Curatorial Assistant

Job Type

Full Time




144 West 125th St
New York
United States


The Studio Museum in Harlem is the nexus for artists of African descent locally, nationally and internationally and for work that has been inspired and influenced by black culture. It is a site for the dynamic exchange of ideas about art and society.

Reporting directly to the Director and Chief Curator, this position will provide critical support to the Curatorial Department. As the Museum prepares for a significant expansion ahead of its 50th anniversary, the Curatorial Assistant will help implement the department’s strategic vision and participate in all aspects of exhibition development, planning and execution. A strong academic and professional background in work by artists of African descent is required.

The position requires a candidate equipped to think broadly and innovatively about the department’s artist-centered mission, while also independently managing a wide range of administrative responsibilities.

The candidate must be comfortable working in a collaborative, experimental and culturally diverse setting and possess the openness, flexibility and diplomacy required for meaningful collaboration with contemporary artists. Exceptional speaking, writing and research abilities are required.


  • Conduct original research
  • Create exhibition related proposals and organize exhibitions
  • Produce didactic texts and exhibition-related publications
  • Manage loans and donation offers
  • Create presentations and reports for the Board of Trustees and Acquisition Committee
  • Assist in the management of the departmental budget and exhibition calendar
  • Attend approved off-site exhibitions, studio visits with artists, symposia and programs
  • Work collaboratively across multiple departments, including the Director’s Office, the Registrar, Communications, Community Engagement and Public Programs, Education, Development, Finance and Information Technology
  • Engage multiple audiences and stakeholders, both internal and external, across a variety of platforms
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with a diverse constituency of artists, trustees, members of the press, professional associations and local non-profit organizations
  • Solicit and manage the touring of Studio Museum exhibitions to other museum venues, and coordinate non-Studio Museum, traveling or guest-curated exhibitions presented at the Museum
  • Other duties as assigned 


  • Bachelor's degree in art history or a related field, with emphasis on Contemporary Art, American Art and/or African-American Art, history or culture; graduate degree or studies a plus
  • Minimum of 3 years’ work experience, with at least 2 years in a museum or gallery setting, or comparable engagement with art in a related venue or field
  • Outstanding written (both academic and editorial) and verbal communication skills 
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills; experience with administrative and clerical duties
  • Strong background in the history of modern and contemporary art and art by artists of African descent 
  • Excellent computer skills, particularly MS platforms, including Word, Photoshop, Outlook and Excel, digital imaging experience a plus 
  • Strong Interpersonal skills and collaborative spirit 
  • Bi- or Multi-lingual a plus 
  • Familiarity with New York art and culture communities

Salary commensurate with experience, skills and knowledge.

Please note that while careful consideration will be given to each submission, the Museum will only be able to contact those applicants whose knowledge, skills and work experience best fit the requirements of the position.

No phone calls or faxes, please.

The Studio Museum in Harlem is an equal opportunity employer and considers all candidates for employment regardless of race, color, sex, age, gender identification, national origin, creed, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or political affiliation.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply


  • Cover letter summarizing the applicant’s most relevant work experience; educational background and familiarity with art by artists of African descent; and the candidate’s sense of their own potential contribution to the Museum and its mission
  • Resume
  •  One writing sample with a focus on artists of African descent or artworks by an artist of African descent 
  • The names, titles and contact information of three professional references able to speak to the candidate’s skills, experience, character and commitment

Please forward application materials in one PDF to:

The subject line of this email should include the applicant’s name and the position for which they are applying (e.g. “Applicant’s Name—Curatorial Assistant”).