Associate Curator of East Asian Art

The San Diego Museum of Art

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The Associate Curator works with the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Education to research, display, acquire, and interpret the Museum’s collection of East Asian art, which includes approximately 5,000 works of art in various media. The Associate Curator must be an accomplished professional in the field of East Asian art, with a record of distinguished scholarship, publications, acquisitions, and exhibitions.


Conducting research and writing on the collection that will result in publication in a variety of formats including catalogue essays, wall texts, labels, articles for the Museum’s magazine, Museum app and website.

Curating displays and organizing the planning of exhibitions within the Museum as well as touring exhibitions domestically and abroad.

Refining the collection and making recommendations for acquisitions and deaccessions.

Reviewing requests for loans from the collection and advising the Curatorial Committee accordingly.

Researching potential gifts to the Museum to ensure that the object fits with the collection, is in good condition and has a solid provenance. The Associate Curator will comply with due diligence standards in accordance with AAM (American Alliance of Museums) guidelines.

Working in close collaboration with the Museum’s Education and Development teams to develop opportunities for interpretative materials and programming and to secure funding.

Responding to queries concerning the collection and assessing collections for research.

Providing lectures and tours to staff, docents, Museum members and the public. The Associate Curator will be able to communicate effectively with the press.

Liaising with relevant support council(s) and attending their meetings and functions as appropriate, and ensuring that they are aware of and able to support the Museum program.

Couriering loans nationally and internationally and assisting with condition reporting and installations as required; acting as an Ambassador for the Museum when travelling.

Collaborating effectively with the Deputy Director, and all other staff and docents of the Museum as well as with representatives of other Museums and external collections.

Attending Museum events and collection visits out of hours as necessary.

Contributing to the scholarship of East Asian art history; regularly publishing within this field of expertise; participating in national and international conferences and symposia.

Supervising Museum interns as may be required.

The Associate Curator will perform any other duties as may be required.


Ph.D. in Art History preferred;

Demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following areas: Chinese Art, Japanese Art, Korean Art;

5 years’ experience in a curatorial role in a museum, or equivalent experience in the arts commercial sector or academia;

Record of publications, fellowships, and public speaking;

Passion for the role of visual arts and for developing new audiences;

Experience with Collections databases;

Experience in donor cultivation;

Excellent communication skills;

Eagerness to work collaboratively and in an innovative manner;

Proficiency in at least one foreign language related to field of study.


The position requires time working outside the Museum; a considerable time sitting or standing; and some climbing of stairs and reaching.

The position requires a substantial amount of time communicating by phone, email and in person.

Some travel will be required.


Indoors in a climate-controlled office environment with light background noise.

How to Apply

If interested, please submit cover letter, resume, and writing sample to: or submit to The San Diego Museum of Art, Attention: Human Resources, PO Box 122107, San Diego, CA 92112.

The San Diego Museum of Art is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in the hiring of personnel on the basis of sex, race, religion, color, national origin, disability, protected medical condition, marital status, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, military or veteran status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.

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Posted on September 24