Job Opening: Curatorial Assistant, Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

job opening - 5Institution: Cornell University
Location: Ithaca, NY
Posted: 06/28/2013
Type: Full Time
Organization: Johnson Museum of Art
Schedule: Full-time
Education: Associate’s required, BA preferred


  • Provide assistance in the organization and implementation of temporary exhibitions and permanent gallery displays for all collection curators (curator of Asian art; curator of European Art before 1800; curator of modern and contemporary art and photography; curator of European and American art 1800-1945, prints and drawings, and the director). Provide exhibition assistance to the museum registrar.
  • Assist curators and registrar with all facets related to preparing and organizing temporary exhibitions and permanent collection displays. A central role for this position is safe handling and care of valuable works of art. The candidate works with the collections management database, TMS, and the digital imaging archives.
  • Oversee the processing of reproduction and copyright requests and coordinate photography requests with the communications coordinator curators and museum photographer. With responsibility for processing reproduction and copyright requests for the collections, the ideal candidate must be familiar with copyright laws and issues.
  • Participate in curatorial unit and museum meetings, preparing agendas, preparing presentations, and taking and preparing notes for distribution.
  • Oversee logistics for grant submissions, including keeping the master grant schedule for submissions and reporting deadlines; gathering information from curatorial and other staff to send to Sponsored Programs for approval; and completing the final grant submissions online or via mail.
  • The individual in this position works with a variety of supervisors in several different departments. It is important that they be able to adapt to different supervisory styles and be flexible with the ability to work on special projects with minimal supervision.
  • Exercise appropriate confidentiality regarding loans from private collections, proposed acquisitions, donor relations, collections research, and other sensitive information
  • Supervises at least one student intern and works closely with other Museum interns. Provide instruction and on-the-job training to temporary employees working in the curatorial unit as well as to volunteers and graduate students.


  • Associate’s degree with 1-2 years’ experience or equivalent combination of relevant education and experience.
  • Prior experience working in a museum’s curatorial unit, assisting curators, registrars and preparators with exhibition with exhibition-related duties and responsibilities or equivalent combination. Art handling experience necessary.
  • The ideal candidate must be a good team player; diplomatic, a multi-tasker; and able to operate successfully in a busy work environment with multiple ongoing deadlines.
  • The candidate works most directly with four curators in different fields of expertise and must be capable of working with co-workers frequently under pressure to meet strict deadlines and goals.
  • Creativity, resourcefulness, and problem-solving to manage and accomplish duties and projects required.


  • Bachelor’s degree in art history, fine arts or museum studies strongly preferred.
  • Experience working with a variety of online databases, especially TMS, and other research abilities a plus.
  • Basic matting and framing skills as well as appreciation for conversation and preservation collection needs.

Full application details on

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