The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art seeks to recruit an Assistant Curator for Korean Art and Culture.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art is committed to preserving, exhibiting, researching, and interpreting art in ways that deepen our collective understanding of Asia and the world. Home to more than 46,000 objects, the museum stewards one of North America’s largest and most comprehensive collections of Asian art, with works dating from antiquity to the present from China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Islamic world. Its rich holdings bring the arts of Asia into direct dialogue with an important collection of nineteenth- and early twentieth century American works, providing a unique platform for creative collaboration and cultural exchange between the United States, Asia, and the Middle East.
The museum’s Freer Gallery of Art was one of the first venues in the United States to display Korean art. The Korean collection comprises 786 objects, a number of which are the finest examples of their kind outside of Korea. The collection is especially strong in ceramics; it also includes three of the sixteen Goryeo Buddhist paintings found in U.S. museums.
NMAA has a regular program of exhibitions and programming in Korean art, thanks to partnerships with the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; with the National Museum of Korea; with the Korea Foundation; with the Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation; and with the Korean Cultural Center in Washington DC, among others. In recent years, with the growing prominence of Korean culture across the globe, NMAA has increasingly shared its historical art collections alongside Korean popular culture in innovative programming on topics as diverse as Buddhism, film, food, fashion, performance, and contemporary art.
This newly created position represents a new chapter in our commitment to Korean art and accelerates our transformation as a leading global resource for understanding Asian art, culture, and societies, and their intersection with America. The Assistant Curator of Korean Art and Culture will be responsible for developing a robust program in premodern art as well as modern and contemporary art in traditional media; the curator will also be tasked with helping to shape and implement engaging Korean scholarly and public programs. The incumbent will serve as a national and international leader in the study and presentation of Korean art and culture.
The incumbent will be a member of the professional staff of the curatorial department performing duties related to the identification, acquisition, preservation, cataloging, exhibition, and interpretation of works of art. The incumbent will perform scholarly research in preparation of material for publication and furnish authoritative information on works in the field of specialization. The incumbent will develop original exhibitions and collaborate with other curators on cross-departmental exhibitions and research initiatives.
Major duties include:
· Studying, displaying, publishing, and growing the museum’s collection of Korean art
· Defining and completing innovative research projects that contribute to international understanding and appreciation of Korean art and culture and its contexts
· Providing leadership and guidance in the field of Korean art and culture studies and for programs domestically and internationally through projects, collaborations, and regular communication with specialists
· Building diverse audiences for Korean art and culture, traditional and modern
· Ph D or equivalent in Korean art history or related field
· Knowledge of Korean art, history, and culture
· Ability to pursue historical research using primary sources and premodern documents
· Ability to situate Korean art in broader Asian context
· Ability to reach diverse audiences
· Ability to communicate equally effectively in English and Korean
· Familiarity with museum collection databases such as TMS
· Experience organizing museum-based projects