Nancy E. Meinig Curator, Modern & Contemporary Art
Tulsa, OK Curatorial
Job Type

Creativity and connection. These simple and powerful principles inform every aspect of the modern Philbrook experience. From concerts in the cabin to campouts in the Garden, from lowrider picnics to unforgettable and diverse exhibitions, the goal is clear: to become and remain Tulsa’s most welcoming cultural institution. A stunning historic home, a world-class art museum, and 25 breathtaking acres. Quite the trifecta. 

In addition to these resources, a recently established acquisitions fund has transformed the Museum’s collecting ability, making ambitious and strategic collection development possible. Fundamental to our collecting strategy is diversifying the collection. Currently more than a third of the collection is by Native American artists and nearly half of artists represented are women. Future acquisitions will focus on the most vibrant and exciting examples of modern and contemporary art, highlighting historically underrepresented and underrecognized artists in particular. By emphasizing quality over quantity and visitor impact over name recognition, the increasingly diverse collection supports a vision in which museums reflect their communities in order to foster deeper understanding of ourselves, our rich community fabric, and our ever-shrinking world.  

With this vision in mind, the Museum is actively reshaping its collection of 14,000 artworks to be more relevant and inclusive. Our longstanding focus on collecting from the local to the global—from collections built through the Oklahoma Annual and Indian Annual to the Kress collection of Italian art to work from over 200 Native American tribes—distinguishes us from many of our peers in the region. Over the past decade, Philbrook has acquired work by artists born in Argentina, Canada, England, Ethiopia, France, Mexico, Pakistan, and the US—including from right here in Tulsa. These artists reflect not only key artistic developments from around the world, but also speak to the significance of our local community.

JOB SUMMARY: The Meinig Curator for Modern & Contemporary Art plays a key role in the Museum’s dynamic curatorial program. Responsible for collection development, curating exhibitions and gallery installations, conceptualizing and producing a range of engaging programs intended for both broad audiences and seasoned collectors, researching and interpreting the collection, fostering relationships with collectors and donors, and collaborating across the organization and community in support of Philbrook’s mission: to build a more creative and connected community through art and gardens. 

Essential Duties & Responsibilities: 

  • Collection Development & Stewardship: Working   closely with curatorial team, shape the collection through purchases,   commissions, gifts, and deaccessions. Prepare proposals, reports, and other materials for Collections Committee and other groups. Seek and encourage   private gifts for Museum purchases of appropriate works for the collection. As appropriate, contribute to the ongoing creation of the   comprehensive catalogue of Philbrook’s collections, including verifying, correcting, and augmenting existing collection records. 
  • Exhibition Development: Conceptualize and develop exhibitions and installations with relevance and appeal to local audiences   and alignment with institutional mission, priorities, and budget. Seek out artists from a range of backgrounds and support artistic practice at all levels. Effectively engage and grow advisory groups as appropriate. 
  • Programming: Create   innovative programs geared toward both targeted audiences and a broad general   audience. Present information to docents, collectors, interest groups, or other organizations in the form of lectures and public programs within field   of expertise. 
  • Outreach & Visibility: Nurture mutually beneficial   relationships with artists, gallerists, donors, collectors, critics, writers,   and other colleagues locally and nationally. Stay current within field of   expertise, including new and emerging artists as well as broader trends and  developments. Participate in planning and developing programming related to Museum’s donor and collecting groups. In partnership with Development staff,   serve as staff liaison for Collectors Circle.
  • Collaboration & Administration:   Collaborate across the institution to support efforts in fundraising,   learning & audience engagement, collections care, programming, public relations, and communications. Build strong relationships across the institution by communicating proactively and maintaining a professional   demeanor and positive attitude. Develop and administer project budgets for exhibitions and other special programs as assigned. 
  • Evaluation: Embrace the evolving relationship between museums and their audiences and use evaluative methods to better understand and serve those audiences. Participate in evaluation of programs on an ongoing basis and   respond appropriately to feedback to ensure a successful process of continual   improvement.
  • Staff Management: Supervise or mentor junior department staff when assigned, including fellows, interns, or volunteers.
  • Attendance: Maintain prompt and reliable attendance in order to successfully perform the duties of the job, including weekend and evening hours for events and programs as needed.

 Equivalent Education/Experience

  • Masters’ degree in art history or related field (a bachelor’s degree and equivalent training may be substituted); PhD preferred 
  • Minimum of 3 years of related experience, including a record of accomplishment as a community, museum, or public art curator; or, as a community organizer working in arts and culture. 


  • Expertise in modern/contemporary art; experience working with gardens, outdoor/public art, or performance-based practices an advantage
  • Highly articulate, with excellent writing and public speaking skills. Able and willing to engage a broad range of constituents including community members, academic audiences, general visitors, artists, collectors, dealers, and potential donors
  • Creative, open-minded, and committed to innovative museum practice and welcoming of ideas from unconventional sources
  • Flexible and goal-oriented, with the ability to handle constantly changing priorities
  • Demonstrates keen cultural sensitivity
  • Diplomatic, kind, and gracious, with a sense of humor and innate curiosity
  • Familiarity with museum practices, including acquisition processes, collections care, exhibition development, interpretation, and evaluation
  • Comfortable with personal computers and social media, including word processing, digital imaging, and database applications

Competitive Salary & Benefits

  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Health Spending Account
  • 403(b) retirement plan and matching

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. 

Salary Description
$45,000 - $70,000