Position Description

Updated May 12, 2023


Title: Curator

Division: Collections & Exhibitions

Reports to: Sr. Director of Curatorial Affairs

Position Status: Full-time; Exempt

Salary Range: $50,000 – $60,000/year

Closing date: July 21, 2023


Position summary:

The Curator advances the acquisition, documentation, care, and access to the museum object collections held by VMHC. This position also works with the curatorial team to develop in-house and traveling exhibitions that engage diverse audiences in dialogue, explore relevant issues and ideas, and help VMHC realize its mission and business goals. Forthcoming projects include working with the curatorial team on the development of a comprehensive collecting plan and participating in the continued development of a long-term exhibition plan that will be a critical element of the VMHC’s upcoming strategic planning process.


Duties & Responsibilities:

Collection Responsibilities

  • Build VMHC’s museum collections through the identification, appraisal, and acquisition of appropriate artifacts and objects representing Virginia’s rich history and diverse cultures including fine and decorative arts, furniture, prints and photographs, ephemera, textiles, and militaria.
  • Promote and provide access to the museum collections through technology and related services for the collections.
  • Work closely with collections staff to research and document collections.
  • Support the physical management, care and preservation of the museum object collections.
  • Serve as an institutional authority and spokesperson for VMHC with the general public and media on specific aspects of Virginia’s history and material culture; engage in public outreach in the form of lectures, tours, and research assistance.


Exhibition Responsibilities

  • Research and develop ideas for exhibitions and programs that meet VMHC’s mission, community engagement and business goals, and leverage the collections.
  • Provide content expertise as part of a core team that leads the collaborative development and implementation of exhibition projects.
  • Work within a cross-functional team to oversee the care, upkeep, and refreshment of core gallery experiences.
  • Collaborate with Guest Engagement Division staff to develop plans for exhibition-related programming, activities, and evaluation.


Project Management & Administration

  • Lead and serve on cross-functional teams and committees.
  • Participate in VMHC institutional priority setting, and strategic and annual business planning.
  • Develop and steward collection donor relationships in partnership with VMHC staff and trustees.
  • Contribute to the development, writing, implementation and reporting of grants; participate in the development of corporate and other partnership proposals.
  • Contribute to the development and writing of articles, public relations and external communications materials as needed.
  • Keep abreast of developments in the fields of Virginia history, exhibitions and museology; stay current with professional best practices.


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities Necessary:

  • Knowledge of United States and Virginia history and material culture
  • Knowledge of principles and best practices of exhibitions and museum collections
  • Broad knowledge of current trends in curatorship, exhibition development and community engagement
  • Demonstrated ability to build partnerships and work with individuals and community-based organizations
  • Understanding of museum ethics and standards for collections management
  • Exceptional communication skills and experience with the general public, donor groups, press, external and internal stakeholders


Education & Experience Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in a relevant field such as history, art history, public history, museum studies, or equivalent work experience required; Ph.D. preferred
  • Demonstrated experience with collections research, development and documentation associated with museum objects
  • Five years of demonstrated experience developing exhibitions with broad community relevance and appeal
  • Demonstrated commitment to achieving equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace and the community


Note & Special Requirements:

  • Please include a two to three-page writing sample (e.g., exhibit script, grant application, article, blogpost) with your application.

More here. 

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