Portland Museum of Art seeks Assistant/Associate Curator of Photography

Assistant/Associate Curator of Photography

Just as the PMA is committed to acquiring and exhibiting artworks by a diverse range of artists and offering programming that features a wide array of perspectives and collaborators, we also firmly believe that diversity of experience and backgrounds leads to a stronger institution—one that is better equipped to serve all of Maine’s communities and thousands of visitors from throughout the world.

If you’re looking for a work environment where this range of backgrounds is prioritized, where participation and communication is encouraged, where important discussions happen, and where creativity is a part of everyday life, then we strongly encourage you to consider joining our team.

Under the direction of the Chief Curator, the Assistant/Associate Curator of Photography will be a key member of the Portland Museum of Art’s (PMA) Curatorial team, working closely with colleagues to conduct research, plan installations, organize exhibition projects, develop interpretive materials, recommend acquisitions, and to advance the PMA’s mission.

  • Conceives and develops exhibitions and gallery installations that will enhance the public’s understanding of photography and the PMA’s collections. Provides interpretive theme development, selects objects, evaluates external proposals, prepares written support materials including labels, catalogs, and installation plans.

  • Researches and interprets works in PMA’s holdings of photography and makes recommendations for acquisitions to further develop the collection in this area.

  • Serves as an integral resource to internal and external constituencies on matters of scholarship related to photography. Fosters relationships with collectors locally and nationally, actively soliciting their help in enhancing the collection and communicates and maintains positive relationships with dealers.

  • Works across PMA departments to coordinate logistics for exhibitions and publications, including contracts, loan agreements, rights and reproductions, packing and shipping, design and installation, editing, publications, publicity and fundraising, and other details.

  • Collaborates with internal and external curators, Learning and Community Collaboration staff, and designers in the creation of program content, and with External Affairs staff to expand audiences and support for the PMA collection and programs.

  • Collaborates with fundraising staff to identify appropriate funding opportunities, cultivate potential individual prospects, formulate strategies, and assist with grant applications, to build and steward the PMA’s strong donor base, and to lead initiatives to secure financial resources for programs. Works closely with affinity groups, advises on programs, and participates in their activities.

  • Provides gallery talks, lectures, and other presentations for various audiences including the general public, PMA membership, PMA affinity groups, and the scholarly community on topics relating to the PMA’s collections and programs. Participates in Board committee meetings as assigned, particularly the Collection Committee.

  • Supports and leads programmatic initiatives related to the PMA’s multifaceted Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusivity (DEAI) initiatives, which are designed to promote inclusiveness, prevent discrimination, and create an organization that challenges and changes practices that present barriers.

  • Champions the PMA’s strategic initiatives and vision, providing enthusiastic leadership that strengthens the PMA and supports positive workplace culture.

  • Fosters relationships with members of the public including scholars, critics, community groups, and other relevant audiences in encouraging interest in the PMA, its collections, and its mission.

  • Participates in regional and national professional communities and organizations in order to enhance the general and scholarly understanding of the PMA, its collections, and its mission.

  • Performs special projects and other related duties as required, directed, or as the situation dictates.

  • Complies with all PMA safety rules and procedures.


May supervise occasional interns as directed, including interviewing and selection, training and development, scheduling, and evaluating performance.


M.A. or Ph.D. in Art History or a related field (American Studies, Anthropology, History, Museum Studies, etc.) required with at least 3 years of museum, gallery, or related professional experience.

  • Strong art historical knowledge and research skills demonstrated through scholarly accomplishments in photography. Scholarly knowledge of another field related to the PMA’s collection is also desirable.

  • Exemplary writing skills, compelling public speaking presence, and excellent oral communication skills.

  • Ability to communicate effectively and to establish, maintain, and foster positive and harmonious working relationships with a variety of individuals contacted in the course of work.

  • Willingness and capacity to represent the PMA in a variety of contexts, including travel (up to 25% travel required).

  • Demonstrated experience in exhibition development, publication development, and collection care.

  • Knowledge of and commitment to professional museum standards.

  • Excellent problem solving, planning, and organizational skills, with the ability to execute multiple projects and responsibilities simultaneously in a fast-paced, collaborative environment.

  • Ability to adhere to PMA brand charter and style guide and ability to communicate effectively with constituents in writing, in-person, and over the phone.

  • Interest in and working knowledge of museum technologies, including in-gallery technological innovations and collection management software.

  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion.

  • Ability to operate computers and work with databases and assigned software, including Microsoft Office.

  • Ability to pass a criminal background check.


Regular attendance at the workplace is required.

The majority of work is performed in a normal office environment not subject to extremes of noise, temperature, odor, etc. Operate computer, printer, photocopier, typewriter, fax machine, laminating machine, and other office equipment. Work involves extended sitting and computer use. Evening and weekend work required including at events. Some local, regional, national, and international travel may be required.


Please email cover letter and résumé to careers@portlandmuseum.org. In lieu of a résumé, please upload a completed PMA Employment application (available at this link).


The PMA is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity at our museum. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, veteran status, status as a whistleblower, marital status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.