Curator / Collections Management / Conservator Positions

Curator of Exhibitions
Virginia Historical Society
Richmond, Virginia, USA

Position Announcement – Curator of Exhibitions
Updated July 27, 2017

Position: The Virginia Historical Society seeks a creative, scholarly, team-oriented, and guest-focused individual for the position of Curator of Exhibitions. This individual serves as part of the Exhibitions and Publications Division, reports directly to the Vice President for Exhibitions and Publications, and will be responsible for imagining, researching, and developing exhibitions featuring the VHS collection of nearly 9 million items. The curator will also assist with the continued improvement of content and interpretation of the VHS’s existing long-term exhibitions. This work will be conducted either individually or as part of a team that may include the Senior Curator of Exhibitions or other scholars. The curator also works with staff throughout the institution to develop and deliver educational programs related to our exhibitions, assist in writing grant applications that fund exhibitions, develop content for use in publications and on the website, and serve as a spokesperson in promoting our exhibitions in the media and other public forums. The curator will also apply their research to the improvement of records related to VHS collections and work with Collections staff to evaluate proposed donations, purchases, and collecting priorities.

Critical projects upon the selected candidate’s arrival will include participating in the continued development, object selection, and writing of a 4,000 square-foot exhibition exploring the legacy of the arrival of the first Africans at Jamestown in 1619; the ideation and development of engaging 1,000 square-foot traveling exhibitions that will expose the VHS and its collection to audiences nationwide, and contributing to the development of a long-term exhibition plan that will be a critical element of the VHS’s upcoming strategic planning process.

Qualifications: Ph.D. in history, public history, art history, or closely related field, or a graduate degree combined with exemplary experience; demonstrated excellence in organizing compelling thematic exhibitions and conducting independent research; extensive knowledge of the history of the United States, Virginia, and the American south; thorough knowledge of industry best practices; and experience working with and handling historical objects.

Salary: Salary commensurate with experience; benefits package.

Availability: This position will be open August 1, 2017.

Application: Send letter of interest, resume with list of publications and past exhibitions, and list of references electronically to For additional information, please contact Andrew H. Talkov, Vice President for Exhibitions & Publications at 804-340-2276 or email

Founded in 1831, the Virginia Historical Society is the oldest cultural organization in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and one of the oldest and most distinguished history organizations in the nation. Located in the Museum District of Richmond, Virginia, the VHS houses its collection of nearly 9 million items and serves as the state history museum with permanent and special exhibitions as well as a vibrant portfolio of public programs.

The Virginia Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Please reference when applying for this job.
This job posted by MERC from August 6 through November 7.

Curator of Collections
Customs House Museum & Cultural Center
Clarksville, Tennessee, USA

Curator of Collections Search

Location: Clarksville, Tennessee
Position Title: Curator of Collections
Company Name: Customs House Museum & Cultural Center
Job Function: Curator
Job Type: Full-Time
Job Duration: Indefinite
Minimum Education: B.A, M.A. preferred
Minimum Experience: 3-5 years

The Clarksville-Montgomery County Museum, doing business as the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center (CHM&CC), opened to the public in 1984 in the historic 1898 Federal Building which originally served as Clarksville, Tennessee’s Post Office and Customs House. The structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and the building’s unusual architecture has since earned the reputation of being one of the most photographed structures in the state. In 1996, an addition was added to the historic structure, increasing the facility to approximately 50,000 square feet, making it the second largest general interest museum in Tennessee. The Museum operates as a recognized nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) U.S. organization governed by a Board of Trustees. The Museum is currently operated by a professional staff of twelve full-time and five part-time employees and is open to the public six days a week.

The CHM&CC’s mission is to collect, preserve and interpret historical, artistic, and scientific material; its vision is to expose the widest audience possible to the creativity and ingenuity of the human spirit through art, science, and history within the context of cultural diversity. Its collection of approximately 21,000 objects primarily focuses on materials related to Clarksville, Montgomery County, its people, and their stories. In addition to its long-term and interactive exhibits, the Museum annually mounts approximately thirty changing exhibitions, including traveling exhibitions or internally curated ones drawn from loans and/or objects from the permanent collection. In addition, CHM&CC offers extensive educational programming for all ages.

Clarksville, Tennessee, the county seat of Montgomery County, has a population of approximately 150,000, and is the fifth largest city in the state. It is located 50 miles northwest of Nashville. The community offers a low cost of living and no state income tax.

The Opportunity

The Curator of Collections oversees the management, care, safeguard, development, research, and public presentation of the Museum’s collections and related archival materials. S/he is an integral member of the team who mobilizes the Museum’s mission. The Curator of Collections primarily works independently but may occasionally achieve her/his goals and objectives with the assistance of other staff members, interns, and/or volunteers. S/he reports to the Executive Director.

