Susan Donnell and Harry W. Konkel Assistant Curator of European Art

Susan Donnell and Harry W. Konkel Assistant Curator of European Art

Under the direction of the Deputy Director and Chief Curator, the Assistant Curator of European Art plays an integral role in the Portland Museum of Art’s (PMA’s) Art and Education Division, working closely with colleagues to conduct research, plan installations, organize exhibition projects, develop interpretive materials, recommend acquisitions, and to advance the PMA’s mission.

Position Type: 
Staff Positions
Department/Division: 
Art and Education/Curatorial
Reports to: 
Deputy Director and Chief Curator
Essential Job Functions: 
  • Conceives and develops exhibitions and gallery installations that will enhance the public’s understanding of European art and the museum’s collections. Provides effective theme development, object selection, evaluation of external proposals, preparation of written support materials such as labels and catalogs, and plan of installation.
  • Researches and interprets works in PMA’s holdings of European art and makes recommendations for acquisitions to further develop the collection in this area. Serves as an integral resource to internal and external constituencies on matters of connoisseurship and scholarship related to modern and European art. Fosters relationships with collectors locally and nationally, actively soliciting their help in enhancing the collection. Communicates and maintains positive relationships with dealers.
  • Works with Registration and Preparation departments and support staff on coordination of logistics for exhibitions and publications, including contracts, loan agreements, rights and reproductions, design and installation, editing, and other details.
  • Works collaboratively with internal and external curators, educators, and designers in the creation of program content, and with the visitor experience and communications staff to expand audiences and support for the collection and for PMA programs.
  • Conceives and develops projects and installations that situate modern and European art within the broader context of the museum’s collection and beyond the area of European art, including projects that relate to the PMA’s other collection strengths (American and contemporary art) or that fall outside of the PMA’s collection purview.
  • Works collaboratively with the External Affairs division to cultivate collectors and steward the PMA’s strong donor base. Participates in various development-related activities to secure program funding, including events, grant-writing and management, and presentations. Works closely with affinity groups, advising on programs and participating in their activities.
  • Provides gallery talks, lectures, and other presentations for various audiences, including the general public, PMA membership, PMA affinity groups, and the scholarly community, on topics relating to the PMA’s collections and programs.
  • Fosters relationships with members of the public (scholars, critics, community groups, and other relevant audiences) in encouraging interest in the PMA, its collections and its mission.
  • Participates in various Board committee meetings as assigned, particularly the Collection Committee.
  • Participates in regional and national professional communities and organizations in order to enhance the general and scholarly understanding of the PMA, its collections, and its mission.
  • Performs special projects and other related duties as required, directed, or as the situation dictates.
  • Complies with all Portland Museum of Art safety rules and procedures.
  • Regular attendance at the workplace is required.
  • Supports the PMA’s strategic goal to advance a culture of inclusivity and diversity.
  • Fosters relationships and builds philanthropy with patrons at the PMA, as defined by displaying behavior that welcomes all individuals contacted during work.
Supervisory Responsibility: 
May supervise occasional interns as directed, including interviewing and selection, training and development, scheduling, and evaluating performance.
Education and Experience: 
Master’s Degree in Art History with emphasis in European art. A.B.D. or Ph.D. preferred. Minimum of two years of curatorial or related professional experience.
Qualifications: 
  • Significant record of scholarly work with achievement in the area of European art, particularly 19th and early 20th-century art. Proven writing skills, compelling public speaking presence, and excellent oral communication skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and to establish, maintain, and foster positive and harmonious working relationships with a variety of individuals contacted in the course of work.
  • Demonstrated experience in exhibition development, publication development, and collection care.
  • Knowledge of and commitment to professional museum standards.
  • Excellent problem solving, planning, and organizational skills, with the ability to execute multiple projects and responsibilities simultaneously in a fast-paced, collaborative environment.
  • Interest in and working knowledge of museum technologies, including in-gallery technological innovations and collection management software.
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion.
  • Ability to operate computers and work with databases and assigned software, including Microsoft Office.
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check.
Working Conditions: 
  • The majority of work is performed in a normal office environment or in a museum or gallery setting not subject to extremes of noise, temperature, odor, etc. Operates computer, printer, photocopier, scanner, and other office equipment. Work involves extended sitting and computer use. Research and exhibition preparation will require travel.
Terms: 
This position is a full-time, full-benefits, exempt, employment-at-will position.
To Apply: 
Please email cover letter, résumé, and completed PMA Application for Employment (available at website), to acea.pma.102018@portlandmuseum.org. Applications will be accepted electronically only and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. The Portland Museum of Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants shall receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, veteran status, status as a whistleblower, marital status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

To Apply

Please email cover letter, résumé, and completed PMA Application for Employment (available at website), to acea.pma.102018@portlandmuseum.org. Applications will be accepted electronically only and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. The Portland Museum of Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants shall receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, veteran status, status as a whistleblower, marital status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.