Curatorial Assistant

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the national museum of modern and contemporary art, is looking for a Curatorial Assistant. As a part of the Smithsonian Institution, the Hirshhorn is a leading voice for contemporary art and culture and provides a national platform for the art and artists of our time. We seek to share the transformative power of modern and contemporary art with audiences at all levels of awareness and understanding by creating meaningful, personal experiences in which art, artists, audiences, and ideas converge. We enhance public understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through acquisition, exhibitions, education and public programs, conservation, and research.


The primary responsibilities of this role include conducting and compiling modern and contemporary art historical and other research relevant to the understanding, use, loan, display, and care of works of art in the collection and for publication, curatorial projects, or public programs; supporting curatorial staff on the presentation and rotation of collection works in the museum galleries, lobby, garden, and plaza; maintaining exhibition checklists, working with Hirshhorn staff and outside artwork lenders to track exhibition items’ titles, media, dates, credit lines, installation requirements, loan status, insurance values, and other needs; providing exhibition tours and collection gallery tours to members of the public, Trustees, tour groups, and other Hirshhorn visitors and stakeholders; and arranging travel for visiting artists and scholars.


Conditions of Employment

Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation

May need to complete a Probationary Period

Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer

Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service.


For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccination requirements and its impact on your application, click on Smithsonian Institution’s Frequently Asked Questions.

Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the job announcement closing date.


Basic Requirements:

  1. Degree: museum work; or in an applicable subject-matter field.


  1. Combination of education and experience – courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus

appropriate experience or additional education.


  1. Four years of experience that provided knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of the 4-year course of study as shown in A above.


Experience: You qualify for this position if you have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07 level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system. For this position Specialized experience is defined as assisting curators and providing departmental support in performing research pertaining to exhibitions, acquisitions, and works of art in a modern and/or contemporary art museum collection; conducting research in a contemporary art museum library and on the internet, including foreign language sources; assisting in the acquisition of materials and artwork from collectors, libraries, galleries, and other modern and contemporary art museums.

Or Education: 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master’s degree or master’s or equivalent graduate degree

Or a Combination: Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications. For a full explanation of this option please see the Qualification Standards. Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the “Required Documents” section of this announcement.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

How to Apply

Via USAJobs:

Click on the “Apply Online” button on the upper right side of the page.

Please Note:

You must apply for this position online through the ‘Apply Online’ button and submit required supplemental documents (if they are relevant to you).

You may submit required documents by uploading them online during the application process;


You may manually fax required documents. Faxes are received by an automated system, not a physical fax machine. Documents that are faxed as part of the application process must be sent with the system generated cover sheet by the closing date. Documents faxed without the system generated coversheet are not retrievable and cannot be considered as part of the application package.

The complete application package, including any required documents, is due in the Smithsonian Office of Human Resources on the closing date of the announcement by 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

If you are unable to apply online, paper applications may be accepted with prior approval of the Contact Person listed below.

Apply Contact
Posted on June 23