Encourage involvement of Stanford students, Center members, and others in the museum’s activities.
e. Presents interpretative and promotional lectures, classes, and gallery talks to diverse audiences as requested.
f. Answers or directs inquiries and requests for information on collections, conservation, etc. Meets visiting scholars, colleagues, donors, collectors, and alumni
6. Collegial Responsibilities
a. Maintain a calendar of meetings and appointments and be generally accessible to colleagues.
b. Participate actively in a range of curatorial and staff meetings, and assume some leadership responsibilities.
c. Meet deadlines for publications, documents, comments, or other written materials and projects.
d. Supervises the work of curatorial assistants and student interns as appropriate.
e. Performs other related duties as required or approved by the Director.
Personal skills of high-energy leadership, flexibility, intellectual curiosity, and openness in working with a wide range of staff in a fast-paced environment. Commitment to education and excellence. Discretion, confidentiality, professionalism, and enthusiasm for collaboration.
· An advanced degree in Art History or related field, with a Ph.D. or equivalent scholarship.
· Understanding of curatorial practices and methodology
· Knowledge and understanding of museum ethics and principles
· Ability to communicate effectively; effective writer, experience giving talks and speaking in public
· Excellent organizational skills and ability to operate in a team-based working environment
· Museum experience building and working with collections.
· Demonstrated record of scholarship, connoisseurship, and leadership in acquisitions, exhibitions, and publications
· Ability to deal with a wide range of audiences including students, faculty, donors, collectors, volunteers, and the general public.
· Exemplary record of organization and presentation of special exhibitions
· Experience in project and budget management
· Experience with fundraising and donor cultivation is preferred.
Submit letter of interest and CV to
Stanford University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, veteran status, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation.
|Secondary Categories:||Library and Information Science