The Exhibition Curator and Consultant will plan, design, and execute the permanent exhibition in the Louis Armstrong Center for Arts + Innovation.
Start date: December, 2019
Approximate duration of engagement: 6-9 months
The Louis Armstrong House Museum and Archives (LAHM) is looking for a curator on a consultant basis to oversee the design and development of the permanent exhibition in the Louis Armstrong Center for Arts + Innovation (“the Center”), scheduled to open in Fall of 2020. The permanent exhibition will re-introduce audiences to Louis Armstrong’s legacy of artistry and innovation through an interdisciplinary, multi-sector engagement of his contributions, situating Armstrong’s life history within the sociopolitical and economic contexts in which he lived and performed, and that shaped his music. The successful candidate will be capable of translating the philosophy and mission of the organization as stated in the Armstrong NOW manifesto into an exhibition that highlights Louis Armstrong’s contributions against the history of African American arts and letters during the 20th century. The successful candidate will have a record of engagement with African American art, art history and/or music, broadly defined, and will be capable of relating such knowledge to Louis Armstrong’s role as one of the foremost Black artists of the 20th century. The candidate will also ideally approach art and visual culture from an innovative theoretical position, engaging with global, transatlantic, diasporic, and post-colonial contexts and ideas, to situate the contributions of Louis Armstrong to contemporary African American culture and history within the larger field of American arts and culture.
The curator will work closely with LAHM’s research team, including the Director of Research Collections and LAHM’s Archivist, and will report to LAHM’s director in order to:
Oversee the design, installation, didactics, and printed materials for the permanent exhibition.
Select artifacts from the Research Collection for exhibit display cases and for hanging on room walls.
Provide themes and oversee selection of objects for timelines that will contextualize Armstrong’s work and legacy.
Work with LAHM’s staff to develop, implement, and manage a compelling variety of public programs related to the permanent exhibition that enhance the understanding of Louis Armstrong influence on history, art, and music culture.
Develop exhibit labels and quotes as needed.
Develop content for exhibit case videos, wall videos, and audio pieces.
Develop story board (“script”) for 10-minute welcome video and work with external video team to produce it.
Oversee all graphics for walls, murals, and display cases.
Proven knowledge of modern and contemporary African American history and the contributions of Black artists to American arts and culture, with particular expertise in connecting research collections to African American multidisciplinary art history.
Proven knowledge of recent research, publications, and exhibitions in both African American and in contemporary art with an ability to exemplify a connection to Louis Armstrong’s legacy.
Proven track record of successful exhibition design and curation.
Proven familiarity and proficiency with latest technology in museum exhibitions.
Proven familiarity with avant-garde, subject-based, exhibitions.
To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and samples of exhibition work to Julia del Palacio at posted email by November 15, 2019 with subject line “Louis Armstrong curator application.” After an initial review, selected candidates will be given access to construction drawings detailing specifics of the exhibition. They will then be required to submit a formal proposal outlining, in basic terms, how they would approach the permanent exhibition at the Center, and their requested consulting fee. The last stage will be an interview with LAHM’s acting director and other key stakeholders.