CURATOR OF POSTWAR AND CONTEMPORARY GLASS
We are pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for a creative, accomplished curatorial leader to join the Corning Museum of Glass and become its Curator of Postwar and Contemporary Glass. Working as an integral part of a dedicated curatorial team, you will oversee the vision, strategic direction, and management of the Museum’s respected Postwar and Contemporary Glass collection, which includes 13,000 works from all cultures dating from 1945 to the present. Additionally, you will serve as the editor of New Glass Review, an annual “exhibition in print” featuring the most timely, innovative glass art projects produced during the year, and oversee the Rakow Commission, awarded annually to a rising contemporary glass artist.
The Corning Museum of Glass is the world’s premier glass museum, renowned for the largest and most comprehensive collection of glass with more than 50,000 objects, the depth of resources for glass scholarship contained in its 500,000-object Rakow Research Library, and its acclaimed Contemporary Art + Design Wing, the world’s largest space dedicated to contemporary art and design in glass. The Museum has an operating budget of $60 million and employs more than 130 staff.
The Museum’s campus of striking, architecturally-significant buildings is located in a scenic and historic community along the banks of the Chemung River in the ancestral homelands of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy – of which the Onöndowa’ga:’ (the Seneca Nation) and the Gayogohó꞉nǫ’ (the Cayuga Nation) are a part. This area is known also as the Finger Lakes Wine Country Region of upstate New York. For the past several years the Museum, which attracts more than 250,000 annual visitors, has received prominent exposure through the popular Netflix series “Blown Away,” which offers an artist’s residency at the Museum as a grand prize for each season’s competition winner.
As Curator of Postwar and Contemporary Glass, your background will include expertise with decorative arts and glass of the Postwar and Contemporary period. You will have a proven track record of accomplishment as a scholar, exhibition content developer and collections fundraising coordinator. You will be an enthusiastic team player who enjoys collaboration.
A number of initiatives planned and underway make this an outstanding time for you to offer an important contribution to the Museum and to the field.
The Museum is currently planning a complete reinstallation of its noted 35 Centuries of Glass Galleries, a permanent installation that showcases the breadth of the Museum’s historical collection. Rethinking and interpreting the collection will be an exciting opportunity for you to be an expansive thought partner, working closely with the Collections and Curatorial, Education and Interpretation, and Advancement Teams in support of fresh, inclusive approaches to collection interpretation.
This work dovetails with the Museum’s deep commitment to diversity, equity, access and inclusion (DEAI) as it affects all aspects of the Museum’s culture. As Curator of Postwar and Contemporary Glass, you will translate the Museum’s DEAI Strategic Plan into action as it pertains to areas in your purview. You will survey the Postwar and Contemporary Glass collection and strategize how to make it more inclusive, both in objects and the stories they tell. You will reach out to communities local and international to assess how they can be better represented in the collection. You will help connect the collection and make it relevant to a wide and diverse audience.
To accomplish these important goals, you will work alongside three other curators plus three assistants who function together as a team filled with energy, curiosity, scholarship, and joy for the work. You will report to the Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs and will be part of a larger department of 25 that includes preparators, conservators, registrars, photographers and the publication editor.
Your specific responsibilities will include developing content for special exhibitions, research and scholarship in Postwar and Contemporary glass, interpretation and reinterpretation of gallery installations, and acquisitions and conservation oversight for the Postwar and Contemporary Glass collection. You will also be engaged in donor and collector relations, working with the Advancement Team, and will network within the international glass and scholarly community to serve as an ambassador for the Museum, its mission and programs.
The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass artist residency programs bring artists from around the world to Corning and provide onsite opportunities for connection and idea sharing between artists and curators. You will interact extensively with working glass artists and act as a support to advance the craft of glass art. As editor of the annual New Glass Review you will manage a team of selectors who choose approximately 100 cutting-edge artists to be featured in this prestigious print publication. You will also coordinate judging and logistics for the annual Rakow Commission, a celebrated prize for a rising glass artist to create a new work for display and accession into the Museum’s permanent collection.
Several years ago, the Museum shifted its curatorial and collections framework from one of geography to a time-based focus on eras, which facilitates co-curating and teamwork rather than siloed curatorial territories. As such, partnerships with other curators and museum teams are a high priority in order to develop effective exhibitions, experiences, and audience engagement strategies. The Museum generally presents one major special exhibition plus multiple “micro exhibitions” each year; content leadership is rotated among the four curators.
