Curator (Jewish culture specialization), Museum
The Skirball Cultural Center seeks an innovative, collaborative, audience-minded Curator (at either the full Curator or Associate Curator level, depending on experience) with a specialization in Jewish content to join its Museum team. This individual will organize exhibitions in a variety of media aimed at advancing the Skirball’s mission as a Jewish cultural institution that celebrates discovery and hope, fosters human connections across generations and communities, and inspires visitors to help build a more just society.
Since opening in 1996, the Skirball Cultural Center has been a place of meeting guided by the Jewish tradition of welcoming the stranger and inspired by the American democratic ideals of freedom and equality. The Skirball has defined itself by its deep commitment to inclusivity and cross-cultural exchange, as reflected in its exhibitions, programs, visitor engagement ethos, and institutional culture.
This is an exciting moment for the Skirball, the largest Jewish cultural institution in the nation. After two decades of significant growth and transformation, the Skirball has new leaders who are charting a path for the future of the organization. The Museum, its temporary and ongoing exhibitions, and its collections will play a pivotal role in that future. Important projects on the horizon are the inventorying of the Skirball Museum’s 26,000-object collection of Jewish art and artifacts, the development of an acquisition plan for future growth, and the ambitious re-envisioning of the core exhibition on Jewish history, culture, and values.
Reporting to the Museum Director, the Curator/Associate Curator will work collaboratively with other members of the Museum team (Deputy Director, curators, registrars, preparators, and administrative employees); Skirball colleagues in Education, Programs, Visitor Experience, Communications and Marketing, and Store; and consultants and collaborators within the broader community to ensure that projects meet the highest professional standards while advancing the Skirball’s values of inclusion, relevance, innovation, and broad audience engagement. The Curator/Associate Curator will also work with the Advancement Department to identify and cultivate resources necessary to fund exhibitions and related offerings.
This is a full-time, exempt position with benefits.
– Identify and develop exhibitions; generate original exhibition concepts that directly support the Skirball’s unique mission, offer an expansive view of Jewish identity, and engage diverse, intergenerational audiences. Skirball exhibitions are often participatory and range in focus from the visual arts to history and popular culture. Two themes of ongoing institutional importance are immigration and civil rights.
– Work collaboratively with exhibition teams at each stage of development, for both Skirball-originated projects and exhibitions traveling from other institutions.
– Develop exhibition narratives and checklists, secure loans, assess conservation needs, write didactics, and create and edit content for AV components, audio guides, and printed interpretive materials.
– Assume a leading role in organizing exhibitions related to the Skirball’s collections and activations of the Visions and Values core exhibition, and work closely with the Museum Director on the reimagining of the core exhibition.
– Assist in the formulation of exhibition budgets and contribute to grant proposals and fundraising prospectuses; meet deadlines and objectives to ensure on-time and on-budget exhibitions.
– Embrace opportunities for community engagement in exhibition development, building and expanding upon existing Skirball relationships – from integration of community voices to exhibition co-curation.
– Work productively with members of forward-facing Skirball teams (Security, Admissions, Docent Corps, School and Family Programs, Store, Private Events) to create exhibitions that support overarching goals for the Skirball visitor experience; provide these colleagues with trainings and informational materials.
– Support the Communications and Marketing Department in promoting exhibitions, contributing to press releases, supporting social media efforts, and engaging with journalists and other members of the press.
– Support Public Programs colleagues in the creation of exhibition-related programming.
– Foster productive relationships with colleagues at museums and arts institutions. Represent the Skirball and its initiatives at professional conferences and remain current on trends and developments in the field.
Qualifications, Experience, and Attributes
– Advanced degree in humanities discipline or equivalent training/experience. Background in one or more of the following subject areas: visual arts, museum studies, cultural studies, music history, American history. Interdisciplinary orientation preferred.
– Significant content knowledge in Jewish history, art, and culture and/or Judaica. Experience and interest in telling inclusive Jewish stories.
– For full Curator, five or more years’ experience curating exhibitions in a museum setting. For Associate Curator, three or more years’ experience.
– Demonstrated track record of conceptualizing, researching, and planning innovative exhibitions.
– Prior success in curating exhibitions that involve community engagement.
– Exceptional written and oral communication skills.
– Strong interpersonal and organizational skills, flexibility, and attention to detail, deadlines, and follow-through.
– Experience with exhibition evaluation.
– Affinity for working collaboratively and consultatively in an institutional setting.
– Previous experience managing junior staff or interns preferred.
– Personal resonance with the Skirball Cultural Center’s mission and approach.
Please send a resumé and cover letter, preferably by email, to:
Re: Curator (Jewish culture specialization), Museum
Skirball Cultural Center
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049