Information on job, internship, and other opportunities to work at the University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art.
Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Operations
Reporting to the Dana Feitler Director, The Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Operations is a vital member of the senior leadership team at the museum, as he/she oversees the exhibitions logistics, registration, finance, administration and operations of the museum, supervising managers in each of those divisions. Working closely with the Director and the senior members of the Curatorial and Audience Engagement and Public practice teams, the DDEO has ultimate oversight and responsibility for all non-content production related activities at the museum.
- He/she leads and is responsible for the successful planning, production, management, and completion of the museum’s entire exhibitions program (including, special exhibitions, travelling exhibitions, focused exhibitions, and collections rotations). The position calls for a strong leader to strategize, plan and manage a complicated exhibition schedule of more than 10 different exhibitions annually, working as a trusted partner with both the museum’s curatorial and registrations staff and a wide range of faculty, students, and other guest curators to develop a process for each project that allows the set goals to be met.
- The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of supervisory experience, having led the planning and implementation of exhibitions in a museum or gallery setting with a team of staff and contractors and being equally familiar with museums best practices in collections care and maintenance. The DDEO will be responsible for overseeing the development of exhibition schedules and budgets, and working with curatorial, education, registration, communications, operations, and security departments to identify and manage all logistics of exhibitions, including overseeing tour details for travelling exhibitions.
- The DDEO also provides active leadership in the Museum’s general administration in accordance with its educational mission and objectives, including overall management and long-term strategic planning. Critical to this position is the proven ability to develop and implement effective financial management and operational policies, as well as the initiative to work collaboratively with other senior managers and staff, and to communicate effectively and collegially with a diverse community of faculty, students, administrators, and patrons.
The DDEO is responsible for overseeing all financial, administrative, and operational aspects of the Museum. Key responsibilities include managing the museum’s multi-million dollar operating budget and maintaining the policies and goals that govern its operations, personnel, and financial performance. The DDEO supports and advises the Director in developing strategic objectives, decision making, and in fulfilling the mission of the museum, and the DDEO takes a leadership role in establishing institutional policies, practices, and direction. The DDEO also serves as the lead liaison to the university for finance and operations, including working closely with the University leadership.
- B.A. required, preferably in Museum Studies, Arts Administration, or a related field or comparable work experience in those areas. Graduate level studies preferred
- A senior museum professional with a minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible supervisory experience managing registrars, preparators, and exhibition staff, with a deep knowledge of exhibition concepts, practices, policies and procedures, is required. Proven supervisory and leadership skills; a solutions-oriented, diplomatic problem solver and team player.
- Experience within a highly productive international operation is preferred. Knowledge of current and emerging trends of museums and cultural institutions is a key component to a candidate’s potential success in this role. Knowledge of professional museum practices.
- Extensive experience in the preparation of financial statements; knowledge of fund accounting and not-for-profit management.
- Experience leading an institute-wide budget process to completion on a timely basis and then providing ongoing monitoring of financial performance and measuring against approved budgets.
- A proven track record of managing multiple complex projects simultaneously and staying on budget and on time. Self-confident and secure; unflappable in the face of multiple problems; pragmatic, grounded, authoritative, decisive and disciplined; mentally flexible and creative as circumstances demand. A creative problem-solver who is nimble and able address and lead a team to solve any unexpected challenges.
- Superlative communication, interpersonal and negotiation skills grounded in excellent judgment; a diplomatic ambassador who can assess risk, hold a position, engage diverse partners and drive complicated deals to closure. Experience negotiating and managing contracts and legal agreements.
- A true collaborator about whom all sides consider possesses a strong sense of integrity and an unerring ethical compass in a dynamic cultural arena.
- Demonstrated ability to establish priorities, manage shifting priorities, and handle numerous time-sensitive projects with multiple deadlines.
- Ability to accomplish goals working through formal and informal channels, with diplomacy and tactfulness.
- Demonstrated creativity, problem solving, critical analysis, initiative, judgment and, decision-making skills.
- Demonstrated ability to develop and meet budget goals.
- Demonstrated solid planning and organizational skills.
- Demonstrated experience working independently and as part of a team.
- Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills.
- Strong relevant subject matter knowledge.
- Ability to direct the work of others, for jobs requiring supervision.
To apply, send cover letter, resume, and references via jobopportunities.uchicago.edu. Search for requisition #103523.
