Friday, June 23, 2017

Residency Opportunity: Deutsches Museum Scholar-in-Residence Program

The Deutsches Museum in Munich has several attractive scholarships to offer research scholars interested in working for six or 12 months on projects involving the museum`s vast and heterogeneous collections. The scholarship programme is international and interdisciplinary in scope.

There are myriad opportunities at the Deutsches Museum for innovative research into scientific processes and the changing cultures of technology. Founded in 1903, the museum's holdings comprise some 100,000 objects; an archive of 4,500 shelf metres including an extensive collection of scientific photographs, technical illustrations, trade literature and private papers; and a specialist research library with 875,000 volumes, 5,000 journals, and an extensive collection of rare books on te history of science and technology. The museum's collections have evolved over the years, absorbing the instruments, books and archives of individual scientists and engineers as well as of companies and scientific institutions, and reflect bygone experimental systems and cultures of innovation. The unique structure of this collection enables scholars to develop innovative cross-disciplinary methods of research on the basis of texts, images and artefacts available on site and to engage in both the historical and archaeological exploration of science and technology.

Applicants are invited to base their projects on the collections of the Deutsches Museum and to cooperate closely with museum staff on site when formulating their research proposals. Projects involving innovative approaches to artefact-oriented research are especially welcome.

During their stay, visiting scholars will have daily contact with the museum´s curators, archivists and librarians (approx. 50 staff members) as well as members of the Münchner Zentrum für Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte (Munich Center for the History of Science and Technology; approx. 50 staff members).

Scholarship holders will have their own workplace with a desktop computer and telephone, and the opportunity to reside temporarily in subsidized apartments of the museum complex insofar as these are available. They will present their research projects to colleagues at the beginning of their stay and will be expected to participate regularly in the museum’s and the Munich Centre’s Monday colloquium series and workshops. 

Pre-doctoral stipends: € 7,500 (six months) / € 15,000 (full year).
Post-doctoral stipends: € 15,000 (six months) / € 30,000 (full year).

Scholars at any level of seniority are eligible to apply, provided they have at least one university degree. There are no restrictions regarding nationality. All scholars are requested to make their own provisions for health insurance.

The ability to read German is a prerequisite for the application (passive language skills).

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Position Announcement: Curatorial Research Intern, Aboriginal Curatorial Collective

Number of Positions: 12
Pay Period: 9 Weeks
Hours Per Week: 30
Hourly Wage: Minimum wage based on provincial standards.
Location: Various (Please Read)

For over 10 years, the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective / Collectif des commissaires autochtones (ACC-CCA) has been developing and disseminating curatorial practices, innovative research and critical discourses on Indigenous arts and culture throughout Canada. ACC-CCA is an Indigenous national arts service organization that supports, promotes and advocates on behalf of Canadian and international Indigenous curators, critics, artists and representatives of arts and cultural organizations. The ACC-CCA provides support to Indigenous curators and artists through mentorships, research, curatorial exhibitions, commissioned writings, disseminations and large-scale colloquia and gatherings. Through fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange, and embracing principles of Indigenous protocols, the ACC-CCA strives towards an equitable space for the Indigenous curatorial, artistic and intellectual communities.

Tasks and Responsibilities: These positions allow Indigenous interns to spend the summer researching Indigenous curatorial practices and engaging in regional arts actions including summer festivals, arts events, community celebrations, theatrical presentations and creation incubators. Interns engage in a variety of professional development activities working with an array of supervised interactions engaging regional not-for-profit groups, arts collectives, municipal partners and First Nations communities. Having Indigenous heritage is strongly encouraged. ACC-CCA is exploring the relationship between the current Indigenous curatorial sector and Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation as all major arts institutions are currently reflecting on this. Our evaluative look at the past 150 years connects Indigenous and settler methodologies to each other to form a better understanding of “our” Canada. Interns will be working along side of established curators to develop ideas, write reflection articles and publish their works professionally to be seen across the whole country.

