Curator - NYUAD Art Gallery

Job Number
2021-9012

Position Summary

UAE Nationals are encouraged to apply

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) seeks to appoint a Curator, reporting to the Galleries Executive Director and Chief Curator.

The University Gallery at NYU Abu Dhabi is a non-collecting academic museum. Its exhibition program prioritizes curatorial investigation and artistic experimentation. The program connects research and knowledge production, the region and our academic community, through each exhibition. Alongside the exhibitions, the Gallery publishes books annually, as well as a range of collateral publications.

The NYUAD Art Gallery seeks a Curator to play a key role developing exhibitions, integrating the curatorial program with the teaching and research mission of the university, and sparking new dialogues with the regional audiences, arts institutions, and the greater art world. The Curator will be part of a team that leads on best practices as defined by AAM, ICOM, and other relevant professional organizations.  Areas in which the curator plays a leading role include:

  • Exhibition development (research, production, publication) to contribute to art historical interpretation and knowledge production. This includes supporting and partnering with faculty guest curators and the Chief Curator, as well as individual projects spearheaded by the Curator
  • Programs, connecting in to the university and out to the greater public, activating each exhibition’s content through creative, stimulating programming, such as talks, symposia, residencies, tours, and workshops
  • Exhibitions around campus, including:
    • the Project Space, and its frequent rotation of smaller-scale locally derived exhibitions in collaboration with the academic and regional community
    • the “Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award,” an annual public art project by emerging artists based in the UAE
  • The Campus Collection: caring for and interpreting several major site-specific commissions and a series of smaller works on view. This includes steering a Campus Art Committee charged with oversight of this and other on-campus art projects
  • Training future generations – including curatorial fellows, volunteers, and student docents

The ideal candidate will demonstrate a nuanced understanding of questions surrounding art history and exhibition-making in a global context. They will have a sensitivity to the myriad of cultural perspectives that make up our audiences (who hail from over 200 different countries), and that enrich the curatorial undertaking.

The exhibition program at the gallery is, by design, varied in region, period, and style. It requires that the curator bring to the role a keen interest in investigating ideas, artwork, and curatorial practice itself. A flexible ‘curator’s toolbox’ will be necessary to support on exhibitions from different regions and periods of history (from ancient to contemporary).

Key Responsibilities:

Curatorial

  • For the Main Gallery:
    • Curate major exhibitions on a regular rotation
    • Conduct research, studio visits, and develop relationships for future exhibitions
    • Write, publish, and present in public forums related to areas of research
    • Partner with faculty and guest curators on developing exhibitions for the Gallery from their areas of expertise
  • Campus Art Collection:
    • Advise, together with the Chief Curator, on acquisition strategies, oversee site-specific commissions to come, and as part of this, sit on Campus Art Committee
    • Advocate for and participate in the formulation of institutional policies and procedures for the care of the collection that are based on accepted professional standards and best practices as defined by AAM, CurCom, and other relevant professional organizations
    • Research and develop curatorial texts for NYUAD’s for campus-wide collection

Curatorial Oversight of Campus Exhibitions

Supervise the Curatorial Fellow’s work, while leading on exhibitions on campus, beyond the main gallery:

  • The Project Space:
    • Advise and oversee the exhibition rotations in this community gallery
    • Write or edit texts about the exhibitions as needed, or supervise the Curatorial Fellow in same
    • Act as the first point of contact for the Project Space, together with Curatorial Fellow
  • The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award:
    • Advise and oversee the production of the Award
    • Additional projects around campus as needed 

Gallery Programs and Community Outreach

As a key member of the gallery team, the Curator is responsible for representing the gallery mission to various communities and in the public eye. The Curator will:

  • Develop exhibition-related programming around all exhibitions, whether guest-curated or generated in-house, in collaboration with the engagement and education team. This should include creative strategies for engaging different audiences, such as:
    • artist and curator meetings/content development with faculty
    • student engagement through events and student interest groups (SIG) outreach
    • developing symposia, conferences, possibly residencies
    • connecting to schools and community groups for tours (in collaboration with the education department)
    • developing series of public talks and events for different regional publics including adult, family, Arabic-language, scholarly, and other
  • Represent the NYUAD Gallery in the communities it serves (attend regional external events and Campus internal events) to develop relationships that enable synergies and growth among our varied constituents

Education, mentorship, capacity building:

  • Teach college classes (visits to the gallery) and present lectures to the public about the exhibitions on view and other topics within the Curator’s area of expertise
  • Mentor, advise, and guide a range of student interns and junior employees on their academic and professional journey
  • Work with faculty to find points of intersection between their syllabus and the Gallery’s exhibitions and projects

Strategic and Operations, in Collaboration with Director:

  • With the Chief Curator, develop curatorial strategies and overall vision for the exhibitions program
  • Enable marketing and PR, including speaking to the Press, drafting press release content, supporting social media strategies, etc.
  • Fundraising activities and external stakeholder development, including with the Advisory Circle

Required Education:

  • Advanced degree in Art History or related field

Preferred Education:

  • PhD or MA

Required Experience:

  • 5+ years relevant curatorial experience
  • Curating exhibitions in an institutional (non-commercial) context
  • Sophisticated understanding of art, art history, and art collections in a global context
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Highly organized and capable of managing multiple tasks
  • Creative and highly detail-oriented
  • Demonstrated ability to interact with multiple constituencies, including internal and external to NYUAD.
  • Excellent research and writing
  • Museum best-practices
  • Ability to think strategically about how to grow a first-of-its-kind university gallery/kunsthalle into as a meaningful part of the UAE and region

Preferred Experience:  

  • Specialization in areas outside Europe and North America
  • Experience working in museums
  • Work on exhibitions across different subject matter and periods
  • Grant-writing and related fundraising efforts.
  • Managing and developing staff and interns
  • Professional fluency in another language (with priority to Arabic or non-Anglo/European language), both written and spoken

Other Information
About NYUAD

NYU Abu Dhabi is a degree-granting research university with a fully integrated liberal arts and science undergraduate program in the Arts, Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Engineering. NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU New York, and NYU Shanghai, form the backbone of NYU’s global network university, an interconnected network of portal campuses and academic centers across six continents that enable seamless international mobility of students and faculty in their pursuit of academic and scholarly activity. This global university represents a transformative shift in higher education, one in which the intellectual and creative endeavors of academia are shaped and examined through an international and multicultural perspective. As a major intellectual hub at the crossroads of the Arab world, NYUAD serves as a center for scholarly thought, advanced research, knowledge creation, and sharing, through its academic, research, and creative activities.