Metropolitan Museum of Art, Associate Curator, Asian Art - Modern and Contemporary Art
Associate Curator, Asian Art - Modern and Contemporary Art, 20th and 21st Century East Asian Art
|Location:||New York, United States|
The Metropolitan Museum of Art collects, conserves, studies, presents, and interprets significant works of art across more than 5000 years and many distinctive cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas. Since the Museum’s founding in 1870, it has aspired to be more than a repository of rare objects; in 2021 it represents and embraces global cultures through the preservation of works of art and their interpretation through scholarly research and art historical re-evaluation, exhibitions, and publications, as well as through educational resources online and in live programs, working closely and collaboratively with departments across the institution and with local, national, and international colleagues and communities. The Met’s increased focus on diversity and inclusion in its collections, programs, and staff—as well as on enriched narrative content that prioritizes the visitor experience and public access—reflects an institutional belief in the power of art and ideas to engage broader audiences.
About Modern and Contemporary Art
Established in 1967, the department of Modern and Contemporary Art spans the period from approximately 1900 to the present, including painting, sculpture, installations, works on paper, and time-based media, as well as architecture, design, and decorative arts. Global in scope, the mission of Modern and Contemporary Art is to expand the history, study and understanding of national and international artistic practice within the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, while presenting a contemporary trajectory to the Museum’s historic collections.
General Statement of Responsibilities:
The Associate Curator will be an experienced specialist in twentieth and twentieth-first century East Asian art, encompassing China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong; and Southeast Asia, including mainland Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Peninsular Malaysia; and maritime Brunei, East Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, Philippines, and Singapore. S/he will be responsible for conceiving and developing an acquisition strategy that is both specific to the region and in alignment with the department’s larger commitment to representing an international scope of history. Working with the Chairman and curatorial colleagues from the Modern and Contemporary Art team, with colleagues in the departments of Asian and Islamic art, the strategy will take into account the museum’s existing holdings of Asian art from which to actively build such a collection. S/he will also cultivate and maintain a community of important collectors, patrons and donors who will support and fund acquisitions.
Another critical aspect of the job will be the research, development, and active interpretation and integration of the collection of Asian art within the context of the international framework of the Modern and Contemporary Art program. S/he will be responsible for the initiation of integrated collections displays working closely with Modern and Contemporary Art curatorial colleagues, conservators, collection specialists, and the collections manager to ensure provenance, materiality and non-traditional media specifications are researched thoroughly so the collection can be cared for appropriately and sensitively. Other responsibilities entail occasional projects with colleagues in other curatorial departments on trans-historical collection initiatives: exploring cross-cultural encounters and international exchange are key to this position. The Associate Curator’s duties also include the development of long-term partnerships and reciprocity with local, national, and international communities, scholars, artists, and audiences; the planning and realization of exhibitions and artist commissions, with accompanying publications (where appropriate); and participation in all activities of the department and more broadly within the museum.
Candidates for this position must demonstrate a strong background and interest in building and overseeing an important collection of modern or contemporary Asian art. They will be dynamic, experienced museum professionals who are highly respected by colleagues and collectors across the region as effective advocates for their area of expertise through some or all of the following ways: innovative research and interpretation; development of public or private collections; cultivating highly informed groups of collectors and donors to support acquisitions of Asian art; and a demonstrated commitment to broad and inclusive audience engagement through scholarly lectures, public presentations, and community partnerships. The ideal candidate will be a published scholar well-versed in a range of both modern and contemporary Asian art, passionately dedicated to the study of art and its cultural meanings and relevance, and deeply committed to The Met’s mission of inclusive access, collaboration, and dialogue.
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES & DUTIES:
- Conceive in collaboration with the Chairman and other curatorial colleagues a distinctive Collection Strategy for international modern and contemporary art;
- Build a notable collection of modern and contemporary art of East Asia and Southeast Asia;
- Cultivate and maintain a group of important collectors, patrons and donors, committed to support and fund acquisitions;
- Engage in scholarly research into the collection, actively reexamining its history and its significance in a contemporary context, including updating and expanding the collection database and web labels for online use and public access;
- Research, catalogue, and publish specific areas of collection (according to expertise) in print and on Museum website, with particular attention to provenance research and historical accuracy;
- Work with curatorial colleagues to plan and oversee regular rotations of modern and contemporary art collection displays, including selection of work and writing of interpretive didactics;
- Propose and organize special installations, artist commissions, exhibitions and accompanying publications and online research texts in collaboration with curatorial colleagues across the museum;
- Cultivate and maintain good working relationships with artists, potential donors, collectors and patrons, including active involvement with departmental support groups such as The Modern Circle;
- Consult with Modern and Contemporary Art curatorial colleagues, conservators and collections managers on the care of a broad range of materiality, including works of mixed media and time-based media;
- Contribute to the Met’s scholarly publications, including catalogue essays and entries, as well as printed and new online content;
- Contribute to the educational mission of Museum through public lectures, docent training, mentorship of interns and fellows; and outside teaching opportunities, where possible;
- Foster and maintain positive working relationships with colleagues across Museum and within national and international institutions, as well as with members of scholarly communities, gallerists, collectors, and other individuals involved with the interests of the Museum;
- Other duties as assigned.
REQUIREMENTS & QUALIFICATIONS
Experience and Skills:
- Minimum 5 years in museum or academic institution;
- Proven scholarly achievement in the field of twentieth and twenty-first century Asian art, including original research and critical inquiry in publications, exhibitions and public speaking;
- Critical understanding of current curatorial practice and methodologies;
- Demonstrated experience organizing collection displays, exhibitions and educational programs;
- Proven experience of cultivating donors and collectors;
- Proven project-management skills and ability to work effectively and collaboratively in partnership with other colleagues;
- Demonstrated engagement with and knowledge of artistic practice around the world;
- Ability to undertake creation of precise and deeply researched records and databanks;
- Commitment to maintaining a high degree of professionalism and diplomacy;
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written, oral, visual);
- Highly motivated, organized, and detail-oriented;
- Ability to contribute to an inclusive and positive work environment;
- Demonstrated competence in Met’s core capabilities: (a) quality of work, (b) collaboration, (c) communication, and (d) adaptability to change,
Knowledge and Education:
- Advanced academic qualifications in the study of History of Art or Cultural History of Asia
- Expertise in twentieth and twenty-first century Asian art
- Extensive knowledge of international modern and contemporary cultures
- Demonstrated achievement in current curatorial practice
- Excellent written and spoken English
- At least one language from the region spoken fluently
- PLEASE NOTE: The final deadline for applications is Friday, July 16. Please submit a cover letter outlining skills and experiences relevant to the job description (maximum of 2 pages) along with CV.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art provides equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, alienage or citizenship status, marital status or domestic partner status, genetic information, genetic predisposition or carrier status, gender identity, HIV status, military status and any other category protected by law in all employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, lay-off and termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment.
Please apply via Careers@metmuseum.org. The final deadline for applications is Friday, July 16. Please submit a cover letter outlining skills and experiences relevant to the job description (maximum of 2 pages) along with CV.
|Primary Category:||Asian American History / Studies
|Secondary Categories:||Asian History / Studies