Assistant Curator- Monhegan Museum of Art & History

17 Nov 2023 7:21 AM | Anonymous member
About the Museum: Today and Tomorrow

Located in the historic Monhegan Island Light Station ten miles off Midcoast Maine, the Monhegan Museum of Art & History is a leading cultural destination with a mission to educate, inspire, and preserve the arts, environment, culture, and history of Monhegan Island. Our vision for the museum is to be an enduring tribute to the power of place to foster community and artistic creativity. We aim to be a source of information and engagement for the residents of the island as well as people beyond the surrounding waters. 

Museum collections and exhibitions detail the natural history of the island and the story of human occupation stretching back over 5000 years. Areas of focus include: use of the island by Indigenous people, European exploration, lighthouse history, fishing activities, the rise of tourism, domestic arts, social life, and notably, the island as a destination for artists. For over 155 years, artists including George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, Robert Henri, William Trost Richards, Edward Redfield, Louise Nevelson, Lynne Drexler, James Fitzgerald, Jamie Wyeth, and hundreds more have been drawn to Monhegan’s shores. This rich artistic legacy provides extensive opportunities for research, exhibitions, and publications.

The Board of Trustees recently completed a strategic plan for the museum. This plan provides a roadmap for the institution's development and growth over the next three years and aims to fortify the museum's role as a steward of Monhegan’s rich historical and artistic heritage, strengthen community engagement, enhance visitor experiences, and ensure long-term sustainability.

With a 55-year history as collector, curator and exhibitor of the island’s treasures, and a solid financial base, this is an exciting time at the Monhegan Museum of Art & History. We are conducting a search to find a member of the curatorial team who will help us navigate this next stage of organizational growth and impact – and support the long-term viability and sustainability of the institution. 

About the Island:

Monhegan is a small rocky island with an area of approximately one square mile. Home to five dozen year-round residents, the population swells tenfold in the summer months with visitors drawn by the renowned art, culture, and natural beauty. Transit on Monhegan is primarily by foot, with two miles of unpaved roads and an additional nine miles of trails in the undeveloped Wildlands which make up the majority of the island. Daily passenger ferry service runs from May to October (excepting Sundays in early May and late October) and only two or three times per week in the winter months. For more information about the island visit:

Job Description: 

The Assistant Curator will be responsible for working with the director and guest curators to organize, install, and promote – through catalogue preparation, advertising, and educational programming – annual exhibitions and permanent exhibits. This will involve arranging  loans, incoming and outgoing transportation for artwork and objects, drafting exhibition labels, and coordinating exhibition catalogues. Growth opportunities exist for this team member to expand their role to include conceiving and developing exhibitions and accompanying catalogue essays.

This individual will be responsible for developing educational programming on Lighthouse Hill in the Assistant Keeper’s House Gallery and the Light Keeper’s House, as well as at the Rockwell Kent - James Fitzgerald House and Studio on Horn’s Hill.

The Assistant Curator will work closely with the Director, and the Collections, Programs, and Fitzgerald Legacy Committees of the Board of Trustees to determine exhibition priorities, schedule, gaps in the collection, and partnership opportunities with other art and history institutions to amplify the reach of the Monhegan story and collection and promote the work and scholarship of the museum.

As the next most senior staff person to the Director, the Assistant Curator will also serve as the deputy in the director’s absence. At a minimum, the Assistant Curator needs to reside on Monhegan Island from May 15 to October 31 each year. The museum is open to the public daily from late June until the end of September. Seasonal housing on Monhegan will be provided if needed.

Job Responsibilities: 

  • Participate in the organization and installation of annual, permanent, and online exhibitions, research artists and island history, accession gifts, facilitate framing, conservation, and gallery preparation, arrange incoming and outgoing loans, and write and administer grants.

  • Create interpretive and educational programming related to museum holdings and exhibitions.

  • Make the museum’s archives available to the Monhegan community, researchers, and visitors and work with people interested in learning more about their connection to the island. 

  • Assist with the opening and closing tasks in the spring and fall, which include maintaining and updating exhibits, bringing the art collection to and from storage, and rotating the artwork each year to balance displaying as much of the collection as possible with the need to store works regularly for preservation purposes.

  • Help organize and promote friend-raising, community-building, and fund-raising events.

  • Help recruit, coordinate, and oversee volunteer greeters in our galleries during the season and any associates or docents engaged for specific facilities.

  • Supervise interns who assist with exhibitions, our collections, and other special projects.

  • Weekend and periodic evening work required. Occasional travel to off-island storage or other art institutions, primarily in Maine and New England. 

Desired Qualifications: 

  • Experience with exhibition planning, researching, writing, installation, and promotion, preferably in a not-for-profit museum, cultural or educational setting. A master’s degree in the arts is desirable, but not required.

  • Excellent oral and written communications and people skills.

  • Knowledge of and experience with artistic and historic site interpretation or similar educational outreach. 

  • Curiosity about Monhegan Island and its place in Maine history as well as art history.

  • Ability to work collaboratively with staff, board, committees, volunteers, and partners in planning and implementation of exhibitions. 

  • Commitment to scholarship, historical accuracy, and attention to detail in all work. 

  • An energetic self-starter and consummate team-player as the museum has a small staff that needs to rely on each other and dedicated volunteers to accomplish its mission.

  • Fully competent use of Microsoft Office Suite and Zoom. Fluency with Filemaker Pro or other CMS and Adobe Creative Cloud a plus. 

Equal Opportunity Employer: Monhegan Museum is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, handicap, age, disability, national origin, ancestry, place of birth, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

Benefits: include a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) allowance, and a retirement contribution. Small house with studio and loft bedroom included [if required]. 

Title: Assistant Curator

Reports to: Director

Location: Monhegan Island, Maine

Hours: Full-time, 35hours per week 24 weeks (May 16-Oct 31)

Part-time (500 hours total) (Nov 1-May 15)

Total of 1340 hours per year, winter hours may be remote.

Salary: Projected at $40,000 annually ($30/hour); commensurate with experience. 

Seasonal on-island housing provided [if needed]

Application review begins: January 5, 2024

Send resume and cover letter to: Jennifer Pye, Director, 

or 1 Lighthouse Hill, Monhegan, ME 04852

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