Museum Curator (Art)

Washington, D.C
Sep 09, 2019
Sep 14, 2019
Full Time


This position is located within the Office of The Deputy Director (DD), Curatorial Division, Department of Italian and Spanish Paintings (DCRS), which is responsible for the permanent collection of paintings of Italy and Spain before 1900 and of other countries belonging to Southern/Mediterranean Europe. The incumbent serves as head of the department.

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Exhibitions. The incumbent proposes, organizes, and coordinates major and minor exhibitions of pre-1900 Italian and Spanish paintings both from the Gallery's holdings and from other institutions and private collections. Ensures timely and accurate maintenance of The Museum System (TMS) database entries for exhibition objects in the online collection management system.

Collection Management. The Curator of Italian and Spanish Paintings is responsible for managing approximately 445 paintings from the 13 th through the 18 th centuries, including 335 from the Italian Renaissance period and 110 Italian and Spanish Baroque paintings in the permanent collection.

Collection Development. Expands and deepens the Gallery's collections through the acquisition of works of art of the highest quality and relevance to the Gallery's collecting policies. Initiates and pursues development strategies for the Italian and Spanish paintings collection. Cultivates close and cooperative long-term relationships with donors, collectors, scholars, and art dealers, to attract and secure single objects, collections, purchase funds, or other types of gifts to the National Gallery.

Research, Interpretation, and Programs. Performs and oversees advanced scholarly research on old master paintings of Italy and Spain and other countries belonging to Southern/Mediterranean Europe in the collection and on prospective acquisitions, or in other areas of special expertise, and for inclusion or examination in exhibitions, scholarly journals, Gallery publications, lectures, and symposia.

Administrative. Plans the future growth of the department, and defines its goals in areas of personnel, budget, equipment, acquisitions of works of art, and curatorial programs. Performs the full range of supervisory responsibilities for subordinates and contractors directly supervised,

Public Service and Collegiality. Provides accurate and informative responses to inquiries from outside scholars and the public concerning works in the collection or requests for expert opinions.

The incumbent is responsible for the permanent collection of Italian and Spanish paintings from the 13th through 18th centuries. Keeps abreast of bibliography, exhibitions, collecting, publishing, and other developments in the field of Italian and Spanish painting and in relevant research areas. The incumbent is a scholar of considerable prestige and authority within the field of the history of art, specifically Italian and Spanish paintings before 1900.

This responsibility involves development of budgets, decisions on the allocation of space, time, manpower, and other resources, approval of initial plans and final concepts and designs for major exhibitions and related publications, and responsibility for project content, scope, cost effectiveness, timeliness, and public and scholarly reception.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - 25% or less

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a United States Citizen.
  • Subject to a background/suitability investigation.
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Time-in-Grade must be met by closing date of announcement.

Your resume serves as the basis for qualification determinations and must highlight your most relevant and significant work experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to this job opportunity. Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Your resume must include the dates of all qualifying experience (from month/year to month/year) and the number of hours worked/volunteered per week.

Physical Requirements: The work is primarily sedentary, the incumbent may frequently walk to other offices in the East and West Buildings.

The National Gallery of Art provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.


Applicants must have a minimum of one year of specialized experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility comparable to the next lower grade or comparable pay band in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private sector.

Specialized Experience Statement:

For this position, specialized experience is at least five years of curatorial experience, equivalent in responsibility to the GS-13 level in the Federal service, developing old master European paintings collections, and organizing major art exhibitions in a museum or other cultural institution.

For this position, specialized experience is at least five years of curatorial experience, equivalent in responsibility to the GS-14 level in the Federal service, developing old master European paintings collections, and organizing major art exhibitions in a museum or other cultural institution.

Other Relevant Eligibility Criteria : Must be available for periodic weekend duty. Must be available for U.S. and European travel, up to 7 days per trip (10% time). Must have: (a) earned a Master's degree in the history of European art before 1900, or (b) completed six years of experience that provided knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of an advanced art history degree. Must possess expert knowledge of Italian and Spanish paintings from their origins through the 18 th century. Must have advanced speaking and reading ability in Italian and advanced reading ability in at least two of the following languages: German, French, and Spanish.

Candidates must reflect in their submitted USAJOBS resume the possession of this specialized experience. If their resume does not include such specialized experience, they will be ineligible for this position. those applicants who meet the minimum qualification requirements will be evaluated against these factors to determine the best-qualified candidates. Candidates should ensure their resume and submitted materials clearly demonstrate possession of these factors to receive maximum employment consideration.

