The Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art

Philadelphia, PA
Full Time
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. 

The Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art has responsibility for the care, utilization, and development of the Museum’s extensive and world-renowned holdings of South Asian art. The collection is comprised of more than 3,000 works of art, from painting and sculpture to metalwork and decorative objects dating from around 2500 BCE to the present day. Particular strengths of the South Asian art collection include Indian ‘temple’ sculpture, Himalayan arts of all media, Rajput painting, folk art, and textiles. As a member of the Museum’s curatorial staff, this individual is expected to participate in aspects of the work of the Museum to enable it to fulfill its mission and to maintain the highest standards of scholarship, connoisseurship, and professional practices in the field.

Specifically, you will:
  • Works under the direction of the Curatorial Leadership Team and in cooperation with the other members of the Museum’s curatorial, education, and administrative staff to achieve the mission of the institution and its strategic objectives.
  • Works closely with the Museum’s conservation, collections management, and design and installation staffs to ensure that the works of art in their care are properly documented, conserved when treatment is needed, stored in a safe and accessible manner, and effectively displayed in the Museum’s galleries for the enjoyment and education of the public.
  • Reviews and provides recommendations on loan requests received by the Museum.
  • Conducts research on the collection or on related topics in accordance with a plan developed in consultation with the Curatorial Leadership Team. Utilizes this research for a variety of purposes—e.g., the development of exhibitions and public programming, the enrichment of the Museum’s collections database and interpretive materials in the galleries, and for presentation in collections catalogues, scholarly articles, public lectures and symposia, etc.
  • Works collaboratively with departments across the Museum, including Education, Editorial and Graphic Design, and Information and Interpretive Technologies, on the development and production of interpretive materials (both print and digital) related to the collection—e.g., object labels, introductory text panels, gallery and audio guides, and educational computing tools—and on the content and presentational strategies developed for public programs and distance learning programs. 
  • In collaboration with the Curatorial Leadership Team, organizes and/or coordinates special exhibitions. This work should be understood to encompass every aspect of the development and implementation of special exhibitions, from initial project planning and research to participation in budgeting and resource development, the production of the catalogue, the creation of the installation design and a marketing plan to promote the exhibition, and the development and presentation of interpretive programs that will accompany it. 
  • Identifies and recommends works of art in their area of responsibility to be acquired for the collection and provides supporting documentation (e.g., the historical and aesthetic significance of the objects, the history of their ownership, and their state of conservation) to justify their acquisition by gift or purchase. In accordance with institutional policies, periodically assesses the area of the collection for which they are responsible and make recommendations for the disposition of works of art that should not be retained. Consults with the Museum’s library staff on acquisitions in her/his area of responsibility.
  • In consultation with the Curatorial Leadership Team, creates a professional development plan that will enable them to keep up-to-date on scholarship and curatorial developments in the field and address any agreed-upon professional needs (e.g., managerial training, communications skills, etc.).
  • May be responsible for organizing workflow in the Department of Asian Art.
  • May play a leadership role in organizing meetings of the Asian Art Collection Committee.
  • May be responsible for managing the budget of the Department of Asian Art.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Your background and experience include:
  • Ph.D. preferred but not required, with a minimum of 7 years of cumulative curatorial and/or field-related experience.
  • The individual who holds this position must possess a broad familiarity with the history of South Asian or Himalayan art history (or a closely related field) and, more specifically, a detailed knowledge of the history of Indo-Islamic, Himalayan, or early modern period preferred.  This individual will have completed field work for at least one year living in the region of specialization. They will have a proven record of research and curatorial achievement (i.e., the development and coordination of exhibitions, the acquisition of works of art, and collections research) in this field. In addition to a demonstrated ability to work successfully with others—museum staff, volunteers, and diverse public constituencies—to achieve institutional objectives, they must have a broad knowledge of museum practices in the related fields of education and public programs, conservation, collections management, budget management, marketing, and development and external affairs. Proven competency in one or more South Asian languages is expected.  Excellent written and oral communication skills are essential, as is an ability to work with databases, word processing, and other computing tools that the staff is expected to use on a regular basis.

Position and Compensation Details
  • The salary range for this position is $110,000-120,000.
  • This position is Full-Time, Non-Exempt, and 35 hours per week.
  • This position reports to the Head of Asia Art or the Director of Curatorial Initiatives.
  • 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 operate a computer/keyboard and other office equipment used to generate work/transmit data.
  • 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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