Responsibilities and Expectations
- Manage exhibition areas in the galleries pertaining to Postwar and Contemporary glass, including displays and writing copy for labels.
- Develop and implement special exhibitions of Postwar and Contemporary glass as requested.
- Pursue original research in the field of Postwar and Contemporary glass; write catalogues, articles and other materials for Museum and other publications. Conduct original research and oversee provenance research initiatives related to objects in the Postwar and Contemporary collection.
- Recommend the acquisition of glass, including the Rakow Commission, a stipend awarded annually to a rising contemporary artist whose work is acquired and exhibited in the Museum’s Contemporary Art + Design gallery.
- Serve on the artist-in-residence jury for the Museum’s Studio program.
- Coordinate research, develop content, oversee judging and edit New Glass Review, an annual flagship publication of the Museum.
- Recommend loans to and from the Museum, working with the Collections Management and Conservation Departments to ensure the appropriateness, safety and condition of all loans.
- Consult with private collectors for loans and/or gifts to the Museum, in collaboration with the Advancement Department.
- Catalog acquisitions of Postwar and Contemporary glass. Respond to inquiries about Postwar and Contemporary glass.
- Represent the Curatorial Department on cross-institutional teams and collaborate closely on projects with the Education and Interpretation, Digital Media, and Marketing Communications teams.
- Manage contracted staff supporting curatorial activities.
- Oversee a survey of the Postwar and Contemporary collection as requested.
- With the collaboration of the Advancement Department, identify, and apply for, external funding, as needed.
- Lecture at the annual Seminar and to other Museum groups, as appropriate. Train Museum guides in Postwar and Contemporary glass and lead tours of the collection for a variety of audiences.
- Develop and maintain an international professional network in support of the Postwar and Contemporary collection and the Museum’s vision, mission and values. Represent the Museum at external conferences, art fairs, and other gatherings.
- Support and amplify the Museum’s commitment to diversity, equity, access and inclusion.
Experience, Skills and Attributes
- Master’s degree in Art History, Decorative Arts or a related field required; Ph.D. desired.
- Minimum five years prior curatorial or equivalent experience required.
- In-depth knowledge of decorative arts of the Postwar and Contemporary period (1945 – present) required; contemporary glass knowledge desired.
- Excellent research and project management skills.
- Strong interpersonal skills; works effectively and professionally with people at all levels, including external stakeholders.
- Ability to cultivate important collectors and solicit gifts for the collection.
- Ability to work with people from a variety of cultures; ability to maintain an appropriate voice for diverse audiences.
- Strong team collaboration skills along with ability to work independently.
- Excellent presentation skills and proficiency in speaking. Can represent the Museum and its mission in a professional manner with donors, volunteers and the public.
- Reading, writing and speaking knowledge of relevant languages desired.
- Comfortable working in a large organization with established policies and procedures.
The salary range is $100,000 – $115,000 commensurate with experience, plus an attractive benefits package. H-1B or O-1 U.S. work visa eligibility will be a consideration for international applicants.
Diversity and Inclusion
The Museum is deeply committed to diversity, equity, access and inclusion (DEAI) and requires staff to support implementation of its DEAI Strategic Plan. Relative to programs and collections, the Strategic Plan states:
Ensure that we feature programs and develop collections that are inclusive and representative of the Museum’s work in DEAI. Goals include auditing current programs and policies to determine areas of opportunity to present our collections and programs in ways that connect to events and issues, both historic and current, that impact people’s lives to broaden the Museum’s reach and relevance in a way that centers communities’ assets and not just their trauma.
The Corning Museum of Glass is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status.
How to Apply
To apply in confidence, email 1) a letter expressing interest in this particular position and giving brief examples of past related experience; 2) your curriculum vitae; 3) names of three references with contact information. All applications and nominations are kept confidential; we will not contact references without your permission. Submit application by May 5, 2023 to: Dan Yaeger, Senior Search Consultant, Museum Search & Reference, SearchandRef@museum-search.com. For details, visit: www.museum-search.com/open-searches. Applicants are encouraged to apply early as candidates will be considered on a rolling basis. Nominations are welcome.
About the Museum
The Corning Museum of Glass is dedicated to the art, history, science and technology of glass and glassmaking. It has an international reputation and holds the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of glass. It attracts more than 250,000 annual visitors from across the U.S. and internationally.
