Curatorial Fellow for the Indigenous Arts of the Americas

California, United States
Feb 23, 2020
End of advertisement period
Apr 23, 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Cantor Arts Center is committed to developing a diverse candidate pool.

About Cantor

Cantor Arts Center boasts a proud and venerable history. Conceived with the founding of Stanford University in 1891, the museum opened in 1894, serving the University and the broader community. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the museum, necessitating its closure to the public. In 1995 groundbreaking for a major new wing and restoration of the historic building began in earnest with the revitalized museum opening in 1999 as the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts. The Cantor offers approximately 50,000 square feet of exhibition space, as well as classrooms and other study spaces for students and faculty. The Cantor’s collection spans 5,000 years and includes more than 38,000 works of art from around the globe. Collections include art from Europe and America, both historical and contemporary; Asia, primarily Japan and China; Africa; Oceania; historical works from Mexico, Central America, and South America; the Stanford Family Collection; and public sculpture on the Stanford campus.

Job Purpose

The Cantor Arts Center seeks a curatorial fellow to work with the museum’s collection of Indigenous arts of the Americas, which encompasses over 1,500 objects from North, Central, and South America dating from the ancient period through the 21st century. Strengths include the Indigenous arts of North America, Mexico, and Peru. As an integral part of the curatorial department, the fellow will gain meaningful experience in many aspects of curatorial work, including exhibition planning and implementation, program development, and collections research and cataloging. The fellow will benefit from the mentorship of Cantor staff as well as members of the Stanford Native and Indigenous communities.

Core Duties

The fellow will be part of a collaborative team working to reinstall the museum’s Indigenous Americas galleries. Responsibilities will include conducting research on the collection to determine the focus of the reinstallation, developing programming related to the reinstallation, and writing gallery and online texts.

The fellow should have demonstrated experience and a strong interest in working with the arts and material culture of the Indigenous Americas in a museum setting, and should be qualified to research, care for, and interpret the arts of the Indigenous Americas for diverse audiences. The fellow should be committed to fostering museum-based dialogue around historical and contemporary issues of interpretation, representation, and other relevant concerns. The Cantor Arts Center has a history of collaboration with the robust Native and Indigenous community at Stanford, and the fellow will be expected to further develop these relationships.

This position is a 24-month term position.

Education & Experience

  • Master’s degree in Art History or a related discipline (such as, though not limited to, Anthropology, Native American Studies, American Studies, or Museum Studies), with a specialization in the Indigenous Arts of the Americas.
  • Ph.D. preferred.
  • Knowledge of and research skills across a wide range of the arts of the Indigenous Americas, as well as a specialization within the field. Familiarity with the arts of North America, particularly from the Northwest Coast, and of contemporary Indigenous art, is a plus.
  • Record of organizing and implementing innovative museum installations and/or special exhibitions of the arts of the Indigenous Americas.
  • Experience working closely and building relationships with Native and Indigenous communities in a professional setting.
  • Sensitivity to historical and contemporary issues around the representation of the arts of the Indigenous Americas and of Native and Indigenous communities in museums and other cultural institutions.
  • Commitment to inclusivity, especially to developing and cultivating Native and Indigenous perspectives in the museum.
  • Ability to conduct thorough, original research.
  • Ability to write for and speak effectively with a wide range of audiences, from the general public to scholars.
  • Ability and willingness to work collaboratively with colleagues within the museum and across the Stanford University campus, including the Native American Studies program, the Native American Cultural Center, and the Stanford American Indian Organization. Ability and willingness to collaborate with other local university and public museums and Native and Indigenous communities.
  • Proficiency working with computer programs including Microsoft Office and art management software.

Physical Requirements

  • 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.

Working Conditions

  • 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.

Work Standards

  • 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,

Required Application Documents:

  • CV
  • Cover letter
  • Sample of scholarly writing
  • 3 references, including at least one academic reference and one professional reference 

The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 1841
  • Employee Status: Fixed-Term
  • Grade: H
  • Requisition ID: 85910

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