Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship – Marcel Duchamp Retrospective

Philadelphia, PA
Full Time
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. 
We are looking for outstanding scholars to join our team as postdoctoral fellows funded by an endowment established by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. These fellowships provide foundational training to scholars interested in curatorial careers in art museums while also supporting scholarly research on works of art.  We are one of the premier art institutions of the world with a collection comprising nearly 250,000 objects representing many different cultures and historical periods ranging from medieval art in Europe and the arts of China, Japan, and Korea to modern and contemporary art.  The collection is cared for by six curatorial departments: American Art; Asian Art; Costume and Textiles; European Art; Modern and Contemporary Art; and Prints, Drawings and Photographs. 

Mellon Fellows are fully integrated into a specific curatorial department that matches their area of study, collaborating closely with an individual curator as well as with other curatorial, conservation, education, information services, and registrarial staff. Each Fellow will have access to the collections and to the museum’s library and will enjoy all the professional benefits extended to museum staff.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is co-organizing a retrospective exhibition of the work of Marcel Duchamp with The Museum of Modern Art in New York. This will be the first comprehensive Duchamp exhibition in the United States since the landmark 1973-74 exhibition organized by the same two institutions. It will provide a fresh appraisal of the nature and meaning of Duchamp’s innovations for a new generation of viewers. The Mellon Fellow will report to the Chief Curator and assist in all aspects of research for the Marcel Duchamp exhibition and will assist the Chief Curator with other curatorial research projects.

Specific tasks will include high level research of primary and secondary sources including archival research in our collection as well as in other museums, libraries and archives on exhibition objects and themes, often working independently but in consultation with curators. Contribute to the preparation of interpretive material for the Duchamp exhibition. Compile object checklists. Compile bibliographies, checklists, captions, and other materials relevant to the accompanying exhibition catalogue.

In addition, as part of their general training, Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of museum activities, such as volunteer training, art history lectures, and gallery tours. In addition, as part of their general training, Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of museum activities, such as volunteer training, art history lectures, gallery tours and will be invited to observe the monthly curator's meetings. 

Your background and experience include:
  • A Ph.D. in art history or related field that aligns with the exhibition.
  • Knowledge of the history of modern art, particularly Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism.
  • Relevant museum experience.
  • Excellent writing, research, and organizational skills.
  • Experience working independently in libraries and archives in France and the United States.
  • Fluency (speaking, writing, reading) in both English and French.
  • High level of enthusiasm for working with a curatorial team.
  • Demonstration of scholarly excellence and promise.
  • A strong interest in pursuing a career as a museum curator. 

Application Procedures
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.

Please include the following with your application:
  • A cover letter outlining your interest in the fellowship.
  • A statement, not to exceed 1,000 words, describing your area of research and potential relationship to the museum’s collections.
  • A copy of a published paper or a writing sample (no more than 10MB); a link to the document is preferred.
  • Curriculum vitae with education, employment, honors, awards, and publications.
  • You will be asked to submit two letters of reference during the interview stage of the process.

Position and Compensation Details
  • The salary for this position is $55,000.
  • This position is Full-Time, Exempt, and 35 hours per week.
  • This position is part of the AFSCME Local 397 bargaining unit.
  • This position reports to The Marion Boulton "Kippy" Stroud Deputy Director and Chief Curator.
  • This is a 2-year term position, beginning in fall 2024 and ending in August 2026.
  • 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
  • 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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