The J. J. Medveckis Associate Curator of Arms and Armor

Date Posted
Close Date
Philadelphia, PA
Job Type

Philadelphia Museum of Art

We Are Committed to an Inclusive Workplace

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we actively seek to employ a diverse group of people who embody our organizational values. We welcome and encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply, especially those from marginalized and underrepresented groups in the museum field, who are inspired by our shared purpose and enjoy working collaboratively with others.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status. 

How You Will Contribute

The Associate Curator of Arms and Armor is responsible for all aspects of the care, presentation, and development of the museum’s important holdings of Arms and Armor. As a member of the museum’s curatorial staff, the Associate Curator of Arms and Armor is expected to participate in aspects of the work of the museum to enable it to fulfill its mission and to maintain the highest standards of scholarship, connoisseurship, and professional practices in the field.

Specifically, you will:

  • Work in cooperation with the other members of the museum’s staff to achieve the mission of the institution and its strategic objectives.
  • Work closely with the museum’s conservation, collections management, and design and installation staffs to ensure that the works of art in the care of the position are properly documented, conserved, stored in a safe and accessible manner, and effectively displayed in the museum’s galleries for the enjoyment and education of the public.
  • Review and provide recommendations on loan requests received by the museum.
  • Conduct or direct research on the collection or on related topics in accordance with a plan developed in consultation with their supervisor(s). Utilizes this research for a variety of purposes.
  • Work collaboratively with the Education Division and others on the development and production of interpretive materials related to the collection and on the content and presentational strategies developed for public programs and distance learning programs.
  • Organize and/or coordinate special exhibitions, either individually or in collaboration with colleagues from the PMA or peer institutions. This work should be understood as encompassing every aspect of the development and implementation of special exhibitions, from initial project planning and research to participation in budgeting and resource development, the production of information to be presented in printed and digital formats, the creation of the installation design for the exhibition, and the development and presentation of interpretive programs that will accompany it. 
  • Identify and recommend works of art in the position’s area of responsibility to be acquired for the collection and provides supporting documentation to justify the acquisition by gift or purchase. In accordance with institutional policies, periodically assesses the area of the collection for which the position is responsible and makes recommendations for the disposition of works of art that should not be retained.
  • Work in close cooperation with the museum’s senior staff and the Development Department to identify and cultivate individuals who may support the development of the collection in the position’s area of responsibility. This may, where appropriate, involve consulting with current and prospective donors on the development and care of their collections.
  • Undertake various administrative responsibilities as assigned and participates, as needed, in the day-to-day management of the department.
  • Participate, as needed, in events organized by the museum for the benefit of its members or various constituent groups such as the Board of Trustees, Women’s Committee, and the Associates program.
  • Represent the museum to various public constituencies in the city and the region and, as needed, attends civic and social events.
  • Serves as a representative of the museum in various professional organizations and events and maintains a strong and effective relationship with curators and scholars in the field, especially those at peer institutions in this country and abroad.
  • Develop in consultation with supervisor(s) a professional development plan that will enable them to keep up-to-date on scholarship and curatorial developments in the field and address any agreed-upon professional needs (e.g., managerial training, communications skills, etc.)
  • Perform other duties as assigned. 

Your background and experience include:

  • Broad familiarity with the history of arms and armor and, more specifically, a detailed knowledge of European arms and armor and related fields from 1400 - 1700 CE. 
  • Excellent communication skills (English) including writing and public speaking.
  • Foreign language skills in at least one language addition to English preferred (reading required, written, and oral skills preferred).
  • Proven record of research and curatorial achievement (i.e., the development and coordination of exhibitions, the acquisition of works of art, and collections research) in this field.
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully with others—e.g., museum staff, volunteers, and diverse public constituencies—to achieve institutional objectives, the successful candidate must have a broad knowledge of museum practices in the related fields of education and public programs, conservation, collections management, marketing, and development and external affairs.
  • Proven abilities in project management.
  • Excellent organizational skills, including meticulous attention to detail and capacity to balance daily tasks and big-picture thinking.
  • Ability to assess priorities.
  • Ability to receive productive feedback regarding communication, organization, and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work with databases, word processing, and other computing tools that the staff is expected to use on a regular basis.
  • Competence with MS Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint (or other presentation software) required.
  • Ability to learn museum database, The Museum System (TMS)
  • At least five years of relevant experience working in the field
  • MA in art history required, Ph.D. preferred

Position and Compensation Details

  • The minimum salary for this position is $70,000
  • This position is full-time, exempt, and 35 hours per week.
  • This position reports to The Henry P. McIlhenny Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture
  • Physical requirements:
  • Able to remain stationary for extended periods of time, to utilize computers and other office equipment required of this job, to perform physically administrative duties in a typical interior office environment, gallery, or exhibit space, and to access most public and staff areas of the museum campus.
  • Able to move items up to 40 pounds
  • COVID-19 vaccination required.
  • Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

Institutional Requirements

  • Upholds the professional standards of the field, always acts in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of the museum, and protects and enhances its reputation and standing within the community of museums.
  • Adheres to the museum’s code of ethics and Employee Handbook and avoids any real or perceived conflicts of interest.
  • Shows respect for co-workers and visitors and an understanding of and appreciation for the diversity of the museum’s staff, volunteers, and audiences.
  • Maintains confidentiality.
  • Adheres to all museum protocols, procedures, rules, and policies.

Application Timeline

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  We encourage candidates to apply early as the position will close once we have a robust applicant pool or a candidate has been selected.

What We Offer

Our employees are at the center of the museum. As an employee, you will have access to numerous museum perks including, but not limited to:

Free general admission to the museum for you and your immediate family

  • Discounted guest tickets for admission
  • Discounts on gift memberships
  • Special staff tours and presentations from our curatorial and conservation teams
  • Discounts at the museum restaurant, museum cafés, and museum retail and online stores

We offer a comprehensive benefits package for employees* including:

  • Medical, dental, and vision benefits
  • Fully paid short-term disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, and life insurance
  • Health savings or flexible spending account program
  • Retirement savings program with museum match
  • Paid vacation, personal days, sick days, and holidays

*Eligibility for certain benefits is based on a variety of factors including the employee’s regular schedule and tenure.

How to Apply

Please submit an application online at the link below:

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