Director of Lafayette Art Galleries and Curator of Art Collections

Job description

Lafayette College invites applications for the full-time position of Director of Lafayette Art Galleries and Curator of Art Collections. The search committee seeks creative and experienced applicants, with the appropriate academic qualifications, who are equipped to guide and manage the College’s art galleries and collections and to nurture relationships on campus and in the community for exhibitions, research, scholarship, and programming. A touchstone position within Lafayette Arts, the work of this highly collaborative position intersects with all disciplines on campus. Imaginative, inventive, and forward-looking applicants will demonstrate the ability to advocate for and share a global perspective of the visual arts in relationship to interdisciplinary learning at the College. Lafayette is deeply committed to creating a diverse community, one that is inclusive and responsive and is supportive of each and all of its faculty, students, and staff. All members of the College community share in the responsibility for creating, maintaining, and developing a learning environment in which difference is valued, equity is sought, and inclusiveness is practiced. All Lafayette gallery operations reflect the College’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) initiatives, and Lafayette welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Founded in 1826, Lafayette College is among the nation’s leading undergraduate liberal arts colleges, with 260 faculty members and more than 2,500 students who pursue degrees in 51 academic programs, comprising a rare blend of liberal arts and discipline-specific engineering areas of study. Located in close proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia, Lafayette’s home is the historic and vibrant city of Easton at the confluence of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers, in the culturally dynamic and rapidly growing Lehigh Valley region of Eastern Pennsylvania. Some 500,000 visitors annually visit Easton’s many attractions, such as the Crayola Experience, Sigal Museum, National Canal Museum, State Theatre for the Performing Arts, abundant outdoor festivals, and public programs and events offered at Lafayette College. The College enjoys a long history of community engagement in the arts and connection with other venues in the region, including 10 other private and public colleges and universities and many arts and cultural organizations, such as the Allentown Art Museum. For more information about Lafayette College, Lafayette Arts, and the Lafayette Galleries,visit https://www.lafayette.edu/, https://the-arts.lafayette.edu/, and http://galleries.lafayette.edu. For more information about the City of Easton and the Lehigh Valley, visit https://www.exploreeastonpa.com/ and https://www.discoverlehighvalley.com/.

Exhibition Program
Lafayette’s exhibition program spans two 1,000-square-foot galleries, the Williams Center Gallery (WCG) and the Grossman Gallery (GG). Most College exhibitions are generated in-house. A typical schedule incorporates several exhibitions in each gallery per academic year. All exhibitions and related programs are free and open to the public.  Located in the Williams Center for the Arts (WCA) on the main Lafayette campus, the WCG presents exhibitions and related programming in a wide range of media, cultures, subjects, and eras. The GG, located in the Williams Visual Arts Building (WVAB) on the Williams Arts Campus (WAC), supports the studio art curriculum through exhibitions and residencies by regional, national, and international contemporary artists; and exhibitions by students and faculty. The WCA, opened in 1983, houses the Performance Series, the Music Department, the art history faculty, and the newly opened Kirby Art Study Center. Adjacent to the downtown Easton business district, the WAC comprises the GG, studio art, the Theater Department, Film and Media Studies Department and classrooms; a blackbox theater, and a cinema screening theater.

Art Collection

The College’s expanding art collection includes approximately 4,500 works of 18th- through early 21st-century American and European paintings, prints, and sculpture; vintage and contemporary photographs; contemporary American sculpture and paintings; outdoor sculpture; and Native American pottery and baskets. The art collection includes work on view throughout the campus, in addition to works on view in the galleries and the Kirby Art Study Center.

The new Kirby Art Study Center (KASC)--with 1,475-square-feet of art storage, an adjacent 590-square-foot study room, and a 400-square-foot workroom/photography studio--opened in fall 2018. Located off the main lobby of the WCA, the KASC sits adjacent to the art history lecture room, the Performance Series and music main stage, and the WCG. The KASC makes accessible to faculty, students, other scholars, and the public the rich visual arts resources not already on display across campus. The KASC provides a modern museum-standard environment for the care, display, and study of the growing art collections. 

Both the Art Collection and Kirby Art Study Center offer first-hand encounters that comprise an important role in our academic mission by allowing students to develop the skills of close observation, visual and critical analysis.

