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Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator of Photography

(Full-time, permanent, non-union position)

We seek a full-time curator to oversee and steward our collection of photography. The Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator of Photography enhances access to and understanding of this dynamic form of artistic expression through exhibitions, lectures, scholarship, and public engagement opportunities.

The individual in this position leads efforts in reimagining the role of photography within the Museum, is an active curator/scholar with interdisciplinary interests and a global perspective, and has a proven ability to conceptualize original, canon-expanding, and timely exhibitions and research projects, both temporary and from our permanent collection. The curator serves as an institutional ambassador, actively engaging with collectors and patrons, professional colleagues, partner institutions, and the Brooklyn community.  

We have maintained a tradition of excellence in the presentation of photography, dating back to 1889, when we acquired our first photographic work. Our holdings comprise more than 18,000 works with a strong focus on twentieth-century American artists, including Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Rudy Burckhardt, Andreas Feininger, Lee Friedlander, Lewis Hine, Consuelo Kanaga, Dorothea Lange, Danny Lyon, Aaron Siskind, W. Eugene Smith, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, and Garry Winogrand. In addition, the Museum houses a significant collection of Latin American photography, which is particularly rich in works by Manuel Álvarez Bravo. The collection also includes works by twenty-first century artists, including, Sophie Calle, Alfredo Jaar, Barbara Kruger, Robert Mapplethorpe, Gordon Matta-Clark, Adrian Piper, Andres Serrano, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, and David Wojnarowicz. Special exhibitions enrich our permanent holdings; recent projects dedicated to photography include Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to the Present; This Place; and Forever Coney: Photographs from the Brooklyn Museum Collection.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Conceptualize exhibitions from the collection and beyond, both for the Museum and other venues
  • Collaborate with other Museum curators on the integration of photography in their exhibitions and projects
  • Produce and present new scholarship in the form of lectures and publications
  • Oversee the care, stewardship, and refinement of the collection in accordance with the Museum’s collection strategy
  • Actively cultivate the gift of major works with donors for the permanent collection
  • Develop financial support from donors in close collaboration with the Development team
  • Work with Registrars to maintain complete and orderly records, and spearhead cataloguing for the collection
  • Collaborate with Conservation on the maintenance and care of the collection
  • Research the collection in collaboration with Exhibitions and other Collections curators
  • Participate in cross-disciplinary projects, exhibitions, installations, and publications
  • Advise on collection loan requests as needed
  • Represent the Museum at professional conferences, symposia, etc.

Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in the history of art with a strong concentration on photography of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (Ph.D. preferred)
  • Five years of curatorial museum experience
  • Compelling writing and presentation skills
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with the entire curatorial team
  • Demonstrated deep commitment to engaging a wide public audience in innovative and exciting ways

To apply: Please submit your curriculum vitae and a letter describing your particular suitability for the position to job.curator.photography@brooklynmuseum.org.