Project Curatorial Assistant, Hillman Photography Initiative

Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America Req #879
Friday, June 3, 2022
Carnegie Museum of Art creates experiences that connect people to art, ideas, and one another. We believe creativity is a defining human characteristic to which everyone should have access. CMOA collects, preserves, and presents artworks from around the world to inspire, sustain, and provoke discussion, and to engage and reflect multiple audiences. Carnegie Museum of Art is arguably the first museum of contemporary art in the United States, collecting the "Old Masters of tomorrow" since the inception of the Carnegie International in 1896. Today, the museum is one of the most dynamic major art institutions in America. Our collection of more than 30,000 objects features a broad spectrum of visual arts, including painting and sculpture; prints and drawings; photographs; architectural casts, renderings, and models; decorative arts and design; and film, video, and digital imagery. Through our programming, exhibitions, and publications, we frequently explore the role of art and artists in confronting key social issues of our time, combining and juxtaposing local and global perspectives.  With our unique history and resources, we strive to become a leader in defining the role of art museums for the 21st century. Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is interested in candidates who, through their experience and collaborations, will contribute to diversity and excellence of the Carnegie Museums community.

The CMP COVID-19 Employee Vaccine Policy requires that all employees provide proof of COVID vaccination or if not fully vaccinated, must provide proof of negative COVID-19 testing on a weekly basis.

The Hillman Photography Initiative connects Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) with audiences to exchange new ideas about photography. By collaborating with individuals in and beyond CMOA, the Initiative provides opportunities to experience innovative photography onsite and online.

With the Curator of Photography, the Project Curatorial Assistant helps with planning and implementation of the fourth cycle of the Hillman Photography Initiative. The candidate coordinates program activities and works with relevant museum departments to ensure their effective and timely implementation. Programs for this cycle will revolve around a single theme or question and include an exhibition, a podcast, and a publication.  The Project Curatorial Assistant may contribute to the visibility of these programs through social media efforts and website content. The candidate is responsible for all administrative aspects of the Initiative, including but not limited to organizing meetings; scheduling; logistics; financial administration; liaising with external facilitators; and recordkeeping.

This position is a fulltime temporary position. The museum anticipates the Project Curatorial Assistant will be retained for approximately 24 months.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field required; Master’s preferred.
  • 3 years of work experience, including familiarity with the development and implementation of programs (e.g., exhibitions, educational programs, podcasts,, and publications) within a museum or comparable organization required.
  • Project management experience preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledgeable about the history, practice, and evolution of photography in a broad context, as well as current trends in the field, especially as they relate to museums.
  • Must have strong research and analytical skills.
  • Ability to work with individuals from different backgrounds and levels of experience.
  • Must be well-organized, intellectually curious, and versatile enough to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to initiate complex tasks and see them through to timely completion.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills are essential.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office programs, including Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, PowerPoint, and SharePoint as well as with Internet-based research.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: Work is primarily sedentary in nature; no special demands are required. Some out-of-town travel and work on occasional weekends and evenings may be required.

Principal Accountabilities:

  • Coordinate with external collaborators of the Initiative; apprise them of progress and developments and keep them informed and engaged through all stages of the program.
  • Organize in-person and virtual meetings with the external collaborators and other museum staff, including scheduling, travel and logistical arrangements; preparation and dissemination of materials; and coordination with external facilitator, as needed.
  • Observe and record discussions, meetings, and decisions about possible activities, analyze results, and identify items for follow up. Collect, evaluate, and make available information emerging from the planning team meetings, as appropriate.
  • Interface with museum departments such as Collections and Exhibitions for work related to the exhibition, Department of Education for programs and podcasts , and Department of Design and Publishing for publication and related published content.  Collaborate with these departments to evaluate proposed activities by determining cost and outcome projections and understanding scheduling, space, and human resource constraints.
  • With the Curator of Photography, work with relevant departments to implement chosen theme and associated activities within established museum protocols and budget guidelines while simultaneously remaining flexible enough to realize ambitious projects on a potentially tight timetable.
  • Organize regular meetings to keep senior leadership involved in and informed about all development.
  • Help increase the visibility of the Initiative through contributions to the website and social media including, but not necessarily, Facebook and Instagram,.
  • In consultation with the Curator of Photography and the Financial Director, manage contracts and financial recordkeeping for the Initiative.  This includes tracking expenditures, processing check requests and reimbursements, paying external vendors and collaborators, and ensuring compliance with all budgetary parameters and museum procedures.
  • Collect and maintain data on participation in Initiative activities and otherwise evaluate the effectiveness of the Initiative’s activities. Make recommendations for improvements and mid-course corrections as needed.
  • Contribute to grant reports and other briefings regarding the Initiative’s activities.
  • Maintain beneficial relationships with donors. Liaise with the museum’s Advancement and Community Engagement department to seek opportunities for engaging other funder/sponsors as appropriate.
  • Create and maintain beneficial professional contacts and keep up-to-date on emerging trends in museums and the field of photography.
  • Other duties as assigned.
The following PA Act 153 clearances, or proof of application of clearances, are required beginning employment and as a condition of continued employment: Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check FBI Fingerprint Criminal Background Check Obtaining the required clearances is completed as part of the new hire process.

Carnegie Museums is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minorities / Females / Veterans / Individuals with Disabilities / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity

The above job description reflects the essential functions and qualifications for the position identified, and shall not be construed as a detailed description of all the work requirements that may be inherent in the position. The job description does not constitute an employment contract and does not alter the at-will relationship between CMP and the employee.   

*GUIDANCE ON ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:   The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires employers to consider and accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities.  An individual is qualified if he or she can perform the essential functions of a job with or without reasonable accommodation. An essential job function is any task that is a fundamental part of the job.  When considering essentiality, one must focus upon whether the function is essential to this particular job and not to the department as a whole. Some additional guidance on essential functions follows below.  Please note that the following guidelines are non-exhaustive.  If you have any questions or need additional guidance, please contact Human Resources. A. Is the function required to be performed on a regular basis? If the function is rarely performed, it may not be essential. B. Is the function highly specialized? Is the incumbent hired for his/her expertise or ability to perform the function?  The need for special expertise is an indication of an essential function. C. Does the position exist, at least in part, to perform the function?  If so, the function is more likely to be essential. D. How much time is spent performing the function and how often?  Note that even functions performed 10% of the time could be essential if they are required on a regular basis. E. Would elimination of the function fundamentally alter the job?  If so, the function is more likely to be essential. F. What are the consequences of not requiring the incumbent to perform the function? If they are significant, the function is more likely to be essential.  G. Are there a limited number of employees among whom the performance of the function could be distributed if the incumbent could not perform it?  If so, it is more likely to be essential.

Other details

  • Pay Type Hourly
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  • Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America