Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is a public not-for-profit contemporary art museum which collects, preserves, researches, and exhibits twenty-first century art from Africa and its Diaspora; hosts international exhibitions; develops supporting educational and enrichment programmes; encourages intercultural understanding; and guarantees access for all.
1. Purpose of the Job
Reporting to the Senior Curator, the Assistant Curator position is responsible for activities related to the research, management, archive, realization of projects with artists, lenders and art institutions and the care of Zeitz MOCAA permanent and temporary art collection. The delivery of exhibitions and commissions. The Assistant Curator works closely with the curatorial team on production and installation of permanent and temporary collection-based exhibitions and collection displays, publications, and related public programs designed to advance the foundation’s mission. This position requires a talented Assistant Curator skilled in collaboration across departments and able to execute the development and growth of the permanent and temporary collection and exhibition schedules that engages a diverse community and advances artistic/cultural discourse.
2. Key responsibilities
- Under the leadership of the Senior Curator and in collaboration with the curatorial and registrar team, work on upcoming collection displays, commissions, and exhibitions
- Management of the day to day activities, policies, procedures, and daily spend within budget and sign off by the Curator
- Monitor and maintain daily budgets for specific exhibitions and exhibition catalogues meticulously and in a timely manner. Including obtaining estimates, raising purchase orders, the processing of invoices, filing and liaising with finance function
- Execution of the comprehensive, long-range collection plan
- Provide input to and execution of the exhibitions program strategy, ensuring balance of schedule, scholarship, and value for audiences in the community and art world
- Research artists in the collection or under discussion for collection and/or displays as needed
- Contribute to ideas to the gallery program
- Support in driving visitor admission memberships
2.2 Exhibitions Organisation, Administration and Management
- Work closely with the Registrar and Curator to address issues related to the care and maintenance of the permanent collection, including object- and loan-related concerns, and correspondence with artists, institutions, and lenders
- Conduct research and assist on acquisitions and collection displays; help to produce exhibition-related materials such as budgets, checklists, floor plans, and brochures and laminates
- Work on archives and with the Archivist to prepare research on institutional history and collection artists
- Liaise with artists and their representatives, art institutions and funders
- Assist with development of texts intended for board communication, fundraising packages, and grant applications related to the collection
- Work with the Registrar and Senior Curator and other members of the Curatorial team to research and develop new public programming that supports collection displays
- Help coordinate the logistical aspects of these public programs, and provide input to and maintain curatorial daily budget
- Work closely with the Registrar and Curator, Institutional Education team, and Front Desk team to develop and implement training for front-of-house staff when new exhibitions and collection displays open
- Conduct tours of the Zeitz MOCAA collection
- Assist with administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, coordinating travel, on-site arrangements, and honoraria for artist and public program presenters, maintaining exhibition project budget templates, and submitting invoices for payment
- Travel for research, staff meetings, and other important events as needed
- Work closely with Education team to develop appropriate educational content
- Actively develop relationships with peer institutions and professional organizations regionally, nationally, and Internationally
This role requires an individual with project management, strong leadership and management skills and experience. With a proven desire to be innovative and lead on projects that form a dynamic and rich museum environment. Ability to plan, organize, conceptualize, and direct a variety of projects simultaneously is essential. The individual must bring strong leadership, high standard of work, good work ethic, deadline driven, with good networking, oral and written communication and engagement skills. Experience with the care and handling of art works, including condition reporting and packing procedure. Ability to be resilient and remain calm under pressure.
Required experience and skills
- Master’s degree is preferable, or a degree in Art History, or equivalent. Specialization in Contemporary Art is highly desired
- Minimum of 5 years’ experience progressively responsible curatorial and museum experience.
- Passionate and knowledgeable about contemporary culture from Africa and its Diaspora.
- Solid background in modern and contemporary art history required
- Must possess advanced research skills, including, but not limited to, primary and secondary research on art and artists, historical exhibitions and events, and /or key figures
- Knowledge of computer databases and MS Office software
- Willing to work after hours and possibly weekends if required
- Bilingual. Exceptional, fluent in French in business verbal and written language.
- Advanced research skills and a solid background in modern and contemporary art history
- Knowledge of art history and handling of art
- Good networks and experience working with artists, VIP guests and members
- Professional demeanor, diplomatic skills and ability to handle sensitive situations
As a cutting-edge equal opportunity institution, Zeitz MOCAA celebrates diversity in all its forms including gender, race, creed, and orientation. Zeitz MOCAA is committed to Employment Equity and particularly welcomes applications from suitably qualified Historically Disadvantaged Individuals (HDIs) for this position.