The Block Museum of Art's Assistant Curator works on initiatives related to special projects. They undertake object-based art historical research and delivers content through diverse formats, including exhibitions, cataloguing works of art, speaking about works of art in the Print Study Room, and developing art-related content for the museum’s website. In collaboration with Block staff, they provide creative input and develop strategies for conceiving and accomplishing multifaceted projects including benchmarking initiatives among peers and establishing interim goals on the road to a project’s completion. They act as project manager for initiatives that require close coordination between the curatorial and other Block departments, and are a liaison and collaborator with faculty, students, and community members regarding special projects.
*Note: Not all aspects of the job are covered by this job description.
Work as part of a collaborative project team to develop the exhibition Woven Being: Indigenous Art Histories of Chicagoland (working title). The project explores the factors that have shaped and continue to shape Indigenous creative practices in Chicago, putting the present in conversation with the past. The project is developed through a processes that uphold Indigenous curatorial methodologies of inclusivity, reciprocity, and research shaped by community priorities. The Assistant Curator is a member of the collaborative project team, contributing to the exhibition’s processes and content through their ideas, research, writing, interactions, and planning.
Manage team communications and partner with Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and other team members to coordinate and implement internal and external project meetings, participate in meetings, and take meeting notes. Help plan, coordinate, and implement Visioning Sessions for project advisors and partners and contribute to debriefing and collating information.
Collaborate on coordination with Northwestern campus programs and partners. Actively participate in engagement with local and regional Indigenous community members and partner organizations. In dialogue with the team, work with artists engaged in the project. Undertake directed research in Chicago area collections and archives. Help plan project-related travel and undertake travel with the team. Research objects for the exhibition checklist and manage checklist. Assist with loans.
Participate in conceptualizing publication and contribute to it as an author (extent TBD by team). Help manage publication production, including photo rights and organizing materials for submission to editor, designer, and publisher.
Work closely with Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs on a range of matters related to the curatorial department, including exhibition planning, installation, and engagement programming. Assist in the preparation of materials for meetings including weekly curatorial department meeting and bi-monthly acquisitions strategy meeting; track exhibition proposals and related correspondence; prepare bi-yearly Exhibition Descriptions document and manage its distribution to campus entities; research acquisitions, collection works, or exhibitions as needed. At times, work on discreet and varied exhibition or acquisition-related projects including organize materials for exhibition catalogues, research and correspondence related to image-rights, organization of scholar’s workshops, take notes during meetings or workshops, and assist with visiting artists. Other duties related to the daily functioning of the curatorial department as assigned.
Research potential acquisitions as assigned, considering artistic quality, place within an artist’s practice, comparisons, cultural significance, condition, and history of ownership. Create substantive object files for new acquisitions as assigned, including researching the works of art.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
A master’s degree in an appropriate specialization or the equivalent combination of education, training, and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired.
Expertise in Indigenous art and methodologies.
One to two years of curatorial or related museum experience.
Strong research, writing, and public speaking skills.
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