Director of Curatorial Affairs – Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University

Job Title:          Dir, Curatorial Affairs

Job Code:        AB20

FLSA status:    Exempt

Job Family:      No Family

Grade 36:        $59,700 – $99,600

Job Summary

Reporting to the Director & Chief Curator, the Director of Curatorial Affairs leads the curatorial unit of the university’s art museum, ensuring exceptional and innovative stewardship of its 3,000+ collection, exhibitions, and other collection-focused initiatives in collaboration with colleagues in order to

expand art’s impact and enrich the relationship of the museum with its communities, region, and the state. Responsible for assisting in executing the Museum’s vision of a highly creative, outward-facing, visitor-centered institution that welcomes everyone to explore, experience, and engage with the visual arts in service to the university, the region, and the nation. The Director of Curatorial Affairs collaborates on the execution of administrative and budgetary matters for the curatorial unit, the establishment of curatorial policies and procedures, and long-range planning for exhibitions and engagement.

Responsible for the safe-keeping and accessibility of the collection, as well as for new acquisitions and exhibitions that increase social interactivity and creative participation.

Essential Functions

  1. Provides vision and dynamic exhibition programming leadership, including investigating potential opportunities around galleries, visual storage, centers focused on conservation, curatorial studies, and prints, drawings, and photographs, new art study rooms, and a campus art program, all to enhance teaching resources for Auburn University, the southeast, and to position the institution as a premier teaching museum.
  2. Collaborates with other senior leadership team members to administer the museum’s art collecting activities to establish priorities and plans for collection care, research, documentation, and access; and establishes programmatic impact goals to ensure mission and strategic alignment, creative engagement, learning across all demographics, and advancement of the museum’s visibility and reputation. Coordinates the recording of selected programs for distribution via website and social media, and informs the execution of marketing, branding, and promotional activities that broaden the museum’s reach and increase stakeholder engagement. Assists in interfacing with the Advisory Board, as requested.
  3. Establishes the guiding principles of curatorial offerings of the museum, aligned with its mission and vision to actively engage faculty and students and other new, diverse, and broad audiences across the region and state. In collaboration with colleagues, conceptualizes, plans, develops, and implements a 3 – 5 year creative exhibition calendar including other collection-focused initiatives and activities. Emphasizes cross-disciplinary, co-creation, multi-sensory, and to the extent possible hands-on learning opportunities in exhibition designs, to cultivate notions of inclusion, life skills, emotional intelligence, and well-being to expand art’s impact on the public sphere. Incorporates new models of cultural participation, artistic practice and potential impact that also utilizes technology, tools, and an experimental social environment. Oversees, coordinates and manages technical design, AV/IT integration, graphic production, fabrication, installation, maintenance, de- installation, shipping, and storage.
  4. Provides direction for the growth of collections, through acquisitions and gifts, as well as long-term planning and priorities for the management and conservation of works in the collection. Oversees research in the collection and collaborates with museum colleagues to develop appropriate methods for disseminating it to the widest possible audiences. Collaborates to identify and shepherd deaccessions and conservation initiatives; facilitates decisions on exhibition loan requests and long-term loan opportunities. In concert with the Director and staff, assists in the development of a Collections Plan and fully participates in any existing collection committee work.

Conducts original research and assists faculty, students, scholars, docents, and members of the community in their research of JCSM collections and exhibitions.

  • Partners with Education, Engagement and Learning unit to develop appropriate interpretative programs, essays, and gallery/social media texts in support of the museum’s teaching mission. Collaborates with staff in the creation and management of interpretive strategies and public programs for a variety of audiences. Represents JCSM at professional, academic, and social forums/arts initiatives with local, regional, national, international colleagues, and the broader cultural community through exhibition and research programs and events. Lectures on and/or leads tours of JCSM exhibitions and collections. Fosters faculty and student use of the collection across in curricula, extracurricular research, publishing, and inventive

interpretive techniques. Helps train docents and student ambassadors in specific content areas and museum best practices, as needed. Builds and maintains a network of professional relationships with community members, lenders, donors, professional colleagues, artists, dealers, curators, collectors, and other specialists locally, nationally, and globally.

  • Manages JCSM’s Curatorial unit and staff while inspiring and nourishing capacity and a culture of innovation, creative learning, risk-taking, transparency, experimentation, open communication and accountability. Fosters meaningful and transformative experiences for audiences at an institution that celebrates art, film and cultural discourse, in part through recruiting, training, mentoring, and supervising a team-oriented and strategically-focused staff. Assesses unit functions, priorities, and processes to ensure efficiencies, excellence, and alignment with museum best practices and American Alliance of Museums (AAM) accreditation standards. Keeps department staff informed with routine meetings and open communications. Demonstrates and requires adherence to the highest ethical standards.
  • Develops/oversees the unit’s annual budget and schedules, particularly tracking expenditures to ensure adherence to set goals, in close collaboration with the Director and museum colleagues as needed.

Supervisory Responsibility

Full supervisory responsibility for other employees is a major responsibility and includes training, evaluating, and making or recommending pay, promotion or other employment decisions.

The above essential functions are representative of major duties of positions in this job classification. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary based upon departmental needs. Other duties may be assigned similar to the above consistent with the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job. Not all of the duties may be assigned to a position.

Minimum Required Education and Experience

Minimum                               Focus of Education/Experience


Master’s Degree

Degree in Art History, Arts Education, Education, Public Humanities, Cultural Studies, Museum Studies, Visual Studies, or related field.

Experience (yrs.)

5                                            Experience in collaboratively conceptualizing, designing, and installing relevant, creative and innovative exhibitions in an arts/culture environment for diverse community audiences with progressively increasing levels of responsibility and accountability. Must have 2 years of experience directly supervising full time employees.

Substitutions allowed for Education:

Indicated education is required; no substitutions allowed.

Substitutions allowed for Experience:

Indicated experience is required; no substitutions allowed.

Minimum Required Knowledge

Knowledge and understanding of museum ethics and principles, especially with regard to issues of provenance.

Knowledge in planning and development in art museums. Knowledge in developing art collections and making art accessible, such as a completed thesis, peer-reviewed publications, projects or performances, and/or contributions to public practice or community partnerships.

Strong technology skills in developing digital curatorial projects as demonstrated by record of scholarly, educational, and/or artistic digital projects.

Ability to work independently and collaboratively on multiple projects within a deadline-driven environment.

Ability to work well and collaborate effectively with and/or supervise a wide range of diverse audiences including staff, volunteers, community members, artists, funders, sponsors, volunteers and other constituencies.

Strong skills in problem solving, conflict resolution, and interpersonal skills.

Certification or Licensure Requirements

None Required.

Physical Requirements/ADA

Regularly involves lifting, bending or other physical exertion. Often exposed to one or more elements such as heat, cold, noise, dust, dirt, chemicals, etc., with one often to the point of being objectionable.

Injuries may require professional treatment.

Routine deadlines; usually sufficient lead time; variance in work volume seasonal and predictable; priorities can be anticipated; some interruptions are present; involves occasional exposure to demands and pressures from persons other than immediate supervisor.

Job frequently requires talking, hearing, handling objects with hands, and lifting up to 10 pounds.

Job occasionally requires standing, walking, sitting, reaching, climbing or balancing, stooping/kneeling/crouching/crawling, and lifting up to 25 pounds.

Vision requirements: Ability to see information in print and/or electronically.

Date:                     2/18/2021

Categories: Job Postings