Job Opening – Curator of Southern Asian and Islamic Art (09/2012)

2012 September 1

The San Diego Museum of Art
San Diego, California

Department of Curatorial Affairs
Type of Position: Full Time
Supervisor: Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs

The San Diego Museum of Art seeks an experienced Curator to work with the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs to research, acquire, and interpret the Museum’s collection of Southern Asian and Islamic art, which includes approximately 3,000 works of art in various media (painting, sculpture, photography, and other works on paper), including most notably the paintings from India in the Museum’s Edwin Binney 3rd Collection. The Binney collection is internationally renowned for its high-quality, encyclopedic scope of works ranging in date from the twelfth through nineteenth centuries.

The San Diego Museum of Art is currently undertaking the scholarly cataloguing of its permanent collection, and the Curator of Southern Asian and Islamic Art will be responsible for conducting the research and writing that will result in the publication of this information in a variety of formats. The Curator of Southern Asian and Islamic art makes recommendations for acquisitions; responds to queries concerning the collections; is responsible for the installation of the collection in the galleries; plans related exhibitions; and assesses potential donations and large collections for research value, authenticity, and integrity (including provenance). The Curator works in close collaboration with colleagues in the Museum’s departments of Education and of External Affairs in order to develop opportunities for interpretative materials and programming about the collection and to secure funding for those projects. The Curator must be an accomplished professional in the field of Southern Asian and Islamic art, with a record of distinguished scholarship, publications, acquisitions, and exhibitions.

Founded in 1926, the Museum is located in the heart of Balboa Park and serves a diverse constituency as well as over 300,000 visitors each year. San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States, and the international border with Mexico is located roughly 30 minutes from the front door of the San Diego Museum of Art. Since late 2004, all of the didactic materials in the museum’s galleries have been presented in both Spanish and English. The administration views the opportunity of providing “gateway” experiences to the visual arts as a high priority, and a demonstrated commitment to dynamic curatorial practice is considered an essential quality of the successful applicant.


  • Ph.D. in Art History required;
  • Demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following areas: Indian art and Islamic art;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of South Asian languages and literatures preferred;
  • Five years’ experience in a major museum context, preferably in the curatorial field;
  • Distinguished record of publications, fellowships, and public speaking;
  • Passion for the role of visual arts in our lives and for developing new audiences;
  • Experience in donor cultivation;
  • Excellent communications skills;
  • Eagerness to work collaboratively and in an innovative manner;
  • Multi-lingual proficiency (Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian preferred).

Interested applicants should submit the following before 1 October 2012:

1) Letter of interest
2) curriculum vitae
3) relevant writing samples
4) names and contact information for at least three professional references
5) salary requirements.

(Note: submitted materials will be returned, provided that they are accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.)

Direct hard copies of application materials to the following address:

Attention: Mary Salerno – Associate Director of Human Resources and Compliance
The San Diego Museum of Art
Post Office Box 122107
San Diego, California 92112-2107
No telephone inquiries or electronic submissions, please.

The San Diego Museum of Art is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in the hiring of personnel because of race, creed, color, national or ethnic origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status or physical disability.

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