Assistant Curator

Washington, D.C
Oct 07, 2022
Oct 11, 2022
Full Time

Work includes providing scholarly art and historical research, writing, and editorial expertise about works of art and historical objects in the U.S. Senate Collection (the Collection); implementing long-range plans and promoting educational outreach priorities; responding to requests by Senate staff and the public about historical objects and historic spaces; and contributing content to the Senate's website, In addition, the Assistant Curator oversees management of tangible gifts deposited with the Secretary of the Senate in compliance with the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (5 U.S.C. § 7342).

Work is bound by the Commission; Secretary of the Senate policies and procedures; Senate procurement regulations; federal appropriations law; the U.S. Senate Handbook ; the Senate Ethics Manual ; the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration; the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act; and standards established by the American Alliance of Museums, but requires independent judgment in setting priorities and handling assignments.


Conduct short- and long-term research projects, write content, and contribute to the production of brochures, catalogues, exhibits, and online content about art, historical objects, and historic spaces. Serve as member of Web content team that designs, updates, and maintains content on Provide editorial review, as necessary, of correspondence and educational material produced by the office. Advise on potential acquisitions to the Collection.

Educate and collaborate with Senate, public, and professional communities by presenting briefings, lectures, and tours interpretive of the Senate's art and history. Promote educational goals and initiatives that comply with the Commission's legislative directive to make known all works of art, historical objects, and exhibits within the Senate wing of the Capitol and the Senate Office Buildings (2 U.S.C. §2102).

Administer the rights and reproductions program for images in the Collection; determine legitimacy of use; consult with the Secretary's General Counsel concerning laws governing copyright and public domain; and work with the Curator's Executive Assistant in handling requests as necessary.

Administer the receipt, care, and disposition of foreign gifts under the terms of the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act (5 U.S.C. § 7342); research inquiries and respond to Senate offices regarding policy and implementation of the act; develop and implement procedures for the disposition of foreign gifts; consult with the Secretary's General Counsel and Senate Ethics Committee as needed; and support the Registrar with the annual inventory of foreign gifts.

Support the annual inventory of the ceremonial china service administered by the Commission and occasionally used during diplomatic functions.

Manage unveiling ceremonies sponsored by the Commission.

Support the Secretary of the Senate's requirement to maintain and annually submit a viable Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan for the Office of Senate Curator; maintain current knowledge of the Curator Office's Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and COOP plan; and participate in periodic exercises and drills.

As part of the Secretary's customer service initiative (known as R.A.T.E.), provide all customers with the highest level of customer service.


Conditions of Employment

Work is performed in an office environment with exposure to everyday risks and discomforts, and requires the use of normal safety precautions. Work requires frequent walking, standing, bending, and carrying items up to 25 pounds, as well as regular use of typical office equipment, software programs, and methods of communication such as a computer, email, telephone, and photocopier.

Regular, predictable, and punctual attendance is required for performance of duties. Work also requires physical presence in the office, except as otherwise required by the Office of the Secretary of the Senate.


Work requires a master's degree in art or American history, museum studies, or a related field, with five to eight years of professional museum experience, and the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:

Knowledge of American art and material culture with special emphasis on 19th- and 20th-century fine and decorative arts.

Basic knowledge of the Senate as an institution preferred, with a desire and willingness to learn more about the legislative process, as well as the history and operation of the Senate.

Demonstrated knowledge of the needs, methods, and techniques of scholarly art and historical research, including knowledge of print and electronic sources.

Skill in writing articles, essays, or research papers for both general and specialized audiences.

Knowledge of current collections management practices and principles, including, but not limited to, inventory, copyright, and intellectual property.

Familiarity with graphic design, desktop publishing, and digital-imaging applications.

Ability to work collaboratively with curators, editors, historians, webmasters and developers, Senate staff from other offices, and outside organizations and institutions.

Ability to deal with others using tact and diplomacy.

Ability to safely handle and examine art objects.

Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.


Work requires a master's degree in art or American history, museum studies, or a related field, with five to eight years of professional museum experience.