The Museum has expanded several times since its founding in 1951. In 1978, it opened an addition designed by noted architect Gunnar Birkerts which houses the Museum’s historical glass collections. From 1996-2001 the Museum completed an ambitious five-year, $65-million transformation that added a third wing and a state-of-the-art teaching facility including a glass blowing studio, spacious, natural-light-filled galleries and a new visitor center.
In 2000 the Museum completed a renovation of the 43,500 square foot Juliette K. and Leonard S. Rakow Research Library building, providing much needed space for the Library’s collection which numbers over 500,000 print items. In 2015, the Museum opened the 100,000-square-foot Contemporary Art + Design Wing, which includes a state-of-the art amphitheater for glass blowing demonstrations and 26,000 square feet of galleries. The Museum’s latest facilities project is StudioNext, a $50 million expansion of The Studio, an internationally-renowned center for glassmaking and education, due to be completed in 2024. Overall the Museum campus features architecturally distinctive buildings totaling 300,000 square feet.
Collections and Exhibitions
The Museum’s collection spans 35 centuries and numbers more than 50,000 objects dating from ancient to contemporary international glass. The collection presents the most comprehensive and celebrated glass collection in the world, representing every country and historical period in which glassmaking has been practiced.
Additionally, the Contemporary Glass + Design Wing, the world’s largest space dedicated to contemporary art and design in glass, focuses on vessels, objects, sculptures, and installations made by international artists, showing how glass is used as a medium for contemporary art. The Innovation Center offers an interactive look at the way new discoveries in glass have changed the world, augmenting the Museum’s mission to “inspire people to see glass in a new light.”
The Museum offers special exhibitions in its changing exhibition galleries and is in the planning stage of a complete reinstallation of the 35 Centuries of Glass Galleries, a permanent exhibition of the most comprehensive and celebrated glass collection in the world. The Rakow Research Library, an international resource, the conservation laboratory and an annual calendar of scholarly publications add to the extraordinary facilities and world-acclaimed expertise of the Museum and its staff.
Education and Special Programs
The Corning Museum of Glass makes the art, techniques, science and aesthetics of glass accessible through many public programs and opportunities for learners of all ages, including family and youth activities, ongoing daily glassmaking demonstrations and gallery tours; classes, workshops, lectures and seminars, and residencies for professional artists in The Studio. Additional artist and scholar residencies are available at the Rakow Research Library and through the Rakow research grant program.
About Corning and the Region
Corning, NY is located in the southern Finger Lakes region and is home to Corning Incorporated, a Fortune 500 company and one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. The Gaffer District in the town’s historic downtown has more than a hundred shops, art studios, galleries, antique shops, restaurants, and bars featuring wine and craft-beer tastings. Corning also features the Rockwell Museum (showcasing American art) and Palace Theatre, along with annual events like GlassFest. Cornell University’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art is nearby in Ithaca and the Arnot Art Museum is located in nearby Elmira. Corning dates back to the late 18th century and historical sites dot the region.
Corning Glass Works moved to Corning from Brooklyn, NY in 1868, and for more than 150 years Corning Incorporated has maintained its headquarters in Corning, providing an economic base and bringing employment opportunities and a steady stream of international business leaders to “the Crystal City.” Corning Incorporated is a major supporter of the Corning Museum of Glass and other nonprofit organizations and ensures that Corning has top-rated public, charter and private schools resulting in a very desirable place to live and work.
The Finger Lakes region to the north of Corning is known for its vineyards and breweries, and outdoor recreation opportunities including hiking, fishing and boating. The area is marked by high gorges, many with dramatic waterfalls, including Taughannock Falls and Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca. Watkins Glen is a half-hour from Corning. Skiing is at Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Cortland, 66 miles away. Farther north, Adirondack Park is a 6-million-acre mountain and recreational forest preserve. On Cayuga Lake, the city of Ithaca is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College – known for arts, film, and theater education and performances. Twenty minutes away in Elmira, Elmira College features the Mark Twain Study and Broadway theatre at the Performing Arts Center. Additional colleges and universities can also be found in the region.
Opportunities for affordable home ownership abound in the Corning area; the City of Corning has a population of 11,000 while Steuben County has a population of 95,000. Access to Corning is via nearby Corning/Elmira Regional Airport and Interstates 86 and 81, which connect to New York City, 4 hours away. Toronto and Philadelphia are both a 4-hour drive and Washington, DC is 5 hours away. Rochester and Buffalo, both with outstanding museums and airports are an easy drive.
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