The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, part of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, seeks an Associate Curator to help shape the Museum’s exhibition and collection program with a focus on pre-1950s art in areas of African-American, African-diasporic, and African art history or (post)colonialism in the Americas. In September 2019 the Kemper Art Museum expanded with new and renovated galleries that double the space allotted for display of the Museum’s renowned collection. The expansion also brought improved amenities and a higher campus profile as well as increased visibility and enhanced accessibility for the visiting public. This position offers unique opportunities to develop stimulating exhibitions and publications as well as to shape the direction of the Museum’s permanent collection with an emphasis on historically underrepresented artists.
The Associate Curator will also have the opportunity to contribute significantly to Washington University’s and the region’s growing national and global distinction for critical engagement with issues of racial and social justice. The person in this position will be invited to affiliate with the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Equity as Curator-in-Residence, working with faculty, researchers, students, and other stakeholders in the Center’s arts and culture initiatives. The Associate Curator will collaborate closely with the University’s vital and growing research force in developing the future of race studies, including critical race scholarship and its engagement with art, culture, and design.
The Associate Curator at the Kemper Art Museum should have in-depth expertise in the field of pre-1950 modern art, proven experience with curatorial practices, and a demonstrated interest in advancing overlooked areas in art historical scholarship and the educational and research missions of university museums. This candidate will also possess the ability to collaborate on interdisciplinary exhibitions and related projects with faculty across campus, especially in the Sam Fox School and the University’s Department of Art History & Archaeology in Arts & Sciences. The Associate Curator researches and proposes acquisitions; develops relations with collectors, donors, and the public; and helps prioritize and achieve short- and long-range institutional goals. This position represents the Museum, the School, and the University locally, nationally, and internationally.
The Associate Curator is a senior staff position reporting to the Director and Chief Curator.
- MA in Art History or related field required; PhD in Art History or related field with expertise in pre-1950s African American and African-diasporic art history or (post)colonialism in the Americas preferred
- Knowledge of critical histories and theories of race, class, and gender in relation to the production, reception, and interpretation of art
- Minimum of three years of museum experience with progressively responsible curatorial experience and demonstrated excellence in such areas as acquisitions, exhibitions, and published scholarship
- Commitment to work within a university setting and with diverse audiences and communities
- Ability to collaborate with University faculty, Museum staff, professional colleagues, and Museum supporters
- Proficiency in one or more foreign languages appropriate to the field of scholarship with fluency strongly preferred
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Teaching experience welcome but not required