Syracuse University seeks a dynamic and experienced art professional for the position of Director and Senior Curator of the Syracuse University Art Galleries. SUArt Galleries is the University’s fine arts museum, offering the university community and the general public a dynamic schedule of engaging and thought-provoking exhibitions, all of them enriched by public programs. With its emphasis on American art and interpretation, and a focus on exploring art in its historical, cultural, and social contexts, the SUArt Galleries serves as a museum-laboratory for our students and university community, with free admission for all. The SUArt Galleries, in addition to the main campus gallery, extends the arts in public buildings and grounds on the Syracuse University campus, and in the Palitz Gallery at the University’s Lubin House facility in New York City.An instrumental leader on campus, the Director reports to the Executive Director of the Coalition of Museum and Art Center, and works closely with the Acquisition and Exhibitions Committee.
SUArt is part of the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers (CMAC) that includes several other visual art centers across campus including Light Work, Special Collections Research Center at Bird Library, The Community Folk Art Center, Point of Contact Gallery, the Photography and Literacy Project, and the Urban Video Project. Syracuse University has a long history of support for the visual arts and was the first University in the United States to award a BFA degree in the visual arts. Many important visual artists have graduated from SU including Sol LeWitt, Bill Viola, Marilyn Minter, and LaToya Ruby Frazier, as well as many important museum professionals including Paul Schimmel, Ned Rifkin, Mary Schmidt Campbell, and David Ross among many others.
SUArt Galleries is the steward of the University Art Collection, which is comprised of a diverse and encyclopedic group of over 45,000 fine art and ethnographic objects by international makers. A major strength of the collection is works on paper, specifically prints ranging from the 15th through 20th-century, featuring complete graphic outputs of the printmakers Karl Schrag and Seong Moy. Additional important collections include 20th-century American paintings and prints, including works by Reginald Marsh and Winslow Homer, 20th-century American photography, caring for over 800 Berenice Abbott photographs, 19th-century European painting with works by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, over 400 pieces of tribal and court art from western Africa , Pre-Columbian ceramics and fabrics, and folk art from the subcontinent India.
SUArt Galleries engages the community with the presentation of 15-20 exhibitions per academic year at the main campus galleries. These exhibitions vary from projects curated from the university’s encyclopedic permanent collection by curatorial staff, faculty, or students, to temporary exhibitions from outside collections examining a broad spectrum of visual arts themes, subjects and time periods. Recent exhibitions include Michelangelo: The Man and the Myth (2008), William Kentridge: Nose and other Subjects (2014), Margaret Bourke-White: Moments in History (2014), Kiki Smith and Paper: The Body, The Muse, and the Sprit (2018), Rodin: The Human Experience (2018), and Dox Thrash, Black Life, and the Carborundum Mezzotint, as well as the annual spring Master of Fine Arts Thesis exhibition.
In addition to the main campus programs, SUArt Galleries manages the Louise and Bernard Palitz Gallery at Syracuse University Lubin House in New York City. The Palitz Gallery presents 5-6 exhibitions annually that highlight a wide array of themes and includes exhibitions curated by CMAC venues; work by accomplished and emerging artists, faculty, alumni; and the presentation of the annual Wynn Newhouse Awards exhibition featuring a diverse array of contemporary artists who happen to have disabilities. SUArt Galleries also manages an active outgoing loan program and a Traveling Exhibition program that allows the collections and scholarship of the department to reach national and international audiences.
- Master’s Degree with minimum of 5 years museum experience (or equivalent combination of education and experience), including curatorial practice and exhibition planning, education programming, operations, fundraising, public relations and/or marketing, and budget management.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Job Specific Qualifications
- Particular expertise in 19th and 20th century prints and works on paper, and with knowledge of contemporary artist, trends, and practices, highly desired.
- Extensive knowledge and experience with professional practices of collection care and management.
- American Alliance of Museum accreditation, knowledge desired
- Demonstrated knowledge of the printmaking genre and history.
- Organize exhibitions exploring other genres including contemporary art, photojournalism, and others that may have interest to the University community.
- Possess a record of accomplished successful fundraising, experience and knowledge of the visual arts, collections care, and professional practice as outline by the American Alliance of Museums
- Experience in the process and maintenance of accreditation from the American Alliance of Museum.
- Apply highly developed creative and problem-solving skills and use high-level persuasion and negotiation skills to meet these goals to build on existing relationships with faculty and local/ regional, national, and international communities to advance the aims of the Academic Strategic Plan at Syracuse University.
- Oversee the SUArt Galleries and all of its operations in order to provide strategic and collaborative leadership and vision.
