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Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

Philadelphia Museum of Art

How You Will Contribute:  The Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture will contribute to a robust program of exhibitions and publications within a highly collaborative environment. Reporting directly to the Head of the European Decorative Arts and Sculpture department, you will also help oversee the management and development of the museum’s distinguished collection of European decorative arts and sculpture. As a member of our curatorial staff, the Assistant Curator is expected to participate in all aspects of the work of the museum, supporting its mission and maintaining the highest standards of scholarship, connoisseurship, and professional practices.

Specifically, you will:

  • Work under the direction of the Head of the European Decorative Arts and Sculpture Department and in cooperation with other curators in the Department, as well as with other museum staff to achieve the mission of the institution and its strategic objectives.
  • Work closely with the museum’s conservation, collections management, and design and installation staff to ensure that the works of art in your care are properly documented, conserved when treatment is needed, stored in a safe and accessible manner, and effectively displayed in the museum’s galleries for the enjoyment and education of the public.
  • Review and provide recommendations on loan requests received by the museum.
  • Conduct or direct research on the collection or on related topics in accordance with a plan developed in consultation with the Head of the Department. Utilize this research for a variety of purposes -- e.g., the development of exhibitions and public programming, the enrichment of the museum’s collections database and interpretive materials in the galleries, and for presentation in collections catalogues, scholarly articles, public lectures and symposia.
  • Work collaboratively with the Education Division on the development and production of interpretive materials related to the collection -- e.g., object labels, introductory text panels, gallery and audio guides, and educational computing tools -- and on the content and presentational strategies developed for public programs and distance learning programs.
  • Organize and/or coordinate special exhibitions, either individually or in collaboration with colleagues from the museum or peer institutions. This work should be understood as encompassing every aspect of the development and implementation of special exhibitions, from initial project planning and research to participation in budgeting and resource development, the production of the catalogue, the creation of the installation design and a marketing plan to promote the exhibition, and the development and presentation of interpretive programs that will accompany it.
  • Identify and recommend works of art in your area of responsibility to be acquired for the collection and provide supporting documentation (e.g., the historical and aesthetic significance of the objects, the history of their ownership, and their state of conservation) to justify the acquisition by gift or purchase.
  • With the Department Head, devise a plan to mentor fellows by delegating curatorial tasks, developing collaborative working assignments, and providing professional feedback.
  • Develop, in consultation with the Department Head, a professional development plan that will enable you to keep up-to-date on scholarship and curatorial developments in the field and address any agreed-upon professional needs (e.g., managerial training, communications skills, etc.).
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Department Head.


Your diverse background includes:

  • Proven scholarship with demonstrated excellence in collections development, exhibitions, and publications.
  • Broad familiarity with the history of art and a detailed knowledge of European decorative arts and sculpture from 1700 to the present
  • Demonstrated record of research and curatorial achievement, excellent communication skills in both writing and public speaking
  • Good command of at least one European language
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully with a broad range of museum visitors, collectors, volunteers, and colleagues
  • Strong computer skills including the database management and Microsoft office suite
  • Master’s degree required; ABD/Ph.D. is preferred
  • Three years relevant experience in the field
Education Level: 
Master's Degree; ABD/Ph.D. preferred
To Apply

Please submit a CV, letter of interest, reference letter, and writing sample with your online application at: