Curator of Collections
Institute of Contemporary Art Boston
25 Harbor Shore Drive
Boston, MA 02210
Position Title: Curator of Collections
Reports to: Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Barbara Lee Chief Curator
Position status: Full-Time, Salaried Exempt, At Will
Overview: The Curator of Collections (the “Curator”), a newly created position, will oversee all aspects of the ICA’s permanent collection. This individual will play a key role in the curatorial department and museum, leading the organization of collection exhibitions and making the collection an integral, driving programmatic force, directing research, and representing the museum externally. The Curator will develop a long-term collection plan centered on diversity and equity, oversee collections committees, guide acquisitions, and organize exhibitions drawn from the collection. Interpreting, digitizing, and making more accessible collection works, the Curator will develop publishing initiatives, increasing visibility online and other platforms, as well as creative ways to feature the collection in the ICA’s exhibition program. They will actively participate in conversations and convenings on best practices, being a thought-leader in the field. Occasional evening and weekend work required.
Since the ICA began a permanent collection in 2006, the museum has built a forward-thinking, 21st century collection, distinguished by its representation of women artists and commitment to diversity. Building on the collection’s expansion in recent years, the Curator will guide the collection’s trajectory of growth, assuring best practices and the collection’s alignment with the museum’s strategic priorities. The Curator contributes to a culture of collaboration, community, and respect and centers the work of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEAIB) in all areas of their work.
WORKING AT THE ICA:
1. All ICA employees are required to reside in Massachusetts and within a reasonable commuting distance from our Seaport location as of their first day of work.
2. All ICA employees are required to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 by their first day of work.
3. The ICA offers the flexibility of a hybrid work week, which averages two days a week in the office for employees who are eligible to work remotely (subject to change).
• Provide curatorial leadership on all aspects of the permanent collection and serve as point person for internal and external questions related to the collection
• In partnership with the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Barbara Lee Chief Curator, develop a collection plan with long-term goals and acquisition priorities and aligned with ICA strategic plans
• Curate rigorous and innovative exhibitions centered on the permanent collection that advance new narratives and increase depth of knowledge about the collection
• Oversee Acquisitions Circle and Exhibition and Collection Committee meetings, provide coordination among staff to assure the success of meetings and that collection policy and procedures are followed
• Actively research, assess, and propose potential acquisitions, developing and maintaining priority lists of artists and artworks
• Supervise curatorial assistants, fellows, and/or interns on projects related to the permanent collection
• With Curatorial Department staff, maintain The Museum System (TMS) database to ensure integrity of data and records management for the collection as well as collection statistic and demographic data to ensure accountability and accurate reporting
• Partner closely with the Senior Registrar to oversee loans from the collection to outside institutions and the display of objects in ICA presentations
• Collaborate across the museum to develop tools and resources to widen access to the collection through exhibition, digitization, interpretation, and other methods and increase visibility of the collection both internally and externally
• Participate in the creation and management of interpretive strategies, publicity materials, and public programs for a variety of audiences related to the collection
• Manage annual collection management budget as well as acquisition finances, endowed funds, and proposed expenditures
• Maintain the ICA’s Collection Management Policy and engage staff and board leadership to update and amend this policy in accordance with field standards and institutional needs
• Work with Facilities and Curatorial Department staff to assess opportunities and storage for the permanent collection and ICA archives
• Participate in inter-institutional efforts on field-wide practices and issues
• Keep current on contemporary art and maintain peer contacts with other local, national, and international museum professionals, artists, scholars, gallerists and collectors in order to serve the museum’s needs
• Participate in ICA events, trips, and donor study opportunities, including planning and travel, as needed
• Other duties as directed by Barbara Lee Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs
• A minimum of seven years’ experience of related work experience. Previous experience in a contemporary art museum and/or collections management strongly preferred.
• An advanced degree in a relevant field; preference for those with significant experience in non-profit management, museum administration, public service, or commensurate field. Proficiency in PC-based Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Experience with database systems preferred.
• Exceptional professional communication, writing, and editing skills across diverse constituencies.
• Excellent organizational and prioritization skills.
• The ability to work collaboratively across all departments and establish productive, collegial relationships both internally and externally.
• Prior experience supervising and mentoring staff required.
• Ability to work under pressure and tight deadlines.
• Ability to anticipate, prioritize and resolve issues quickly and successfully.
• Participative and adaptive work style; ability to receive feedback.
• Maturity in interpersonal skills; ability to collaborate and interact well with a diverse range of people.
• Ability to handle issues and challenges with extreme diplomacy and confidentiality.
• Commitment to working with a diverse constituent base including staff and volunteers.
• The ability to engage in spirited discussion while maintaining perspective, a professional demeanor, and a sense of humor.
• A passion for art, museums, culture, and social justice.
• Possess mobility to work in an office setting and use office equipment; travel offsite and to different locations; ability to understand printed materials;
• Ability to see, listen and talk for extended periods in person, over the telephone and computer.
• Visual acuity: color perception, close vision, accurate depth perception and distance vision;
• Very frequent sitting, standing and walking;
• Ability to lift up to 15 pounds, pushing and pulling, keyboarding and gripping
This is not necessarily an all-inclusive list of position-related responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts, requirements, or working conditions. While the above is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current job, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned.
STARTING SALARY/COMPENSATION: $100,000.00 Annual
Starting compensation is based on meeting minimum qualifications.
Each ICA position has a job grade based on the position’s evaluated job responsibilities, required education and experience, needed skills to perform the job, and professional knowledge.
The position’s grade and respective compensation range is determined by the position’s overall responsibilities, including decision making, supervisory/management requirements, resource management and budgeting duties.
Compensation is ultimately determined by the scope of the position and responsibilities, the candidate’s relevant experience, and internal equity, with starting salaries typically falling in the lower half of the compensation range.