Deputy Director for Audience Engagement and Public Practice
Reporting to the Dana Feitler Director, The Deputy Director for Audience Engagement and Public Practice is a key member of the museum’s senior leadership team, overseeing the entire education, interpretation, pubic programs, and marketing and communications departments at the museum. The DDAEPP partners with the director and other senior leaders to define and share the message, goals, and identity of the Smart Museum, working to determine what makes the Smart Museum unique within the constellation of other museums and arts institutions in the Chicago area and beyond. He/She also maintains relationships with and knowledge of other university art museums across the United States, strategizing to position the Smart as strong voice, partner, and leader in the university museum arena. The DDAEPP leads the museum’s efforts to provide meaningful experiences with art and programs to diverse audience’s onsite, online and in the larger community. He/She will work directly with the Museum Director and other senior leaders to define the museum’s strategies for programming, engagement and learning, and outreach and communications. To accomplish these goals the DDAEPP will lead a diverse team of professional staff and university and community partners to plan and execute innovative programs and experiences that encourage and support the engagement of visitors with the museum’s diverse mission of art.
- Provide leadership, supervise, direct, and support staff to ensure implementation of the Smart Museum’s mission.
- Develop and oversee an engaging educational public program that meets the needs of adults, youth, families, teachers, faculty and students both within and beyond the university community. Ensure ongoing assessment of programs & recommend, amend and establish new procedures as necessary.
- In collaboration with the museum director and senior management, establish the strategic direction of the Education, Public Programs, and Marketing and Communications departments. Set annual goals and objectives with managers in each department. Participate in long-range planning meetings with staff and senior managers.
- Work closely with Curators, Communications and Visitor Experience departments to ensure interpretation of collections and special exhibitions enhances the museum experience of all visitors.
- Work to increase public access to collections, special exhibitions and other museum resources. Write materials for publications and speak in the community about Museum programs and the role of the Museum in the community. With appropriate parties, evaluate exhibitions and programs, undertake audience research, implement changes, and communicate findings to museum staff, volunteers, board and visitors.
- Oversee Community Engagement and work to increase and deepen participation of diverse audiences in museum activities. Work to increase the level of community relevance, awareness, interest, & appreciation for art.
- Collaborate with appropriate departments to create materials for all digital and print assets. Review & assess the effectiveness of digital and print communications on a regular basis to ensure community awareness of museum’s programs. Oversee communications departments to ensure adequate promotion of museum’s programs and messages.
- Ensure community access to the Smart Museum through collaborative programs and outreach programs. Establish and maintain relationships with individuals, groups and institutions in an effort to extend Museum services to a wider community. Oversee Community Partner Programs, evaluate programs and extend invitations to new organizations.
- Oversee the preparation and management of all audience engagement and public practice budgets. Identify and pursue opportunities for increased revenue through programs and resources.
- Work with Development to draft proposals to government agencies, foundations, corporations and individuals and work with senior managers and the Director to increase revenue and manage expenses.
- In collaboration with other relevant museum departments, plan for and implement the use of new technology for interpretation of collections & special exhibitions.
- Oversee the alignment of the Smart's K-12 arts education program with the University of Chicago's AmplifyInitiative, which seeks to develop a new model for how an urban research university can enhance K-12 arts education.
- Comprehensively assess current interpretive methods for exhibitions and collections including gallery resources and public programs, and lead the development of an integrated interpretive strategy.
- Overseeing the continued improvement and expansion of strong student programs as well as the development of alumni-focused engagement.
- Oversee substantive, long-term research into the museum's impact on two key audiences: K-12 students/teachers and University of Chicago students.
- Ensure strong liaison between Museum administration, volunteer groups, and the Board to support Museum goals. Staff appropriate donor and community advisory committees.
- Master’s degree in Art History, Museum Administration, Museum Education.
- At least five years relevant experience in museum education and management with responsibilities in planning, development, and implementation of educational programs.
- Passion for the dual mission of achieving artistic and educational excellence and broad audience participation.
- Demonstrated expertise & knowledge of learning theories and audience research methods desirable.
- Demonstrated ability in the successful development and maintenance of a wide variety of community partnerships.
- Ability to assess priorities and work well under pressure; excellent time management, problem solving, and analytical skills.
- Organizational ability with strong management and supervisory skills; ability to work with close attention to detail, and to maintain confidentiality.
- Ability to assess and manage multiple competing priorities and work well under pressure; excellent time management, problem solving, and analytical skills. Ability to complete multiple projects successfully.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Demonstrated proficiency with and accuracy in using MS Office products, including WORD, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Access and other related software applications.
- Demonstrated ability to work professionally and tactfully, represent the Museum with a high level of integrity and professionalism.
- Ability to adhere to Museum policies and support management decisions in a positive, professional manner.
