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The J. Paul Getty Museum invites applications to the position of Senior Curator, Photographs. The Senior Curator oversees the Museum’s renowned collection of nearly 150,000 photographs representing the history of the medium from its inception to the present day. With particularly strong holdings  in early European and American photography, the collection has become  increasingly international in scope, with significant holdings of work from Asia, Africa, and South America, and actively collects 20th and 21st century photographs. The Senior Curator oversees  the Center for Photographs, with 7,000 square feet of dedicated gallery space at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, directs a vibrant staff  and spearheads a dynamic program of acquisitions, exhibitions , and research projects.

Working with curatorial colleagues and the senior staff to further the mission of the Museum, the ideal candidate will be a bold and strategic thinker, possess a broad knowledge of the history of photography (particularly European and American), and demonstrate a keen eye for photographs of artistic quality and significance.

The successful applicant will have a Ph.D. in art history, at least ten years of successful curatorial practice, experience with and knowledge of the photography market, an international network of professional relationships, excellent verbal and written skills, and sound management ability. The Senior Curator will also have a desire and ability to work effectively within a highly collaborative environment.

Major Job Responsibilities

  • Follows the photography market closely and proposes acquisitions on a regular basis
  • Works with Exhibition team to develop exhibitions, including major loan exhibitions and rotating displays from the collection; publishes the collection in both print and on-line platforms; and develops associated scholarly and public programs
  • Supervises the daily work of the curatorial department, including all exhibitions, research, and publications; oversees collection care and management (including an active outgoing loan program), performance reviews, and staff development
  • Works closely with senior management and the development office to cultivate donors to the collection and sponsors for exhibitions and associated programming; acts as the principal liaison with the Photographs Council, the department’s support group
  • Works with conservators to ensure the care of the collection to the highest professional standards
  • Works with Education, Publications, Communications, and other departments to ensure the public accessibility of the collections within the Museum, in print, and on-line
  • Collaborates with colleagues in the three other programs of the Getty Trust (Research Institute, Conservation Institute, and Foundation)
  • Administers the departmental budget


  • Master’s degree in art history, art or art education OR 10+ yrs of curatorial experience OR Ph.D.
  • Fluency in at least one foreign language (modern or ancient) required
  • Highest level technical contributor in specialized curatorial functions

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Master’s degree in art history; Ph.D. preferred
  • 10+years curatorial or equivalent management experience preferred
  • Reading and conversational skills in one or more foreign languages
  • Recognized ability to build long-term relationships, collaborate and direct teams across disciplines
  • Competent with collection management and digital asset management tools
  • Accomplished in art historical research and writing
  • Proven ability to communicate and distill information for a specialized audience or the general public
  • Ability to adapt written material for a variety of audiences online or in print

For more information and to apply, please visit:

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