DEPARTMENT: Curatorial Affairs and Education
REPORTS TO: Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Education
TITLE: Associate Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art



The Associate Curator will work with the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs to research, acquire, and interpret the Museum’s collection of South Asian, Southeast Asian and Islamic art, comprising approximately 2,000 works of art in various media, including the renowned Binney Collection of Indian paintings.



  • Conducting research and writing on the collection that will result in publication in a variety of formats including the Museum app and website. He/she will write and proofread catalog essays, wall texts, labels, and contribute to the Museum’s magazine.
  • Refining the collection and making recommendations for acquisitions and deaccessions
  • Curating displays and assisting with the installation of the collection in the galleries; curating and organizing the planning of exhibitions for the Museum and for touring domestically and abroad.
  • Reviewing and researching requests for loans from the collection and advising the Deputy Director and Curatorial Committee accordingly in collaboration with the Registrars
  • Reviewing and researching potential gifts to the Museum to ensure that the object fits with the collection, is in good condition and has a solid provenance. He/she will comply with due diligence standards in accordance with AAM (American Alliance of Museums) guidelines.
  • Assessing related collections for research.
  • Responding to queries concerning the collection.
  • The Associate Curator works in close collaboration with the Museum’s Education, Membership and Development teams in order to develop opportunities for interpretative materials and programming about the collection and to secure funding for those projects.
  • He/she will work well independently as well as collaborate effectively with the Deputy Director, Curatorial Administrator, Installation teams, Registrars, Designers, Librarian and all other staff and docents of the Museum as well as with representatives of other Museums and external collections.
  • He/she will provide lectures and tours to staff, docents, Museum members and the public.
  • He/she will be a good public speaker and communicate effectively with the press.
  • He/she will be the liaison for the relevant support councils and attend their meetings and functions as appropriate, and ensure that the support councils are aware of and able to support the Museum program.
  • The Associate Curator will attend Museum events and collection visits out of hours as necessary and be an effective liaison for Museum donors, as well as an Ambassador for the Museum when travelling.
  • Contribute to scholarship; regularly publish within their field of expertise; participate in national and international conferences and symposia.
  • He/she will accompany works of art as needed for couriering loans and assist with condition reporting and installations as required.
  • He/she will supervise Museum interns and work experience assistants as may be required.
  • The Associate Curator must be an accomplished professional in the field of South Asian, South East Asian and/or Islamic art, with a record of distinguished scholarship, publications, acquisitions, and exhibitions.
  • He/she will ensure that exhibition and publication deadlines are met and that their work is effectively prioritized, dealt with in a calm manner and delivered to a professional standard at all times.
  • The Associate Curator will perform any other duties as may be required.



  • Ph.D. in Art History preferred.
  • Demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following areas: South Asian, particularly Indian Art, Southeast Asian and Islamic Art.
  • 5 years’ experience in a curatorial role in a museum, or equivalent experience in the arts commercial sector or academia.
  • Record of publications, fellowships, and public speaking.
  • Passion for the role of visual arts and for developing new audiences.
  • Experience with Collections databases such as EmbArk, TMS, Argus, etc.
  • Experience in donor cultivation.
  • Excellent communications skills.
  • Eagerness to work collaboratively and in an innovative manner.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Asian and Persian languages, history and literature.
  • Proficiency in at least one foreign language related to field of study.



  • The job requires time working outside the Museum and requires considerable time sitting or standing.
  • The position requires a considerable amount of time communicating by phone, email and in person. The job requires some climbing of stairs and reaching.
  • Some travel will be required.



  • Working indoors in office environment in a climate-controlled environment with light background noise.


If interested, please submit cover letter, resume to:  or submit to The San Diego Museum of Art, Human Resources, P.O. Box 122107, San Diego, CA  92112.

The San Diego Museum of Art is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in the hiring of personnel on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, age, Vietnam Era Veteran or disabled veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, disability or any other protected status as provided by law.