The Smithsonian American Art Museum seeks an outstanding emerging scholar of American art for a curatorial fellowship funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. Beginning in fall 2019, this two-year position, with a possible third-year renewal, will provide an invaluable professional development opportunity to a scholar interested in a curatorial career in an art museum. It will also support scholarly research on SAAM’s permanent collection, one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world. The selected fellow will work under the supervision of an experienced curator and in collaboration with a team of staff from various departments on a major project. The appointee will develop practical skills in all four areas of curatorial practice: research, exhibition development, collections management and planning, and public service. He or she will also participate fully in the intellectual life of the museum’s Research and Scholars Center, home of its research fellowship program and journal, American Art.
The ideal candidate will demonstrate scholarly excellence and promise in addition to a strong interest in a museum career. A PhD in art history within the last five years is preferred; however, the fellowship is open to individuals with other academic specialties, such as African American and Women’s Studies. Applications are requested from scholars whose interests and areas of expertise align with one of the museum’s collection strengths and current curatorial initiatives:
- Sculpture: SAAM holds the largest collection of American sculpture in the world with deep strengths in 19th- and 20th-century bronze and marble sculpture and key holdings in works by Hiram Powers, Edmonia Lewis, Paul Manship, and Luis Jiménez. The fellow will work closely with the curator of sculpture to develop a major collections-based project and book tentatively titled, “Skin Deep: Race and American Sculpture.” This research project aims to use sculpture, with its intrinsic and enduring ties to the body, as a tool for charting shifting attitudes on race in American public life.
- 20th-Century Art: The museum’s rapidly expanding holdings include in-depth collections of painting, photography, graphic art, Latinx art, African American art, sculpture, and time-based media. The fellow will work closely with SAAM’s curator of 20th-century art on research and planning for the reinstallation of the museum’s 20th-century collections. This project aims to articulate collection strengths as well as amplify the presentation of art and artists currently under-recognized within the museum’s holdings, including conceptual, performance, and feminist artists, as well as women and artists of color. The curatorial fellow will be a full member of the curatorial team planning the larger reinstallation and reinterpretation of the museum’s permanent collections.
Application deadline July 15, 2019. Read more about the fellowship and how to apply here: https://americanart.si.edu/about/careers/luce-curatorial-fellowship