Specific Tasks include:
• Research Indigenous curatorial trends and communicate with established Indigenous curators
• Assist in event coordination
• Engage in marketing and dissemination plans
• Contribute to arts action opportunities in development, implementation and documentation
• Write reflections on arts, culture and heritage in relation to art and action
• Promote all ACC-CCA events and programs through the various channels, online, website, social media

Supervision: ACC-CCA has 12 Indigenous mentors across Canada waiting to volunteer their time assisting in this process. Mentors typically hold positions as Canada Research Chairs, Department Heads or other major roles within Universities, Galleries and Arts Organizations. This team of mentors represents some of the most renowned Indigenous curators and academic minds in Canada, all eager to engage with emerging Indigenous artists, curators and writers.

Students: This Internship program has an Indigenous-specific focus and is best suited towards students that are currently pursuing fields of study relating to Indigenous Studies, Curatorial Practices, Arts Administration, Theatre, Performance, Fine Art, Craft, Writing, Storytelling or any study programs that have relevance to spending a summer researching and engaging in Indigenous specific actions. ACC-CCA is based within Ontario but research can take place wherever the Indigenous Intern resides as long as there is structure for their work placement and oversight with ACC-CCA representative mentors. Priority is given to students engaging with arts actions that bring multiple communities together and represent healthy Indigenous-controlled arts environments. With considerations being given to remote regions, language barriers and the importance of voices being represented that are currently absent, ACC-CCA is making every effort to increase this program to include more opportunities in the future.

Position Announcement: Administrative Program Assistant, Recovering Voices

Application Deadline: Sunday June 25, 2017!

Recovering Voices, National Museum of Natural History, is seeking an Administrative Program Assistant for a 1-year contract opportunity. Applications are being accepted electronically at until June 25, 2017. Email us at with questions.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

At British Museum Protest, Australian Aboriginal Activist Demands Repatriation of Ancestor’s Shield

Hyperallergic, Isabella Smith
June 18, 2017

"Yesterday, Australian Aboriginal rights activist Rodney Kelly visited the British Museum to demand the return of an artifact with a potent history: the Gweagal shield. The shield belonged to Kelly’s great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Cooman, and was seized in 1770 by Captain James Cook during the first encounter between the British and Indigenous Australians. It was later given to the British Museum. The bark shield bears a bullet hole, marking the first shot fired in the long history of violence toward the continent’s Indigenous people.

Kelly, who has been campaigning for the shield’s return to Australia, visited the BM yesterday to hold a series of unsanctioned “rebel lectures” aiming to expose the shield’s history, discuss other ill-gotten items in the museum’s collection, and explain — with support from theatrical protest group BP Or Not BP? — why oil giant BP is an unacceptable sponsor for the museum. The group says the energy giant’s sponsorship “effectively brands all the artifacts in the museum with the logo of this destructive company.” The museum signed a new five-year sponsorship deal with BP in 2016.

Kelly arrived at the BM equipped with a didgeridoo and clap sticks, and headed to the “Living and Dying” Room to speak next to a cabinet of Indigenous Australian objects. (The Gweagal shield is not currently on view as it is undergoing “scientific analysis and historical research,” according to a museum spokesperson.) Between talks, Kelly played the traditional musical instruments, and BP Or Not BP? supplemented statements on the hypocrisy of BP’s sponsorship with their own, while performers dressed as robbers held a banner with the slogan “Stolen Land, Stolen Culture, Stolen Climate.” Members passed out informational flyers that mimicked the museum’s house style, appearing at first glance to be official notices. The museum did not intervene in the unsanctioned event."

More here.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Position Announcement: Fine Arts Curator, The Heard Museum

The Heard Museum seeks a Fine Arts Curator to present American Indian art in ways that will inspire and resonate with contemporary audiences. Ideal candidates will have a strong background in art history and a minimum of two years of experience in organizing exhibitions. The Fine Arts Curator has responsibilities for long range exhibition planning with a special focus on the newly opened Piper Grand Gallery. The candidate must possess strong organizational and communication skills, plus a proven ability to work effectively and efficiently among colleagues and peers, a willingness to encourage and mentor junior curatorial staff and interns, interface with Museum trustees and patrons, as well as the academic and collecting communities.

The Fine Arts Curator will be expected to interpret American Indian art through a diverse range of art historical and cultural contexts and will be conversant with scholarship that advances understanding of American Indian art. The individual will demonstrate a working knowledge of the broad history of American Indian art, through to the present, and be the catalyst for cutting-edge and impactful research.