To apply, send cover letter, resume, and references via jobopportunities.uchicago.edu. Search for requisition #103537.
Director of Development
The Director of Development serves as chief development officer for the University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art, is a member of both the Smart Museum's senior leadership team and the University of Chicago's Alumni Relations and Development (ARD) team, and is responsible for coordinating all activity related to seeking philanthropic support for the Smart Museum of Art.
- Develop and execute an overall strategic fundraising plan for Smart Museum development. Work closely with the Museum's advisory Board of Governors to enhance its capacities and fundraising potential. Manage a personal major gift prospect portfolio with goals for solicitations and dollars raised. Prioritize the director's prospect portfolio and staff the director's prospect work.
- Plan and lead robust strategies for individual and corporate and foundation fundraising, with particular emphasis on expansion of the individual major gifts, including donations of works of art. Identify, qualify, cultivate, and solicit prospective donors who have the capacity to make financial commitments of $100,000+. Deliver timely and effective follow-up to prospects and donors.
- Manage a team of professionals, student interns, and external partners. Collaborate and coordinate with key development partners, including ARD gift officers and colleagues in strategic information and communications, to advocate effectively for the Smart Museum and pursue development efforts in the context of the University's broader UChicago Arts strategy and development efforts.
- Participate in comprehensive planning as a member of the Museum's senior staff, ensuring financial support for the fulfillment of the Museum's ambitious plans. Ensure Museum communications demonstrate clarity and consistency, propelling the Smart Museum to reach its strategic and fundraising goals. Draft compelling talking points, letters, proposals and briefing materials for institutional leaders and gift officers.
- Manage staff and an allocated budget to execute responsibilities in an efficient, timely, and cost-effective manner. Ensure compliance with University policy and provide timely reporting.
- Model professional and ethical behavior and promote participation in the life of the University. Perform other duties as assigned. Seek opportunities for professional development that will enhance job performance, including building networks within the University and with colleagues at peer institutions.
- Minimum of five years of professional work experience in nonprofit management, development, alumni relations, marketing, public relations, sales, or similar professional work experience required.
- Minimum of three years of experience leading a project team or managing staff required.
- Minimum of two years of experience in managing senior leadership, trustees, and board members required.
- Minimum of one year of experience in developing and monitoring budgets required.
- Demonstrated record of organizing successful fundraising, marketing or membership programs preferred.
- Experience developing successful corporate, foundation or government proposals preferred.
- Experience with capital campaigns preferred.
- Experience fundraising for arts and/or art museums preferred.
- Bachelor's degree or higher required.
- Advanced graduate or professional degree in business, marketing, management, or higher education administration preferred.
To apply, send cover letter, resume, and references via jobopportunities.uchicago.edu. Search for requisition #103133.
Assistant Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art
Reporting to the Dana Feitler Director, the Assistant Curator for Modern and Contemporary art also works closely the Curator for Global Contemporary Art to create a collaborative environment that encourages the development of programs and exhibitions. As a thoughtful member of the curatorial team, the Assistant Curator will bring in-depth knowledge about Art history and museum practice to assist in implement an exciting vision for the museum with his/her colleagues and be driven by interests in artists, scholarship, innovation and public engagement.
Time is divided between specific projects and general curatorial work within the department, which includes research on the collection and new acquisitions, work on the presentation of the collection, management of certain of special exhibition projects, and opportunities to give public lectures. The Assistant Curator will be part of a collaborative environment that encourages the development of programs and exhibitions both working together as a curatorial team and with faculty and students across all areas including collections, exhibitions, research, publications, engagement and education.
- Assist with the research, development of changing exhibitions of varying scope.
- Contribute scholarship to and develop exhibitions, projects and engagement programs, as assigned.
- Assist in the development of the collections through researching proposed purchases and gifts.
- Assist in the preparation of reports to the Museum Board and other auxiliary committees as appropriate.
- Rotations of the collections for display in permanent collection galleries; consult with others to determine preservation/conservation needs.
- Research, write and oversee production of related publications, brochures, guides, catalogs and books, as assigned.
- Develop and participate in collaborative projects with faculty and staff, work with the exhibitions team to coordinate project budgets.
- Assist in the development, preparation and maintenance of exhibition budgets; serve as a liaison to the University community, other institutions and the public, as assigned.
- Participate in teaching courses at the Museum, training and continuing education of staff, mentor student interns, as assigned.
- Candidates are welcomed in all areas of specialization, with a preference given to those working in the field of contemporary art. An MA or a PHD in the History of Art are required. Applicants must have experience working with art objects in a museum or gallery setting.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and professionalism to interact with a wide range of people at different levels of an organization.
