JOB: Curator, Folk and Self-Taught Art @ Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

At a transformational moment for our Art of the Americas program, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, seeks a creative, energetic and dynamic curator and scholar to become the inaugural Linde Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art. Reporting to the Chair of the Art of the Americas, the Linde Curator will partner with the Katharine Lane Weems Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, and with colleagues in the Department of Learning and Community Engagement to lead the MFA’s newly launched folk art initiative, an ambitious new program designed to reimagine and reanimate the folk art collections for 21st-century audiences. The Linde Curator will have the opportunity to build a dynamic and experimental suite of exhibitions, installations, programs and displays that will reshape the institution’s commitment to folk and self-taught material, and align the display and interpretation of this material with the MFA’s larger strategic vision. A true thought leader, the ideal candidate will galvanize colleagues across the department and around the museum in thinking anew about the categories of folk and self-taught art, and in envisioning new ways to make this material accessible, relevant and important to the lives of our visitors today.

The Museum of Fine Arts has an impressive collection of American folk art, broadly defined, with notable strength in works made in the northeastern United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. Highlights include important paintings by Erastus Salisbury Field, William Matthew Prior, and Rufus Porter, nearly 350 works on paper from the Karolik collection, a significant collection of American quilts, and select examples of painted furniture and sculptural forms. Opportunities for growth include historical American art that enhances and complements the Karolik collection with a focus on artists of diverse ethnic, racial, socio-economic, and geographical background, as well as 20th and 21st century art by self-taught, Outsider and Visionary artists.

Candidate Profile:

Minimum Qualifications and Experience:

  • A Master’s or PhD in Art History, history or related field with a proven focus on Folk, Self-taught and Visionary material.
  • Three to five years of experience in a museum or comparable institution.
  • Demonstrated curatorial ability through culturally-meaningful exhibitions, gallery displays, programs or other activities.
  • Demonstrated experience and a strong interest in working in a museum setting.

Ideal Candidate Profile: 

  • Committed to researching, caring for and interpreting Folk and Self Taught art for diverse audiences, and to thinking about this material in new ways.
  • Demonstrated experience contributing to/leading exhibitions, programs and projects developed in collaboration with artists, visitors, community leaders, and other scholars and experts.
  • A breadth of knowledge and experience, as well as a willingness to gain expertise in new areas. An interest in and commitment to exploring the changing nature of art museums and their relationship to the public.
  • A national perspective but experienced in becoming personally and professionally committed to the city of Boston, its people and artistic community.
  • Experience working closely and building relationships with colleagues in a museum setting.
  • Experience working in partnership and engaging with donors, collectors, scholars, external communities and other partners.
  • Strong planning and project management skills with the ability to manage various projects simultaneously and to collaborate with colleagues across the institution to achieve the best outcome.
  • Strong sense of accountability for achieving stated objectives.
  • Team-oriented and collaborative.
  • Superb presentation and interpretation skills with ability to attract and engage audiences of all demographics.
  • Superior ability to present and defend ideas and projects that earn the respect of colleagues and Museum’s leadership and builds credibility for the department and institution. 

Personal Qualities and Attributes

  • Intellectually rigorous 
  • Inspirational, passionate, curious 
  • Generous of spirit, a team player 
  • Superior judgment, tact and diplomacy, with good organizational skills 

Salary Range:

Full-Time Salary, 35 hours per week

Starting salary: $73,000 – $78,000 

The MFA is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer that is committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourages applications from diverse candidates.

Link to apply: https://bit.ly/3zYMORb?