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Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Initiatives
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Initiatives
J. Paul Getty Trust
Post Date: 13 Aug 2023


Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion at Getty

Getty believes diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion are essential to our excellence and to the execution of our mission. The Getty community values differences in the pursuit of inquiry and knowledge, mutual understanding, respect, trust, transparency, and cooperation. We are committed to creating a diverse and welcoming workplace that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve and includes individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Individuals of color, women, LGBTQIA+, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Job Summary

Our Mission

The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks to inspire curiosity about, and enjoyment and understanding of, the visual arts by collecting, conserving, exhibiting and interpreting works of art of outstanding quality and historical importance and is one of four programs of the J. Paul Getty Trust. The Museum operates two sites, the Getty Villa in Malibu, which exhibits its collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, and the Getty Center in Brentwood, which displays its collections of European art: Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, drawings to 1900, and photography to the present day (including non-European works). The Museum mounts approximately 25 temporary exhibitions a year across its two sites; maintains an annual permanent gallery improvement program and offers wide-ranging and ambitious programming for its visitors.

The Opportunity

The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks a Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Initiatives to develop the Museum’s program in 20th- and 21st-century art. Working independently as well as in collaboration with the Museum’s curatorial departments, the Curator develops programs that make engaging and meaningful connections between the Getty’s collections, exhibitions, architecture, and site and contemporary art and culture. Aside from photographs, the Museum does not collect contemporary art (although it does hold numerous works by 20th- and 21st-century artists).

The Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Initiatives will play a key role in developing and implementing the Museum’s program in contemporary art. The Curator will organize an ongoing series of artist installations in the Museum’s entrance hall and other potential locations on the Getty’s campus; work with curatorial departments to conceptualize interventions and installations in the collection’s galleries; serve as the Museum’s primary modern and contemporary curator for the special exhibitions program; and organize and advise on associated programs to expand and enrich the Museum’s interpretive goals and audience engagement.

The successful candidate will have a track-record of curating exhibitions and displays of contemporary art; well-developed relationships within the world of contemporary art, including artists, gallerists, and museum professionals; the broad art historical background to bring context and insight to the interpretive program; and the ability and willingness to develop compelling and inclusive narratives for diverse audiences. Reporting to the Associate Director for Collections, the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Initiatives will be a team player, working collaboratively with other curators, as well as with colleagues from Public Programs, Conservation, Design, Exhibition, Education, Interpretive Content, Registrars, Imaging Services and Preparators, and with curatorial colleagues at the Getty Research Institute.

Major Job Responsibilities

  • Works closely with Associate Director for Collections and Associate Director for Exhibitions to develop and implement the Museum’s initiatives in modern and contemporary art.
  • Develops and implements gallery displays, exhibitions, temporary commissioned installations, and associated publications and public programs, incorporating diverse and inclusive stories that introduce new voices and perspectives.
  • Engages with artists, gallerists, and collectors in Los Angeles and beyond to develop projects and initiatives that meet the Museum’s programmatic goals.
  • Works collaboratively with Getty curators, conservators, interpretation specialists, scholars, public programmers, and educators on projects developed by the Curator as well as emerging from other departments.
  • Travels for research, exhibitions and art fairs, and networks internationally to develop working relationship with artists, gallerists, museum professionals, and academics.
  • Publishes and lectures in area of specialization.
  • Communicates and engages with patrons, scholars, educators, docents, and the general public.
  • Works with the development team to identify and cultivate sponsors and donors for contemporary initiatives.


  • Master’s degree in art history, art or art education OR 7-10 yrs of curatorial experience OR Ph.D.
  • Fluency in at least one foreign language (modern or ancient) required
  • Top level contributor in one or more specialized curatorial functions

Knowledge, Skills And Abilities

  • Ph.D. preferred in the field of contemporary art
  • Expertise in 20th- and 21st-century art and wide knowledge of global contemporary art
  • Good general knowledge of the history of European art
  • Record of publications, lectures, and presentations in contemporary art
  • Established relationships with artists, gallerists, collectors, and museum professionals
  • Seven+ years of curatorial experience in art world preferred
  • Fluency in at least one modern foreign language preferred
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent writing and proofing skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and experience in project management
  • Good knowledge and experience of computer systems and programs
  • Proven experience dealing with confidential information

Benefits And Perks

Here are just some examples that Getty offers/provides for full-time employees:

  • Medical, Dental and Vision insurance coverage, starting on date of hire. Getty pays 75%-95% of the premium, depending on the plan selected.
  • 403(b) Employee Investment retirement plan – with up to 5% Getty Match
  • Getty contribution of 6%, on behalf of employee, to 401(a) retirement account
  • Educational Assistance and professional development
  • Paid Vacation, Sick and Personal Days
  • 12 Paid Holidays
  • Many positions have bi-weekly Off-Fridays
  • On-Site Fitness Center at Getty Center
  • Community service opportunities

To learn more about our comprehensive benefits and long list of perks, go to Getty HR .

Equal Opportunity Employer

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status.


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