Information on job, internship, and other opportunities to work at the University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art.
Posted November 19, 2018
Academic Engagement Coordinator
Reporting to the Deputy Director for Academic and Curatorial Affairs, the Academic Engagement Coordinator is responsible for providing administrative, communications, and logistical support for, and coordination of, the activities of the Feitler Center. This position collaborates with staff in multiple Museum departments about areas of shared concern and responsibility, including the Assistant Curator for Academic Initiatives, the Manager of Family Programs and Student Engagement, the Associate Director of Communications, and the Assistant Director of Hospitality and Special Events. Works extensively with UChicago students and faculty and with academic administrators across campus.
- Manage the office of the Deputy Director for Academic and Curatorial Affairs/Director of Feitler Center, with a strong focus on prioritization and efficiency.
- Coordinate and schedule meetings, maintain the Director’s calendar and update the Museum’s master calendar with Feitler Center events.
- Manage communications with UChicago students and faculty, university partners, and Museum staff on behalf of the Center Director.
- Make travel arrangements and develop itineraries for the Center Director and visitors.
- Staff select meetings including curatorial and student engagement meetings; execute follow-up tasks on the Center Director’s behalf.
- Draft the Feitler Center’s communications to UChicago students, faculty and University partners, not exclusive to but including email correspondence, letters, descriptions of programs, internships, fellowships, and events, in coordination with the Museum’s Communications, Public Practice, Development, and Exhibitions teams.
- Process receipts and generate expense reports in the University’s GEMS system.
- Manage Feitler Center and select Curatorial department budgets in Excel.
- Coordinate with other Smart staff to foster an inclusive environment supporting positive social and learning experiences for UChicago students visiting or employed by the Smart Museum
- Responsible for scheduling and maintaining calendars of meetings and events, drafting agendas and meeting materials, and providing logistical management of meetings and select events.
- Serve as primary point of contact for UChicago students interested in engaging with the museum; manage student e-lists; circulate announcements
- Manage application processes for Smart internships, fellowships, and other student opportunities of the Feitler Center
- Coordinate and implement orientation sessions, lunches, and select events for Smart Museum student workers
- Represent the Smart Museum at UChicago student orientations on campus
- Occasional database research or Education Study Room monitoring
- Plan, execute, and staff select Museum events originating with the staff of the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry. Occasional weekend and evening events required.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
Bachelor's degree or higher required.
Advanced degree preferred.
- Minimum three years of professional work experience in higher education, museum, non-profit arts sector, marketing, public relations, arts administration, or similar professional work experience required.
- Experience working with university students or faculty strongly preferred.
- Previous experience in a university or similarly complex institution preferred.
- A background related to the arts or higher education preferred.
- Experience using a database preferred.
- Strong organizational and analytical skills required.
- Demonstrated fluency in Microsoft Office products required.
- Outstanding interpersonal and communications skills, characterized by the ability to listen, to speak, and to write well, with a strong commitment to customer service required.
- Ability to manage confidential information with discretion and tact required.
- Flexibility and adaptability to new programs in an emerging and changing environment required.
- Willingness and ability to travel to campus and/or non-campus locations for museum business required.
Full-time (37.5 hours/week), benefits eligible. Pay depends on qualifications.
To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and reference contact information via the University of Chicago's jobs portal. Search requisition #JR03453.
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 does not have open docent positions at this time. Please check back in the future.
University of Chicago student positions
The following jobs and internships are only available to University of Chicago students.
Front Line Staff
The Smart Museum of Art is looking for a dynamic, diverse cohort of UChicago students from across disciplines to join our fast-paced work environment as front line staff for the Museum. Staff act as the public-facing facilitators for the Museum, training and serving in dual capacities as gallery attendants and docents. A limited number of positions are available for the front line staff program.
10–15 hours per week
Please complete the application by noon on Monday, January 21, 2019. All applicants will receive notice of application status by Tuesday, January 22, 2019.
University of Chicago undergraduate and graduate 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.
There are no open internships at this time. Please check back in the future.
