Since its establishment in 1941, the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University (IU) has grown from a small university teaching collection into one of the foremost university art museums in the country. A preeminent teaching museum, the museum’s internationally acclaimed collection includes more than 45,000 objects representing nearly every art-producing culture throughout history.
A major highlight of the museum’s wide-ranging collection are its collections of approximately 4,400 works of art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas (North and Central America, the Caribbean, and Latin America). Thanks in large part to the late Chicago-based collectors Raymond and Laura Wielgus, the Eskenazi Museum possesses one of the most significant collections in this area of any American university art museum. IU is also home to Mathers Museum of World Cultures, which houses a collection of related objects; a nationally recognized, leading African Studies Program; and a Foreign Language Studies Program that teaches more languages than any other school in America. These resources complement the museum’s rich collection of arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.
The Eskenazi Museum of Art is nearing completion of a $30 million renovation of its acclaimed I. M. Pei–designed building. The newly renovated museum will be an enhanced teaching resource for IU and southern Indiana. Positioning the institution as a premier teaching museum requires breakthrough research and programming that advance its mission in powerful ways. To this end, the museum seeks a thoughtful, outgoing, and passionate individual who will serve as the Wielgus Curator of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.
We seek a candidate with an expertise in the arts of Africa, but who is also capable of overseeing our collections of the arts of Oceania and the Americas. The candidate must be a scholar of the highest order who is both capable of conducting their own research on the collection and possesses the ambition and skills to create and manage a robust research program to study, teach, exhibit, and publish the museum’s renowned collections. The individual must work closely with faculty and students in the department of art history and must be skilled at establishing productive relationships with related schools and departments, including the African Studies Program in IU’s Hamilton-Lugar School of Global and International Studies and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures.
As part of the Eskenazi Museum’s curatorial team, the successful candidate will work collaboratively with colleagues throughout the institution, but especially in the areas of curatorial and education, to activate the museum’s outstanding collections. Of particular importance will be a strong working relationship with the museum’s curator of contemporary art.
The successful candidate must possess an M.A. in art history, but a Ph.D. is preferred. The candidate should also have some demonstrable museum experience as well as a record of accomplishment in successfully producing significant exhibitions, public programs, and publications. The position is a non-tenured faculty appointment.
Major Job Responsibilities
Perform research on the museum’s collection of arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.
Work closely with the executive director to develop an exciting vision and strategy for the development of an ambitious research, exhibition, and publication program for the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Eskenazi Museum of Art and at Indiana University.
Work collaboratively with the education department to develop and implement compelling public programs in the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.
Play a critical role in launching the museum’s new Center for Curatorial Studies, collaborating with IU faculty members and the museum’s educational and curatorial staff to develop courses that support degree offerings in the field.
Develop significant exhibitions for 2021–22 and beyond.
Work with curatorial colleagues to develop and implement a plan to grow the museum’s permanent collection in the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, with a special focus in the field of contemporary art, which will be defined as art created after 1985, in consultation with the curator of contemporary art and the executive director.
Act as ambassador and liaison to academic departments and to the broader IU and Bloomington communities.
Inspire support for the museum by working closely with the executive director and the museum’s development department to identify and cultivate relationships with patrons and collectors.
Skills and Knowledge
Strong record of research, scholarship, and public speaking, with proven experience organizing loan exhibitions and producing publications of the highest quality.
Understanding of curatorial practices and methodology.
Knowledge and understanding of museum ethics and principles, especially with regard to issues of provenance.
Must be articulate, with excellent presentation and writing skills, and effective communication, organizational, and time-management skills.
Ability to work as a member of a team-based environment with strong collaborative skills.
Willingness to build positive and effective relationships with museum colleagues, donors, and the broader IU and Bloomington communities.
Demonstrated skill at strategically building a collection through gifts and purchases.
Possess a broad and deep knowledge of the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas and their relationship with broader art history, and demonstrate a keen eye for art of quality and significance across all media.
M.A. required; Ph.D. preferred. Rank will be based on credentials. Two to three years art museum or major art gallery experience with a record of creating, organizing, installing, and writing didactics for exhibitions.
Department Contact for Questions
Questions regarding the position or application process can be directed to Maggie Kroh, Assistant to the Director, Eskenazi Museum of Art, 1133 E 7th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For best consideration, all applications must be received by November 1, 2019.
About Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University
Since its establishment in 1941, the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art has grown from a small university teaching collection into one of the most significant university art collections in the United States. A preeminent teaching museum on the Indiana University campus, its internationally acclaimed collection, ranging from ancient gold jewelry and African and Oceanic works to paintings by modern masters such as Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock, includes more than 45,000 objects representing nearly every art-producing culture throughout history.
The Eskenazi Museum of Art just completed a $30 million renovation of its acclaimed I. M. Pei–designed building. When it reopens on November 7, 2019, the newly renovated museum will be an enhanced teaching resource for Indiana University and southern Indiana. The museum is dedicated to engaging students, faculty, artists, scholars, alumni, and the wider public through the cultivation of new ideas and scholarship.