Strengths of the collection include:

  • The Kirby Collection of Historical Paintings, assembled by Allan P. Kirby, class of 1915, as the College’s original core teaching collection and consisting of important 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century American portraits, history paintings, and sculpture.
  • The Bennett J. ’79 and Meg Goodman Photograph Collection includes 1,400 photographs by more than thirty-six 19th- through 21st-century photographers, with an important emphasis on images of the Civil Rights era of the 1950s through the 1970s.
  • The collection of innovative, limited-edition prints by renowned national and international artists, produced in Lafayette’s Experimental Printmaking Institute has a focus on work by women and artists of color.

Responsibilities

  • Plan and execute interdisciplinary and cross-campus exhibitions in collaboration with an Advisory Gallery Committee, guest curators and/or essayists.
  • Generate and coordinate programs related to the collections and exhibitions, such as lectures, films, workshops, publications, and tours.
  • Manage budgets, endowment fund income, annual gifts, and grants.
  • Oversee acquisition, commissioning of original artwork, installation, conservation needs, and prepare artwork for exhibition.
  • Oversee publications production, editing, and guide the design of all marketing and communications materials, including advertising, media releases, and social media.
  • Advise campus facilities about the protection and care of artworks on campus, including the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, the Kirby Room in Van Wickle Hall, and the Chateau Chavaniac.
  • Collaborate with development and college relations staff in seeking gifts of artworks, financial support, and grants, and in cultivating and stewarding relationships with donors.
  • Remain current with best practices for student engagement, exhibitions, technology, issues of concern, and ethics, etc., through such organizations as the AAMG (Association of Academic Museums and Galleries), AAM (American Alliance of Museums), and College Art Association.

Qualifications

Competitive applicants will hold a MFA, MA, or PhD degree in an appropriate field and bring significant experience (five years or more) directing and curating exhibitions and visual arts programs at an academic institution. Applicants should demonstrate a solid track record organizing exhibitions as well as clear evidence of collaborations across disciplines. The College seeks highly qualified applicants familiar with best practices in the academic museum field with preference given to those involved in AAMG. In support of the College’s commitment to DEAI initiatives, Lafayette welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds.

The successful applicant will show curiosity, vision, a strategic mind, and a facility for collaborating in diverse situations. The position requires knowledge of 18th- through 21st-century art, including American art and photography, and experience managing collections; supervising students and staff; cultivating and stewarding donors and collaborating on development activities, including grants; promoting diversity, equity, access, and inclusion; working productively with students, staff, and faculty across campus to advance College priorities.

The successful applicant will also demonstrate the energy and motivation to create a strategic plan for the galleries and art collection toward accreditation by the AAM. Such a plan will enhance effective practices in the field, promote the arts in general, and reflect the College’s mission and institutional plan.

Submit the following materials for consideration: a letter of application; curriculum vitae; curator’s statement relevant to an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary learning setting; and materials that demonstrate experience curating original exhibitions, including sample catalogues, promotional materials, exhibition reviews, and other relevant support materials. In addition, include evidence of art history expertise (with American and contemporary art and photography recommended), successful academic collaborations that have resulted in exhibitions and educational programs, budget and supervision experience, collections management and development experience, and experience with DEAI initiatives.  Please upload to:  http://apply.interfolio.com/86015

Additional Information

Current additional staff:

  • Registrar/Collections Manager (half-time): primary responsibilities in the art collection, including rights and repro requests; database updates; exhibition are transport and shipping.
  • Gallery Receptionist (half-time) for the GG.
  • Marketing Director, shared with the Performance Series and the Director of Arts, designs season announcements, ads, posters, and edits some marketing texts.
  • 8–12 student employees who serve as gallery monitors at the WCG.
  • Contract preparators/art handlers install most exhibitions and do most matting and framing.
  • Freelance copy editors and publication designers as needed.

Lafayette College is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from women and underrepresented groups.

Lafayette College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, disability, religion, age, military or veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital or familial status, pregnancy, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law in its educational programs and activities, admissions, or employment, as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable laws and College policies.

Lafayette College is committed to creating a diverse community: one that is inclusive and responsive and is supportive of each and all of its faculty, students, and staff.  The College seeks to promote diversity in its many manifestations. These include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and place of origin.

 

 

 

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Job No:
Posted: 4/1/2021
Application Due: 5/31/2021
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