Assistant/Associate Curator of Contemporary Art

Worcester Art Museum

Worcester, MA 0169


Jan 14, 2022


Oct 29, 2021

Title: Assistant/Associate Curator of Contemporary Art
Curatorial Division
Type: Full Time, Exempt
Reports to: Director of Curatorial Affairs
Direct Reports: Curatorial Assistant, American Art
Salary: Assistant – up to $58,000 / Associate – up to $65,000


To revitalize the Museum’s presentation of contemporary art by assisting in the development of a holistic vision for the presentation and integration of contemporary art at WAM; play a central role in managing, developing and interpreting the Museum’s collection of global contemporary art, including commissions, acquisitions, exhibitions, and public programs.
The Worcester Art Museum seeks a dynamic and collaborative Assistant/Associate Curator of Contemporary Art to bring new vision to the presentation of late-twentieth and twenty-first century art in the Museum. In collaboration with the Director of Curatorial Affairs, this individual will develop a strategy for exhibitions, acquisitions, and programming that will establish a niche for the Worcester Art Museum in the presentation of contemporary art in New England and nationwide. We seek someone with a global perspective on contemporary art and its role in shaping the discourse around core issues impacting the world today. The successful candidate will also serve as the museum’s primary liaison with the local and regional artist community and develop ties between the Museum, gallerists, and collectors.
At WAM, the Curator of Contemporary Art is responsible for the Museum’s permanent collection gallery dedicated to art post-1945. Currently, the collection has strength in work by women artists of the late twentieth century, as well as artists of color, including contemporary Asian art and a small, yet important collection of 20th-century African-American art, which we hope to expand with available funding in the area of the art of the African diaspora. The contemporary curator will continue to uphold the Museum’s interests in enhancing the visibility of underrepresented communities of artists through acquisitions and programming.
The successful applicant will be able to harness the existing strengths of the Museum’s contemporary art holdings and programming and build a holistic vision for its more prominent role in the institution’s future. We encourage applications from candidates with a scholarly record and curatorial experience in at least one of the areas of our strengths.


  • Initiate and oversee programming in art of the late 20th and 21st centuries, including traveling exhibitions and longterm installations of the permanent collection, under the guidance of the Director of Curatorial Affairs
  • Steward the Museum’s collection of late 20th- and 21st-century art working in collaboration with Conservation, the Curators of Prints/Drawings/Photographs and American Art, as well as Education and Experience
  • Seek out, research, and recommend new acquisitions, both purchases and gifts; advise on deaccessioning; build relationships with collectors, under the guidance of the Director of Curatorial Affairs
  • Create opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations with the area’s cultural and educational institutions
  • Conduct research, document and publish the Museum’s holdings and assist outside scholars
  • Promote the Museum’s collection through lectures, seminars, etc.
  • Advise on loan requests to other institutions
  • Identify funding opportunities in concert with Development; assist in preparing grant applications and funding proposals for projects
  • Prepare and monitor budgets
  • Supervise fellows, interns, and volunteers as assigned
  • Collaborate with Education and Experience and curatorial colleagues on the interpretation and presentation of the collections for a diverse public
  • Represent the museum to various public constituencies in the region
  • Develop a strong and effective network of curators and other scholars in the field
  • Serve on various internal and community related committees to further the Museum’s efforts and effectiveness
  • Perform other related duties as assigned



  • A broad knowledge of art history with expertise in American art and cultural history
  • Excellent research, written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to collaborate respectfully and effectively with colleagues
  • Experience with museum databases and technology
  • Excellent negotiation, resource management, and people skills
  • Availability to represent the Museum at public events at after-hours events
  • Availability to travel
  • Embraces and promotes diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion initiatives


Advanced degree in art history or American studies with proven experience in the field of art history
Competency in languages in area of specialization
Preference will be given to candidates with knowledge of global contemporary art.


At the assistant curator level, 2-4 years curatorial experience with a PhD in a related field; 4-7 years curatorial experience with an MA.
At the associate curator level, 3-5 years of experience with a PhD in a related field; 5-8 years of curatorial experience with an MA.