Job Listing: Chief Curator for the Columbia Museum of Art, SC

Posted in opportunities by Editor on May 18, 2011

The Columbia Museum of Art has a wonderful Kress collection of Renaissance art but also some excellent examples of eighteenth-century painting, including works by Canaletto, Guardi, Sebastiano Ricci, Crespi, Boucher, Nattier, Romney and Reynolds, as well as decorative arts, including Meissenware, Wedgwood, and furniture objects.

Employment Opportunity: Chief Curator
Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina

The Columbia Museum of Art is the premier international art museum in South Carolina with a commitment to exhibiting art from around the world. The collection ranges from antiquity to the present day with a focus on European, American, modern and contemporary, and Asian art. A large gift from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation formed the nucleus of an important permanent collection of more than 6,000 objects of fine and decorative arts across a broad range of centuries and media. The Museum is in a modern 128,000 square foot facility that opened in 1998 and is a captivating architectural building with 25 galleries, designed by George Sexton Associates of Washington, D.C., with art studios, a 160-seat auditorium, a library, and museum shop. Significant undeveloped space is earmarked for future gallery expansion. The Museum has an annual budget of $3.7 million and a full-time staff of 32. It serves as the cultural anchor of a newly revitalized downtown – blocks from the State Capitol and the historic campus of the University of South Carolina. Columbia is South Carolina’s largest city and the center of culture, government, education, and commerce. It is centrally located and within a two-hour drive of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the beaches and historic sites of Charleston and coastal South Carolina.

The Columbia Museum of Art seeks a creative and energetic professional for the position of Chief Curator to direct a dynamic and diverse exhibition program and to further develop the depth and quality of the permanent collection. The chief curator plays a leadership role in shaping the department’s vision and philosophy and should have a successful record of exhibition and collection development and strong contacts with colleagues, scholars, collectors, and dealers. The ideal candidate will be able to take the museum to the next level in terms of quality exhibitions, audience engagement, and status in the museum community. This position reports to the Executive Director and is an integral member of the senior management team. The person supervises five full-time staff members. The Chief Curator organizes special exhibitions; monitors the safety and proper care of the collections; leads the curatorial team in the planning of temporary and permanent gallery exhibitions and installations; participates in fundraising endeavors; recommends acquisitions to the Director and Collections Committee; cultivates museum donors; and participates in education programs. This position must also work collaboratively with other departments in the development of museum-wide projects. The successful candidate will thrive in a team atmosphere, is a ‘people person,’ and can easily communicate and build excellent relationships with a variety of people, including staff, donors, artists, volunteers, and the general public.

Requirements for this post include demonstrated scholarship, M.A. or Ph.D. in art history (strength in European art preferred), an ability to be a generalist, understanding of how to interpret and expand the permanent collection, and at least five years of museum curatorial or related experience. Such experience should include exhibition planning and organization, research and publications, working with conservators and exhibition designers, and excellent oral and written communication skills. Experience in budget and personnel management is required. Cover letter, resume, supporting materials, and references should be sent to the address below. This is a senior-level position with a salary commensurate with qualifications and excellent benefits. For more information, visit the museum’s website or contact Teri Keener Mewhorter, Executive Assistant and Human Resources Manager, tmewhorter@columbiamuseum.org

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