Exhibition Assistant for Art and Design in the 1940s

Philadelphia, PA
Part Time
Curatorial
Mid Level
We Are Committed to an Inclusive Workplace

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we actively seek to employ a diverse group of people who embody our organizational values. We welcome and encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply, especially those from marginalized and underrepresented groups in the museum field, who are inspired by our shared purpose and enjoy working collaboratively with others.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status. 

In April of 2025, the Philadelphia Museum of Art will open an exhibition that plumbs the depths of its collections to focus on art and design from the 1940s. Led by Jessica Smith, the Director of Curatorial Initiatives, the team of co-curators includes Elisabeth Agro, The Nancy M. McNeil Curator of Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts; Dilys Blum, The Jack M. and Annete Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles; and Amanda Bock, The Lynne and Harold Honickman Assistant Curator of Photographs.

The Exhibition Assistant will help research and prepare the checklist for the exhibition; develop and maintain object and exhibition records both in paper form and in the Museum’s Collections Database, TMS (The Museum System); assist in coordinating any loans of works of art for the exhibition; and assist the curatorial team with all tasks related to the organization of this exhibition and, potentially, a related publication. Exhibition responsibilities include cross-departmental communication, assisting with the development of the installation design, drafting exhibition didactics with curators, corresponding with artists’ estates as necessary, aiding in the development of public programs, and assisting with media and social media efforts. Duties relating to a publication would include working with the curators and the Publishing Department on all aspects of the project, from liaising with its authors and designer to pursuing image rights and reproductions.


Specifically, you will:
 
  • Collaborate with the Manager of Curatorial Affairs to prepare the exhibition package for the exhibition team (curators, registrars, conservators, exhibition designers, etc.).
  • Work with Museum staff to arrange any loans and requests for photographs and permissions.
  • Develop and maintain TMS exhibition module and “object packages” with up-to-date information, including any lenders’ requirements and constraints.
  • Research and development up-to-date bibliographic references for all artists and their works in the exhibition.
  • Communicate loan information to the exhibition team (registrars, conservators, exhibition designers, etc.).
  • Draft interpretative and descriptive labels for artworks in the exhibition.
  • Attend all work meetings and, in conjunction with the Manager of Curatorial Affairs, assist curators with inter-departmental coordination.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Your background and experience include:
 
  • M.A. or equivalent in art history
  • Experience in a museum setting and object-based research
  • Familiarity with art from the first half of the 20th century
  • Technical proficiency with personal computers and standard office equipment; fluent with Microsoft Office platform (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access); experience with collection management software; experience with TMS (The Museum System) preferred


Position and Compensation Details
 
  • The hourly rate for this position is $19.
  • This position is Part-Time, Non-Exempt, and approximately 20 hours per week.
  • This position is part of the AFSCME Local 397 bargaining unit.
  • This position reports to the Director of Curatorial Initiatives and The Susan G. Detweiler Curator of American Art.
  • This is a one-year term position, ending Summer 2025.
  • Physical requirements:
    • Able to remain stationary for extended periods of time, to utilize computers and other office equipment required of this job, to perform physically administrative duties in a typical interior office environment, gallery, or exhibit space, and to access most public and staff areas of the museum campus.
    • Able to regularly set up, adjust, and operate a computer/keyboard and other office equipment used to generate work/transmit data.
    • Able to access the Department of European Painting & Sculpture without accommodation.
    • Able to remain stationary for extended periods of time
    • Able to move items up to 10 pounds.
  • Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.


Institutional Requirements
 
  • Upholds the professional standards of the field, always acts in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of the museum and protects and enhances its reputation and standing within the community of museums.
  • Adheres to the museum’s code of ethics and Employee Handbook and avoids any real or perceived conflicts of interest.
  • Shows respect for co-workers and visitors and an understanding of and appreciation for the diversity of the museum’s staff, volunteers, and audiences.
  • Maintains confidentiality.
  • Adheres to all museum protocols, procedures, rules, and policies.


Application Timeline

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  We encourage candidates to apply early as the position will close once we have a robust applicant pool or a candidate has been selected.

What We Offer

Our employees are at the center of the museum. As an employee, you will have access to numerous museum perks including, but not limited to:
 
  • Free general admission to the museum for you and your immediate family
  • Discounted guest tickets for admission
  • Discounts on gift memberships
  • Special staff tours and presentations from our curatorial and conservation teams
  • Discounts at the museum restaurant, museum cafés, and museum retail and online stores

We offer a comprehensive benefits package for employees including:
 
  • Medical, dental, and vision benefits
  • Fully paid short-term disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, and life insurance
  • Health savings or flexible spending account program
  • Retirement savings program with museum match
  • Paid vacation, personal days, sick days, and holidays

*Eligibility for certain benefits is based on a variety of factors including the employee’s regular schedule and tenure.
 
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