Curator Of Contemporary Decorative Arts

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

At an exciting moment for our Contemporary Art program, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston seeks a creative, energetic, and accomplished individual for the Ronald C. and Anita L. Wornick Curator of Contemporary Decorative Art. Reporting to the Department Chair, the ideal candidate will have the curiosity and vision to: grow and care for the contemporary craft, decorative art and design collection; develop engaging exhibitions; and, deepen relations with its donors.

S/he must be deeply committed to exploring the changing nature of art museums and their relationship to the public while developing exhibitions and programs that embrace the encyclopedic and global nature of the Museum and the consequent diversity of our holdings. S/he will champion the Museum’s core values, namely that the experience of our visitor is paramount to our mission, strategies and achievements.

S/he will have primary responsibility for managing installations, exhibitions, conducting research, and handling acquisition matters related to the field. S/he will work closely with current donors and cultivate new ones. S/he will be highly aware of the current discourse in the field and have a proven capacity to generate further scholarship.

S/he will have the ability to organize ambitious and innovative exhibitions and publications, and to integrate contemporary craft, decorative art and design into our installations. An interdisciplinary and highly collaborative approach to conceptualizing and carrying out projects will be essential to develop an overall vision for contemporary craft, decorative art and design at the Museum with the potential to attract and engage diverse audiences.

  • As directed by the Department Chair or Museum Director, participate in contemporary and interdisciplinary exhibitions with other curatorial departments. Develop, plan and organize installations in the permanent collections galleries.

  • Propose exhibition ideas and execute approved exhibitions. Direct and oversee related activities, including presentation in galleries, publications, brochures, labels, text, and other interpretive materials.

  • Further develop an overall vision for the scope and role of contemporary craft, decorative art and design in relation to the broader collection of contemporary art and the Museum’s encyclopedic collection.

  • Actively seek out opportunities to engage with Boston’s community and beyond with the goal to deliver on the Strategic Plan’s promise to be a meeting place of world cultures and to welcome and deeply engage a diverse range of visitors.

  • Collaborate with the Development department to cultivate and steward relationships with important collectors and donors and to seek and act upon opportunities that connect new and existing donors with the Museum. As necessary, partake in the process of grant applications.

  • In collaboration with the Chair, Director, and the Museum’s leadership team, discover, research, recommend and present objects for acquisition. Refine the collection through proposal of regular and thoughtful de-accessioning.

  • Work with Communications staff in marketing and public relations on endeavors that support exhibition projects or initiatives.

  • Share expertise, and maintain extensive contacts with colleagues, scholars, artists, collectors, dealers, consultants, as appropriate.

  • Work closely with Conservation and Collections Management, Exhibitions Strategy and Gallery Displays, Facilities, Protective Services, contractors and others partaking in art installations, to ensure proper conditions and protocols are applied.

  • Collaborate with departmental and Museum-wide colleagues to research and document the collection in the Museum’s collections database “The Museum System” (TMS). Evaluate and arrange for loans of objects to and from the collection.

  • Identify objects and consult with Provenance Curator, conservation and scientific staff to establish the history and authenticity of art objects.

  • Deliver talks on the permanent collection and special projects or exhibitions.

  • Travel and serve as an art courier, attend conferences, seminars; visit other Museums, maintain professional affiliations in appropriate organizations.

  • A Master’s or PhD in Art History or related field with a proven focus on Contemporary Craft, Decorative Art and Design, or other related discipline.

  • A minimum of 4 years of curatorial experience in the craft, decorative arts and design field.

  • Proven record of scholarly research and publishing in area(s) of specialty including a portfolio of exhibitions and publications that have advanced scholarship and connected visitors to contemporary art in engaging ways.

  • Possesses national and international perspective but is personally and professionally committed to an institution’s city, people and artistic community.

  • Superior ability to present and defend ideas and projects that earn the respect of colleagues and Museum’s leadership and builds credibility for the department and institution.

  • Should have established contacts with a national and international network of colleagues, artists, dealers, and other museum professionals with the desire and ability to cultivate new relationships intended to enhance the collection and programming.

  • Demonstrated track record of attracting and cultivating donors.

  • Strong planning and project management skills with the ability to manage various projects simultaneously and collaborating with colleagues across the institution to achieve the best outcome.

  • Strong sense of accountability for achieving stated objectives.

  • Must have the ability to partner with the Chair, Director and curatorial colleagues in developing the artistic vision and growth of a Contemporary Craft, Decorative Art, and Design collection that suitably aligns with the Museum’s encyclopedic collection and overall mission.

  • Committed to supporting and contributing to the success of the Museum’s financial endeavors and imperatives.

Personal Qualities and Attributes:

  • Intellectual rigor

  • Inspirational, passionate, curious

  • Must exhibit a generous and collaborative team spirit

  • Superior judgment, tact and diplomacy

How to Apply

Application materials are being accepted immediately. For consideration, please submit your letter of interest and CV to: You may also submit your materials via postal mail to: Human Resources Department, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

Posted on February 8