Curator of African Art

Website New Orleans Museum of Art

The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) seeks an innovative and experienced specialist to be its next Françoise Billion Richardson Curator of African Art. The successful candidate will oversee all aspects of NOMA’s significant collection, establishing priorities for collections research, acquisition, exhibition development, installation, interpretive strategies, conservation, and programming. Additionally, the candidate will be expected to participate in a full range of scholarly and public programming activities, as well as in the cultivation and stewardship of collectors and donors.

The comprehensiveness of NOMA’s historical African art collection will allow the Curator of African Art to identify new areas of growth, particularly in the acquisition, interpretation, and presentation of 20th–21st century African and African Diasporic art and to partner with regional, national, and international colleagues in the field. The curator will act as a resource for sharing information about the ethics of collecting and repatriation.

The successful candidate will have 3–5 years of curatorial experience that includes exhibition development and organization, acquisitions, scholarly achievement, public speaking, and collaborative programming. The candidate should be familiar with new technologies and their impact on the field. A Master’s degree with a specialization in the history of African art is required, a Ph.D. is preferred. It is expected that the candidate will have expertise in areas that parallel the collection’s strengths, and have conducted research in the regions of their specializations.

Essential to the position are excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to work in a highly collaborative environment that requires both flexibility and participation in organizational systems. Proficiency in English is required, and fluency in French and/or German is encouraged.

Considered one of the most important assemblages of traditional African art in a public museum in the United States, NOMA’s collection began with a single donation in 1953. Highlights of the collection were published in Ancestors of Congo Square: African Art in the New Orleans Museum of Art (2011), edited by William A. Fagaly, with contributions from 50 leading experts in African art. A 2,500-square-foot gallery is devoted to presenting selections from the collection, with additional space planned.

NOMA has a long history of exhibiting the art and artists of Africa, beginning in 1952, with Spotlight on Africa. Since that time NOMA has presented numerous major exhibitions devoted to the arts of Africa, and most recently, partnered with the Chrysler Museum of Art on Black Orpheus: Jacob Lawrence and the Mbari Club (2022-2023). With a dedicated curator of African art since 1966, NOMA has also organized exhibitions of varying scales, including Shapes of Power, Belief, and Celebration: African Art from New Orleans Collections (1989), Roots of American Jazz: African Musical Instruments from New Orleans Collections (1995) and the nationally-touring exhibition Resonance of the Past: African Sculpture from the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Salary and benefits are competitive. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, a current CV, references, a writing sample, and a list of publications to HR@noma.org. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


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