Skip Navigation

Curator, Decorative Arts

We seek an exceptional scholar and communicator to oversee our curatorial program for decorative arts and design. The successful candidate for Curator of Decorative Arts will be an engaged curator/scholar of decorative arts with a commitment to our mission of creating inspiring encounters with art that expand the ways we see ourselves, the world, and its possibilities. They will have proven ability to conceptualize original, canon-expanding, and timely collection and loan exhibitions. They will play a leadership role on our curatorial team and also serve as an institutional ambassador, actively engaging with collectors and patrons, professional colleagues, partner institutions, and the Brooklyn community.
The formation of the Brooklyn Museum Decorative Arts collection began in 1902, and the collection now numbers approximately 32,000 American and European objects that span the fourteenth century to the present. The majority of works are American (23,000), forming one of the top collections in the country. These works include a suite of 28 period rooms, dating from the late seventeenth century to the 1980s, that is recognized as one of the finest and most extensive in the United States. A strong interest in New York and Brooklyn-made and owned objects has also come to define the collection.


  • M.A. required (Ph.D. preferred), with a degree in art history, material culture, or equivalent design studies
  • Minimum of five years of museum experience mounting important exhibitions and producing significant publications that have advanced scholarship and connected audiences with the decorative arts 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
  • Deep 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
  • Strong writing and communication skills, and the ability to teach and work effectively with diverse audiences
  • 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 decorative arts.


  • Conceptualize and produce innovative, canon-expanding exhibitions, both for exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum and in collaboration with national and international participants, as well as touring exhibitions.
  • In collaboration with the full curatorial team, research and interpret the Decorative Arts collection and participate in cross-departmental exhibitions, installations, and publications
  • Perform ongoing review of the collection in order to recommend refinement, including acquisitions and deaccessioning, in accordance with the Museum’s collection plan
  • Conceive, develop, and publish exhibition catalogues, scholarly articles, and related works, including via digital formats
  • 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
  • Work in collaboration with Conservation to provide planning and oversight for collection maintenance and conservation in accordance with best practices of collection stewardship
  • Work in collaboration with the Development department to develop and advance support for the collection and the Museum, and assist in related grant writing, events, and programs
  • Serve as a mentor to fellows, assistants, and interns
  • Develop relationships with collectors and donors to attract important gifts to the collection
  • Participate in the process of an active loan program from the collection
  • Represent the Museum at professional conferences and symposia
  • Other duties as required or assigned

Start date: Immediately

Department: Arts of the Americas and Europe

Reports to: Senior Curator, European Art

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

If you have questions about our online application system, please get in touch with us at