OVERVIEW:            Curatorial oversight of the display and interpretation of the Museum’s Native American, First Nations, Mesoamerican and Andean art collection.

SAM is dedicated to racial equity and strives for employees, volunteers, and interns who are passionate, qualified, and offer diverse perspectives. SAM prioritizes racial equity in the workplace because we know that people of color are the most impacted when it comes to inequities. We are particularly interested in engaging with historically under-represented groups in the museum field as we strive to be inclusive and equitable. SAM is responsive to cultural communities and experiences, and our strategic plan goals address the role art plays in empowering social justice and structural change to promote equity in our society.

FLSA STATUS:            Exempt

REPORTS TO:             Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art

COMPENSATION:       Associate Curator $65,291-$74,286 annual salary range

Curator $86,915-$130,375 annual salary range


  1. Develop interpretive materials about the Museum’s Native American, First Nations, Mesoamerican and Andean art collection, including labels, wall texts, media presentations, gallery sheets, and publications. Ensure that all material reflects current standards of involvement and collaboration with these Indigenous communities.
  2. Advise and recommend art for acquisition by the Museum via its Committee on Collections. Ensure that acquisitions have been researched and documented to assure compliance with federal law and with other professional policies and guidelines for protection of cultural properties. These include provisions of the UNESCO Convention; the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA); the Endangered Species Act; the AAMD Guidelines on the Acquisition of Archeological Materials and Ancient Art; and the AAMD Report on the Acquisition and Stewardship of Sacred Objects.
  3. Act as in-house curator for related traveling exhibitions. Work with Native American, First Nations, Mesoamerican and Andean advisory groups on the presentation, interpretation, and educational programs that accompany these exhibits and comply with DEAI standards. Review and select proposals from other museums and institutions for SAM.
  4. Develop original installations to highlight the Museum’s collection and complement it with material from outside sources as well as exhibition proposals of international significance.
  5. Work proactively to maintain communication and consultation between the Museum and Native American groups on Museum projects and NAGPRA issues, as well as non-NAGPRA issues with other Indigenous groups represented in the collection.
  6. Respond to inquiries regarding the Museum’s Art of the Americas collection, including offers of gifts from collectors and artists.
  7. Attend department meetings to keep up-to-date on issues and events.
  8. Act as SAM representative for NAGPRA: review developments and current communications regarding NAGPRA legislation; working with cross-departmental representatives, ensures Museum compliance.
  9. Collaborate with Education department staff on interpretive information for exhibitions, installations, and programs.
  10. Monitor and maintain accurate digital records for the collection as generated by the Museum’s management database.
  11. Prepare PowerPoint presentations about collections and exhibitions and lead discussions with the staff, trustees and public.
  12. Perform other duties as assigned.


  1. Master’s degree in Art History or related field with an emphasis in Native American Art.
  2. Two years of experience as a curator or curatorial assistant and three years relevant museum experience preferred.
  3. Previous experience working with Native American art, communities, and representatives, in particular throughout the Pacific Northwest.
  4. Excellent written and oral communication skills; able to communicate effectively and project a professional image when giving and taking information in writing, in person, and over the phone.
  5. Demonstrated proficiency with and accuracy in using MS Office products, including Word, Excel, InDesign, Access, and other database and publishing software programs.
  6. Knowledge of selection, intrinsic and market value, conservation, and exhibition of works of art, and of the legal regulations governing collecting.
  7. Knowledge of Native American art history, cultural history, current cultural practices, and language.
  8. Ability to independently research objects and archives.
  9. Ability to assess priorities and work well under pressure; excellent time management, problem solving, and analytical skills.
  10. Ability to work with close attention to detail and to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information.
  11. Ability to work professionally and tactfully with the Board, donors, co-workers, volunteers, and the public,
  12. Ability to adhere to Museum policies and to support management decisions in a positive, professional manner.

More here.


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