The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, European Art
Senior Curator, European Painting & Sculpture
|Location:||Missouri, United States|
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Louis L. and Adelaide C. Ward Senior Curator, European Painting and Sculpture
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, one of the country’s leading art museums, is seeking a highly motivated scholar of European Art to join its Senior Curatorial team.
One of the country’s leading art museums, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is dedicated to the enjoyment and understanding of the visual arts and the varied cultures they represent. At the core of the Museum’s vision of the future is the goal of playing a central role in Kansas City life by catalyzing connections to neighbors; an ever-expanding range of visitors; and community, civic and cultural partners in the city and the larger region. In short, the Nelson-Atkins is “where the power of art engages the spirit of the community.”
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is recognized as one of the world’s finest encyclopedic art museums, with collections encompassing more than 33,500 art objects, including masterpieces from diverse world cultures spanning 5,000 years of history. Well known for the arts of China and also Japan, South and Southeast Asia, the museum also holds significant European art, American art, American Indian art, African art and a magnificent photography collection. In addition, the Nelson-Atkins boasts strong modern and contemporary collections with a major emphasis on sculpture that supports the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park, which includes over 30 monumental works. The encyclopedic collection represents a pinnacle of artistic achievement and serves as evidence of humankind’s history, religions, philosophies, aspirations, and daily lives.
The collection of European Painting and Sculpture includes a strong group of Italian paintings. One of the museum’s greatest treasures is Caravaggio’s Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness. The stars of the Northern European paintings are works by Petrus Christus, Wtewael, and a portrait by Rembrandt. The French paintings include a major Poussin, as well as a fine collection of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. The latter includes Monet’s Boulevard des Capucines and Water Lilies, van Gogh’s Olive Orchard, and works by Cézanne, Gauguin and Manet.
Guided by the museum’s mission and led by the Director, Curatorial Affairs, the Senior Curator is responsible for the care, display, interpretation, promotion and publication of the permanent collection. This includes: constant assessment of collection needs and display; developing future exhibitions; overseeing print gallery rotations with departmental staff; educating the general public and employees through lectures, in-gallery talks and docent trainings; and enhancing and shaping the growth of the European collection through gifts and patronage. As an authority in European Art, he or she will provide counsel to Trustees, the Director/CEO, Director, Curatorial Affairs, and patrons.
The Senior Curator will oversee an Associate Curator, department assistant, research assistants, Interns, and, at times, project teams. He or she will collaborate with all the curators and with the interpretation, education, design and marketing staff to ensure that the European Art department meets the highest professional standards of creativity, innovation, quality, relevance, and audience engagement.
Exhibitions and Programs
The Senior Curator will develop a dynamic range of exhibitions, along with publications and related programs that will increase the museum’s audience for European Art and enhance patronage for the department and the museum in general.
The position will focus on creating collaborative exhibitions, programs, and initiatives that offer connections across time, cultures, media, and multiple disciplines to advance the museum’s comprehensive and embracing interpretive approach.
Working collaboratively with the development team, the Senior Curator will assist in the pursuit of resources required to maintain and deepen the department’s exhibitions and programs, publications, and acquisitions, as well as support the museum’s wide-ranging development efforts and campaigns.
The Senior Curator will prepare department budgets and build strong relationships with external and internal partners. The role reaches beyond academic research and involves the Senior Curator’s expertise and participation in all aspects of the museum, including visitor experience, public relations, and fiscal accountability.
Candidates should possess the following type of knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience:
- Strong museum background with ten (10) or more years as a Curator to include deep scholarly knowledge of field with experience in generating lively, artistically significant programs, originating innovative exhibitions, and enhancing the permanent collection through thoughtful interpretation and acquisitions.
- Master’s degree in Art History; PHD in European Art, with a focus on Renaissance to Baroque art.
- Demonstrated proficiency in writing successfully as a published author of European Art in catalogues, journals and other scholarly publications. Open to and following currents in online and digital publishing.
- Previous experience supervising a staff of Assistant/Associate Curators and administrative personnel including the ability to manage, mentor and develop high performers and build succession.
- Strategic vision and creativity, coupled with a self-motivated and results-oriented work ethic.
- Extensive participation in scholarly and public forums, collaborative projects with education, interpretation and through community outreach.
- Experience developing and/or implementing, from a Senior Curatorial perspective, multiple temporary and permanent exhibitions, with cross institutional teams and shared authority.
- A background in, or knowledge of and training in, conservation issues as related to art.
- Experience forecasting and managing labor and program budgets for a department and exhibitions.
- Must have excellent credentials and be a recognized leader in his or her field of study as well as have the ability to formulate and implement a vision for the department.
- Proven experience working closely with donors and collectors.
- An ability to interact well with Trustees in order to assure long-term support for the department’s activities.
The successful candidate should be:
- A mission-driven individual with a belief in and commitment to the mission of the Nelson-Atkins; a strong interest in, and passion for, the visual arts;
- A good listener and strategist; comfortable receiving input from many sources, and able to analyze and formulate disparate information into a sound, well-organized plan;
- Intrepid yet tactful; determined yet respectful of other’s concerns; someone with the flexibility and creativity needed to find alternative ways to reach objectives when barriers arise;
- A charismatic communicator, able to build enthusiasm for the museum, its exhibitions and programs, and for innovative approaches that advance the reputation of the Nelson-Atkins as a leading museum regionally, in the United States and the world; exceptional verbal and written communication skills;
- A hard worker with a high energy level; a “doer” with a willingness to work hands-on in developing and executing a variety of Senior Curatorial activities;
- Emotionally mature (High Emotional IQ) with a very good sense of humor and the flexibility and sensitivity to work with diverse personalities and situations.
A competitive compensation package, corresponding to the experience level, credentials and personal characteristics of the candidate will be offered.
We firmly support the principle and philosophy of equal opportunity for all individuals, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other protected category pursuant to applicable federal, state or local law.
For more information contact:
Kelly Summers, Director of Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816 751.1276
Antonia Boström, Director, Curatorial Affairs at aboström@nelson-atkins.org or 816 751.1212
Apply online at:
|Primary Category:||Art and Art History
|Secondary Categories:||Asian American History / Studies