Philbrook Museum of Art is a vibrant cultural institution in Tulsa, Oklahoma that typically welcomes over 120,000 visitors each year. Oklahoma is home to 39 Native nations—the most of any in the United States—representing various cultural regions including the Eastern Woodlands and Plains, among others. Tulsa has one of the highest percentages of Native populations in the country and is at a confluence of three tribes: Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), and Osage.
A 1920s Italianate Villa nestled in 25 acres of designed gardens, Philbrook features a dynamic and ambitious program of rotating exhibitions and galleries with selections from an actively growing collection of approximately 16,000 objects, about 5,000 of which are from Native North American artists. With artworks from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe dating from 3,000 BCE to today, Philbrook is Oklahoma’s most comprehensive art museum and offers visitors a glimpse into a broad range of cultures, time periods, and perspectives. The diverse collection supports a vision of Philbrook as central to the lives of our community as a place for learning, inspiration, and fun. Through bold action and strategic investment, we create a space for new ideas, diverse perspectives, and social connection.
Philbrook Museum of Art seeks applications for a three-year appointment as Mellon [open rank] Curator of Contemporary Art. Candidates with all levels of curatorial experience are encouraged to apply, as this position may be filled as an Assistant, Associate, or full Curator. With three curators devoted to collaborations with contemporary art and artists, twenty-first-century art is a cornerstone of the Museum’s program, which includes acquisitions, commissions, and exhibitions as well as innovative forms of engagement with artists, the institution, and our community.
The Mellon Curator of Contemporary Art will play a leading role in this vital program intended to expand the canon of contemporary art beyond the boundaries of traditional Western narratives. The Mellon Curator will be dedicated to promoting, supporting, and nurturing the work of contemporary artists from diverse backgrounds, with an emphasis on Native artists and on artists engaging with land, gardens, and nature. Working in collaboration with the curatorial team and under the general direction of the Deputy Director for Audience Engagement & Curatorial Affairs, the Mellon Curator will develop one large exhibition and 2-3 smaller exhibition projects that align with the broader artistic and civic goals of the Museum, particularly by developing content and experiences within the Philbrook Gardens that advance creativity and a more connected community. Additionally, the Curator will collaboratively develop and present public programs, partner with Native artists and communities across North America on projects designed to highlight groundbreaking Native artistic practices, creatively engage the Museum’s gardens in particular, and emphasize contemporary relevance and vitality for visitors.
The ideal candidate brings a commitment to audience-centered curatorial practice, an aptitude for cross-departmental collaboration and teamwork, and experience or interest in working with outdoor or public art.
Philbrook provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.
Applicants affiliated with an Indigenous community are encouraged to apply.