Posted on / by bwva2021 / in The Gig

Des Moines Art Center

Overview of Position

Associate Curator

Job Description

This position reports to the Curatorial Manager and has frequent contact with the Director, peers and managers in Curatorial, Registration, Installation, and Education and Interpretation departments

Essential Functions

  • Develop and realize timely and appropriate exhibitions in accordance with the Des Moines Art Center’s mission and the museum’s curatorial goals. This includes drafting budgets, managing deadlines, milestones, checklists, preparing and managing loan requests, collaborating with graphic designer on exhibition and catalogue design, correspondence, and deliverables.
  • Serve as a point person for exhibitions with external collaborators and internal colleagues to streamline communications and manage deliverables.
  • Write and edit all content for exhibition descriptions, curatorial texts (wall intros and object labels), catalogues, gallery guides, training documents, communications, and marketing materials, Work closely with the registration and installation teams on all aspects of artwork installation and exhibition design.
  • Collaborate with colleagues across departments to execute all aspects of exhibition production and implementation.

Other Responsibilities

  • Scholarly research on artists, the permanent collections, and upcoming exhibitions
  • Suggest acquisitions for permanent collections and conduct scholarly research on these specific objects
  • In collaboration with Museum Education, develop programming related to exhibitions and permanent collections
  • Give lectures, tours, and other public speaking engagements in regard to exhibitions
  • Works with Social Media staff as needed to create exhibition and collection related content
  • Attend conferences to monitor current trends and to serve as an ambassador for the Des Moines Art Center

Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Focus on modern and contemporary art
  • Knowledge of museum procedures and exhibition preparation procedures
  • Three or more years’ experience in organizing exhibitions and managing permanent collections
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail is required
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Able to engage diverse audiences
  • Must be consistently at work and on time; ensuring work responsibilities are covered when absent and arriving to meetings and appointments on time.
  • Displays willingness to make decisions; exhibits sound and accurate judgment; supports and explains reasoning for decisions; includes appropriate people in decision-making process and makes timely decisions.
  • Balances team and individual responsibilities; exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ views; gives and welcomes feedback; contributes to building a positive team spirit; puts success of team above own interests; able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives and supports everyone’s efforts to succeed.

Decision Making

  • Participate in day-to-day operational decision making under the guidance of Curatorial Manager

Special Considerations (Work Environment, Schedule, Required Travel, etc.)

  • Work is performed largely in an office environment during normal business hours, however, evening and weekend hours may be required for lectures or events
  • This position requires a percentage of travel (10%) for the purposes of exhibition research or courier work

The Associate Curator is responsible for mounting both loan-heavy and permanent collection-based exhibitions; works with the director to recommend artworks to build the collections by selecting diverse work for acquisitions; researches the permanent collections; and works with the Museum Education and Studio Programs staff to develop educational programs in relation to exhibitions and permanent collections.


Bachelor’s degree in art history, and/or curatorial studies. Master’s degree preferred or equivalent experience.


Salary is commensurate with experience

Contact: Denise

[email protected]

Application Deadline: 06/30/2021

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