Assistant Curator, European Art and Mellon Collections (Faculty, Exempt)

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) seeks a dynamic and energetic curator to become the Assistant Curator of European Art and the Mellon Collections.

This is a restricted position endowed by the Paul Mellon Foundation.

Employee Benefits:

This salaried, faculty-exempt position offers Commonwealth of Virginia employee benefits such as 12 paid holidays, health benefits and more. VMFA staff also enjoy agency benefits like free admission to special exhibitions, previews of special exhibitions, employee pricing for select museum programs and classes, and discounts at Amuse Restaurant, Best Café, and VMFA Shop.

Position Overview:

Reporting to the Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art, this role assists in all activities related to the European Art Department, which includes the Mellon Collections of French Impressionism, British Sporting Art, and American painting, as well as European art from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century. The European art holdings encompass paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative arts, including the Gans Collection of British Silver.

The successful candidate’s responsibilities will encompass a wide array of curatorial duties, including collection tours, exhibitions, label writing, publications, research, and administrative duties.

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts:

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the United States. VMFA, which opened in 1936, is a state agency and privately endowed educational institution. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret art, and to encourage the study of the arts. Through the Office of Statewide Partnerships program, the museum offers curated exhibitions, arts-related audiovisual programs, symposia, lectures, conferences and workshops by visual and performing artists. In addition to presenting a wide array of special exhibitions, the museum provides visitors with the opportunity to experience a global collection of art that spans more than 6,000 years. VMFA’s permanent holdings encompass nearly 40,000 artworks, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia, the finest collection of Art Nouveau outside of Paris, and one of the nation’s finest collections of American art. VMFA is also home to important collections of Chinese art, English silver, and French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British sporting and modern and contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its history.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Excellent communication, organizational, and public speaking skills.
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative, team-based environment.
  • Ability to multitask, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines and manage multiple projects concurrently.

Special Requirements: 

  • Selected candidates must pass a criminal history background check.
  • Position requires employee to file a Statement of Economic Interests form annually.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Advanced degree in the field of Art History or a related discipline, or have equivalent applicable experience or training.
  • Strong record of research and scholarship with a proven record of focus on European art.
  • Demonstrated experience and expertise concerning works in all media (paintings, sculpture, tapestries, decorative arts, and works on paper) regarding quality and authenticity.
  • Experience in museum work with a distinguished record in acquisitions, exhibitions, scholarly publications, public speaking, and research.

Special Instructions for Applicants:

Please submit three (3) references. Provide full name, phone number and email address. References may be attached in a separate document in the “other” field in the portal; or they may be included with the resume or cover letter.

Professional references are preferred. Other reference types will also receive consideration. References should be able to attest to your knowledge, skills, and abilities, especially qualifications relevant to the position for which you are applying.

Interested individuals must submit an online application. Posting may close after five business days of opening. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply before 11:59 pm on December 15, 2022.

Please contact the HR office at if you need assistance.

VMFA is an EEO/AA and Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Certified Employer. Diverse and inclusive hiring practices are at the heart of what we do at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Read more.
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