FEL: Mellon Curatorial Fellowship for African-American Art @ Birmingham Museum of Art

Mellon Fellowship Job Description
The Mellon Fellowship offers a post-doctoral candidate the opportunity to gain professional curatorial experience in a major 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 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 position reports to the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and also works in close association with the Curator of American Art. 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.  With a start date as early as July 1, 2011, 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.
The successful candidate must hold a Ph.D. in art history with demonstrated expertise of 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 the African-American art collection to all internal and external constituencies and must have a reputation for the highest level of integrity and credibility.
Museum Description
Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art is one of the premier museums of the southeast, with a collection of over 24,000 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.
Procedure for application
Applicants must submit 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) and how resources at the BMA might be used to accomplish these goals.
The application deadline is May 27, 2011, however review of applications will be ongoing and applications received after the deadline may be considered. The Birmingham Museum of Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Qualified minority applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. Application materials should be sent to:
Jeannine O’Grody
Chief Curator
Birmingham Museum of Art
2000 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd.
Birmingham, AL 35203



Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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