Curator of Photography

Pomona College

Curator of Photography

  • Institution: Pomona College
  • Institution Type: Four-Year/Advanced Degree (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.)
  • Location: Claremont, CA
  • Website:

Curator of Photography

  • Pomona College | Claremont, CA
  • Hourglass IconJob Post Expiration: November 23, 2023
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Job TitleCurator of Photography

Position TypeFull Time

Job Category Staff

Salary Range -

Location Claremont, CA

Application Deadline -

Contact Information

Contact Name Human Resources

Department -

Email See website

Phone -

Job Description

ABOUT POMONA COLLEGE:  Located near Los Angeles, California, Pomona College is widely regarded as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges. Established in 1887, Pomona College is known for small classes, a challenging curriculum, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of student research and leadership opportunities. Pomona is a member of The Claremont Colleges.

ABOUT THE BENTON MUSEUM OF ART: The Benton Museum of Art is the primary repository for Pomona College’s art collections. Building on the legacy of its previous incarnation (Pomona College Museum of Art), the Benton offers an ambitious and expanding exhibition program. Now housed in the new Benton Museum of Art designed by Machado Silvetti and Gensler, Pomona College’s collection of art numbers 18,600 objects, including Italian Renaissance paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation; works on paper, including a first edition print series by Francisco Goya given by Norton Simon; and works in various media produced in Southern California in the twentieth century. In keeping with Pomona College’s reputation as a leading center of the visual arts, the collection also includes works by such esteemed alumni as Chris Burden ’69, Marcia Hafif ’51, Helen Pashgian ’56, Peter Shelton ’73, and James Turrell ’65. Recognized globally for its commitment to contemporary art, the museum is the home of The Project Series, which has featured more than 50 contemporary Southern California artists since it began in 1999. Through its collaboration with students and faculty, the museum encourages active learning and creative exploration across all disciplines of study within the liberal arts context.

POSITION SUMMARY:  The Curator of Photography will serve as a partner for the museum director in determining the nature and specific content of the exhibition program. The Curator of Photography will take primary responsibility for the photography holdings in the Benton’s care, which comprise approximately 11,000 photographs and films, including important historical European examples, deep holdings of the work of Bruce Davidson, Leonard Freed, Danny Lyon; as well as major caches of press (wire) photography relating to WWI, WWII, the Civil Rights Movement, the Anti-War Movements, and the Space Race. Recent acquisitions feature contemporary photography and film by such artists as Dawoud Bey, Christina Fernandez, and Cauleen Smith. Working in the context of an on-going collection assessment, the Curator of Photography will propose and enact plans for the further development of the permanent collection, specifically in the areas of photography, film, and contemporary art.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: In addition to developing exhibitions including and featuring photography, the Curator of Photography will develop collaborations across academic disciplines with faculty, students, and staff of the Claremont Colleges while also serving as a mentor to undergraduate interns and fellows affiliated with the Benton. Building on the Benton’s long-standing commitment to contemporary artists, the Curator of Photography will be expected to cultivate collaborative relationships with contemporary artists as well as collectors and patrons.

Short-term responsibilities include:

– Upcoming exhibition featuring aerial photography
– Upcoming series of exhibition projects engaging press photography from the Civil Rights era
– Participation in on-going collection assessment
– Leadership role in photography-focused iteration of AllPaper Seminar (pending program   confirmation)

Long-term responsibilities include:

– Develop and collaboratively project manage exhibitions at all levels from idea to completion through stages of conceptual outline, selection of objects, research, writing, interpretation, implementation, budget development and oversight, venue development, fundraising, and programming.
– Provide curatorial oversight of the care, handling, movement, and storage of the permanent collection and art loaned for exhibition and acquisition consideration.
– Leading the study, display, interpretation, record keeping, lending, and publication of the photography collection.
– Publish original research on the Museum’s photography collection and for its exhibition program in formats including exhibition catalogues, scholarly journals, books, and on the Museum’s website.
– Leadership role in curatorial program, including hosting regular meetings of curatorial staff and management of more junior curatorial staff.
– Supervision of all guest curators.
– Leadership role in acquisitions discussions, including proposals for collection. development through acquisitions and potential deaccessioning, as relevant
– Mentorship of undergraduate interns and integration of student research and participation in exhibitions, programs, and collections.
– Host of undergraduate class visits and tours related to exhibitions and photography collections.
– Cultivation of relationships with faculty, students, and staff of Pomona College and broader academic communities.
– Liaison between contemporary artists, the Museum, and the Claremont Colleges community.
– Collaboration with museum staff to facilitate exhibition or collection related programming. Participation in community-facing programs and events.
– Cultivation of relationships with collectors and patrons.
– Oversight of museum hand library
– Participation in grant writing efforts, especially for exhibitions and publications
– Maintaining visibility within field of expertise to represent the Benton and Pomona College in national and/or international contexts such as art fairs, conferences, and symposia.
– Work with communications/marketing to provide information on the collection and related to exhibitions. Respond to inquiries from the public.

QUALIFICATIONS:  MA in art history or interdisciplinary field required with background in and broad knowledge of the history of photography. PhD preferred.  Five to ten years previous curatorial-related experience in an art museum, developing and managing exhibitions and related publications. Substantial research interest and publication history.  Demonstrated record of sustained cultivation and acquisitions.  Demonstrated record of developing and completing at least major exhibition projects.  Demonstrated record of positive collaboration with museum colleagues. Proven record of grant writing and participation in fundraising.  Record of public speaking.  Demonstrated commitment to mentorship.  Demonstrated record of museum teaching preferred.  Proven professional involvement in field of specialization. Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

New employees are required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or request a Pomona College-approved medical or religious exemption on or before their first day of employment.  If you are unable to do so, at the College’s sole discretion, it will work with you to reasonably adjust your start date.  Please let your Human Resources know if you are unable to provide proof of vaccination or want to request a religious or medical exemption before or on your first day of employment.  Note that if you request a religious or medical exemption, it may delay your start date so that we can review and discuss your request.

REQUIRED HOURS:  The regular hours for this full time position are 40 hours per week, 5 days per week, on a variable schedule.  Overtime, holiday, weekend and evening work hours will be required.  Regular hours may vary due to needs of the College or division. Must be willing to work a flexible schedule.

ADDITIONAL POSITION DETAILS:  Regular, full-time, benefits eligible, position. The yearly rate for this role is between $80,000 – $90,000 The specific factors that the organization will consider when offering a salary to an individual will include education, training, prior experience, and performance in prior role As a California employer, Pomona College requires all employees to be residents of California.

TO APPLY: Please submit your CV and cover letter, including two references.  Also, please submit two writing samples; 1 of a scholarly nature (under 15 pages) and 1 intended for general audiences (1-2 pages, such as an exhibition label, project description, acquisition proposal or similar).  You may submit both CV and cover letter as one attachment in the My Experience section of the application under the “resume/CV” upload section. Once you submit your application, you will not be able to attach additional documents.  Initial application review will begin on November 1, 2023.

POMONA COLLEGE REWARDS:  Pomona College offers a wide variety of benefits and perks including health, dental, and vision plan options; paid time off; flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits; tuition assistance; fitness and wellness programs; rideshare incentives; and so much more!

Pomona College prides itself in being an open, competitive, and equal opportunity employer.

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