Curator of European and American Art (Open Rank) – Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, OH

The Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) at Oberlin College is seeking applicants for a curatorial position in European and American art at the assistant, associate, or full curatorial level. The curator will oversee all aspects of the museum’s research, interpretation, and presentation of its important pre-1900 art collections and will collaborate with the curator of academic programs, curator of education, and other staff to engage students in curatorial and research projects and plan a broad range of public programs. The curator should have particular strength in European art in the 1500-1900 time period and be conversant with multiple areas and periods of European and American art. The curatorship is a continuing 12-month Administrative and Professional Staff position at the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, reporting to the director of the museum.

Responsibilities: The curator will oversee an outstanding permanent collection of approximately 5,500 works of European and American art dating from antiquity to 1900, the major part of them European paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from the medieval period through the 19th century. Specific responsibilities include:

  • developing in-house and traveling exhibitions and collection installations, including conceptualizing innovative approaches for an upcoming reinstallation in collaboration with curatorial colleagues;
  • monitoring and making recommendations for care of the collection;
  • teaching with the collection for Oberlin College classes and for other groups;
  • participating in collection- and exhibition-related programming for campus and public audiences;
  • working with curatorial colleagues and Oberlin College faculty to conceptualize and initiate teaching exhibitions;
  • identifying acquisitions through purchase and gift;
  • carrying out original research and publishing on the collection;
  • expanding physical and digital access to collections;
  • working closely with the director and Oberlin College staff to cultivate a broad donor base and to identify, apply for, and report on grant-funded activities;
  • contributing to the development of the museum’s strategic planning initiatives;
  • preparing a long-range plan for pre-1900 holdings;
  • mentoring and supervising student assistants; and
  • other duties as assigned.

Requirements: An M.A. in art history or a closely-related field is required, a Ph.D. in art history is preferred. All applicants should have at least 3 years of full-time curatorial experience caring for an art collection and experience working on exhibitions; consideration for associate or full curator rank will be commensurate with experience. Other requirements include:

  • broad knowledge of art history, ideally with a specialty in European art from 1500-1900, and a deep commitment to a contextual, cross-disciplinary approach to original works of art;
  • demonstrated knowledge of, and experience with, the exhibition process;
  • a record of publication and public speaking;
  • object-based teaching experience;
  • some experience relating to the conservation of works of art and to provenance research;
  • a commitment to expanding access to the collection for diverse audiences and to fostering inclusion through museum curatorial practice;
  • excellent communication skills and effective leadership and interpersonal skills;
  • outstanding collaborative abilities, as the curator will be an important liaison between the museum and faculty, students, supporters, visitors, and community partners;
  • highly-developed administrative and organizational capabilities;
  • a high degree of professionalism, close attention to detail, collegiality, and ability to meet deadlines;
  • the ability to work occasional evening and weekend hours, with some travel required, and to lift and carry objects weighing up to 25 pounds;
  • foreign language skills commensurate with one’s field.

Quick Link for Posting:

Compensation: Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and is expected to range from $56,000-$67,500; the position includes an excellent benefits package and the opportunity to apply for travel grants and research leaves.

To Apply: Candidates should submit a letter of application; curriculum vitae; statement regarding how the candidate addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion through curatorial work; and names, addresses and phone numbers of three references by January 8, 2023 via Oberlin College’s PeopleAdmin portal at All applications must be received via the PeopleAdmin portal. Applications received after the deadline may be considered.

About the Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) and Oberlin College: For more than a century, Oberlin College has been committed to promoting direct study of original works of art to foster visual literacy and a deeper understanding of the diversity of the world’s cultures. Today the AMAM houses an encyclopedic collection of more than 15,000 works selected to provide a comprehensive overview of the history of art and is recognized as one of the best academic museums in the country. The AMAM serves a broad regional audience and operates on the premise that learning about art is important for everyone, a principle demonstrated by free public admission, offered since its founding in 1917.

In the field of European and American art, the AMAM’s pre-1900 holdings include outstanding examples of Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by such artists as Neri di Bicci, Apollonio di Giovanni, Filippino Lippi, Federico Zuccaro, Sofonisba Anguissola, the Cavaliere d’Arpino, Domenichino, Jacopo Ligozzi, Guercino, Pier Francesco Mola and Giovanni Battista Gaulli. Seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish paintings are a major strength of the collection, with outstanding works by Ter Brugghen, Rubens, Jan van Goyen, Emanuel de Witte, Sweerts, Hobbema, and Steen, among others.  The extensive Old Master print holdings include works by Dürer, Goltzius, Schongauer, Segers, Rembrandt, Lorrain, and Callot.  The British, French, and Italian 18th-century collection includes paintings and drawings by Hogarth, Wright of Derby, Antoine Coypel, Chardin, Oudry, Boucher, Fragonard, Batoni, and Giandomenico Tiepolo.  The 19th century is particularly strong in American landscapes, including works by Cole, Kensett, Sonntag, Cropsey, and Ochtman, and the collection includes important works by Edmonia Lewis and Benjamin West. Nineteenth-century European works include paintings and sculptures by Turner, Monet, Cézanne, Pissarro, and Degas.  The collection also comprises nineteenth-century photographs, as well as smaller holdings of Egyptian, Cypriot, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman objects, and Pre-Columbian and Indigenous American works, including the ledger book drawings of Howling Wolf. Acquisitions by women artists and that represent greater diversity have been a priority in recent years, including works by Lucie Attinger, Cecilia Beaux, Claudine Bouzonnet-Stella, Giovanna Garzoni, Angelica Kauffman, Luisa Morales, Mary Moran, Berthe Morisot, María Josefa Sánchez, George Sand, and Diana Scultori, as well as a 17th-century Armenian manuscript leaf and an 18th-century Cuzco School crucifix.

In addition to serving a broad public, the AMAM’s collection of pre-1900 art is used in teaching in nearly all Oberlin College departments in the Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music, including Africana studies, anthropology, art, biology, chemistry, cinema studies, comparative American studies, creative writing, environmental studies, foreign languages and literatures, history, Latin American studies, mathematics, music and historical performance, politics, and religion, among others.

The museum complex includes a 1917 building designed by Cass Gilbert. In the 1970s, Robert Venturi designed a gallery dedicated to the presentation of modern and contemporary art, the architect’s first museum commission. The AMAM also shares responsibility with Oberlin College for a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house, the first Usonian house in Ohio, located in Oberlin.

Founded in 1833, Oberlin College is a private, four-year, highly selective national liberal arts college near Cleveland, Ohio, and is also home to an outstanding Conservatory of Music. Together, the two divisions enroll approximately 2,900 students. Oberlin College was the first college in the U.S. to make interracial education and co-education central to its mission. The College continues to view a diverse, equitable, and inclusive educational environment as essential to the excellence of its academic program. Among liberal arts colleges, Oberlin is a national leader in successfully placing graduates into Ph.D. programs.

Oberlin College is committed to professional staff, faculty, and student diversity, equity, and inclusion. The incumbent will bring understanding of or experience working with underrepresented and diverse academic populations. Oberlin is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the excellence and diversity of the academic community. Oberlin recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, veteran’s status, and/or other protected status as required by applicable law.

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