Drawing on the Heard’s outstanding collection, the Fine Arts Curator will play a leading role in creating exhibitions, and plan and develop nationally and internationally touring exhibitions. The successful applicant would be looked upon to make significant content-based contributions towards two or more exhibitions per year, and expected to produce scholarly publications in association with them. Representing the Heard at regional and national conferences and professional gatherings is required.

Other duties involve cultivating new audiences for American Indian art and supporters of the museum, maintaining and initiating sustainable partnerships with American Indian tribes, other related arts organizations and universities in the Southwest and beyond. Establishing common cause in the exploration of creative territory, including multi-sensory integration, is a key priority.

An M.A or M.F.A. is preferred with a major in fine art, art history or a related field.

Applicants: please send resume and cover letter to

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Position Announcement: Curator of Education and Academic Engagement, Fairfield University Art Museum, Fairfield, CT

The Fairfield University Art Museum, recently designated one of the nation's “top 50 most amazing college museums" by College Rank, is seeking a full-time Museum Educator/Academic Coordinator to spearhead and oversee education initiatives within the university as well as for demographically diverse audiences from the surrounding geographic community.

The Curator of Education and Academic Engagement will be the museum liaison to academic departments throughout the University. In consultation with the Director/Chief Curator and the Assistant Director, s/he will work with faculty to promote the museum and formulate, facilitate and advance programming and curricular connections between its exhibitions and permanent collection and the university's pedagogical and cultural offerings. Externally, s/he will be responsible for the conception, development, implementation, oversight and management of education programs and audience engagement platforms catering to K-12 students, teachers, and adult learners in Fairfield County, particularly the nearby communities of Fairfield, Bridgeport, and Westport. Piloting innovative, stimulating, and culturally enriching initiatives for both internal and external stakeholders in accordance with best practices, and harnessing effective new visual learning, teaching, and interpretative strategies developed by peer institutions, are an essential component of this position.

Duties and responsibilities include:

• Designing, providing content of, and managing on-site interpretive programs for school groups (students and teachers), families, members of the general public, retirees, and special needs audiences.
• Creation and management of volunteer docent program (including recruitment and training)
• Lecturing in the galleries on the permanent collection and special exhibitions
• Organizing lectures and other programs for students, scholars and the public
• Interaction with faculty across multiple disciplines to heighten awareness of museum collections, exhibitions, and programs.
• Formulate strategies for incorporating works of art in the university curriculum in collaboration with museum colleagues, faculty liaisons, and Academic Engagement Committee
· Oversee successful Family Day program in collaboration with Museum Assistant and interns
• Develop strategies for audience engagement, digital content creation and delivery, and the use of technology and social media on-site and as an external marketing and interpretive tool
• Provide content for the museum website, gallery didactics, and printed educational materials
• Collaborate with colleagues in Development and Advancement on fund-raising efforts in support of museum-based Educational initiatives on campus and externally
• Collaboration with Educators at neighboring cultural institutions as appropriate
• Possibility of coordinating or organizing occasional exhibition at discretion of Director/Chief Curator 

• Master's degree or PhD. in Art History or closely allied, cognate field in the Humanities with significant course work in art history and broad understanding of a range of historical periods, cultures, and major artistic trends
• Demonstrated interest in Museum Education
• Willingness to learn about new subjects and material outside established area/s of expertise
• Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
• Ability to manage multiple projects effectively
• Close attention to detail
• Excellent organizational skills
• Ability to meet deadlines
• Ability to work closely and collegially with academic and museum colleagues, university students and adult volunteers
• Computer and software literacy including familiarity with Word, Excel, and PPT
• Museum experience, preferably in an Education function, preferred

Additional Information:
This is grant-funded position for an initial period of one year, with the possibility of a two-year extension contingent on successful realization of matching grant challenge.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a satisfactory background check.

