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Curator of Collections

Posted: 07/13/2021

The mission of the Kansas City Museum is to preserve, interpret, and celebrate Kansas City through collections, exhibitions, and bold programs that reflect the City’s evolution and spirit, and engage visitors in unfolding stories about Kansas City’s vibrant history, cultural heritage, and pride. The vision of the Kansas City Museum is to be a hub of learning, creativity, and collaboration where individuals and communities innovate and inspire engagement and civic unity.

The Kansas City Museum property has a deep and rich history.  From 1910 to 1934, it served as the private estate of lumber baron and civic leader Robert Alexander Long and his family, and it became a public museum of history in 1940.  Eighty-one years after it opened to the public, the Museum remains a general history museum that boasts holdings of more than 100,000 historical artifacts and archival materials that document, interpret, and preserve Kansas City’s local and regional history.  The Museum property is owned by the City of Kansas City, Missouri and is governed, managed, and operated by the Kansas City Museum Foundation, Inc.—a 501(c)(3) organization. 

After years of restoration and renovation, the Kansas City Museum is reopening Corinthian Hall in fall 2021 with exhibit galleries and amenities to create a 21st-century Museum of Kansas City’s past, present, and future.

Position Summary: The Curator of Collection is the primary researcher and interpreter for the Kansas City Museum’s historical collection. Responsibilities include but are not limited to participating in organizing and producing exhibitions, public programs, web exhibits, and publications.  The Curator ensures that all such activities are consistent with the educational mission and interpretive themes of the Kansas City Museum while utilizing current scholarship and a variety of delivery methodologies.

The Curator of Collections is expected to embrace the Kansas City Museum’s stated mission, vision, and core values and demonstrate a commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, belonging, and restorative practices.

This is a full-time, non-exempt position with a desired start date of no later than August 9. The work schedule is Sunday – Thursday. The Curator of Collections must have flexibility to adjust schedule to work outside of standard work hours, early mornings, late evenings, and weekends as needed. 

Responsibilities:

  • Lead collections growth in 3-D collecting in accordance with Kansas City Museum Collections Management Policies.
  • Research and respond to public and in-house inquiries regarding 3-dimensional artifacts in the collection.
  • Set appointments for and facilitate all researcher visits to the collection.
  • Supervise all cataloguing of 3-D collections and works closely with other staff to ensure that all cataloguing has a consistency in information and tone on the museum’s database and on all website applications.
  • Recommend to the Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs conservation priorities in the collection. Oversees basic cleaning of objects. Performs certain conservation treatments based on level of training, and at the discretion of the Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs. Supervises contract work on artifacts.
  • Work with Education staff on collections-based programs, exhibits and events.
  • Present programs to the public on various collections topics.
  • Make recommendations for 3-D loans into and outside the institution.
  • Assist in creating in-house and traveling exhibition activities as needed.
  • Cultivate and maintain positive working relationships with professional peers and related institutions in the region and nationally.
  • Participate with Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs in identifying and preparing applications for grants and other fundraising activities related to Collection activities.
  • Participate with the Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs in supervising curatorial specialists, interns, and volunteers whenever they are available, or such projects arise.
  • Provide visitor experience support at the museum including admissions, leading tours, and participating in public and education programming and events.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Education and Experience:

  • Master's degree (M.A.) in museum studies, historical administration, or equivalent.
  • 10+ years working in museums and directly with collection materials.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, skills, or working conditions. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Physical Requirements: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear. This position can fluctuate between a sedentary role, or is very active one that requires standing, walking, bending, kneeling, stooping, crouching, crawling, and climbing or balancing many times throughout the day. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 15 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25/30 pounds, or assist in moving items 50 pounds or more. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

Salary and Benefits: The Kansas City Museum offers a competitive salary with an excellent benefit package, including: health, dental, vision, and life; paid holidays; paid time off leave.
 
Application Instructions and/or Questions:
Please send your resume, salary requirements, three professional references and cover letter to:
Denise Morrison, Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs, at dmorrison@kansascitymuseum.org.
NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE: Review of applications begins immediately and continues until the position is filled. By submitting your application, you authorize us to conduct reference checks and a review of available public information. Employment is contingent upon background and reference checks that the museum performs

 

Job Type: Full Time