Posted: 05/01/2022

Title:  Assistant/Associate Curator
The Position:
The Columbia Museum of Art (CMA) seeks a collaborative, team-spirited individual to join a dynamic Curatorial department as Assistant/Associate Curator. The successful candidate will possess strong art historical knowledge in one or more of the museum’s primary collecting areas (American, European, Asian, and Modern & Contemporary); a vision for embracing new cultural trends and technologies; a minimum of 2 years’ experience working in a Curatorial department at an art museum; and a commitment to inclusive programming for diverse audiences. The Assistant/Associate Curator will work with colleagues to develop new presentations of the permanent collection; support, manage, and develop exhibitions; and actively participate in programming that informs, engages, and expands audiences. This position reports to the Director of Art and Learning and will work collaboratively within the Division of Art and Learning to promote the museum's commitment to be welcoming, community-centered, vibrant, playful, and inspiring. In addition to these values, the CMA staff and board eagerly embrace diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion to contribute to an open environment for the communities we serve. The person selected to fill this position will have demonstrated the capacity to promote these attributes.
About the Museum:
The mission of the Columbia Museum of Art is to spark powerful connections through art from around the corner and around the world in an environment that is welcoming to all. The CMA stands as the largest international art museum in the state of South Carolina, centrally located a short distance from Charleston, SC, Greenville, SC and Charlotte, NC. The organization is committed to the concept of an inclusive and participatory 21st century museum, where art is meant to be experienced, not just seen.
Established in 1950, the CMA is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. The museum welcomes more than 135,000 visitors annually—including more than 28,000 children—acting as a catalyst for community creativity and serving as the cultural anchor of Columbia’s Main Street district. The CMA includes 124,000 square feet of temporary galleries and new collection galleries with a progressive thematic layout, interactive spaces, studios, striking public spaces and two entrances. The Boyd Plaza, a fully updated public space adjacent to the museum, provides an attractive outdoor art and gathering space downtown.
The CMA maintains a varied collection numbering approximately 7,000 objects, with works by artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Renee Cox, Charles and Ray Eames, Sam Gilliam, Robert Henri, Claude Monet, Tintoretto, Pat Steir, and Andy Warhol. The governing Collections Committee has an eye to the future and embraces accessions of remarkable artworks that foster engagement through visual conversations. The museum mounts between four and six special exhibitions per year, with a dynamic roster of related public and educational programs. The CMA operates with an approximately $4.5 million budget and a staff of 30 full-time and 23 part-time employees (including security and special event staff).
The city of Columbia is the state’s capital and second largest city. The Columbia metropolitan area is home to thriving colleges and universities, award-winning hospital systems, and diverse and charming neighborhoods to suit any lifestyle. Lively business and retail districts with cafés, restaurants, art galleries, and unique shops along with a Riverwalk present year-round opportunities for entertainment, socializing, and enjoying the outdoors. The city includes historic architecture of a bygone era while high-tech start-ups and artist venues make up Columbia’s diverse downtown areas.
 Scope of Work:

  • Serve as coordinating curator and project manager for assigned exhibitions, contributing interpretation and research, securing loans, developing layouts, collaborating on graphic identity, and coordinating logistics.
  • Initiate and manage relations for assigned projects with institutions, colleagues, collectors, and/or businesses in developing exhibition contracts, checklists, and schedules.
  • Establish and monitor exhibition budgets as assigned and contribute to departmental budget planning.
  • Contribute ideas to annual planning of the exhibition schedule, including projects initiated by the CMA, exhibitions originating elsewhere, artist installations, and loans.
  • Review exhibition proposals and ideas for artistic merit, mission fit, budget, and scheduling factors.
  • Develop thematic installations from the permanent collection.
  • Research collection objects and potential acquisitions.
  • Utilize best practices in collection care.
  • Maintain object files and exhibition records.
  • Contribute to assigned grant applications and general fundraising activities.
  • Actively solicit, cultivate, and steward relations with colleagues, donors, members, and lenders.
  • Support the day-to-day operations of the Curatorial department.
  • Champion the museum as a welcoming place by serving as a positive museum representative through participation with programs, lectures, development, publicity marketing and networking activities.
  • Develop, maintain, and strengthen relationships with members of the broader arts community including artists, curators, educators, writers, journalists, collectors, and cultural institutions both nationally and internationally.
  • MA or greater in art history or related field required.
  • 2+ years of full-time curatorial experience in an art museum; additional curatorial experience necessary to be considered for Associate Curator.
  • Experience coordinating exhibitions.
  • Growing expertise in at least one of the museum’s collecting areas (American, European, Asian, and Modern & Contemporary).
  • Object-based experience and knowledge of best practices for object handling and care.
  • Knowledge of the latest art historical and museological research tools and methodologies.
  • Experience developing and managing projects, timelines, budgets, and goals.
  • Mastery of the English language and demonstrated ability to write, edit, and deliver oral and written communications that make an impact, persuade, and inform their intended audiences.
  • Ability to effectively navigate through the complexity of key issues, challenges, and opportunities to affect action.
  • Proactively model the importance of timely collegial interaction, personal accountability, maturity, professionalism, communication, and exchange across disciplinary boundaries.
  • Self-directed and motivated.
  • Ability to perform a variety of tasks involving sitting, standing, and walking for extended periods with reasonable accommodations. Occasional lifting up to 25 lbs.
  • Monthly evening and weekend time and occasional travel.
  • This position requires a criminal background check.
The Columbia Museum of Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to diversity, accessibility, equity, and inclusion. Confidential inquiries, applications, and recommendations are welcome. Please email cover letter and resume to Mrs. Jeanna Dixon-McCray, at with “Curator Position” in the subject line.
Salary Range:
Commensurate with experience that demonstrates proven successes and results: $42,733 -$68,907, plus benefits.