The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is Canada’s celebrated international museum and houses important collections of art, culture, and nature. ROM is the largest and most attended museum in Canada, attracting more than 1.3 million visitors per year. It has a membership of over 24,000 households and 66,700 individual members and an annual budget of $80 million CAD. ROM is a world leader in communicating its research and collections to the public. A globally recognized field research institute, home to more than 13 million artworks, cultural objects and natural history specimens, ROM features 40 galleries and exhibition spaces in its original heritage building and its 2007 Michael Lee-Chin Crystal designed by Studio Daniel Libeskind.
Evolving for the 21st Century
ROM’s vision is to become a distinctly 21st-century museum, one that will be globally known for expanding the boundaries of knowledge, innovation in presenting that knowledge, and public relevance within the intersecting worlds of art, culture, and nature. To realize this vision, ROM has embarked on a new strategic direction that builds on its strengths and capabilities while evolving in step with a rapidly changing world. The Museum is becoming an ever more outward-facing institution, focused on playing a central role in community and cultural life, while increasing impact – artistic, cultural, and scientific – nationally and internationally.
Situated in the most diverse major city in the world, within a province and country known for pluralism, openness and global perspectives, ROM is well positioned for the future and for an even greater role on the world stage. By leveraging ROM’s strengths and capabilities, and applying them in fresh and far-reaching ways, by investing to create greater engagement through inclusion, transdisciplinary thinking, digital practices and innovation, ROM is charting a new and bold way forward as it pursues its goal to become one of the world’s foremost museums. Learn more about ROM’s Strategic Direction.
ROM seeks a forward-thinking, dynamic curator of Ancient Greece and Rome who is interested in audience-centric exhibition and collection development with ambitious ideas for exploring cross-cultural and topical narratives between ancient cultures and the present day. In the context of ROM’s strategic direction toward a more global, visitor-focused storytelling model, the Greek and Roman curator will champion cross-cultural and transdisciplinary perspectives that highlight the relevance of ROM’s collections of art, culture, and nature in contemporary societies. The successful candidate will have a track record of collaborative exhibitions and enjoy working with colleagues, scholars, and community to consider new thematic and thought-provoking content, presentation and associated public programming. The curator will also expand the reach of ROM scholarship and museum initiatives through publications, lectures, and engagement in the field. A major rethinking of permanent collection galleries is in the early stages creating opportunities to plan, collaborate, and execute an innovative and engaging reinstallation of ancient materials.
The Mirkopoulos Curator of Ancient Greece and Rome is responsible for the development and care of one of ROM’s largest ancient collections with more than 7,000 objects from the Greek world, including Bronze Age Aegean and Ancient Greece (the 5th largest collection of Greek art in North America). This area includes a singular collection of Cycladic vessels and figurines, Minoan ceramics, Mycenaean artifacts, one of the most complete collections of Greek coins in North America (2900 examples), and the largest Greek sculpture collection in Canada. The Ancient Roman collection includes about 20,000 objects, plus 40,000 coins, including stellar marble portrait busts, Romano-Egyptian encaustic mummy portraits, and marble figures and sarcophagi. There are also important works from Etruria, Byzantium, Ancient Cyprus, and Prehistoric Europe. This position will be responsible for expanding the research on the provenance of ROM’s historical holdings, strategic deaccessioning, repatriation, and expansion of the collection in keeping with contemporary museum practice and thought in the field. In a moment when the push for repatriation recurrently questions the historical foundation of the encyclopedic museum, gallery development, exhibitions and collecting strategies must connect the past with the present in an ethically grounded, visually effective, community-minded, and emotionally engaging way.
ROM welcomes candidates who are passionate about the study and interpretation of the arts and culture of the ancient world, and who are invested in new ways of thinking about and presenting this material. Applicants with research specializing in any of the relevant areas of ancient art history, visual studies or material culture are encouraged to apply.
The successful candidate will work closely with local Greek communities and others, international partners, donors, scholars, and diverse ROM audiences. Critically, the successful candidate will lead a collaborative rethinking of ROM’s Ancient Greek and Roman collections and develop a new vision for both permanent and temporary displays. The curator will be a specialist within the field but also interested in broad issues and questions related to Indigenous art and cultures that have relevance in Canada and the contemporary world. Curatorial knowledge should extend widely regarding historical periods and media.
ROM is open to considering a range of candidates from an Associate Curator level to Senior Curator, consistent with the candidate’s experience and the strategic goals of the Museum. The position reports to the Co-Chief Curator, Art and Culture, and the Curator will be a member of the ROM Curatorial Association (ROMCA).
Duties & Responsibilities
Exhibition and Gallery Development
- Create and curate original and traveling exhibitions of Ancient Greek and Roman art that execute ROM21 strategical goals.
- Collaboratively lead the innovative and relevant interpretive approaches for the Ancient Greek and Roman Galleries and as part of an integrated team of ROM curators, interpretive planners, and staff, participate in Master Gallery Interpretative Planning.
