Curator, Bayou Bend Collection

Museum of Fine Arts Houston – Bayou Bend seeks an experienced curator of American decorative arts with a scholarly specialty in 18th or 19th century American furnishings and art. Broad interests, extensive experience in period-room displays and/or house museums, and the ability to engage the public, docents, collectors and trustees are essential qualifications. Excellent speaking and public presentation skills are mandatory; preference given to well-published scholars.

Responsibilities:

• Functions as curatorial head of Bayou Bend
• Works with the Director of Bayou Bend, the Bayou Bend Committee, and the museum´s administration, conservation, education, registrar, library and security staff to ensure the museum´s smooth operation
• Along with the Director, defines collecting philosophy for Bayou Bend
• Seeks out, researches, presents, and identifies funding for potential acquisitions
• Collaborates with Museum of Fine Arts, Houston curators, particularly for paintings, works on paper, textiles and European decorative arts on collection installations, acquisitions, and conservation
• Develops philosophy for room installations at Bayou Bend
• Works with Curator of American Painting to plan installations in the Kilroy Gallery of the Audrey Jones Beck Building. Coordinates with staff regarding shipping, registration, cataloguing, conservation needs, and photography
• Conducts ongoing collection research to better understand, interpret and exhibit the objects
• Consults with Director and Conservators to establish conservation priorities
• Makes recommendations to staff and trustees on de-accessioning
• Works with the Bayou Bend Education staff on interpretation 
• Collaborates with docent organization chair and board members on lectures, research, newsletter, and travel program
• Publishes collection objects in articles, catalogues, and books
• Speaks locally and nationally about the Bayou Bend Collection and American decorative arts
• Organizes, and co-organizes exhibitions from the permanent collection, traveling and loan exhibits
• Coordinates with library, visual images, and archival staffs on the development and maintenance of those specialized collections
• Encourages Bayou Bend Committee gifts to the museum and consults with them regarding personal collecting and conservation issues
• Available to local arts and historical organizations to assist with collections and programming
• Supervises and assesses Curatorial department staff and shares supervision of Administrative Assistant of Bayou Bend


Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities:

• Familiarity with American decorative arts bibliography
• Experience working with object collections
• Proficient writer, public speaking skills
• Ability to communicate with staff, volunteers, and trustees
Education and Experience:
• MA required
• A minimum of five years of curatorial experience

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to jobs@mfah.org

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