Assistant/Associate Curator of Photographs
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is one of the major repositories of American photography in the world, ranging from early daguerreotypes and salted paper prints to site-specific installations by contemporary artists. The collection includes the archives of photographers Laura Gilpin, Eliot Porter, and Karl Struss, among others, and complete sets of Richard Avedon’s In the American West and Alfred Stieglitz’s Camera Work. More recent acquisitions include a substantive body of photographs by Indigenous artists as well as works by artists such as Delilah Montoya, Edward Steichen, Stephanie Syjuco, and Kathy Vargas. The state-of-the-art conservation and preservation facilities, including industry-leading cold and cool storage facilities, coupled with the extraordinary work of the other departments in the Museum provide a unique place to grow and practice professionally.
The Assistant/Associate Curator of Photographs will collaborate with the Director of Collections and Exhibitions, curators, and other exhibitions and collections staff to implement an ambitious curatorial vision that advances the mission, values, and strategic objectives of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art (the Carter).
Working closely with the Curator of Photographs, the Assistant Curator of Photographs will advance the care, interpretation, exhibition, stewardship, and growth of the Carter’s photography collection. Specific responsibilities include monitoring the safety and care of the collection; researching and publishing from the collection and in other areas of American photography; organizing gallery rotations, installations and exhibitions; building the collection through purchases and gifts; cultivating and stewarding patrons; participating in the broader life of the Museum through collaborations with fellow curators, educators, conservators, designers, advancement, and community-outreach colleagues, among others.
• Organize and present permanent collection rotations, collection exhibitions, and occasional temporary loan exhibitions from inception to installation including conceptual outline, selection of objects, research, writing, implementation, budget development and oversight, and interpretation. Secure additional venues and special funding as needed.
• Conduct research, publish, and lecture on American photography within and outside the collection for the Museum and its audiences.
• Participate in education and outreach activities, including oral presentations, gallery tours, docent training, lectures, collector forums, and special events.
• Write for Museum publications and scholarly outlets, as well as for funding proposals.
• Assist in providing curatorial oversight of the care and handling of permanent collection and art loaned for exhibition and acquisition consideration. Manage logistics of the photography loan program and assist with development and oversight of short- and long-range collection management and storage plans.
• Participate in the development and management of the exhibition program; evaluate proposals with the curatorial group and coordinate with the senior exhibitions manager to oversee assigned exhibitions.
• Participate in the development and implementation of long-range plans for the photography program, including its presentation physically and virtually.
• Strengthen the collection presence on the Museum web site, including updating and adding to collection and sub-collection descriptions, discussing collection objects of note, discussing content and significance of past exhibitions and exhibition history, and updating and expanding collection object catalog records.
• Participate in photographs acquisitions, including identifying, assessing, and presenting works, and locating funding. Assemble paperwork as requested for approved acquisitions. Identify and consult with private collectors for possible loans and gifts to the Museum and interact with prospective donors.
• Cultivate donors both internal and external.
• Develop professional identity in the field.
• Assist development staff with the identification of program and project funding sources; cultivate private collectors and prospective donors in coordination with the director of development; participate in preparation of funding requests and proposals.
• Consult on conservation needs of the photography collection and make sound recommendations for proper treatment (consult with conservators regularly).
• Coordinate with other curators, advise the Librarian and Archivist on acquisition of books, periodicals, and manuscript materials.
• Participate in curatorial staff meetings; assist with development and implementation of short- and long-range program plans; assist with compilation, implementation, and oversight of project program budgets; serve on Museum committees as assigned.
• Evaluate assigned loan requests and make recommendations based on condition, importance of project, Museum’s needs, etc.
• Participate in professional organizations on the international, national, and local level presenting papers, serving on committees, or advising as time permits.
• Field inquiries and assist outside researchers; conduct tours for special groups and individuals; assist visiting scholars and other guests.
• Maintain confidentiality regarding all sensitive Museum information.
• Other duties as assigned.
• Supervise interns, volunteers, and contract writers working on collection or exhibition projects; provide training as appropriate.
Skills and Requirements
• Knowledge of the history of photography, the history of American art, theoretical and applied museum practices, and museum operations
• Recognized scholarly ability in art history demonstrated through publications and participation in professional conferences and lectures, with credit for one or more exhibitions and publications.
• Ability to thrive in a collaborative environment for creation and implementation of projects; equally comfortable in a leadership role or as a team member.
• Demonstrated writing ability; computer, editing, proofreading and public speaking skills.
• Commitment to the proper care of works of art, and awareness of conservation storage techniques; Knowledge of preservation practices; familiarity with conservation practices.
• Demonstrated public speaking skills.
• Proven ability to manage multiple concurrent projects and meet deadlines; highly developed organizational and interpersonal skills.
• Ability to work under pressure, meet scheduled deadlines, and communicate effectively with staff and consultants.
• Critical thinker and creative problem solver
• Willingness to receive and provide constructive feedback.
• Excellent time management
• Accuracy and attention to detail
• Celebrates the success of others.
• Emotionally mature
• A good sense of humor
• The flexibility and sensitivity to work with diverse personalities and situations.
• Good negotiation skills
• Good project management skills
• Flexible approach to work and evolving situations
• Strategic vision and creativity, coupled with a self-motivated and results-oriented work ethic.
• Advanced degree in art history or American studies (with specialization in photography) required; Ph.D. preferred.
• Minimum two years of art museum experience with American photographs collection for Assistant level, minimum four to six years art curatorial experience with a collection of American photographs for Associate.
• Advance knowledge of research methods in American photography
• Record of Public Speaking
• Experience with automated collection management systems preferred.
• Experience with budget planning and management a plus
• Knowledge of fundraising strategies and experience writing grants desirable
• Proficiency in MS Office applications required.
• Must successfully complete post offer pre-employment drug screen, background check, and MVR.
• Must be available for travel as required.
• Ability to maintain a high level of professionalism, discretion, and confidentiality.
Research shows that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100 percent of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that an applicant meets 100 percent of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if much of this job description describes you, then you are highly encouraged to apply for this role.