JOB: Senior Curator @ The Columbus Museum (GA)

The Columbus Museum, an art and regional history museum, seeks a Senior Curator for one of the largest museums in the Southeast. The Museum has a collection of 18th- to– 21st century American art, decorative arts, and contemporary design, as well as a collection of historical artifacts related to the Lower Chattahoochee Valley. The art collection, for which the Senior Curator is responsible, includes works by Charles Willson Peale, Gilbert Stuart, Sanford Gifford, Robert Duncanson, John Twachtman, Paul Manship, Stuart Davis, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Alma Thomas, Dale Chihuly, Kara Walker, and Bill Viola. The museum’s grounds feature the beautiful Bradley-Olmsted Garden, designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm in the 1920s for homeowner and noted industrialist W. C. Bradley. The Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

As part of the museum’s senior management team, the Senior Curator reports to the Director and leads a departmental staff of six that includes the curator of history, registrars, an exhibition coordinator and preparators. The Museum recently adopted a five-year strategic plan that calls for reinstallation of the galleries; greater integration between the art and history collections; new, engaging interpretations of objects in the collection; and appealing and thoughtful special exhibitions and programs. The Columbus Museum has an annual operating budget of $2.7 million and endowments that provide funds for acquisitions. The museum is part of the Muscogee County School District, which contributes 42% of the annual operating funds. The Columbus Museum offers free admission.

The Senior Curator has the opportunity to make important contributions to the fields of historic and/or contemporary American art through new scholarship and publications and to have significant impact on visitors’ understanding of art and history. In addition to organizing exhibitions, researching the collection, and recommending acquisitions, the Senior Curator works with the Board’s collections committee and develops and oversees the departmental budget.

With a population of 204,000, Columbus is the second largest city in Georgia. It is experiencing a renaissance that includes revitalization of its beautiful and historic downtown riverfront. Cultural amenities include the Springer Theater, the River Center for the Performing Arts, and, at Columbus State University, the Corn Center for the Visual Arts, Schwob School of Music, and the Bo Bartlett Center, the last opening in 2017. Columbus is the corporate headquarters of Aflac, TSYS, W. C. Bradley, and Synovus Bank. Located on the East Coast, it is 1 ½ hours from the Atlanta airport and 3 ½ hours from the Gulf Coast. Columbus was rated one of “The Top 100 Best Places to Live,” by Liveability.com in 2014.

Desired abilities and responsibilities

  • Be a leader in developing a new curatorial vision for the museum
  • Passion for engaging diverse audiences of varying levels of art knowledge through the exhibition program and new presentations of the permanent collections
  • Superb public speaking skills
  • Superior writing skills
  • Experience in developing/maintaining relationships with donors and in acquiring art through both gift and purchase is preferred
  • Capable of managing the departmental budget
  • Excellent organizational and strategic thinking skills
  • Desire to work collaboratively with curatorial staff and staff from other departments
  • Knowledge of the proper care and management of collections, standards of documentation and ethics, exhibition organization and implementation, preparation of exhibition-related publications and scholarship

Required education

  • Ph.D. in art history, American studies, or related field preferred or M.A. with record of exhibitions and publications
  • Expertise in historic or contemporary American art. An interest in history, decorative arts and/or contemporary design is desirable.

The Senior Curator is a full-time position that offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience) and full benefits. More information about The Columbus Museum can be found at www.columbusmuseum.com. Interested applicants should visit the Muscogee County School District website at www.muscogee.k12.ga.us to submit an online application. A cover letter and resume with the names of three references should be emailed to Robin Savell at Savell.Robin.W@muscogee.k12.ga.us. Position is open until filled.

The Columbus Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

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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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