Curator – Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

One of the nation’s leading university museums, the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is a forum for cultural experiences that transform individuals and advance the local, national, and global discourse on art and film. As the premier visual arts venue at the top U.S. public research university, BAMPFA is uniquely dedicated to art and film in equal measure, presenting more than four hundred film screenings, dozens of public programs, and more than fifteen exhibitions annually.BAMPFA takes a contemporary and critical perspective on its wide-ranging collections. The museum’s holdings of more than 28,000 works of art include particular strengths in 20th- and 21st-century work, including Abstract Expressionist painting, contemporary photography, conceptual art, and African American quilts, along with focused historical collections of 19th-century American folk art and early American painting, Italian Baroque painting, Old Master works on paper, and East Asian paintings. BAMPFA’s collection also includes more than 18,000 films and videos, representing the largest collection of Japanese cinema outside of Japan and impressive holdings of Soviet cinema, West Coast avant-garde film, and seminal video art, as well as hundreds of thousands of articles, reviews, posters, and other ephemera related to the history of film.Founded as the University Art Museum in 1970 and initially housed in a Brutalist structure designed by Mario Ciampi, BAMPFA relocated in 2016 to a new purpose-built facility designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in the heart of downtown Berkeley. The museum’s curatorial strategies reflect the rich diversity of the UC Berkeley campus and the greater Bay Area through programming that is interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and international in scope. A locally connected, globally relevant institution, BAMPFA is deeply dedicated to its role as an educational space for UC Berkeley scholars and the general public. It fulfills this mission with three distinguished study centers—the James Cahill Asian Art Study Center, the Film Library and Study Center, and the Florence Helzel Works on Paper Study Center—as well as a range of collaborations with the university’s academic departments and student organizations.

Job Summary
Working closely with the Chief Curator, this role engages deeply and innovatively with BAMPFA’s 28,000 object collection to make it more accessible to the public and as a resource for critical dialogue. This highly collaborative position works with colleagues across departments and across campus to present new art historical narratives and critical perspectives that incorporate historical materials together with contemporary work in multi-year collection-based exhibitions. This role will spearhead a new faculty teaching gallery, oversee the Cal Conversations student-curated series, lead collection installations and rotations, and work closely with guest-curators on exhibitions from the collection. The Curator will also oversee research and access within the special collections within the Works on Paper, Chinese paintings, and Conceptual Art study centers. This role may also curate or coordinate special exhibitions, Matrix series, or Art Wall exhibitions. This position may be hired to the Senior Curator level if the candidate displays a higher level of skills and such title is in line with their job trajectory.

Job Scope
BAMPFA is seeking a curator who can approach their work as a curious generalist, but has primary experience with 19th century or Modern and Contemporary art with a focus on one or more of these areas: Black Diaspora, Global Asian or Latin America/Latinx. This position supervises curatorial professionals within a larger curatorial organization such as our Associate Curator. The Curator provides guidance on complex curatorial issues that arise.

Curates exhibitions and programs. Researches, plans, selects, and implements special and touring exhibitions, from the museum’s collection and outside sources. Collaborates with other curators and executive director in planning and evaluation of exhibition programs.
Conducts research on objects, and presents research results in labels, brochures, catalogues, tours, and/or other public presentations. Ensures the efficient operations of programs, including research, documentation, acquisition, and maintenance of collection and cataloguing in database.
Selects and trains employees, and aligns their efforts with department and campus objectives, providing constructive feedback and performance assessments, and motivating employees to do their best. Serves as work lead for lower-level curators.
Cultivates financial support and donations of objects and collections. Collaborates with development staff to strategize and fundraise for program-specific as well as operational and other curatorial needs, and for the acquisition of artworks.
Recommends and researches objects for preservation, conservation, acquisition, deaccession, loan, etc.
Collaborates with colleagues, faculty, students and other partners on exhibitions and programs. Establishes and strengthens ties between UC Berkeley faculty and BAMPFA.
Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications
Masters degree in related area and / or equivalent experience / training
Specialization in an area of the museum’s collection and knowledge of standard museum curatorial practices and current trends.
Knowledge of collection building / connoisseurship, ethical and legal standards for acquisition, and of the current market.
Knowledge of selection, evaluation, and exhibition of objects for acquisition, presentation and loans.
Knowledge of the principles of conservation / preservation.
Donor cultivation and relationship building skills.
Skills in scholarly research and writing scholarly publications.
Supervisory and leadership abilities. Ability to manage performance and develop junior curators.
Leadership skills to include taking initiative, good judgment, decision-making, giving and receiving feedback, and personal accountability.
Skills in research and writing didactics and publications for general and specialized audiences.
Excellent verbal and written communication and public speaking skills.
Excellent project management skills, attention to detail, and ability to meet deadlines.
Ability to represent the organization well in various settings within the curatorial field, at conferences, etc.
Ability to prioritize teamwork.


For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

How to Apply
Visit the job posting on the Berkeley Jobs Portal  (Job # 43419). Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying.

Categories: Job Postings