Cincinnati Art Museum seeks a Curatorial Assistant for Photography.

The Cincinnati Art Museum has an immediate opening for a Curatorial Assistant in the Photography department. This position is full-time, scheduled 35 hours per week with full benefit eligibility and generous paid time off.

Position Summary: The Curatorial Assistant for Photography assists the Curator of Photography with management, care, research, and documentation of the photography and photobook collections, including new acquisitions; planning and implementation of temporary exhibition projects; activities related to audience engagement and donor stewardship; and day-to-day administrative processes essential to the functioning of the department. The Curatorial Assistant for Photography is a skilled communicator, working across museum departments and external stakeholders to help ensure the department’s projects are effectively and professionally realized. While excellent candidates bring expertise in multiple essential job functions, they are also eager to embrace less-familiar responsibilities as learning for future career steps.  

Essential Functions & Responsibilities:
Collection Management

  • Works with the Curator, Conservator, Preparator, Registrar, and other stakeholders to monitor, maintain, and improve the order of photography storage according to best practices.
  • This responsibility includes assisting with a major collection storage move within the first 2 years in-post, with associated assessment, planning, and implementation steps.


  • Assists in the acquisition of artworks for the photography and photobook collections.
  • This responsibility includes administration of the acquisition process (preparation and tracking of shipping expects, deeds of gift, donor acknowledgments, copyright and provenance questionnaires, etc.); preliminary cataloging; administration of object photography, housing, and conservation work orders; timely deposit of appropriate documents in object files; and research and writing as assigned.

Collection Research and Documentation

  • On an ongoing basis—as errors are identified or as new information emerges—improves and enriches database cataloging of artworks, and associated research files.
  • Researches and responds to public, scholarly, and intramural collection inquiries as assigned, including providing up-to-date captions, credit lines, and copyright acknowledgments for collection objects.
  • Facilitates and participates in scholar/collector/artist visits to work with collections, capturing new information as appropriate.


  • Assists in the development, planning, installation, and documentation of exhibitions.
  • This responsibility includes preparatory research as assigned, maintaining checklists and work schedules, assisting with and tracking loan requests and contracts, proofreading exhibition texts for in-gallery and online contexts, preparing portions of such text as assigned, corresponding with exhibited artists and their representatives and collectors, assisting Curator with publication projects, and archiving relevant content in the museum’s digital and paper repositories.

Public Engagement & Donor Stewardship

  • Works with Curator to steward relationships with Friends of Photography affinity group, donors and patrons, artists, docents, and general museum audiences.
  • This responsibility includes administrative, planning, communication, and event production tasks; participation in ideation and implementation of new engagement and partnership opportunities together with Learning & Interpretation, Philanthropy, and Marketing & Communications teams; and acting as a professional and informed spokesperson for the Photography program and the museum.
  • Organizes and administers periodic external stakeholder access to photography collection holdings via the Art Study Room.

    Curatorial Support Tasks and Special Projects as Assigned

  • Working with the Curator to balance the needs of the department with the professional development interests of the postholder, special tasks and projects may include but are not limited to: proposal of collection rotations, acquisitions, and public programs; authorship of blog posts, Member Magazine articles, or contributions to other publications; supervision/mentorship of volunteers or interns; participation in intramural and extramural professional gatherings, trainings, and working groups (including occasional funded travel); research and archiving relating to the history of the photography program; and editorial responsibilities (publication project management, rights and reproductions, providing feedback on others’ writing, etc.).


  • B.A. in Art History or a highly related field. Preference for M.A. in Art History, Museum Studies, or Public Humanities, with focus on photography, or M.A. in Photographic Preservation & Collection Management.
  • Previous museum experience is preferred.
  • Excellent professional writing and verbal communication skills, with the ability to connect with museum colleagues, artists, donors, scholars, and the public.
  • Excellent organizational skills with consistent attention to detail.
  • Well-developed research skills.
  • Facility with collection management systems, Microsoft Office tools including Excel, and software for remote work and filesharing (Teams, OneDrive).
  • Demonstrated ability to address simultaneous time-sensitive projects in a professional setting.
  • Proven ability to work both independently and in groups to achieve team goals.

Successful candidates should possess enthusiasm for continued learning about the museum profession and a commitment to equity and inclusion in museum practice.

Salary range: $36,500-$41,600

Job classification: Full-time, salary

To apply: Please submit your cover letter, resume, and at least two references along with your application. Writing samples may be requested at a later stage. Visit

Position open until filled. No phone calls, please.

The Cincinnati Art Museum is an equal opportunity employer and is strongly committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment where a variety of backgrounds, cultures, orientations, ideas, and talents can flourish.

Posted: August 31, 2023

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