- Exceptional verbal and written communication, demonstrated presentation skills.
- Demonstrated experience and background in research and published writing that establishes expertise in an area of study.
- Proven ability to effectively and efficiently manage multiple priorities, with competing deadlines.
- Demonstrated proficiency in MS Office Suite and database management applications.
- PhD or MA in the History of Art required.
- Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with all staff members.
To apply, send cover letter, resume, and references via jobopportunities.uchicago.edu. Search for requisition #103540.
Smart Museum docents serve as public ambassadors for the Smart Museum and assist the Museum in fulfilling its educational mission as gallery teachers for a range of K-12, University, and adult audiences. Docents also assist with the facilitation of programming across the museum, including family engagement, collaborative arts partnerships, and public programs addressing critical contemporary issues. Docents are supported through paid training course, mentorship structure, and ongoing training sessions with guest facilitators.
Docent positions are available to University of Chicago students as well as Odyssey Project alumni.
The Smart is currently seeking new docents to join our community during the Fall 2017 quarter. We are seeking curious, committed individuals from across a diverse range of disciplines and backgrounds to be public learners alongside our audiences.
- UChicago student application
- Odyssey Project alumni application
University of Chicago student positions
The following jobs and internships are only available to University of Chicago students.
University of Chicago students gain direct experience in museum work through year- and summer-long internships in a variety of areas, including our curatorial, registration, education, marketing, and business offices. Qualifications vary by department; all positions are paid and require approximately 10–19 hours of work each week.
Curatorial Intern for Modern Art and Special Exhibitions
The Smart Museum of Art’s Curatorial Intern reports to the Curator of Modern Art and Design and provides support for modern art and special exhibition projects, especially the fall 2017 exhibition Revolution Every Day and its related publication, which primarily address 20th-century Russian and Soviet art.
Work will focus on:
- Editorial and permissions work on the exhibition catalogue
- Exhibition and label preparation and writing, as well as writing for artworks in the museum’s holdings for gallery display and for our online database.
- Assistance with other office functions as needed.
University of Chicago graduate student or candidate with a BA in art history or related field. Rising seniors with relevant experience and major will also be considered.
Excellent research, proofreading, and organizational skills, and knowledge of both online and print sources of art historical scholarship and documentation. Excellent oral and written communication skills.
Excellent interpersonal skills. Flexibility and dependability.
Familiarity with computer programs such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, and Photoshop. Ability to work well on own and on collaborative projects.
Prior museum experience desirable. Knowledge of modern and post-war art required.
Ideally, the candidate would be available summer 2017 and through the upcoming academic year, but candidates for summer through September 2017 will also be considered.
Beginning June 2017, 10+ hours/week
$14/hour. Work study accepted but not required.
To apply, send cover letter and resume to Diane Miliotes, Interim Curator of Modern Art and Design, Smart Museum of Art.
Café Attendants are an integral part of the hospitality team at the Smart Museum and ensure that our patrons have a welcoming, positive experience in the Smart Café. Café attendants are responsible for serving coffee and prepared foods to patrons of the Smart Museum, as well as selling gift shop merchandise. We are looking for friendly, personable students who would enjoy working in a museum setting. Work schedules are flexible quarterly to fit around a student’s class schedule.
University of Chicago student. Strong interpersonal and customer service skills required. Interest in visual art encouraged. Previous food service or retail experience preferred, but not required. Work study eligible.
Starting immediately with year-round employment, approximately 8–15 hours per week.
Starts at $11/hour plus tips.
To apply, please fill out an application at the Museum’s information desk. Applications are always accepted. If you have questions, contact Kate Kelly, Café and Gift Shop Manager.
The Smart Museum of Art’s Gallery Attendants are responsible for maintaining security within the Smart Museum gallery and lobby areas during public hours. Within this role, the Gallery Attendant acts as a public representative of the Museum and the University by greeting patrons and providing information as needed. Work schedules are flexible quarterly and can be designed to fit around a student’s class schedule. Docents who wish to receive additional working hours at the Museum are strongly encouraged to apply and will receive a premium hourly rate.
University of Chicago student. Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills. Interest in visual art encouraged. Ability to stand for long periods of time. Work-study encouraged, but not required.
Starting immediately with year-round employment, approximately 8–15 hours per week.
$11/hour; higher if a multi-session docent cross-training program is completed
To apply, please fill out an application at the Museum’s information desk. Applications are always accepted.
The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information, please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination. Academic job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773.702.5671 or email ACOppAdministrator@uchicago.edu with their request. Staff job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773.834.1841 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with their request.