CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Assistant Curator of Prints, Drawings & Photographs

Fine Art Museums of San Francisco

San Francisco, USA
Full time
Posted on
24 January 2024
Salary Range: $68,000.00 To 75,000.00 Annually

Under the supervision of the Curator in Charge, the Assistant Curator provides support to the curatorial staff for the day-to-day operation of the Prints and Drawings Department, known as the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts. This position contributes to the care and interpretation of the collection of more than 90,000 works on paper. This position works effectively and collegially with a broad range of staff, donors, trustees, curatorial support group members, and the general public. A strong customer service orientation and the ability to achieve and sustain best curatorial practices are essential.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Permanent Collection: Manages rotations for the permanent collection galleries in consultation with senior staff. Works with conservators and other staff to ensure the conservation and care of the Achenbach collection. Keeps informed of current activity in the areas of departmental interest through museum and gallery visits and publications, and conveys observations and information to department colleagues.
  1. Research: Researches and catalogues the collection and related archives; answers related inquiries from the public and scholars, making the collection accessible to diverse audiences. Performs research for exhibitions including research on artists, periods, styles, and specific works.
  1. Documentation: Works closely with the Registration department to ensure proper documentation of the collection. Assigns and expedites work / technician / photo services requests as required to ensure the appropriate care and maintenance of the collection in gallery and storage areas.
  1. Exhibitions: Assists with and/or executes loan exhibitions and installations based on the permanent holdings in the exhibition spaces at the de Young (Gallery 17 and Herbst Gallery) and the Legion of Honor (Gallery 22, Logan Gallery, and Rosekrans Galleries). Proposes and assists the development of exhibition concepts and of new and engaging ways of displaying the permanent collection and the new acquisitions.
  1. Publications: Assists with and/or executes the preparation of catalogues, checklists, wall and gallery labels, and other exhibition graphics. Participates in and contributes to social media promotions related to collection awareness.
  1. Outside Requests: Corresponds with scholars or members of the public regarding objects in the collection. Coordinates appointments for the Roberts Seminar Room and hosts classes/groups as necessary.
  1. Supervision: Manages activities of volunteers and interns, as necessary.
  1. External Relationships: Builds and maintains departmental relationships with critics, dealers, museum colleagues, institutions of higher learning, and collectors. This also involves patron and collector development. Presents lectures and docent talks, and conducts tours of the collection and temporary exhibitions for donors, trustees, and the general public as the need arises. Represents FAMSF at public and private functions that further the FAMSF mission and institutional objectives.
  1. Fundraising: In keeping with Museums-wide curatorial practice, supports the fundraising and public relations efforts of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts in correspondence with the Museums and its Development department. Actively participates in meetings and programs, including fundraising programs, of the Achenbach Graphic Arts Council and its board.
  1. Administrative: Prepares documentation for meetings of the Acquisitions Committee of the Board of Trustees. Helps with the implementation of department policies and procedures, educational programs for the public, and storage management procedures. Collaborates on budget preparation. Prepares documents, manages departmental files including exhibition and object files, and manages database records.
  1. Courier: Subject to the approval of the Curator in Charge and Director of Curatorial Affairs, serves as FAMSF courier for loaned works of art from the collection.

Minimum Qualifications:

Education and Training:  Bachelor’s Degree in Art History or related field; Master’s Degree in art history preferred.

Work Experience:

  • Specialized knowledge in the history and techniques of the graphic arts, including photography, is required
  • Two years of curatorial experience or similar (such as curatorial fellowships)

Skills and Abilities:

  • Familiarity with museum collections software (TMS) preferred
  • Art handling skills
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Adherence to deadlines
  • Strong follow through
  • Flexibility in meeting shifting demands and priorities
  • Ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects in a highly demanding and fast paced work environment
  • A high level of initiative and energy
  • Strong interpersonal and organizational skills
  • A desire to function in a team and customer service oriented environment
  • Ability to achieve cross-functional teamwork
  • Ability to achieve and sustain best curatorial practices

Working Conditions:  

Physical Requirements: Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer.

Environmental Factors: Close office setting.

The benefits package includes medical, dental, vision and 401(k), and paid time off.

This position is eligible for a hybrid work schedule. Hybrid schedules typically include at least 3 days a week onsite and up to two days per week working remotely.

The annual salary range for this position is $68,000-75,000. The final offer amount within this range will be based on experience and internal equity.

If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact

We recommend all new COFAM employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 but it is not a requirement. Please contact with any questions.


COFAM is the Corporation of Fine Arts Museums and is the privately funded non-profit corporation which supports the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, a department of the City and County of San Francisco.

COFAM is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in all phases of employment in accordance with all federal, state, and local laws. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

Comprising the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, we are the largest public arts institution in the City of San Francisco and one of the largest art museums in the United States. The de Young, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and located in Golden Gate Park, showcases American art from the 17th through the 21st centuries, international contemporary art, textiles and costumes, and art from the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa. The Legion of Honor displays a collection of over 4,000 years of ancient and European art including Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker and houses the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts in a Beaux-Arts style building overlooking Lincoln Park and the Golden Gate Bridge.

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