Essential Functions
  1. Oversee the care, preservation, documentation, interpretation, security, and reproduction of collections and related archival materials;
  2. Create and maintain safe, secure, and orderly systems for housing, storing, tracking, and locating collections according to best museum practices and available resources;
  3. Administrate collections management software and provide training to other staff members, interns, and/or volunteers when warranted;
  4. Maintain a working knowledge of and familiarity with the scope of the collection;
  5. Conduct periodic inventories of collections;
  6. Monitor environmental conditions for exhibited and/or stored materials;
  7. Assist with developing a disaster preparedness plan in relation to collections;
  8. Conduct object-specific and general research related to the collections and interpret and communicate information in various formats to a broad range of constituents;
  9. Serve as point person with donors and members of the Collections Committee, and coordinate and process all aspects of donated acquisitions in a timely manner;
  10. Field public inquiries regarding collections and requests to view objects not on exhibit;
  11. Manage collection development and growth, including identifying specific needs and making recommendations for acquisitions in accordance with the organizational mission and Collections Management Policy;
  12. Coordinate incoming and outgoing loans, including associated forms and reports, and assist with unpacking, packing, and handling objects in accordance with best museum practices;
  13. Prepare collection objects for exhibition;
  14. Develop strategies for using the collections as a resource for external research and scholarship;
  15. Develop an annual collections budget in consultation with the Executive Director and Finance Manager;
  16. Work as a team member with other staff to develop, create, maintain, and evaluate long-term, temporary, and traveling exhibitions that utilize collection objects and research;
  17. Work as a team member to plan, execute and evaluate educational programming and outreach efforts related to the collections;
  18. Serve as a Museum ambassador before professional museum organizations, funding agencies, businesses, service clubs, government agencies, and the general public;
  19. Network with representatives from other museums and/or organizations related to the Museum’s mission;
  20. Assist other staff on projects as needed and when time allows;
  21. Complete other duties, responsibilities, and activities assigned by the Executive Director.
  1. Minimum of a B.A. degree, M.A. preferred, in Museum Studies, Public or Applied History, Material Culture, Art, or related field.;
  2. Three to five years of demonstrable experience with collections management, curatorial responsibilities, and museum exhibition experience preferred;
  3. Experience with collections management software, preferably PastPerfect;
  4. Solid working knowledge of the preservation, restoration, exhibition, packing, transportation and insuring of objects;
  5. Ability to manage interns and/or volunteers;
  6. Excellent verbal and writing skills;
  7. Able to work at a desk and utilize a computer for extended periods of time;
  8. Able to stand for prolonged periods, walk, bend, climb, reach, and lift/move objects up to 40 pounds;
  9. Able to handle small tools;
  10. Good eye/hand coordination.

Benefits include vacation, paid holidays, sick leave, and health/vision/dental insurance.

Procedure for Application

Applicants should electronically submit a current CV, letter of application stating interest in the position and related experience, salary requirements, and the names of three professional references. Submit applications to with the subject line: Curator of Collections Search.

Please reference when applying for this job.
This job posted by MERC from June 30 through September 29.

Collections Manager
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA

The John Michael Kohler Arts is seeking an experienced Collections Manager for a newly created position developed to provide leadership for two major collections-based initiatives and to lead the registrar team. The first major initiative is the development of the Art Preserve—a new facility that will house the Arts Center’s permanent collection with innovative storage and display methods. The Collections Manager will work collaboratively with the curatorial and building team to ensure that building and exhibition designs meet the long-term needs of the collection and strategize the long term care of the Arts Center’s extensive collection of artist-built environments. The facility is slated to open to the public in 2020.

The second initiative is the digitization of the permanent collection—this process is underway and is intended to fill both the internal needs of the collections management database and the external needs of our public seeking access and information. The Collection Manager will evaluate collections software applications, work with the curatorial team to identify priorities, recommend best practices, and serve as project manager for all digitization efforts.  The Collections Manager will also ensure that digitization plans complement the designs for the curated storage facility.

The Exhibitions and Collections department is comprised of ten full-time employees. In addition to overseeing the management of the collections, the Collections Manager will oversee the typical registrar functions of the Arts Center, as well as the management of ten to sixteen exhibitions per year, which could include touring exhibitions, temporary loans, site-specific installations and the collections based exhibitions.

Permanent Collection

Provide leadership and project management for all collections related initiatives at the Arts Center including conservation, digitization, and a major collections move.

Oversee all aspects of collection records, including accession, deaccession, deeds of gifts, and object records; including electronic, paper, and photographic records.

Develop and ensure standards are met on all aspects of the handling and movement of all works of art within the storage area, galleries, and on the grounds.

Lead the initiative to make the collection information available online to a broad public.

Temporary Loans

Review information and paperwork for temporary loans.  Look for opportunities to streamline and automate processes.

Work with the exhibitions and collections team to plan each temporary exhibition.  Oversee (and assist when needed) the registrars in their management of the logistics related to the transportation of works of art to and from the Arts Center, including:

Managerial and Administrative

Manage and assist collections and registrar staff.  Establish departmental goals and objectives consistent with the Arts Center’s strategic plan. Directly manage the registrarial team. 

Work collaboratively with the development department for funding requests involving collections.

Manage the permanent collection budget and develop the annual budget regarding exhibition and collection production areas for inclusion in the exhibitions budget.

Update and keep current records regarding the value of permanent and temporary art, including fine arts insurance or possible claims.

  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in arts management, collections management, or related field. A Master’s degree in a related field is preferred but will consider a combination of training and education.
  • A minimum of seven years of experience working in museum registration and collections management with a thorough and comprehensive understanding of best practices in museum registration, insurance, and art handling.
  • Significant project management experience required. The ability to facilitate, implement, and budget a project plan is a must.
  • Excellent knowledge of museum conservation/preservation practices
  • Proven track record with collections database software and Microsoft Office Suite; knowledge of imaging software preferred
  • A minimum of five years of supervisory responsibility with a demonstrated ability to lead a cohesive team and meet or exceed goals.
  • Flexibility to travel and/or work extended hours as needed; ability to engage in significant physical activity
  • A valid driver’s license is required as well as a clear driving record
The John Michael Kohler Arts Center, located on the western shore of Lake Michigan is one hour north of Milwaukee and two and a half hours from Chicago.

Send cover letter, resume, and list of professional references to: John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Human Resources, 608 New York Avenue, Sheboygan, WI 53081 or email Application materials will be reviewed upon receipt.

Additional information about JMKAC is available at

Please reference when applying for this job.
This job posted by MERC from June 7 through September 6.

The last update to this page was 8-14-17.