Application Instructions:
Please submit a resume, cover letter, and employment application at:

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Call for Papers: Decolonizing Art Institutions (Basel, 20-21 Jun 17)

De Colonizing Art Institutions (Basel, 20-21 Jun 17)
Kunstmuseum Basel, June 20 - 21, 2017
Registration deadline: Jun 19, 2017
Concept: Prof. Dr. Dorothee Richter & Ronald Kolb (MA) in cooperation with Søren Grammel
Contact: ronald.kolb@[at]

The globally active art world nowadays cultivates an exchange that transcends the boundaries between cultures and continents through so-called global museums or globally operating art biennials and festivals, at least for a certain audience able to travel around the globe. Yet, this should not blind us to the fact that in the end a certain perspective of the Western history of art and culture claims primacy over global contemporary art and especially its market. Museums and art institutions all over the world therefore tend to have a uniform appearance. In format and content alike, they cater to and follow "Western" examples.

The question thus arises of how art institutions and museums could work differently by not taking a supposed, globally prevalent “guiding” culture as their orientation but instead continuing to search for new formats. How can an art institution be conceived? What might a de-colonized institution challenge?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Call for Papers: The Museum as Mirror - Reflections on Encounters between People and Objects

The Museum as Mirror - Reflections on Encounters between People and Objects
Workshop to be held at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut (23-24 November 2017)

Call for Papers
The use of selfie sticks in museums and recent museum policies excluding or indeed encouraging the practice have triggered two kinds of concern. On the one hand, the presence of the selfie stick is considered to be a dangerous material extension of the visitor’s body and a potential source of damage and disturbance. On the other hand, its popularity begs the question:  how do visitors bond with objects in museums and what are they identifying with in this seemingly narcissistic engagement with objects, artworks and monuments as they stagger back and forth in order to find the best shot? The museum selfie can be understood as a contemporary metaphor for the visitors' desire to document their own individual and embodied experience of an exhibit. Yet this experience—although seemingly unique and personal—is mediated by the conceptual frames the museum itself embodies, which include: aesthetic delectation, academic inquiry and identity formation. In fact, the museum functions at a critical juncture in the mutually constitutive relationship between the visitor’s body, the material space of physical objects (displays, architecture) and the construction of social and cultural concepts (such as national identity, race, and gender).

A long intellectual tradition has maintained a subject/object divide in Western thinking, which has meant that this juncture remains something of a blind spot. More recently, a turn towards material studies has attempted to blur the conceptual boundaries between people and objects through new perspectives on the social lives of things, thing theory, and affect theory. However, this so-called post-humanist trend tends to focus on the object more so than on its effect on the subject. Just as art historians study the origins and history of objects before they enter the museum, so too must we take seriously the specificity of visitors to museums and their histories and experiences of race, sex, gender, culture, religion, class, queer, trans and other identities. This workshop will aim to put these many modalities of analysis of the subject/object relationship into a more balanced dialogue with a rigorous focus on the intersectional experience of bodies (people and objects) across multiple vectors of identity.  We seek to analyze how material, cultural, social and political construction functions on both sides of this subject/object relationship as both come inscribed with histories and identities and can also change or mutually reinforce one another within the space of the museum.

Encounters between humans and objects in museums are mediated and animated by a number of different factors, which may be culturally shared and transmitted but at the same time are not stable, fixed, or automatic.  These factors include: time, space and culture. The temporality of the encounter may be inflected by the time difference between the origin of the object and the person, time-period, or how time is constructed—for both people and objects—according to paradigms like modernism, classicism or primitivism.  The space of the encounter includes the museum’s location, architecture, mode of display, or purpose (for example, nation building, identity formation, memorial, aesthetic or religious experience).  Finally, we are interested in how the histories, belief systems and cultural codes that are manifested by both people and objects inscribe, or in some cases forbid, their encounter.
We encourage papers that analyze these encounters in museums as portrayed by artists through visual practices such as painting, print, sculpture, film, photography, and performative practices; linguistically in literary accounts; or aurally in music, audio or other formats. We are also interested in more collective attempts to analyze these encounters such as sociological studies or accounts in journals or other media.
Applications in English consisting of an abstract of 400 words and a short C.V. in a single PDF should be submitted by July 15, 2017 to Contributions for travel expenses will be available.
The workshop is part of the activities taking place within the framework of the Max Planck Research Group Objects in the Contact Zone – The Cross-Cultural Lives of Things.
Alison Boyd, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut, Postdoctoral Fellow 
Eva-Maria Troelenberg, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut, director of the Max Planck research group "Objects in the Contact Zone – The Cross-Cultural Lives of Things"

Felicity Bodenstein, musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, Postdoctoral Fellow