The Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design

Phoenix Art Museum

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Phoenix Art Museum (PAM) seeks a fashion-design curator with extensive knowledge of the history of fashion design in the 20th and 21st centuries, along with general knowledge of earlier periods. The ideal candidate should have at least five years of experience organizing fashion design exhibitions, writing scholarly essays, publishing catalogs, preparing didactic materials, and giving public lectures and gallery talks. The ideal candidate should be a team player and highly collegial who can balance the Museum’s need to serve its local community while firmly maintaining a dialogue with up-to-the-minute global conversations that are happening in the field of fashion design. This person will be tasked with charting the future of the department while overseeing and care the collection. In addition, the ideal candidate will organize a strategic and ambitious exhibition program of original exhibitions and accompanying publications with the potential to travel the exhibitions nationally and internationally. He/she will work with the education department to create public programs that are inclusive and accessible yet grounded in scholarship, innovation and experimentation. The fashion-design curator works closely with the Arizona Costume Institute (ACI), an affiliate group of Phoenix Art Museum dedicated to the enhancement, promotion and conservation of the fashion collection and the advancement of fashion as art.

The Jacquie Dorrance Curator of Fashion Design reports directly to the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and the Selig Family Chief Curator and will form part of a curatorial team that includes the departments of American art, Asian art, modern and contemporary art, and Latin American art, along with an assistant curator of photography, a shared position with the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson.


We seek candidates who will:

Continue the tradition of acclaimed curatorial leadership in fashion design for which Phoenix Art Museum has become known both nationally and internationally

Boldly define the field of fashion design through aesthetics, social and cultural attitudes, and history with both emerging and established fashion designers and collections through programming and partnerships;

Inspire the field, staff, members of ACI, the Museum’s community and patrons with innovative ideas and powerful interpersonal skills; be a leader who can energize, collaborate, mentor, and delegate;

Arrive connected and respected within the international fashion design community;

Be a willing, talented, and resourceful fundraiser with the ability to cultivate long-term relationships successfully;

Build a strong and collaborative relationship with the leadership and members of ACI, and the membership department of the Museum, to provide exciting, innovative programming for the ACI membership and community at large.

Objectives in support of the above include but are not limited to:

External Priorities

Affirm and advance the institutional identity of Phoenix Art Museum as a can’t-miss destination for fashion design; enhance overall visibility regionally, nationally, and internationally;

Expand the activity of the fashion-design department beyond the walls of its physical footprint through major PAM-originated traveling exhibitions;

Cultivate relationships with fashion designers, collectors and opinion makers in the national and international field;

Collaborate with the External Affairs Division to define and expand our fashion-design audiences clearly and expansively; expand the rules of engagement and accessibility for audiences in response to shifting community demographics;

Develop collaborative relationships between Phoenix Art Museum and established and emerging artists in the region, and institutional peers and leaders in the global cultural world;

Be a proactive and ambitious fundraiser with an ability to successfully work with foundations, corporations, and private funders in close collaboration with development staff.

Working with the ACI board and members to set the creative direction and content for the group through support for the events, educational and fundraising activities, including by not limited to actively planning and participating in ACI events, booking speakers and facilitating travel arrangements and other activities as required.

Internal Priorities

Establish a transparent, proactive, collaborative and respectful workplace that includes open communication across the organization along with the fashion-design support group Arizona Costume Institute;

Model institutional best practices with respect to collections management, conservation, programming and exhibition installation;

Be an integral part of curatorial leadership;

Collaborate in a timely and respectful manner with various constituencies including ACI, development, finance, communications, marketing, membership programs, education, registration, and preparations for a successful work flow and anticipated outcome;

Ensure and promote diversity and inclusivity in programming, outreach, staffing, and culture;

Develop close relationships with the members of the Arizona Costume Institute; find ways to bring forth new ideas, new resources, and prospective members to ensure anticipated fundraising outcomes.


A background in fashion design with a demonstrated level of academic accomplishment including a Ph.D. or M.A. degree with a publishing track record;

Ideal candidate should have strong writing skills, be highly articulate, well-versed in public speaking, and with an ability to communicate with diverse audiences of varying ages and educational levels;

Deeply committed to the collaborative and collegial nature of Phoenix Art Museum and the fashion design affiliate group Arizona Costume Institute;

An innovator, with a vision for the future of creative expression and how to realize it;

A tested, enthusiastic, and effective fundraiser;

Proactive and committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion towards diverse audiences and communities;

Accessible and collaborative, generous of spirit, outgoing, organized, hard-working, humorous, and one who enjoys the social demands of an externally-oriented senior management role;

Strong organizational skills; effective under pressure; the ability to manage competing demands and remain focused while multitasking;

A deft leader who finds strength when working as part of a team and has the ability to delegate and ensure goals are achieved;

Credibility and extensive experience in the field;

Have a broad and deep network of contacts and support;

Good judgment and integrity; compassionate yet decisive;

How to Apply

Please send cover letter/expression of interest, resume, and salary requirements to the attention of John Shaw, Human Resources Manager,

Posted on September 11