Associate Curator of European Art

7 days left

California, United States
Dec 27, 2019
End of advertisement period
Feb 27, 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the Cantor Arts Center:

The Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University’s major art museum, is a vital and dynamic institution with a venerable history. Founded in 1891 with the university, the historic museum was expanded and renamed in 1999 for lead donors Iris and B. Gerald Cantor. The Cantor’s encyclopedic collection spans 5,000 years, includes 44,000 artworks and beckons visitors to travel around the world and through time: from Africa to the Americas to Asia, from classical to contemporary. With 24 galleries presenting selections from the collection and more than 20 special exhibitions each year, the Cantor serves Stanford's academic community, draws art lovers from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, and attracts campus visitors from around the world. Free admission, free tours, lectures, family activities, plus changing exhibitions make the Cantor one of the most well-attended university art museums in the country and a great resource for teaching and research on campus.

Job Purpose:

The Curator of European Arts is responsible for the presentation, research, preservation, and growth of the collection of European art at the Cantor Arts Center, which ranges from the ancient world through 1900, including the largest collection of work by Rodin outside of Paris. The curator works closely with the curatorial and programs teams in a collaborative environment that encourages the development of innovative exhibitions, acquisitions, and educational opportunities. The curator also must be able to thrive in a prestigious academic environment, developing partnerships with Stanford faculty members and engaging students across disciplines. The candidate should possess demonstrable museum experience and have a record of accomplishment in successfully producing significant exhibitions, academic and public programs, and publications, as well as the ability to lecture and teach. The curator reports to the Cantor’s John and Jill Freidenrich Director.

The successful candidate will be expected to propose and realize major exhibition projects. These projects may take cues from the Cantor’s permanent collection, be built from loans from other institutions and collections, or a combination of these two sources. Major publications, conceived as meaningful contributions to the field on the issues addressed in the exhibition, will accompany these projects. The Cantor seeks to be a center for arts leadership for the next generation with a special focus on training diverse candidates for curatorial, programmatic, and other museum positions. 

Core Duties:

  • The European Curator will join a new and revitalized curatorial and programs team that will participate in the re-imagining and re-installation of the museum’s galleries and other exhibition spaces. This is a chance to help define a new vision for European art at the Cantor. As the encyclopedic art museum at Stanford, the Cantor has an opportunity to help determine what a 21st-century museum will look like and how it will function. Even when considering traditional art forms, the Cantor presents exhibitions, installations, and programs that feature contemporary concerns and artistic trends, as well as implements state-of-the-art interpretative methods. The Cantor intentionally seeks to create an environment of inclusion and diversity of staff, collections, exhibitions, and programs.
  • Conceive, research, develop and collaborate with museum and faculty colleagues to organize and present compelling installations of the permanent collection, as well as ambitious traveling exhibitions of varying scope; develop related programming, including lectures, symposia, and other educational programs.
  • Research, write, and oversee production of related publications, including catalogs and wall text.
  • Work with the exhibitions team to coordinate project budgets, assisting in the development, preparation, and oversight of exhibition budgets.
  • Develop collections by selectively acquiring important objects through purchase and gift.
  • Cultivate relationships with museum supporters and prospective donors
  • Solicit and evaluate proposals for exhibitions organized by other institutions and coordinate their presentation at the Cantor.
  • Assist in fundraising and public relations efforts related to department activities.
  • Develop a cooperative and productive relationship between the Center and the local, national, and international art community.
  • Supervise undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows engaged in Cantor-based projects.
  • Maintain record of scholarly production as well as scholarly profile by participating in conferences within area of scholarly expertise, as well as by lecturing in academic and public forums.
  • Other duties may also be assigned.


Education & Experience:

  • Ph.D. in the History of Art or related field, in combination with 3 to 5 years of museum experience. Combination of relevant work experience and education may be considered.
  • Established record of scholarly achievement.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Excellent research skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, as well as demonstrated public speaking and presentation skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and professionalism to interact with a wide range of people at different levels of an organization.
  • Proven ability to effectively and efficiently manage multiple priorities, with competing deadlines.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships both internally and externally.
  • Proven experience working with collectors and donor cultivation.


  • Frequently perform desk-based computer tasks, seated work and use light/ fine grasping.
  • Occasionally stand, walk, and write by hand, lift, carry, push pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.

* Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.


  • May work extended or non-standard hours, weekends and holidays based on business needs.
  • Occasional local and overnight travel may be required.
  • May work in areas with exposure to dust, paint, chemicals and other toxins.


  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,

The job description can be found here, as well as on the American Alliance of Museums, College Art Association, and Association of Academic Museums and Galleries sites. Please submit a cover letter describing experience, as well as a c.v. as described.

Additional Information

Schedule: Full-time
Job Code: 1842
Employee Status: Regular
Grade: I
Requisition ID: 82486

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