Knowledge of the field and art market, including sources and values, acute discrimination about individual works of art (connoisseurship), and effective interpersonal style.

Knowledge of old master paintings collections, care, framing, and documentation, and experience and diligence in art management.

Skill in organizing exhibitions, from small focus projects to major international loan shows, producing associated materials, and developing associated programs.

Knowledge of art history and art historical research. Ability to write and develop interpretative art programs for all audience levels.

Skill in art museum program administration, management, and supervision.

Ability to maintain the efficiency, significant contribution, and high reputation of the department both within the Gallery and in the field of European old master paintings.

Ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with others.

Time-in-Grade: Current Federal employees must meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement to receive consideration under merit promotion procedures.

CTAP/ICTAP candidates: To be considered "well qualified" you must meet all of the requirements as described in this section.

You must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of this announcement.


EDUCATION: Are you using education to qualify?

This position has a positive education requirement, you may submit copies of your transcripts or a course listing. You must provide documentation supporting your education claims.

Education must be obtained from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Foreign education must be reviewed by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For special instructions pertaining to foreign education and a list of organizations that can evaluate foreign education, see the Department of Education website .

Additional information

  • The National Gallery of Art fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

    • More than one selection may be made from this vacancy announcement.

    • Some positions may require completion of a probationary period of up to 1 (one) year.


    • All males born after December 31st 1959 must abide by laws regarding Selective Service registration. To learn more about this law, visit the Selective Service web page, Who Must Register . If you are not registered and don't have an approved exemption, you will not be eligible for employment with the Federal government.

    EEO Policy:

    Reasonable Accommodation Policy:

    Veterans Information:

    Selective Service Registration:

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

The National Gallery of Art uses an application tracking system to evaluate the responses you provide in the applicant assessment questionnaire to determine if you meet the minimum qualification requirements of this position. Then, the HR Office and/or Subject Matter Expert (SME) will conduct a quality review of your application and supporting documentation to determine if your qualifications meet the criteria for referral to the selecting official.

We will also verify whether you are eligible for merit promotion by reviewing your previous Federal employment to ensure you meet Time-in-Grade requirements. If you are eligible to apply to Merit Promotion announcements based on Veteran or other non-competitive statuses, we will verify your supporting documentation prior to referral.

If your resume is incomplete or does not support the responses you provided in your online questionnaire, or if you fail to submit all required documentation before the vacancy closes, you may be rated 'ineligible', 'not qualified', or your evaluation rating may be adjusted accordingly.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

Please carefully review the following list to determine what documentation you need to submit.

Some documents may not apply to all applicants. If you are unsure, click the link for each document type to read more.

ALL APPLICANTS: You must submit a resume supporting your specialized experience and responses to the online questionnaire.
  • Your resume should list all work experience (paid and unpaid); you should list the full name and address of the each employer.
  • Your experience listing should show the start and end dates (include month, day, and year); you must also list the average number of hours per week that you worked.
  • Your resume should also include any education and training you have completed (list the program title, subject area, number of hours completed, and completion date).
  • For more information about what to include in your resume, please view this USAJOBS Resume Tutorial video on YouTube.
  • It is important that your resume is complete and thorough. If any of the above information is not included in your resume, we may not be able to fully credit you for your experience.

If specific educational requirements are indicated for this vacancy: Documentation verifying your educational claims which can include unofficial transcripts or any report listing institution, course title, credits earned and final grade. Please see the Education section for more information.

Current and former Federal employees: Most recent SF-50 (Standard Form 50 - Notice of Personnel Action).

To properly verify status eligibility, your SF-50 must show the following. If you do not submit an appropriate SF-50, we cannot verify your status eligibility!
  • Full position title;
  • appointment type;
  • occupational series;
  • pay plan, grade, and step;
  • tenure code; and
  • service computation date (SCD).

  • Displaced Federal employees: To be considered CTAP/ICTAP eligible, you must submit documentation verifying your involuntary separation and CTAP/ICTAP status. Please see the OPM Guide to Career Transition for more information.

    Veterans: Veteran eligibility documentation (DD-214, VA Letter, Standard Form (SF) 15 as applicable). Please note: If you are a veteran who has not yet been discharged, you may provide a statement of intent to discharge from your agency which will allow you to apply under the (Veterans Opportunity to Work) VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 .

    Persons with Disabilities: Individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities may apply for appointment through the Schedule A hiring authority. Certified verification of a disability from a licensed medical professional; a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist; or any Federal, state, or District of Columbia agency or U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits is required.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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