Contemporary art curating news and views from Michelle Kasprzak and team

Job: Curator, Wichita Art Museum

Posted by Sofia Landström • Friday, July 12. 2013 • Category: Jobs & Opportunities

Curator, Wichita Art Museum, Kansas
Deadline: Accepts proposals until a suitable hire is found


The Wichita Art Museum—in the largest metropolitan area in Kansas and with a premier American art collection -- seeks a dynamic, imaginative Curator with a deep commitment to American art scholarship and public engagement.

The museum stands at an exciting moment in its history, with new leadership and key senior staff. With a strong regional presence, the museum has a significant American art collection with 8,000 works across media and history. Its Roland P. Murdock collection is particularly strong in early American modernism holdings with prized examples by Charles Burchfield, Stuart Davis, Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Edward Hopper, Marsden Hartley, and others. The museum also holds a significant Steuben glass collection with an associated endowment.

The new Curator will contribute to creative programming of the collection, organization of exceptional exhibitions with related publications, and imaginative strategies for meaningful engagement of visitors. A reinstallation of the collection—aligned with new scholarship on American art and reflective of new findings in visitor studies -- will be among the Curator’s initial projects. The Curator will also be involved in a major project to newly envision the museum’s Art Campus and design and create an innovative outdoor garden environment that weds art and landscape.

The position reports to the director and is a critical member of the collaborative senior leadership team. The Curator envisions and organizes exhibitions, provides direction for development of the American art collection, conceives and plans innovative public programs, and imagines and develops writing for gallery, online, and publication. With the director, the Curator develops the museum’s exhibition calendar and interpretive strategies. The Curator works alongside registrarial and preparation staff who also report to the director. The work of the Curator advances all museum activities to heighten interest in the museum locally, regionally, and nationally and to inspire attendance and thoughtful encounters with compelling works of art.

Responsibilities include:

• Conceives, plans, and executes exhibitions and other projects based on original research and examining interdisciplinary humanities topics and historical themes

• Develops strategies for collection development; researches and proposes new art acquisitions

• Oversees and conducts research on the collection to share with scholarly and general audiences

• Collaborates with registrarial staff to identify conservation needs and priorities; may recommend deaccession and conduct relevant research

• Collaborates with key departments to ensure curatorial alignment with strategic museum goals

• Collaborates with education staff to develop and monitor innovative interpretation strategy aligned with best practices for visitor engagement

• Writes and edits animated, scholarly texts that appeal to a broad range of museum visitors

• Plans, develops, and implements approved budgets for curatorial projects

• Coordinates with registrarial and preparation staff to conceive, design, and implement exceptional exhibition installations

• Presents informal talks and formal lectures; collaborates with museum staff to develop social media communication

• Collaborates with development staff on fundraising and grant writing; actively cultivates relationships with museum patrons and potential donors, collectors, and foundation staff

• Actively participates in visitor evaluation to ensure community engagement and relevance

• Networks with relevant artists, art collectors, and arts and cultural colleagues in the metro area and region


The Wichita Art Museum Curator will work collaboratively with the director and other leading staff members to develop and execute the museum’s exhibitions, publications, and public engagement. A creative sense of exploration and commitment to team work are key to the museum’s work environment, and the Curator must be comfortable in an interactive, energetic workplace.

• Master’s degree in art history or related humanities discipline is required. Ph.D. is preferred,

• A minimum of four-years related work experience in a museum or academia is required,

• Demonstrated background in American art is preferred. Demonstrated background in glass art and/or decorative arts is preferred,

• Demonstrated scholarly publications with evidence of original research,

• Knowledge of art museum practices and protocols,

• Ability to plan, organize, and implement complex plans to meet targeted goals,

• Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships,

• Strong ability to communicate clearly and effectively, orally and in writing, with museum colleagues, patrons, artists, and the general public.

The Wichita Art Museum opened in 1935 and is home to the Roland P. Murdock Collection, one of the premier collections of American art. With a nationally distinguished collection, Edward Larrabee Barnes facility, $3 million annual budget, staff of 21 fulltime, 12 part-time and a corps of 100+ volunteers, the museum is a public/private partnership, owned by the City of Wichita and managed by Wichita Art Museum, Inc. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Wichita Art Museum’s mission is to be a viable and energetic home for creative dialogue and community interaction with superb American art.

Salary commensurate with experience. To submit an application, go online to, click on Employment (a briefcase icon), and then click on “Search for Jobs” tab. Supplemental materials may be attached to the application by Word document or PDF. The City of Wichita is an Equal Opportunity Employer and offers Veteran’s preference to qualified applicants.

Further information:

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