Curator – Syracuse University Art Museum

Museum Overview:

The Syracuse University Art Museum fulfills the University’s educational mission by promoting original research, creative thinking, and increased mindfulness within the University community and beyond. As a teaching museum, it acquires and preserves works of art and uses its extensive collection to serve as a museum-laboratory for research, exploration and discussion. It aims to foster diverse and inclusive perspectives by convening students and the local and global communities.

Started in 1873 under the direction of George Fisk Comfort, who famously founded the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the museum’s permanent collection encompasses the global history of art. Numbering 45,000 objects, which are searchable on the Museum’s website (, the collection is among the top ten largest academic art museum holdings in the United States. It surveys the international history of printmaking and has extensive holdings in photography and social cartooning, as well as strong collections in 18th, 19th and 20th century American and European painting and sculpture. The collection has many other areas of strength including Korean, Japanese, pre-Columbian and modern Peruvian ceramics, Indian, West African and Oceanic art. In addition to its flagship location on the Syracuse University campus, the Museum runs the satellite Louise and Bernard Palitz Gallery, located at Syracuse University’s Lubin House in New York City.

Job Description: 

The ideal candidate will be a scholar, with a successful track record of developing exhibitions, publications, collaborative projects, public speaking, and fundraising. They will have expertise in historic collections, with a mind toward global and transhistoric discourse and experience in developing inclusive narratives and addressing issues of racial injustice. Reporting to the Director & Chief Curator of the Syracuse University Art Museum, the curator will be a key member of the Museum’s leadership team. They will draw on their broad and extensive knowledge of art history to engage with the permanent collection to curate exhibitions and provide curricular engagement for class visits and public tours. The Curator will work closely with the Director & Chief Curator to implement the artistic identity and vision for the museum as well as strategic initiatives for exhibitions, public programs and collections with a strong commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access and the Museum’s mission. They will also serve as a leading fundraiser for the Museum, helping engage Syracuse University alumni and donors and authoring grants for the museum’s projects.

The Syracuse University Art Museum is committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce. We strongly encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities in higher education and museums to apply.

• Exhibitions:
The Curator will conceive innovative, scholarly, and multidisciplinary exhibitions with the global art collection that engage with university curriculum and promote diversity and inclusion. They will devise exhibition checklists, create didactics, and plan and lead a variety of programming. They will work with the museum designer and preparator on exhibition installation and marketing materials. They will also curate exhibitions from the extensive permanent collection for the Museum’s longstanding Traveling Exhibition program, which rents exhibitions to museums and galleries throughout the country. Working closely with the Director & Chief Curator, the curator will assist with managing the museum’s active exhibition schedule through management of the exhibition calendar for the main campus museum and the NYC venue, as well as reviewing exhibition proposals and assisting with running regular exhibition committee meetings. The curator will act as museum liaison for managing guest curated exhibitions. When appropriate, the curator will author published materials such as books, articles, exhibition catalogues, and digital content.

• Collections:
Working closely with the Director & Chief Curator, the curator will build, refine, and strengthen the permanent collection by researching and proposing new acquisitions, especially artworks that build on the diversity of the collection. The curator will perform scholarly research on works of art in the permanent collection, adding appropriate information and scholarship to related object files and labels. With the director, the curator will take a leading role in the regular collections committee meetings, review loan requests and make recommendations on collection conservation needs. Working with faculty and outside scholars, the curator will support outside research of the collection, coordinate retrieval of works for visitors, and provide information on the objects. They will represent the museum within the academic community, as well as in the arts and culture community in Central New York, by attending and participating in events, university-sponsored lectures, and by presenting gallery talks and public lectures at local, regional, and national conferences and professional meetings.

• Curriculum:
The curator will collaborate with faculty, students, and staff to support curricular engagement and opportunities to teach with the collection by coordinating class visits and providing teaching support as needed. They will actively engage faculty through outreach to support teaching goals and achieve core competencies, creating custom checklists that align with course materials. The curator will organize faculty and graduate student workshops on methods, techniques, and strategies in teaching and research with works of art and cultural heritage to encourage faculty throughout all areas of campus to use the collection. To that end, they will develop new relationships on campus with a wide constituent of schools and departments to continue to grow curricular engagement and improve the student experience.

• Supervisor:
Trains and supervises undergraduate and graduate student interns on a variety of curatorial and research-based projects.

• Fundraising:
Takes an active role in fundraising by assisting in the cultivation of museum donors and engagement with Syracuse University alumni. Works with the Director & Chief Curator to author grant proposals for the Museum.


• Master’s degree in art history; Ph.D. preferred
• 5+ years of progressively responsible experience in researching, exhibiting and publishing on works of art
• Experience fundraising, cultivating donors, and writing grant proposals
• Experience developing collection and loan exhibitions
• Experience teaching classes, leading class discussions, and/or tours
• Proficiency with The Museum System (TMS) collections management database preferred

• An expansive knowledge of global art history and ability to develop interdisciplinary connections
• Knowledge of the art market and trends in the field
• Excellent research skills and ability to undertake primary research on original artworks in the collection
• Ability to engage with a wide range of course curriculum and identify and develop opportunities for curricular engagement with the art collection
• Strong public speaking skills to lead group discussions, classes, and tours in a wide range of cross-disciplinary topics
• Ability to cultivate donors and author grant proposals
• Ability to strategically plan and implement long-term goals
• Strong interpersonal and diplomatic skills
• Excellent problem-solving, organizational, and time management skills
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Ability to take initiative, work independently and collaboratively
• Commitment to working with a diverse and inclusive community
• Experience with Microsoft Office or equivalent
• Understands and adheres to the standards prescribed by the American Alliance of Museums
• Ability to travel, work evenings and/or weekends as necessary in the performance of assigned responsibilities.

Apply online at 

Syracuse University is a private, international research university with distinctive academics, diversely unique offerings and an undeniable spirit. Located in the geographic heart of New York State, with a global footprint, and nearly 150 years of history, Syracuse University offers a quintessential college experience. The scope of Syracuse University is a testament to its strengths: a pioneering history dating back to 1870; a choice of more than 200 majors and 100 minors offered through 13 schools and colleges; nearly 15,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students; more than a quarter of a million alumni in 160 countries; and a student population from all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. For more information, please visit

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