Smart Scholars and Research Associates
Summer Undergraduate Research Associates
The Smart Museum is seeking two "Exhibition in Practice" Summer Undergraduate Research Associates. These opportunities build on the work produced in “Exhibition in Practice I,” a spring 2019 Art History course in which students develop the concept and object checklist for an exhibition of their own design to be installed at the Smart Museum of Art in fall 2019.
Undergraduate research associates will conduct in-depth object research, compile bibliographies, organize and participate in interviews with collectors and artists, and perform administrative duties in support of the exhibition. The students’ work to compile essential information will be enormously helpful in providing material for sharing the content of the exhibition internally at the Smart, around campus, and to our broader communities. Course instructor for “Exhibition in Practice,” Leslie Wilson (Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts, Smart Museum of Art) and the curatorial assistant for the project, Berit Ness (Assistant Curator of Academic Initiatives, Smart Museum of Art) will coordinate and advise the research associates' activities.
Students are at the helm of “Exhibition in Practice.” Summer research associates for this project will gain hands on experience in object research and the ways that the work in question can drive methods of investigation, sending them everywhere from archives to individuals to conservation for answers. Object-research is combined with the incremental tasks of gathering key information and laying the foundations for the next steps of exhibition development, which includes compiling bibliographies and timelines, writing short artists’ and collectors’ biographies, and conducting preparatory research for interviews. The undergraduate researchers hone skills in research that emphasizes primary sources. In meetings over the summer, interns meet with the project advisors to discuss strategies for getting deeper into their research and to explore how to bring those sources to bear on narratives produced for the exhibition. They are encouraged to not only find answers, but to also develop and track important questions to be pursued in the future. As such, they participate in the process of long-term research in an institutional setting, which involves prioritizing aspects of their investigations and making plans for future research efforts.
Research and writing produced by summer researchers will feature in the final exhibition, which will be installed in fall 2019 as part of “Exhibition in Practice II.” Summer interns also have the opportunity to see first-hand how their work connects to other aspects of the museum’s mission. While their research is conducted under the auspices of curatorial practice, they will be able to see how coordination between all parts of the museum is vital to completing their respective projects. They will attend exhibition process meetings with Exhibitions and Registration staff. They will also participate in get-togethers with all summer researchers from across the museum, including presentations by researchers about their projects and lunchtime chats with staff about their career paths and museum specialties.
Required Courses (Optional):
Summer researchers should have completed coursework in Art History, preferably modern and contemporary art. Preference will be given to students enrolled in “Exhibition in Practice I” in spring 2019 and/or “Exhibition in Practice II” in fall 2019.
Knowledge or skills gained from the experience
Through these summer research experiences, undergraduates will gain hands-on experience with object research and the ways that the work in question can drive methods of investigation, sending them everywhere from archives to individuals to conservation for answers. Object-research is combined with the incremental tasks of compiling key information and laying the foundations for the next steps of exhibition development. Students hone skills in developing bibliographies that emphasize primary sources and writing for a variety of audiences. They also have the opportunity to see first-hand how their work connects to other aspects of the museum’s mission as a necessarily collaborative endeavor. Students will be supervised and mentored by Leslie Wilson, Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts, and Berit Ness, Assistant Curator of Academic Initiatives at the Smart Museum of Art.
Open to UChicago College students
$4,000 summer grant
Opportunity begins on July 1, 2019 and continues for a 10-week period.
Applications must be submitted through the College Center for Research and Fellowships. The application will ask you to include the following in ONE combined PDF file: (1) Current academic CV (up to two pages); (2) 350 Word Statement of Interest: This is not a cover letter, it is a statement of interest that should detail why you are interested in the opportunity, what skills you will bring, and what you hope to learn from your research experience; (3) Names, titles, and emails of two references; and, (4) Unofficial Transcript (please download an unofficial copy from the registrars office; do not submit a screen shot of your myuchicago page).
Please submit your complete application ONLINE HERE.
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 $12/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, Guest Services and Operations 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.
$12/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.