« Back to all jobs Curator of Western History

  • Employer: High Desert Museum, Bend, OR, USA
  • Salary: $60,000+ DOE

The Curator of Western History is responsible for creating and curating compelling exhibitions and accompanying programs for the High Desert Museum to advance the Museum’s mission and vision for our audiences. Specifically, this position helps set the vision of Western historical content for HDM. Working with a dynamic and creative team of exhibition and museum professionals, this position creates experiences for the Museum’s visitors to learn and discover the region’s rich and diverse stories. Furthermore, this position contributes to the Museum’s collection goals.
The curator is a key contributor to the Museum’s annual temporary gallery rotation and responsible for at least two exhibitions annually that reflect critical inquiry, historical content, creative historical and contemporary research and engagement with the most pressing issues of today. The curator conducts research to develop a strong knowledge of the broad collection. Reporting to the Senior Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, the position interacts with both internal and external stakeholders. Additionally, the curator supports volunteers and their training for the Museum’s cultural history exhibitions – permanent and temporary – with the support of the other team members. The curator will advance the curatorial vision, exhibition program and collection consistent with our mission and values of diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS (in order of priority with the percentage of time spent on each)
55%  Western history exhibition development
• Plans and executes Western history exhibitions—including artifact collecting, loan coordination and transportation, exhibit design and installation, didactic label information and essays for collateral
• Works with the Exhibits & Collections team in the development and presentation of exhibitions and adjunct programming, and may supervise various interns as appropriate
• Oversees exhibition design and development while adhering to deadlines and budgets
• Provides curatorial content, research and planning for exhibit design, construction and renovation, including participating in the Museum’s changing exhibition program and permanent exhibits
• Manages schedules and budgets for temporary and permanent exhibits
• Works collaboratively and closely with other departments to establish continuity of messaging in interpretive settings.
• Assists in the promotion of the Museum and exhibitions, including representing the Museum with media and online as needed.
30% Western history program development
• As a member of the Exhibitions and Collections Department, participates in defining and articulating exhibit/program objectives and expected outcomes based on identifiable audience needs/interests and target audience segments. This includes providing expertise in developing, planning and implementing school and public programs and daily interpretive programs • Organizes the presentation of lectures and excursions to diverse audiences – some weeknights and weekends
• Plans and leads trips and tours with an emphasis on local and regional heritage
• Represents the Museum at professional meetings, forums and/or workshops as required
• Contributes curatorial content to exhibit-related programming
• Oversees Western history volunteers and their content development
10% Western history collection management
• In conjunction with the Collections Committee, adheres to the Museum’s Collection Management Policy and develops long-range planning of the collection
• Conducts independent research relative to the Museum’s collection, objects on loan and/or materials being considered for acquisitions
• Collects objects and materials in accordance with artifact Collections Management Policy and Strategic Collecting Plan
• Supports cultivation of new and existing donors to enhance the Museum’s historic collection
• Researches and recommends objects, materials and artifacts for accession to the collection
5% Additional duties
• Contributes to and supports the Museum’s DEAI initiatives
• Assists with Museum wide events, such as Free Days, fundraising gala, etc.
• Other duties as assigned

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