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Sills Family Consulting Curator, African Art

(Part-time, temporary (two years), non-union position)

We seek an innovative Consulting Curator to imagine and guide the presentation and growth of our rich collection of African art. The Consulting Curator will develop a fresh, critically relevant installation of our collection, to create inspiring encounters with the Museum’s African holdings. This is a part-time, two-year position.

The Brooklyn Museum acquired its first works from sub-Saharan Africa in 1900. Today, this collection numbers more than 6,000 objects and works of art, making it one of the largest of its kind in the United States. The collection is focused on the arts of West and Central Africa, with the core acquired in 1922 through purchases in London, Paris, and Brussels. The following year, the Museum displayed 1,500 objects in what was the first exhibition of African art—as art—in the United States. To date, it remains the largest exhibition of African art ever mounted. The collection has since grown to include works spanning more than 2,500 years, with over 100 cultures represented.

Responsibilities:

  • Assess and rethink the Museum’s extensive holdings of African art and organize an innovative, freshly conceived temporary installation highlighting major works, to showcase the breadth and depth of the collection and encourage public engagement
  • Work with the Shelby White and Leon Levy Director of the Museum and the Deputy Director/Chief Development Officer to identify and cultivate prospective donors to underwrite a permanent exhibition space for the African Art collection, as well as endowment funding to support the collection long-term
  • Work with senior Curatorial staff members to create a visual dialogue between the African Art collection and other significant works within the Museum’s holdings
  • Advocate for public and educational programming to increase visibility of the African Art collection and generate public interest
  • Conduct collection research, and respond to collection inquiries and loan requests as needed
  • Work with the Conservation team to address and remedy specific preservation issues throughout the entire African Art collection
  • Pending funding, begin to conceptualize the reinstallation of the entire African Art collection (or a robust portion thereof) in a permanent gallery space; outline prevailing themes and concepts as well as plans for the use of the physical space

Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in African art or anthropology
  • Minimum of three years of museum experience
  • Related publication record
  • Well-versed in historical African art (before the mid-twentieth century)
  • Compelling presentation skills
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with the entire Museum team, and to work closely with Curatorial colleagues
  • A deep commitment to engaging a wide and diverse audience in innovative and exciting ways

Schedule: Part time, two year appointment

To apply: Please submit your curriculum vitae and cover letter describing your particular suitability for the position to job.consulting.african.art@brooklynmuseum.org.