The Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM) at Oberlin College is seeking applicants for a curatorial position in modern and contemporary 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 post-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 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 art from 1900 to the present and approximately 1,200 works in the Eva Hesse archive. Responsibilities include developing in-house and traveling exhibitions in close collaboration with curatorial colleagues and the director; participating in collection- and exhibition-related programming for campus and public audiences; carrying out original research and publishing on the collection; identifying acquisitions through purchase and gift; teaching with the collection for Oberlin College classes and for other groups; expanding physical and electronic access to collections; working closely with the director and Oberlin College advancement staff to cultivate a broad donor base; preparing a long-range plan for post-1900 holdings; monitoring and making recommendations for care of the collection; and other duties as assigned. Active participation in identifying and writing grant proposals is critical. In addition to overseeing post-1900 American, European, and global works, the curator will oversee the circa 120-work African art collection, much of which dates to after 1900, and will liaise with the Curator of Asian Art on oversight of post-1900 Asian works. 

The AMAM’s collection of post-1900 art serves 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 curator will be actively involved in conceptualizing and initiating teaching exhibitions, mentoring students, and supervising student curatorial assistants. 

Requirements: A Ph.D. in art history preferred (ABD required), with at least 4 years of museum experience, demonstrated knowledge of the exhibition process, a record of publication and public speaking, and some teaching experience. The position requires broad knowledge of art history, particularly from 1900 forward, with a strong commitment to contemporary art and to expanding access to the collection for diverse audiences, as well as excellent communication and effective leadership and interpersonal skills. As an important liaison between the museum and faculty, students, donors, supporters, and artists, the successful candidate must be an outstanding collaborator with highly-developed administrative and organizational capabilities, a high degree of professionalism, close attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines, collegiality toward colleagues, and a deep commitment to a contextual, cross-disciplinary approach to original works of art. The position requires an ability to work occasional evening and weekend hours and an ability to lift and carry objects weighing up to 25 pounds; foreign language skills are desirable.

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.

Quick Link for Posting: http://jobs.oberlin.edu/postings/9620

Compensation: Within the range established for this position, salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience; the position includes an excellent benefits package.

To Apply: Candidates should submit a letter of application; curriculum vitae; statement addressing a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and names, addresses and phone numbers of three references byJanuary 18, 2021 via Oberlin College’s PeopleAdmin portal at https://jobs.oberlin.edu/postings/9620. All applications must be received via the PeopleAdmin portal; if you have a question, please contact Sally Moffitt, AMAM Administrative Assistant, at smoffitt@oberlin.edu. Review of applications will begin in January 2021 and applications received after the deadline may be considered. 

About the Allen Memorial Art Museum (AMAM): 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 modern and contemporary art, the AMAM’s post-1900 holdings include outstanding examples of Expressionist, Cubist, and Surrealist paintings, sculpture, and works on paper by artists such as Kirchner, Modigliani, Picasso, Braque, Gorky, and Miró. American post-1945 holdings are impressive and deep, with superb examples from all the major movements, including Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, New Realism, and Photo-Realism, as well as work in new media. All major figures in late 20th-century art are represented, among them De Kooning, Pollock, Rauschenberg, Johns, Stella, Rothko, Warhol, and Dine. The collection includes significant African-American and Latin American works, as well as works by women artists, acquisition of which has been a priority in recent years. These recent acquisitions include works by, among others, Derrick Adams, El Anatsui, Belkis Ayón, José Bedia, Dawoud Bey, McArthur Binion, Margaret Burroughs, Elizabeth Catlett, Enrique Chagoya, Dorothy Dehner, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Audrey Flack, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Genevieve Gaignard, Nefertiti Goodman, Milt Hinton, Graciela Iturbide, Wifredo Lam, Louise Lawler, Jacob Lawrence, Michelangelo Lovelace, Vik Muniz, Elizabeth Murray, Shirin Neshat, Malangatana Ngwenya, Oscar Niemeyer, Catherine Opie, Gabriel Orozco, Liliana Porter, Judit Reigl. Betye Saar, Fanny Sanín, Arlene Shechet, Malick Sidibé, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Pat Steir, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Dorothea Tanning, Mickalene Thomas, Francisco Toledo, Adolfo Patiño Torres, Anna von Mertens, Carrie Mae Weems, and Fred Wilson, which join many other significant works acquired earlier. The AMAM commissioned Claes Oldenburg’s first permanent outdoor sculpture, Giant Three-Way Plug, installed in 1970, and the museum has other important early outdoor sculptures by Mary Miss and Robert Morris. The AMAM purchased Eva Hesse’s seminal sculpture Laocoön in 1970 and houses the Eva Hesse archive, the largest collection of material about and created by Hesse in any public institution, including working drawings, collages, photographs, diaries, datebooks, and letters. The collection of African art, much of which dates to after 1900, includes textiles, sculpture, masks, and other ceremonial objects from West, East, and South Africa.

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 2900 students. Oberlin College was the first college in the US 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.

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