Museum Fellowship – Samek Art Museum, Bucknell University

The Samek Art Museum is a program of Bucknell University that creates meaningful encounters between artists, students, scholars, the public and works of art. The Museum presents original, travelling, and collection exhibitions and public programs that cover the range of art history with an emphasis on contemporary art. The Museum maintains an active museum collection of over 5,400 objects, including 450 works installed across the campus. The encyclopedic collection includes objects from pre- history to contemporary video art with strengths in photography and prints. The Museum programs and/or manages 3 spaces – the Campus Gallery (including offices, work-room, and collection study room), Downtown Gallery, and off-site collections storage – totaling 3,600 square feet of exhibition and program space plus 2,000 of storage and workspace. The Museum produces, on average, 12 exhibitions, 75 class visits, and numerous public programs and campus events annually.

The Samek Art Museum actively contributes to Bucknell University’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Museum believes that social diversity drives artistic complexity and contributes to a broad intellect. Our exhibitions bring historically underrepresented artists and cultural perspectives to bear on the important question of our time. We serve our multicultural audiences through social relevant programs and inclusive interpretive materials. We build our collection to reflect the diverse world we live in and to model the equitable future we strive for.

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Fellowship Overview

The Museum Fellowship is offered for recent college graduates interested in pursuing a museum career. The fellowship focuses on curatorial work but also offers professional training in collection management, exhibition design and installation, education and public programs, and arts administration. It is designed to help fellows support their academic and career goals through supervised work experiences. Under the supervision of the Samek Art Museum director and chief curator, the fellow will have the unique opportunity to be involved in every aspect of the Museum’s programs and operations. This is a 1-year fellowship with the possibility of renewal for a second year. The anticipated start date is July 1, 2021. The fellowship requires a half-time commitment and offers an annual $12,000 stipend for living expenses.

Special Opportunities

In addition to their other responsibilities and opportunities, the Fellow will be offered the opportunity to curate an exhibition drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection for the museum’s downtown gallery for the summer at the end of their first year.

Fellowship Learning Goals

For the fellow, the purpose of the fellowship is:

• To learn to function as a professional within their institution as well as the broader community of museums, and to understand current museum issues.

• To learn to function within the organizational structure of a museum and to develop a knowledge of governance and administrative operations.

• To develop knowledge and skills related to specific areas of museum work.

• To develop the ability to identify, assess and solve on-the-job museum problems.

• To assess the fellow’s own wishes and needs for professional development.

• To learn how exhibitions are curated and produced in a professional art gallery/museum environment.

• To learn how the permanent museum collection of artworks is conserved, documented, and used in teaching and research.

• To learn how galleries and museums educate the public about art in an informal life-long learning environment.

Fellowship Assignments

The fellow engages in learning opportunities and provides assistance with all aspects relating to the museum collections, interchanging/rotating exhibitions and interpretive programs, including, but not limited to:

• Research artists and the exhibition history of artworks, create exhibition documentation, correspond with artists, and other tasks that contribute to developing exhibitions.

• Receive training in handling original artworks by assisting with installing and de-installing exhibitions and assisting with delivery and pick-up of artwork.

• Assist Director in teaching university course on art, museums, and curating.

• Document art objects, and make the collection available to students and faculty in a learning environment.

• Curatorial field trips to regional galleries and museums.

• Accompany director and staff to selected campus arts meetings.

• Act as Museum docent.

• Occasionally opening gallery and assisting with producing events.

• Practice public museum writing with regular writing for museum’s blog.

• Attend regular meeting with museum director to reflect on fellowship experiences, plan individual projects and receive work assignments, and receive career consulting.

• Attend weekly Museum staff meetings to observe and participate in administrative planning for the Museum’s programs and operations.

Fellowship Requirements

The ideal candidate has a demonstrated interest in curatorial practice. Attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and the ability to multitask and prioritize are essential to the position. Strong research skills are a plus. Background in art history with coursework in modern & contemporary art preferred.

• Master’s degree in art history or related fields such as art education, curatorial studies, or museum studies.

• Familiarity with issues around curating and collecting is preferred.

• Dependable, strong work ethic, and good communication skills.

• Must be proficient with social media tools (WordPress, Facebook, etc.) and familiar with digital AV media (Video files, Images, iMovie, Photoshop, etc.)

• Must be able to lift 50 pounds and work crouched or on ladders.

• Must have a valid drivers license.

• Must be willing to occasionally drive gallery sprinter van to transport artwork.

• The University is required to conduct several background screens according to state and federal laws and Bucknell policy, including Pennsylvania Criminal History, FBI and Child Abuse clearances. The Samek Museum Fellowship offer is contingent upon the University’s verification of these credentials.

Application Guidelines

In order to be considered for the position, all applicants are required to submit online a candidate profile and the application material (detailed below) on

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis as soon as they are received.

Details of application material

Cover Letter:

Include a cover letter that addresses all of the following questions in one to two pages:

• Why are you interested in this position?

• What makes you a strong candidate for this position? Please tell about your relevant educational background and past experience.

• What aspects of this position interest you the most? Why?

• What are your long-term goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?


Please outline ALL of your employment history including art-related and non-art- related work experience. Please also list exhibitions you have worked on, art writing or curating, awards and recognition that you have received, other art-related engagements you’ve participated in, as well as extracurricular activities, etc.

Writing Sample:

Please include either:

▪ 2 academic papers you have written about art, or

▪ 1 academic paper and one other writing sample such as an exhibition brochure or art review.


Please provide email and phone contact information for three references; professors, curators, gallery directors, or related professionals who know your work well.

Additional Information

If you have any questions about this position or about the application process then please contact:

Richard Rinehart, Director,

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