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Assistant Curator, African American Art
Assistant Curator, African American Art
Detroit Institute of Arts
Post Date: 31 Jan 2022


JOB TITLE: Assistant Curator, African American Art 

DEPARTMENT: Curatorial 

REPORTS TO: Department Head 

CLASSIFICATION: Full-Time, Exempt 


Under the direction of the department head the Assistant Curator develops, expands, researches, publishes, and presents the DIA’s collection of African American art, as well as proposes acquisitions and conducts collection review; makes studio and gallery visits; coordinates projects, installations, and commissions; devises public programs; and cultivates donors and gifts for the collection.  


  • Assists the department head and other curators in day-to-day operations of the department. 
  • Maintains and updates physical and digital departmental records in accordance with the DIA’s archival and data standards. 
  • Researches and documents objects, including provenance, and archival research.  
  • Fields and responds to inquiries about the collection from scholars and the public. 
  • Contributes to the strategic vision for the DIA’s collecting and exhibition of African American art. 
  • Identifies and proposes significant acquisitions (with the department head and other curators) for purchase, gift, or bequest. 
  • Supports, conceives, researches, and coordinates exhibitions. 
  • Collaborates with museum conservators and registrars to care for the permanent collection and objects on long-term loan.  
  • Builds and maintains relationships with local, regional, national, and international artists and dealers.  
  • Assists with loan requests and deaccessions as assigned. 
  • Prepares general and scholarly publications on the collection and exhibitions. 
  • Partners effectively with the division of Learning and Audience Engagement to develop didactic materials for the permanent galleries and exhibitions. 
  • Participates in the training of gallery teachers and Interpretive Program Volunteers (IPVs). 
  • Supports the Development Department’s efforts to cultivate existing and prospective patrons and to identify, apply for, and report on grant-funded activities. 
  • Originates and participates in public programs. 
  • Travels, on occasion, as a museum courier, as well as for research and conferences. 
  • Performs other related duties, as assigned. 



M.A. degree in art history or related field from an accredited college or university required. A Ph.D. in art history or related field preferred. A minimum of two (2) years of experience in a museum or related institution required. Additional years of experience may be substituted for the degree requirement. 


  • Strong record of research and scholarship 
  • Proven experience in organizing exhibitions at the Assistant or Associate Curator level. 
  • Must possess excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as strong organizational skills and exceptional attention to detail. 
  • Previous experience with object-based, archival, and provenance research required.  
  • Some experience with The Museum System (TMS) database preferred.  
  • Must have strong interpersonal skills and willingness to collaborate with colleagues, museum patrons and supporters, and the public. 
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends as needed.  
  • Must have the ability to work well under pressure, handle multiple priorities/projects, and meet deadlines. 
  • Must have the ability to work independently. 
  • Must possess sound judgment, exercise professional conduct, understand and follow ethics and standards, and maintain a high level of confidentiality in all duties.  
  • A team player with a desire to support the DIA’s mission, vision, and values. 
  • Ability to work occasional weekend and evening hours for special events. 
  • Must be proficient in latest version of Office 365, including SharePoint, Word, Power Point, Outlook, and Excel. 
  • Must have proficiency in the use of remote work technology such as scheduling with, connecting to, and using digital collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams. 
  • Must be able to establish and maintain professional, productive, and courteous interactions that promote positive teamwork. This encompasses going beyond giving and receiving instructions and includes but is not limited to (a) performing work activities requiring interacting or speaking with others; and (b) responding appropriately to constructive feedback or suggestions for improvement from a supervisor.   


Detroit, USA

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