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.
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.
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.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Internship
The University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art is pleased to offer the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Curatorial Internship for 2018–19. Application Deadline: February 23, 2018.
- To provide a museum opportunity involving object-based curatorial research for advanced graduate students in art history and related disciplines;
- To advance substantive research on objects in the collection of the Smart Museum, which will be incorporated into the Smart’s permanent research files, online collection database, and future exhibitions and displays;
- To assist curatorial staff in further integrating the collections of the Smart Museum into the academic and intellectual life of the University of Chicago.
The successful candidate will work 19.5 hours per week on a 10-month appointment at the Smart Museum of Art (September through June), and will be fully integrated into the life of the Museum. Duties will include research on the Museum’s collection of historical Asian art, encompassing China, Japan, Korea, and South Asia; and assisting with curricular exhibitions, collection displays, and gift offers involving this area of the collection. The Mellon Foundation Curatorial Intern will also be invited to participate activities sponsored by the Chicago Object Study Initiative (COSI) and will be part of the cohort of COSI fellows, including graduate students from UChicago and Northwestern.
The successful candidate will receive $20,000 for a 10-month, 19.5 hrs/wk appointment.
Candidates must be advanced graduate students at the University of Chicago in good standing in the Department of Art History or East Asian Languages and Civilizations, ideally in the late stages of the dissertation. Students in other circumstances will be considered, but must at a minimum have finished their graduate coursework.
The successful candidate will have a strong knowledge of Asian art history, including research sources and methods, and knowledge of at least one East Asian language. Previous museum experience, along with general background in museum practices for historical Asian art, is desirable.
The position requires excellent research and writing skills; excellent oral communication; the ability to work collaboratively, as well as independently on research; and strong computer skills.
Applications should include the following four elements: a letter of interest; a CV with detailed information on course of study; contact information for three references (at least two should be academic references); and a writing sample, such as a course paper.
Please send applications by February 23, 2018 to Anne Leonard, Senior Curator of European Art and Director of Publications and Research, Smart Museum of Art, email@example.com.
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, 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.
$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.