Southern Utah University
  • 14-Jul-2021 to Until Filled (MST)
  • Cedar City, UT, USA
  • $45,000-$50,000
  • Salary
  • Full Time

Excellent Benefits

Job Description:

About SUMA

Southern Utah Museum of Art, on the campus of Southern Utah University, features the artwork of regional artists known for their landscapes, faculty and student artists from the SUU Department of Art & Design, as well as emerging and distinguished artists from around the country. Strengths of the nearly 2,000-object permanent collection include the body of work by Jimmie F. Jones that exemplifies his notable career in the region, as well as a robust collection of prints featuring well-known artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Salvador Dal, Katsushika Hokusai, Thomas Hart Benton, and others. Since 2019, a number of gifts and acquisitions have focused on photography such as Brett Weston, Gary Edward Adams, and a portfolio called DE | MARCATION: A Survey of Contemporary Photography in Utah. Named the best-designed museum in Utah by Architectural Digest, SUMA's building was designed by Brooks + Scarpa and inspired by the region's famed slot canyons.

General Summary:

Under the direction of the Executive Director, and as a member of the Senior Leadership Team, the Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs is responsible for adhering to best practices as they relate to collections management and temporary exhibitions. This 3-year contracted position will oversee the organization and research of the museum's permanent collection, which includes making recommendations to the Executive Director and the Advisory Board for future acquisitions. The Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs will also plan and implement rotating exhibitions through the permanent collection, private collections, or loans from museums, galleries, or artists. This position will manage the curatorial team, with special emphasis on mentorship of part-time employees and preparing the next generation of arts and museums professionals. Currently, the team includes four part-time employees (non-students and students).

The Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs is expected to maintain an appropriately high standard of professionalism directly and through subordinates, and will work collegially and cooperatively with other members of the Senior Leadership Team, professional staff, support staff, and others.

This 3-year contracted position may begin as early as September 1, 2021.

Duties and Responsibilities:


  1. Develop and implement a comprehensive, long-range collection plan

  2. Lead the effort to build the collection through gifts and financial support by networking with collectors

  3. Lead and work cross-departmentally to develop and implement a master plan for the presentation of the collection that speaks to SUU faculty and students while serving the needs of the local community

  4. Develop and oversee the scholarly content of publications for SUMA

  5. Work cross-departmentally to develop and produce the Museum's publications associated with the collection and the exhibitions


  1. Work with the Executive Director to set the direction and master calendar for exhibitions

  2. Serve as content expert for exhibitions, ensuring balance of schedule, scholarship, and value for audiences in the community

  3. Collaborate with the fundraising team to develop support for acquisitions, exhibitions, and collections management

  4. Develop and implement an exhibitions program strategy, and procedures for exhibition planning

  5. Oversee interpretation and scholarship for exhibitions and collections

Management & Mentorship

  1. Work with the senior leadership team to ensure commitment to and support of the museum's mission, vision, and values

  2. Manage the curatorial team, policies, procedures, and budgets

  3. Serve as mentor for graduate and undergraduate students working on the team, as well as staff helping with gallery rotations

  4. Work with the Collections Committee chair to set agendas, develop acquisition strategies, educate members, determine accessioning and de-accessioning of objects, and enlist support for the collection plan

  5. Collaborate with the Learning + Experiences team to develop and deliver docent and volunteer education

  6. Coordinate with the Assistant Director of Marketing & Communication to develop and ensure the accuracy of all art-related information delivered to the public

Education and Experience Requirements:

  • Master's degree is required; doctoral degree in Art History is preferred

  • Emphasis on American Art of the Southwest or Native American Art is highly desired

  • Museums Studies certificate is preferred

  • An interest in museum administration, strategic planning, mentorship, and building collaborative relationships is preferred

  • Demonstrated supervisory skills and experience

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; and the ability to communicate effectively in speaking to both individuals and groups is required

  • Proven organizational and interpersonal skills including the ability to work across departments and with colleagues, trustees, volunteers, and community leaders

  • Ability to maintain a positive, calm disposition in an ever-changing environment and during demanding times

  • Experience with collections management or exhibition planning in comparable institutions such as museums, galleries, other cultural institutions or other similar type institutions is preferred

Documents Needed to Apply:

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Statement on Creative or Scholarly Work
  4. Contact information for 3 professional references

Southern Utah University is committed to maintaining a community which recognizes and values the worth and dignity of every person; fosters tolerance, understanding, and mutual respect among its members; and encourages individual commitment to personal responsibilities in equal measure with personal rights. In pursuit of its goal of academic excellence, the University seeks to develop and nurture diversity. The University believes that diversity among its many members strengthens the institution, stimulates creativity, promotes the exchange of ideas, and enriches campus life.

Southern Utah University does not discriminate against any member of the University community on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, veteran status, pregnancy, pregnancy-related condition, genetic information, or other bases protected by applicable law in employment, treatment, admission, access to educational programs and activities, or other University benefits or services.

Southern Utah University
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