- Oversee content development for gallery interventions, rotations, programs, and special exhibitions in Ancient Greek and Roman material with a commitment to collaboration, including with external community stakeholders and with internal colleagues to generate important visitor-centric and transdisciplinary exhibitions.
Collections and Research
- Establish and lead a vision for the Ancient Greek and Roman collections, including development of a 10-year collection development plan in alignment with ROM’s mission, vision, values, and strategic plan, and in integration with ROM’s full collection.
- Steward the Ancient Greek and Roman collections through research, rotation and display, care and record-keeping, provenance research, digitization, and publication.
- Build ROM’s Ancient Greek and Roman collections in new directions and through active field research and scholarly endeavor.
- Work with cultural partners and museum leadership in stewarding collaborations that may lead to repatriation/restitution of objects.
- Develop original, scholarly research and publications relating to ROM collections, exhibitions, and related topics.
Public Programs and Community Engagement
- Initiate and collaborate with museum educators and engagement staff for onsite and virtual programs and school curriculum related to Ancient Greece and Rome.
- Engage with regional communities to build dialogue, interpretation and pedagogy relating to Ancient Greek and Roman collections and exhibitions.
- Provide lectures, tours, and workshops to the general public, volunteers, professional colleagues, and museum supporters.
- Embrace other collections, research, exhibition, gallery development, public program and community engagement duties as needed.
- In collaboration with fundraising staff, actively cultivate support for exhibitions, galleries, programs, symposia, acquisitions, research, and fellowships through association with cultural and professional organizations, diplomatic consulates, foundations, and patrons at the local, national, and international level.
Education & Experience:
- A graduate degree in Ancient Greek or Roman art history or archaeology, or a closely related field, or the equivalent in relevant experience of research, exhibitions and/or publications. A strong curatorial record including exhibitions focusing on the arts and cultures of Ancient Greece and Rome and/or a strong academic record in a relevant discipline.
- A keen interest in the exploration of cross-disciplinary themes of relevance between the various cultures of the ancient world and contemporary life.
- At least two years postdoctoral or equivalent experience within a large museum, cultural institute, or a related environment, including working with internal and external stakeholders and partners.
- Knowledge of peer institutions, and experience developing and implementing programs and exhibitions; experience working with issues of provenance is an important asset.
- A track record of working successfully with community partners to establish institutional trust and build relationships.
- A record of peer-reviewed publications.
- Eligibility for university cross-appointment is an asset.
- Intellectually curious with an appetite to engage in a wide array of topics and to work with colleagues across disciplines.
- Ambitious for the institution and its efforts to develop strong networks in the local community and with established international scholars and institutions.
- Has an interest in leveraging interdisciplinary possibilities and programs to build collaborative partnerships internally and externally.
- Responsive to the ideas of others. Has high emotional intelligence.
- A strong communicator and a door-opener, proactively seeking partnerships, networks, and input from community members. Able to build alliances.
- Able to prioritize competing demands within a large, multi-layered, and active museum.
- Enjoys working as part of a strong and integrated team to build new experiences for ROM’s visitors.
- Aspirational to build high caliber programs, but patient and flexible, able to set incremental goals.
- Sensitive to cultural heritage and aware of the complex societal pressures present in this work.
ROM curators are also expected to:
- Participate in fulfilling the learning mission of the museum and may engage in university teaching and/or supervision of graduate students and interns.
- Facilitate research on the collection by outside/visiting scholars and develop one’s own program of original, scholarly research relating to ROM collections and exhibitions.
- Work with the ROM Library to build resources on the study of Ancient Greece and Rome.
- Salary range is $68,487 – $150,000 CAD.
- ROM is open to considering a range of candidates from an Associate Curator level up to Senior Curator, consistent with the candidate’s experience and the strategic goals of the museum. The salary increases according to rank and experience; the range is governed by the Collective Agreement.
- Full benefit coverage includes medical and dental plan, life insurance, long term disability, and pension.
To apply in confidence, email 1) letter expressing interest in this particular position, giving brief examples of past exhibition, programs and collections experience and proposed research areas and projects; 2) curriculum vitae; 3) names of three references with contact information. Submit application by October 30, 2023, to retained search firm: Lora Urbanelli, Museum Search & Reference, SearchandRef@museum-search.com. For additional information, visit: http://museum-search.com/open-searches/. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply for this international search. However, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. Short-listed candidates subsequently will be asked to provide publication samples. Nominations are welcome.
At ROM, we consider equity, diversity, and inclusion foundational to our institutional success. We seek to foster a workplace that reflects the diversity of the city and province in which we are located and welcome all qualified and experienced candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, age, sex, race, religion, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
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ROM Mirkopoulos Curator Ancient Greece and RomeJob Profile_FINAL.docx
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