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Position Summary

The Curator is responsible for generating content for the museum by organizing exhibitions, developing and expanding the MoPOP permanent collection, conducting oral history interviews, and facilitating access to MoPOPs exhibitions, content, collection and expertise. The Curator is also responsible for the overall management of external traveling exhibitions hosted by MoPOP. The individual should be seen as a leader in the field of popular culture, possessing a national reputation and fostering a network of lenders, content experts, and community partners. The Curator will represent the museum through public presentations, media engagement, opportunities to publish scholarly works. They will work with the curatorial team and other members of the staff to advance the institutions mission. The Curator must be capable of working in a highly collaborative environment and be able to articulate complex ideas and proposals. The Curator should be seen as generalist in nature, able to move between a wide range of topics, both historical and current, always with an eye to connecting with the museums audience.

Department Structure

The curator position is in the Curatorial sub-group within the umbrella of the Curatorial, Collections and Exhibits department. Curatorial also includes all aspects of content development, exhibition graphic and 3D design, interactive development, and video production. Collections manages MoPOPs permanent collection and objects loaned for exhibition, and includes collections care, registration, artifact mountmaking, preparation, and object installation/deinstallation. Exhibits leads exhibition fabrication and exhibitry installation and deinstallation. Curatorial, Collections, and Exhibits work in tight collaboration together and interdepartmentally on exhibition development and other content opportunities at MoPOP.

Job Duties (other duties as assigned):

Exhibitions & Internal Relations

  • Lead members of the Curatorial, Collections, and Exhibits teams to develop at least one in-house exhibition or facilitate an external rental exhibition every year.
  • Generate exhibition content exhibition goals, themes, didactic text, and other elements for use in-gallery, within interactives, on digital platforms, and others, or oversee contractors in those roles.
  • Develop lender relationships and source artifacts for inclusion in exhibitions.
  • Conduct oral history interviews with notable popular culture figures for inclusion in exhibitions and other MoPOP channels.
  • Collaborate and guide team members on aspects of exhibition development, including exhibition layout, look-and-feel, graphic approach, interactive direction, film narratives, gallery soundtrack/score; casework design, direction of built exhibition elements, and exhibition installation/deinstallation.
  • Coordinate and assist in development and installation/deinstallation of exhibitions traveling to the museum from other institutions.
  • Advise with other venues on outgoing in-house-produced traveling exhibitions.
  • Play a significant role in the formulation of the overall direction of the museums artistic efforts and long-range exhibition schedule
  • With the curatorial and collections staff, ensure that the highest level of professional care is given to works in the museums collection and on loan.
  • Recommend objects for acquisition into the permanent collection.
  • Develop and maintain lender relationships.
  • Work in collaboration with Programs, Education, Community Engagement, Advancement, and other departments to develop exhibition-related programming.
  • Coordinate and develop updated content for existing galleries.
  • Collaborate with other curators (MoPOP and external) to emphasize diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in content development.
  • Participate in Collections-led tasks and projects, such as collections handling, installation, and deinstallation.
  • Lead museum in-person and virtual tours for community members, donors, and visitors.
  • Participate in internal and external communication of Curatorial projects and philosophy.
  • Participate in internal interdepartmental process working groups, such as Evaluation, Accessibility, and Content Working Groups.
  • Support our internal culture which inspires and empowers our staff to live our mission to its highest standards.
  • Contribute to a consistent customer service standard across all departments.
  • Work to ensure customer service is ingrained at the core of the team and is reflected outward to our guests and other staff.
  • Commitment to participating in anti-racism work, learning about the ways institutional racism impacts marketing and advertising, and support teammates and the Director of Curatorial, Collections & Exhibits in operationalizing DEIA strategies in the Curatorial, Collections, and Exhibits departments.

External Relations

  • Represent the museum to the press and public at large.
  • Maintain a visible role in the community including the maintenance of relationships with collectors, donors, researchers, community partners and members of the general public.
  • Provide information and assistance to the Marketing department to develop communications and marketing materials and strategies regarding exhibitions and programs.
  • Contribute to museum publications and communication efforts as requested.
  • In conjunction with the Advancement, Community Engagement, Public Programs and Education departments, participate in the planning and execution of programs for affiliate support groups and members.

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