Assistant Curator, Painting & Sculpture

Job details:
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Expiring Date: 10 June 2018
Date: 08 May 2018
Sector: Visual Arts
Function: Curator/Assistant Curator
Contract: Full Time
Salary: Salary according to the experience
Place of work: United States (San Francisco)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

Job Description

Art transforms lives. It provokes us to think, to express, to explore our own creativity, to envision new possibilities. SFMOMA expanded the museum to provide a better experience for our visitors and a better home for our expanding collections, including the SFMOMA collection and the Fisher Collection, one of the finest collections of contemporary art in the world. The new SFMOMA, designed in collaboration with the architecture firm Snøhetta, opened May 14th 2016. With this project, we are transforming not just the museum's physical presence, but also our contributions to the community, enhancing SFMOMA's role as a place for learning, inspiration, and interaction for visitors from the Bay Area and beyond. We are making SFMOMA a magnet for contemporary art and for the audiences who will engage with it.

Reporting to the Curators of the Painting and Sculpture department, the Assistant Curator assists in the selection, research, development, planning, production, and interpretation of permanent collection and special exhibitions, both SFMOMA-organized and hosted.  Under supervision, the Assistant Curator is responsible for managing the installation of the collection galleries.  The Assistant Curator is also involved in supporting the accessions process, including writing reports for proposed acquisitions, drafting scripts for presentations, and coordinating the installation of proposed acquisitions.  Additionally, the Assistant Curator conceives, organizes, writes publications for, and installs special and permanent collection exhibitions, as assigned.  These exhibitions require that the Assistant Curator lead a team of co-workers drawn from the Registration, Conservation, Publications, and Exhibitions departments.  The Assistant Curator is charged with the hiring and supervision of curatorial internships, as well as the supervision of contract workers such as translators and special project assistants as needed.  The Assistant Curator presents lectures and provides educational information including didactic materials, docent talks, etc.  The Assistant Curator maintains advantageous relations with the art community, local as well as national, including artists, collectors, and prospective donors. 




  • Assists the curators in the selection, research, development, exhibition, and interpretation of the department's permanent collection and special exhibitions. Conceives, organizes, prepares publications for, and installs collection and special exhibitions. Initial assignment to include participation in a project team dedicated to the realization of a major exhibition on the work of Diego Rivera.


  • Heads and/or facilitates inter-departmental communication regarding exhibitions, working closely with departments of exhibitions, registration, installation, conservation, publications, and graphic design. Heads and/or facilitates external communication with artists, collectors, lenders, dealers, and staff members from other museums.


  • Assists curators in the research and development of the SFMOMA collection and collections closely associated with the department and Museum.


  • Assists with drafting and producing correspondence, loan forms, manuscripts, exhibition wall labels, memoranda, and other materials related to the permanent collection and special exhibitions.  Maintains computer database of checklists for exhibitions. Assists with acquisition and exhibition research including, but not limited to: research and compilation of biographies, chronologies, and exhibition histories, and specific documentation of individual works.


  • Primary liaison to the academic community regarding inquiries into the Permanent Collection. Schedules, orients, and accompanies scholars, curators, artists, and other visitors who wish to view and conduct research on permanent collection works.


  • Supervises the work assignments and activities of interns, contract workers and volunteers.


  • Acts as spokesperson for the department and the Museum as needed. Presents lectures and walk-throughs to visitors, docents, or other special groups.


  • Performs other related duties as assigned.




Education and Training:  Possession of Master's degree in Art History with primary emphasis on modern art. Fluency in Spanish and/or other languages in addition to English a strong plus.

Work Experience:  Three years related museum experience preferred.

Skills and Abilities:  Knowledge of art history and terminology, superb writing and diplomatic skills essential. Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet deadlines.   Strong organizational skills a must: ability to prioritize and organize multiple activities, as well as supervise the activities of staff members around a common project.  Ability to deal effectively with donors, artists, Museum staff, colleagues, and the general public, whether in person, on the telephone, or in writing.




Physical Demands:  Must be able to visually examine works of art.

Special Environmental Factors:  Close office setting.




POSITION:                                      Assistant Curator, Collections and Exhibitions

DEPARTMENT:                                 Painting & Sculpture 

SUPERVISOR:                                  Senior Curator and Curator of Painting and Sculpture

SCHEDULE:                                      Full time: 35 hours/week


We are an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity.

Job Details

Reference # 25080
Posted on 25 Apr 2018
Closes on 10 Jun 2018 23:55
Department Curatorial
Expertise 2-5 years
Career level MA, BA, Other
Hours/Status Full-Time
More details (document)

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