- Maintain and improve the physical plant, gallery spaces, work spaces, and offices of the SUArt Galleries, public art on campus, and the Palitz Gallery.
- Maintain appropriate and professional facilities for the SUArt Galleries that would include the possibility of establishing a standalone art museum on the main campus.
- Develop and maintain the University Art Collection, producing high-quality exhibitions, publications, scholarship and other programs in the SUArt Galleries and the Palitz Gallery.
- Serve as the principal ambassador for the Galleries and Art Collection and advocate for knowledge that can be gained from the direct study of and engagement with works of art and material culture.
- Provide collaborative leadership and vision for the artistic direction, exhibition strategy, educational approach, and acquisition plans for SUArt
- Engage in art scholarship to organize, edit and write essays, catalogues and other publications.
- Ensure that the mission is clearly understood and that its strategic objectives are fully articulated and effectively pursued.
- Work with all appropriate departments at the University to maintain the exhibition and collection storage facilities
- Maintain and promote the active Campus Loan Program and the collection of public art on campus.
- Responsible for all aspects of the Galleries operation and management, including fiscal and personnel management, as well as raising funds to support the galleries.
- Manage and provide leadership, vision, and guidance to six (6) full time staff members, including Associate Director, Curator of Collections, Registrar, Preparator, Designer, and Administrative Specialist, in addition to overseeing several part-time staff, interns, and graduate students
- Work with staff to implement appropriate policies governing the conservation, documentation, security, and storage of, as well as physical and digital access to the collection.
- Responsible for expanding and caring for the University Art Collection through the application of professional practices and by pursuing donations and effectively managing fiscal resources and established endowments.
- Accountable for budget planning and controlling expenditures for the SUArt Galleries, Palitz Gallery, and the University Art Collection.
- Identify, engage, and promote donor activity for the Art Collection and Galleries and prepare annual documentation of the Collections assets for financial, accounting and donor relations departments on campus.
- Proactively engages students through teaching and exhibition and related programming in collaboration with academic and administrative departments on campus
- Engage in art scholarship and organize, edit and write essays, catalogues and other publications.
About Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private research university of extraordinary academics, distinctive offerings and an undeniable spirit. With a gorgeous campus in the heart of New York State, a global footprint and a history that dates to 1870, we embrace diverse backgrounds and viewpoints.
Our student population includes nearly 15,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students, representing all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. Our proud commitment to veterans and their families is unrivaled in higher education. Home to 11 schools and colleges, Syracuse University blends the foundational power of the liberal arts with the intense focus of professional programs. We offer undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Sport and Human Dynamics, Information Studies, Law, Management, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Public Communications, and Visual and Performing Arts.
A medium-sized city situated in the geographic center of the state, Syracuse, N.Y., is approximately a four-hour drive from New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto and Montreal. With a metropolitan population of 700,000, Syracuse is a center for cultural, recreational and artistic events, including the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse Stage, Symphoria, Destiny Mall, multiple sporting events, and festivals including Jazz Fest and Winterfest. The outdoor enthusiast will enjoy having the Adirondack Mountains, the Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario, and the Thousands Islands Region within easy driving distance of the Syracuse campus.
Syracuse University is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law to the extent prohibited by law. This nondiscrimination policy covers admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs, services, and activities.
Commitment to Supporting and Hiring Veterans
Syracuse University has a long history of engaging veterans and the military-connected community through its educational programs, community outreach, and employment programs. After World War II, Syracuse University welcomed more than 10,000 returning veterans to our campus, and those veterans literally transformed Syracuse University into the national research institution it is today. The University’s contemporary commitment to veterans builds on this historical legacy, and extends to both class-leading initiatives focused on making an SU degree accessible and affordable to the post-9/11 generation of veterans, and also programs designed to position Syracuse University as the employer of choice for military veterans, members of the Guard and Reserve, and military family members.
Commitment to a Diverse and Inclusive Campus Community
Syracuse University maintains an inclusive learning environment in which students, faculty, administrators, staff, curriculum, social activities, governance, and all other aspects of campus life reflect a diverse, multi-cultural, and international worldview. The University community recognizes and values the many similarities and differences among individuals and groups. At Syracuse, we are committed to preparing students to understand, live among, appreciate, and work in an inherently diverse country and world made up of people with different ethnic and racial backgrounds, military backgrounds, religious beliefs, socio-economic status, cultural traditions, abilities, sexual orientations and gender identities. To do so, we commit ourselves to promoting a community that celebrates and models the principles of diversity and inclusivity.
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