The Westmroeland Museum of American Art offers a place to share
CURATOR OF AMERICAN ART at THE WESTMORELAND MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art seeks an innovative, creative, and inclusive Curator of American Art that will boldly redefine American art for the 21st century by sharing authority, presenting a diversity of perspectives, and dismantling and expanding the canonical traditions of presenting and interpreting American art.
An American Alliance of Museum Accredited institution, The Westmoreland was established in 1959 through a generous bequest from Mary Marchand Woods, a long-time Greensburg resident who wanted her community to have an important cultural institution. Over the past 60 years, The Westmoreland has built a permanent collection of significant American art from colonial to contemporary, with a special focus on paintings relating to southwestern Pennsylvania within the context of the national American art scene. The opening in 2015 of the new cantilevered wing designed by Ennead Architects, coupled with the renovation of the existing building, provides a world-class facility for the collection and was recognized as the best designed museum in the state of Pennsylvania by Architectural Digest.
Today, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art has a new mission and strategic plan that centers on Diversity, Equity, Access and Inclusion. In November 2018, The Westmoreland eliminated its suggested donation fee as part of our Free Admission for All initiative ensuring that our collections and exhibitions are truly accessible to all. However, financial costs are not the only barriers preventing people from feeling welcomed and included in art museums. Through new acquisitions, a robust temporary exhibition program, community partnerships, public program offerings, an Artist-in-Residency program, visitor studies, and an intentional internal culture, the Museum works to fulfill our mission “to offer a place to share compelling and meaningful cultural experiences that open the door to new ideas, perspectives and possibilities” that it is truly accessible and equitable for all. The Westmoreland prides itself as a small, but nimble institution that has the ability to make meaningful change in the community and art world alike.
The Curator of American Art is responsible for developing the Museum’s collection strategy with an emphasis on diversifying the collection’s representation of artists and media; generating innovative concepts for internally-generated exhibitions; identifying compelling exhibitions to bring to the Museum; producing written scholarship for peers and the public; developing an audience centered interpretive strategy in collaboration with other departments; participating in programming, both within the Museum and throughout the community; and testing new ideas without fear of failure.
The incumbent must be an accomplished professional in the field of American art with a record of distinguished original scholarship, publications, exhibitions, creativity, and experimentation. The ideal candidate also understands the needs of the public in creating diverse, inclusive, and accessible exhibitions and interpretation and has a demonstrated engagement with communities. While the core of the collection is 18th to mid-20th Century, the Curator of American Art should also have experience working with living artists. This person will play a critical role in developing strategic direction and objectives for their department as well as The Westmoreland to operate as a Museum for the 21st century.
- Responsible for the growth and direction of the permanent collection.
- Manages the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees to implement and update the Collections Management Policy, and determine acquisitions/deaccessions. With the Director/CEO, cultivates long-term relationships with donors and collectors to attract gifts and acquisitions funds.
- In collaboration with the Director of Collections and Exhibition Management, determines the collection insurance values. Works closely with the Director of Collections and Exhibition Management to identify and prioritize conservation plan and establish protocols that ensure the safety of temporary exhibitions and permanent collection.
- In collaboration with the Director of Collections and Exhibition Management, prepares the Permanent Collection strategic plan; updates the Emergency Response and Preparedness Plan with regards to the Collection and temporary exhibitions.
- Responsible for the generating of original and compelling exhibitions for a dynamic and rotating permanent collection presentation; organizing original temporary and touring exhibitions, and identifying traveling exhibitions that fulfill the Museum’s mission. Generates loan requests to other institutions.
- In collaboration with Marketing and Public Relations Department, develops permanent collection and temporary exhibition graphics/signage and visual identity.
- In collaboration with Learning, Engagement and Partnerships Department, develops visitor centered interpretive strategies that engage and are accessible to the public including the use of visitor studies and evaluation to inform decisions.
Scholarship and Programs:
- Produces scholarship in areas of expertise and brings external scholars to assess the collection and further develop scholarship that advances research in American art and brings new perspectives to the field.
- Publishes in both internal and external publications; writes catalogue essays, text panels, gallery guides, labels, narratives for grant proposals, books, and conducts research to support other departments.
- Advises on the creation of traditional and non-traditional program offerings both onsite and throughout the community in collaboration with Learning, Engagement and Partnerships Department.
- Travels to present at conferences regionally and nationally.
- In alignment with the Museum’s values, manages department in a welcoming, inclusive, collaborative, kind and inspiring way. Supervision will include interns, independent contractors, volunteers and future supervision of Curatorial Assistant as part of succession transition.
- Participates in strategic planning process as a member of senior leadership team to establish short and long-term goals.
- Collaborates with the Director of Collections and Exhibition Management to develop annual budget for permanent collection maintenance, conservation, and other art activities. Develops and manages temporary exhibition budget.
- Master’s degree in Art History; specializing in 19th and 20th century American art.
- Minimum 3-5 years of professional curatorial experience.
- Extensive knowledge of collections management, exhibition development, and best museum practices and procedures (AAM, AAMC and AAMD standards).
- Published in area of specialization.
- Proven ability to build strong relationships with prominent members of the art community including patrons, donors, artists, internal and external colleagues.
- Strong organizational and research skills.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; strong public speaker.
- Technical knowledge and ability with computer, internet, and database systems.
- Strong supervisory skills, demonstrated ability to strategically manage and mentor staff.
- Ability to work collaboratively in a team with a wide range of people including Board members, staff, volunteers, interns, artists, lenders and donors.
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art offers a competitive salary in the range of $75,000 to $85,000 (dependent on past experience) and the following benefits package:
- Paid vacation, holiday, personal, and sick days
Flexible work arrangements
- Opportunity to participate in 403(b) Retirement Plan
- Medical, Vision, Short Term Disability, Life Insurance and Dental Insurance plans available
- WMAA Membership
- Employee Assistance Program and other Wellness Opportunities
- Museum Shop Discounts
- Event Rental Discounts
Employment offers are contingent upon satisfactory verification FBI fingerprint, PA Child Abuse (Act 33) and PA Criminal (Act 34) Clearances.
The Museum is committed to creating a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. The Museum does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other category protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. We encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply.
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