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Andrew W. Mellon Curator/Senior Curator of American Art—Arts of the Americas and Europe

The Andrew W. Mellon Curator/Senior Curator of American Art (to be appointed at the Curator or Senior Curator level, depending on experience) is an engaged and exceptional scholar and communicator who will envision and interpret our renowned collection of American art to build on the significant legacy of one of our oldest and most celebrated collections.

Originating as part of the Museum’s founding collection, the American collection of approximately 1,400 paintings and sculptures from the colonial period through 1945 stands among the country's leading collections of American art, distinguished for being exceptionally complete and exceedingly fine. These holdings are vastly enhanced in depth and context by approximately 4,550 American works on paper, which together constitute an outstanding collection in its own right. In 2010, the Brooklyn Museum founded the Council (formerly the Fund) for African American Art, following nearly 50 years of groundbreaking monographic exhibitions on Black artists, to extend the vital presence of African American art into our galleries of historical American art by supporting and encouraging purchases and gifts of works by leading precontemporary African American artists. The American painting and sculpture galleries are a vital mainstay of our collection installations and education programs.


  • Advanced degree in the history of art with a strong concentration in American art prior to 1945, Ph.D. preferred
  • Proven ability to conceptualize original, canon-expanding, and timely collection and research-based loan exhibitions
  • Five to ten years of museum experience mounting important exhibitions and producing significant publications that have advanced scholarship and connected audiences with American art in engaging ways
  • Proven understanding of collection building, including acquisition strategies and market research, collection research, conservation needs and priorities, and best practices for current methods of display
  • Demonstrated commitment to engaging multiple public audiences, developing new scholarly approaches to the field, collaborating to incorporate new methodologies for presenting historical material, and innovative research and scholarship
  • Record of mentorship of junior staff
  • Strong writing and communication skills, and ability to teach and work effectively with diverse audiences
  • Natural leader and manager with broad experience in museums and demonstrated success in working with colleagues in a highly collaborative environment
  • Established contacts with national and international curators, dealers, and other museum professionals as well as a commitment to cultivating new relationships intended to enhance the Museum’s displays and programming of American art

Responsibilities: The Andrew  W. Mellon Curator/Senior Curator of American Art is a leader both inside and outside the Museum, playing a leadership role on our curatorial team as an institutional ambassador actively engaging with collectors and patrons, professional colleagues, partner institutions, and the Brooklyn community.

  • Conceptualize and produce exciting exhibitions from the permanent collection, both for exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and for travel to other venues
  • Imagine and oversee an expansive reinstallation of the collection to connect the conversations of today with the past in smart, timely ways
  • Research and interpret the American collections and participate in cross-disciplinary exhibitions, installations, and publications in collaboration with the full Curatorial team
  • Perform ongoing reviews of the collection in order to recommend refinement, including acquisitions and deaccessioning, in accordance with our collection plan
  • Work with Education to develop meaningful links and connections to audiences from diverse communities
  • Work with registrars and collection managers to maintain complete, up-to-date, and orderly records and cataloguing for the collection
  • Collaborate with Conservation to provide planning and oversight for collection maintenance and conservation in accordance with best practices of collection stewardship
  • Supervise the Assistant Curator of American Art, Curatorial Assistant, interns, and volunteers 
  • Collaborate with Development to advance support for the collection and the Museum, and assist in related grant writing, events, and programs
  • Develop relationships with collectors and donors to attract important gifts for the collection
  • Participate in the process of an active loan program from the collection
  • Represent the Museum at professional conferences and symposia

Start date: Immediately

Department: Arts of the Americas and Europe

Reports to: Chief Curator

Position type: Full-time

Union status: Non-union

FLSA status: Exempt

Schedule: 35 hours per week, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm

Apply online

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