Chief Curator

New Jersey
31 May 2019
End of advertisement period
29 Jul 2019
Academic Discipline
Arts & Humanities
Contract Type
Full Time

The Princeton University Art Museum invites nominations and applications for the new position of Chief Curator.
This is a high level position at one of the world's finest university museums. We seek a highly accomplished curator, scholar, or educator, with a firmly established reputation in the museum field and a clear curatorial/academic perspective on the value and meanings of great museums in academic settings. Preference will be given to candidates with academic training or equivalent work experience in one or more fields of art history, social history, or material culture appropriate to the Museum's mission and five or more years of progressively responsible experience in a museum, ideally in an academic setting.
Under the leadership of the Art Museum's Director, and reporting to the Associate Director for Collections and Exhibitions, the Chief Curator advances the Museum's commitment to merging scholarship and accessibility by providing intellectual leadership to its curatorial team. The Chief Curator is a thought leader, advocate for, and partner to the curatorial team who shapes discussion across curatorial areas, and positions the Museum as a leader in the field. The Chief Curator builds a culture of collaboration across areas of diverse curatorial expertise, privileging cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary exhibitions, thinking, and activities that build from Princeton's uniquely wide-ranging collections. In so doing, the Chief Curator helps to link these to the Museum's educational activities, including publishing and interpretation.
The Chief Curator leads a staff of eleven curators (nine of them directly), curatorial and research assistants, interns, and others as needed to help realize the Museum's full potential. Fostering relationships and activity across the Museum's curatorial areas and shaping partnerships with Princeton faculty and outside experts, including strategic partnerships with other institutions, the Chief Curator creates a multi-year strategic plan for temporary exhibitions and collections activities, entering into dialogues with museum colleagues around the world to identify partnership opportunities, including securing compelling traveling exhibitions. The Chief Curator works closely with the Director and Associate Director for Collections and Exhibitions to assure a seamless integration between the Museum's academic and intellectual values and the tools and workflows necessary to achieve its projects, and partners with them and Museum curators and development staff to assure that resources align with and support the Museum's curatorial ambitions.
The Chief Curator must have:

  • A passion for the Museum's mission and values and the ability to articulate them persuasively;
  • A demonstrated record of scholarly engagement and production;
  • A demonstrated commitment to cross-cultural engagement and boundary-crossing questions that support the full range of the Museum's curatorial interests and commitments;
  • A network of relationships in the museum world, the academy, and/or the wider cultural community;
  • The ability to be both an effective manager and a team member who can work in a dynamic and collaborative environment;
  • The ability to empower staff and to foster a team-based outlook and open communication and transparency in ways that shape a positive work environment and help to deliver exceptional curatorial practices and projects;
  • Finely-honed listening skills;
  • A high degree of sophistication and fluency in public speaking and written presentations, as well as in interpersonal communications;
  • A demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion; and
  • A Ph.D. in the history of art or a related discipline.

To learn more about the Princeton University Art Museum, please visit
Interested candidates should apply online at and submit a cover letter, CV, and contact information for at least 3 references.