Curator of Folk Art

American Folk Art Museum

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The Curator of Folk Art provides leadership and intellectual oversight for the museum’s collections and exhibitions of historic and principally American folk art. The Curator of Folk Art (1) collaborates with the Director and staff to conceive and shape a distinctive and dynamic long-range exhibition program that advances the museum’s visibility and reputation, and ensures the Director’s strategic vision; (2) provides direction for collection growth through acquisitions; (3) actively cultivates relationships for gifts of funds for exhibitions and programs as well as gifts of art; and (4) contributes to the museum’s strategic planning process, helping to define objectives and programs to support its ongoing mission to promote knowledge of and appreciation for folk art.



Works with the Director and Exhibitions Committee to establish long-range plans for the exhibitions program; evaluates internal and external exhibition proposals and programs.

Curates original exhibitions drawn from the museum’s collection and external loans; partners with guest curators; and evaluates and contracts for important traveling exhibitions.

Develops and implements exhibition and publication budgets and schedules with appropriate staff.

Writes and edits exhibition and publication materials that convey sophisticated ideas while also appealing to a broad range of visitors and readers; collaborates with publications and design staff on production of materials.


Works with Director to solicit gifts of art to the collection.

Provides direction for collection growth and evaluation through acquisitions and deaccessions, and collecting plans.

Oversees research and interpretation of collection and cataloging.

Reviews and recommends loan requests based upon knowledge of the collection and merit of project.

Research and Education

Conducts original research for publications and exhibitions.

Works with Education Department in coordinating special programs related to exhibition schedules and developing interpretive programs and materials.

Promotion/Public Service

Meets with visitors, donors, collectors, and scholars as a representative of museum.

Responds to queries from the public regarding collections, exhibitions, and acquisitions and programs.

Conducts tours of exhibitions, museum, and collections to donors and potential donors, docents, scholars, etc.

Prepares and presents lectures and general talks.

Contributes to outside publications.

Visits public and private collections to expand knowledge in general and to solicit donations to museum collections.

Represents the museum and Director at appropriate professional associations and gatherings.

Builds and maintains network of professional relationships with artists, curators, critics, and other specialists locally, nationally, and globally.

Collaborates with development staff on fundraising, actively cultivating relationships with existing major and potential donors, foundations, and collectors.

Coordinates with Director of Communications and Marketing to promote exhibitions and other museum initiatives.

  • Master’s degree in field of American folk art, decorative arts, and/or art history.

  • Curatorial experience producing exhibitions/programs for museums.

  • Demonstrated experience and success in patron and donor cultivation necessary.

How to Apply

Please submit cover letter and resume to No phone calls, please.

Posted on June 27