Curatorial Assistant
North Adams, MA Visual Arts
Job Type
Full-time
Description

MASS MoCA is a vibrant non-collecting art museum with approximately 300,000 square feet of exhibition space. Half of that space is dedicated to rotating short-term (6 month - 2 year) exhibitions, which consist of 4 to 6 large-scale exhibitions per year, along with some smaller  projects. The balance of exhibition space is dedicated to long-term (5 - 25 year runs) exhibitions made possible through collaborations with artists, estates, and collections. MASS MoCA frequently works directly with artists on the creation of new work, through site visits and  fabrication residencies.


MASS MoCA seeks a full-time Curatorial Assistant to support the museum’s ambitious exhibitions program. Reporting directly to the Chief Curator, and supporting the department’s two additional curators and guest curators, they are responsible for a variety of curatorial and administrative tasks which include assisting with exhibition-related research, planning, programs, and events; managing contacts and correspondence; assisting with the coordination of catalogues, didactic materials, and exhibition documentation; and writing and editing selected exhibition-related texts. The curatorial assistant will be personable and task-oriented; a good and clear writer with a love for detail and working knowledge of how to liaise with galleries, museums, and artists’ studios.


As defined by the National Labor Relations Act, this position is part of the bargaining unit for UAW Local 2110. 


Exhibitions 

  • Supports curators with research for exhibitions and publications. 
  • Works closely with guest curators to manage upcoming exhibitions, serving as the in house liaison.  
  • Supports the Director in executing their exhibitions and programming. 
  • Obtains permissions and copyright clearance for images for publications and ensures that  accurate credit lines are used in MASS MoCA publications.
  • Assists with the maintenance of accurate exhibition checklists, image files, lender lists, and other exhibition details. 
  • Helps curators to create, coordinate, and edit exhibition descriptions and didactic materials such as wall texts, labels, gallery guides, other exhibition-related signage, and newsletter and website content. 
  • Helps to ensure accuracy of information about exhibitions and other Visual Arts programming in all MASS MoCA publications, in print and online.
  • Provides general curatorial support for the Chief Curator, Senior Curator, Curator, Director, and guest curators. 
  • Works with artists, collectors, and colleagues, to provide information to MASS MoCA’s Registrarial team in order to facilitate loans.
  • Working with the Registrarial team, provides logistical and administrative support in coordinating exhibitions, including traveling exhibitions.
  • Participates in and assists with staff training on exhibitions as required, providing  exhibition-related materials to the Education department for staff dissemination.
  • Assists Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Education and Public Programs departments with production and organization of exhibition-related events, including artist talks, panels, pop up performances, many of which take place on weekends. 
  • Assists with coordination of logistical needs for artist/curator visits including arranging  honoraria, travel, lodging, meals, and any event-related logistics along with Visual Arts Coordinator.
  • Assists with hosting visiting artists/curators, including arrangement of itineraries,  transportation, and entertainment, along with Visual Arts Coordinator.
  • Leads exhibition tours as needed.
  • Works with department interns as needed.
  • The Curatorial Assistant may have the opportunity to curate small exhibitions.

Communications 

  • Works with Marketing & Communications staff to coordinate departmental copy and  image deadlines for seasonal programming announcements. Occasionally works with Programs, Visitor Services, Education, Development, and Marketing & Communications staff to prepare and edit additional materials to promote, publicize, and interpret  exhibitions and related public programs.
  • Assists with gathering and writing exhibition-related information pertinent to grant applications, final reports, and other institutional needs.
  • Maintains the Visual Arts Department online image database and coordinates with Marketing & Graphic Design Departments on image usage and copy.
  • Answers requests for the use of images of MASS MoCA visual art programming in external publications. 
  • Liaises with other departments within the museum, providing fact-checks and updated exhibition information (including titles, artists, and dates) as needed.

Administrative 

  • Manages upkeep of master mailing lists of artists and colleagues.
  • Assists Registrarial team with updating and maintaining exhibitions and loans database. 
  • Coordinates distribution for publications, and maintains book inventory. 
  • With Visual Arts Coordinator, maintains department calendars and shares information cross-departmentally as needed. 
  • With Visual Arts Coordinator helps code invoices for payment.
  • Helps create Powerpoint/Slides for various presentations to staff and board as needed. 
  • Fields unsolicited artist and exhibition submissions, and requests for research information from individuals and institutions. 
  • Participate in “all hands-on deck” institutional events, including Solid Sound and FreshGrass music festivals.
  • Occasionally serve on internal committees and working groups, which include the DEAI Steering Committee and Staff Advisory Council (SAC).
  • Other duties as assigned.
Requirements
  • Advanced degree in art history, museum studies, or museum curating preferred.
  • At least one year of experience in the field, either at a similar organization or through independent practice. 
  • Strong interpersonal skills and good communicator, with ability to synthesize complex concepts and scholarly research for a public audience.
  • Strong writing skills.
  • Highly organized and detail/task oriented.
  • Willing to work in a small, fast-changing and dynamic work environment. 
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office and Google Suite required; task management software; and image-sharing systems a plus.
  • Ability to work independently as well as closely with a small team. 
  • A flexible/versatile approach to ensuring every project’s success.
  • Passion for and knowledge of contemporary art and culture. 


Physical Requirements/Job Context and Working Conditions 

  • Ability to move throughout the museum, and/or sit for extended periods of time with limited breaks. 
  • Must be able to sit or stand for long periods of computer use.
  • The employee is required to move about their work area, between buildings and the campus grounds. 
  • Desk is located in an open office area with regular co-worker interaction. 
  • Occasional evening and weekend hours as necessary. 
  • Must be vaccinated for COVID-19

 Minimum starting wage: $18.26 an hour.