Supervisory Museum Curator (Art)

Washington, D.C
Nov 21, 2020
Nov 28, 2020
Full Time


This position is located in the Curatorial Office of the National Portrait Gallery (NPG), Smithsonian Institution (SI), Washington, DC. The NPG is devoted to the acquisition, research, exhibition, interpretation, and care of the portraits of men and women who have made significant contributions to American story and culture.

Learn more about this agency


  • Oversees all of the NPG acquisitions activity, via purchases, donations, and commissioned portraits.
  • Coordinates exhibitions development across NPG curators and guest curators.
  • Creates scholarly research of a high order making significant contributions to his or her field.
  • Supervises and manages all NPG curatorial departments plus conservation.

Travel Required

25% or less - Three times a year.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation
  • May need to complete a Probationary Period
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer
  • May be required to serve an 18-month probationary period for supervisors.

Qualification requirements, including one year time-in-grade at the next lower grade level for promotion candidates, must be met within 30 days of the job announcement closing date.

For information on qualification requirements, see Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at


You must meet these Basic Education Requirements:
  • Degree: museum work; or in an applicable subject-matter field.

  • or
  • Combination of education and experience -- courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

  • or
  • Four years of experience that provided knowledge comparable to that normally acquired through the successful completion of the 4-year course of study as shown in A above.

  • In addition to Basic Requirements above, you must have following :

    Experience: You qualify for this position if you have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the 14 grade level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system. For this position specialized experience is defined as leading a curatorial department in the development and care of museum collections, conducting and publishing research on American art, conceiving and developing large-scale exhibitions for a museum; and presenting public programs including gallery talks and lectures. .

    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). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.


    • Unofficial school transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) must be submitted with your application package by the closing dateof the vacancy announcement.
    • If you have foreign education, you must show proof by the closing dateof the vacancy announcement that education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign educational credentials. Transcripts and proof of the evaluations must be submitted within your application package as indicated under "Required Documents". Applicants may use the following websites OR to obtain these evaluations.

    Additional information

    Flexible Spending Accounts -
    Health Insurance -
    Leave -
    Life Insurance -
    Long Term Care Insurance -
    Retirement Program -

    How You Will Be Evaluated

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

    Your resume will be used to evaluate your experience, education, and/or training that address the competencies below:
    • Knowledge of American art and portraiture, and its non-American sources and influences.
    • Ability to project exhibition budgets with an understanding of financial, 1ogistical and personnel implications of curatorial decisions and commitments.
    • Knowledge of research methodology as evidenced by authorship of professional papers and scholarly publications, and by demonstrated experience in managing research programs.
    • Ability as an arts administrator in order to successfully manage staff; fiscal and human resources.

    Important Note:

    The review of your resume will determine your final rating and should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

    Trust determination process

    Required Documents

    Your application package should include the following documents:
    • Resume - Your resume can be uploaded and attached to your application or created using the USA Jobs on-line resume builder. If you want to receive full credit for relevant experience your resume MUST containthe job title (including the occupational series and grade if it is Federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours worked per week, and salary.

    USAJOBS has guidance on how to ensure that you submit a complete resume: If you have not written a Federal resume before, you may watch this Resume Writing Tutorial video on the USAJOBS YouTube channel , or read through a helpful Resume Writing FAQ article on the USAJOBS Help Site to learn what details you should, and should not, include in your resume. If any of the above information is not included in your resume we may not be able to fully credit you for your experience.
      • Proof of prior federal service such as the latest SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action
      • Unofficial school transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or if you are using education to qualify. If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment.
      • Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.
      • A recent performance evaluation

    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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