Elise H. Wright Curator of General Collections
Reports to: Director of Collections/Chief Curator
Job Posting Expires: Open Until Position is Filled
Position Title: Elise H. Wright Curator of General Collections
FLSA Status: Exempt
General Responsibilities: The Elise H. Wright Curator of General Collections is responsible for the physical care, intellectual control and interpretation of a wide range of material culture from the museum’s permanent collection, including decorative arts, fine arts, industrial history, archeological and ethnographic collections and general collections. The curator is also responsible for the maintenance and interpretation of the 1812 Wickham House, a National Historic Landmark property, and the Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio. This work is conducted in accordance with the museum’s official Collections Management Policy, adhering to the code of ethics advised by the American Alliance of Museums.
Reporting Supervisor: Director of Collections/Chief Curator
Positions Supervised: Collections technicians, volunteers and interns
Itemization of Key Duties:
- Receive and recommend objects for accession.
- Manage research and cataloging of current collections and new acquisitions with collections technician.
- Oversee proper physical storage of collection at the museum and at off-site locations in coordination with registrar and collection technician.
- Assess ongoing storage or collection needs and recommend new strategies as needed.
- Implement institution’s security procedures.
- Assist with management of the collections database, cataloging manual, collections policies and procedures.
- Routinely review catalog data entry for style, content accuracy and public release.
- Identify and recommend objects for deaccession.
- Coordinate with registrar regarding incoming and outgoing loans.
- Manage the 1812 Wickham House preservation and housekeeping.
- Manage the Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio preservation and housekeeping.
- Curate exhibitions that support the mission of the museum in the community galleries, core exhibition gallery, the Valentine First Freedom Center and other spaces as needed.
- Manage and implement exhibitions, including researching the topic; choosing objects; writing label and catalog copy; working with outside vendors, contractors and Valentine staff.
- Oversee the installation of objects used in Valentine exhibitions, including preparing object mounts; installing objects; striking exhibition and returning objects to storage.
- Assist other Valentine staff who curate exhibitions, as needed.
- Work with Development Department to identify and secure funding for exhibitions.
- Work with PR & Marketing Department to promote exhibitions.
- Manage the interpretation, furnishing and preservation of the Wickham House. Provide to Visitor Services staff and docents interpretative content for the Wickham House. With Retail & Visitor Services Manager, conduct house training and monitor tour quality.
- Manage the interpretation, furnishing and preservation of the Edward V. Valentine Sculpture Studio. Provide to Visitor Services staff and docents interpretative content for the Studio.
- Participate in planning for future storage of collection.
- With registrar and collection technicians, plan and implement complete audit of the General Collections to prepare for future new storage of collection.
- With the Research Assistant, address all General Collections inquiries and research appointments.
- Work with local institutions, visiting researchers and scholars, students and the public to share knowledge about museum holdings and related subjects.
- Support the institution’s marketing plan.
- Present special in-house and outreach tours and programs for school or community groups, board members and others.
- Participate in museum educational programs by speaking with elementary and high school students, local university students and adults.
- Continue professional development through committee, training session, and networks.
- Maintain active membership in appropriate professional organizations.
- Keep up to date on current laws, practices and policies.
- Assist with keeping collections forms and documents current.
- Attend Board Collections Committee meetings and Board of Trustees meetings as needed.
- Serve as member of the Collections and Collections and Interpretation teams.
- Cover front desk, as needed.
- Serve on-call on weekends as emergency support.
- Assist as needed with staff events.
Summary of Qualifications: The Elise H. Wright Curator of General Collections must be organized, detail-oriented and have the ability to manage multiple tasks. Administrative management experience to include, but not limited to budgeting, project management and managing staff. Person must have the ability to work as part of a team; must have good communication skills; and provide excellent customer service. Should have extensive knowledge of museum standards material culture across a broad range of eras and material types including fine arts, decorative arts, industry history, archeological and ethnographic collections and general objects. Should have proven experience developing interpretative content (exhibitions and collections-based programs).This position must hold a minimum of an MA in history, material culture or museum studies, with a PhD preferred, and should have a minimum of five years of related experience.
Physical Demands: The Elise H. Wright Curator of General Collections must be able to use a telephone, computer keyboard and mouse; reach with hands and arms, speak for extended periods of time and listen. The employee is frequently required to walk and sit, as well as to lift and carry objects such as objects, boxes, books and files weighing up to 40 pounds; work within confined spaces; feel comfortable on a ladder; work around dust and mildew. The Curator of General Collections is occasionally required to stand, stoop or kneel. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision and the ability to focus. The physical demands described here are representative of the requirements that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
 DISCLAIMER: This is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts, requirements or working conditions associated with the job. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current job, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned.
 FLSA stands for the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1938 and is under Federal Wage and Hour statutes. An exempt employee is not paid for overtime hours worked. There are three categories under which an employee may be considered exempt. They are administrative, executive, and professional. These categories generally define an exempt employee as one who customarily and regularly exercises discretion and independent judgment in the performance of his/her duties.View PDF