The Fariss Gambrill Lynn and Henry Sharpe Lynn Curator of European Art

Title: The Fariss Gambrill Lynn and Henry Sharpe Lynn Curator of European Art
Reports to: Director of Collections & Exhibitions
Status: Full time

Background

The Museum seeks a dynamic and engaging Curator of European Art to activate and expand a collection of approximately 1,400 works of art from Europe dating between the 14th century CE to 1970. The ideal candidate would be excited to explore the complex and multi-layered interactions between Europe and the wider world, in particular reexamining colonial legacies as well as Europe’s iterative interactions with global economies through art. We are seeking a colleague who places great value on collegiality and collaboration, and demonstrates a strong desire to create a more inclusive and diverse collection, collection presentation, and exhibition program.

The Fariss Gambrill Lynn and Henry Sharpe Lynn Curator of European Art is responsible for collections of paintings, works on paper, and sculpture from Europe dating before 1970. Existing highlights include an outstanding collection of 39 Old Master paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation with works by Paris Bordon and Canaletto; 49 18th-century French paintings from the Eugenia Woodward Hitt Collection; and more than 800 works on paper. Highlights from the museum’s collection of 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art include the work of artists Balthasar van der Ast and Jacob van Ruisdael. The 18th-century English painting collection includes portraits by Thomas Lawrence, Thomas Gainsborough, and Henry Raeburn. The Museum seeks to expand the collections in areas not yet a focus, such as Spanish and Portuguese art, and is looking for a colleague who will address Dutch, English, and French art created both in Europe and beyond, recognizing its impact on colonized spaces across the globe while considering the global nature of artist populations working in Europe.

Specific duties include:

  • Working in partnership with other Museum departments to conceive and implement new installations and gallery interpretation.
  • Prioritizing diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in all aspects of curatorial work.
  • Administering and managing all aspects of work within the European art department, including spearheading cross-departmental teams and projects.
  • Researching and disseminating findings through publications, lectures, gallery talks, labels, web-based media, and other forms of communication.
  • Organizing and orchestrating in-house and traveling exhibitions and bringing in significant exhibitions from elsewhere; working with the Advancement department to secure funding; with the Design department on gallery configuration; and with the Education department to craft public programs and engaging interpretive materials.
  • Developing and implementing long-term goals and objectives for the collection through acquisitions that include gifts, bequests, purchases, and deaccessioning projects.
  • Working with fellow staff to ensure the highest quality of care and maintenance of the permanent collection.
  • Participating actively in the intellectual life of the Museum by engaging in collection- and exhibition-related programming; carrying out creative research and publishing on the collection; growing access to the collection; supporting all fundraising activities to build the collection and exhibition programming; supporting all public relations efforts; working with partner organizations and the community in furtherance of our strategic goals.
  • Working closely with collectors and prospective donors both locally and farther afield.
  • Developing and providing direction for an existing collection support group, the European Art Society. This group is committed to the continued growth and development of the BMA’s permanent collection and to educating its members about European art.
  • Participating in professional organizations and other opportunities that arise for professional development.
  • Supervise and mentor fellows, interns, and paid staff as needed.

Qualifications

  • M.A. required (PhD preferred but not required) in art history, cultural studies or related field with general knowledge of the art historical field.
  • Suggested five years of museum experience and/or extensive knowledge of museum practices preferred.
  • Strong record of research, scholarship, and public speaking, with experience organizing exhibitions and producing publications.
  • Skill at strategically building a collection through gifts and purchases.
  • Passion and creativity as a standout colleague with strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to build positive and effective relationships with Museum trustees, members, donors, co-workers, and the broader community.
  • Excellent presentation and writing skills, effective communication and time management skills; resourceful, with creative problem solving skills; a thoughtful decision maker; and the ability to work with deadlines.
  • Strong record of supporting a collaborative work environment with colleagues, especially with regard to exhibition development, gallery installations and programming.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and respect for cultural differences and knowledge of DEAI practices; invested in building a diverse working environment.
  • Spanish or Portuguese language skills are preferred.

About the Museum

Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art is deeply invested in education and engagement and serves as a resource for communities locally, nationally, and internationally. It houses one of the finest collections in the Southeast of the United States. More than 27,000 objects displayed and housed within the Museum represent a rich panorama of cultures, including those from Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa, including work by both Pre-Columbian and Native North American artists. Highlights include the Museum’s collection of the arts of Asia, Vietnamese ceramics, the Kress collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the late 13th century to the 1750s, and the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Wedgwood, the largest outside of England.

Compensation

Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes an excellent benefits package.

Candidates should submit:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Writing sample
  • Names, addresses and phone numbers of three references

No phone calls or emails please.

An offer of employment is contingent upon verifying the accuracy of the information provided by the candidate and the successful passage of a background check. Review of applications will be ongoing until the position is filled.

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