Department:                Curatorial Affairs

Reports To:                 Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs

Classification:             Full-Time, Exempt

Position Summary

The Lawrence S. Friedman Curator of Photography will work with the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs to research, acquire, and interpret the Museum’s rapidly expanding collection of photography, video, film, and related media, which currently includes approximately 15,000 works.  The Curator must be an accomplished professional with a record of publications, acquisitions, and exhibitions.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Curate displays and organize exhibitions within the Museum as well as touring exhibitions domestically and abroad.
  • Conduct research and writing on the collection for publication in catalogue essays, wall texts, labels, articles for the Museum’s magazine, Museum app, and website.
  • Refine the collection and make recommendations for acquisitions and deaccessions.  Comply with due diligence standards in accordance with American Alliance of Museums (AAM) guidelines.
  • Review requests for loans with the Deputy Director, Curatorial team, and advise the Curatorial Management Committee.
  • Research potential gifts to the Museum to ensure that the object fits with the collection, is in good condition and has a solid provenance.
  • Work in close collaboration with the Museum’s Education and Development teams to develop interpretative materials and programming and to secure funding.
  • Provide lectures and tours to staff, docents, press, and the public.
  • Liaise with support council(s) and Board committees and ensure that they are able to support the Museum program. 
  • Courier loans nationally and internationally and assist with condition reporting and installations as required; act as an Ambassador for the Museum.
  • Attend Museum events and collection visits out of hours as necessary.
  • Contribute to the scholarship of photographic arts; participate in national and international conferences and symposia.
  • Respond to queries concerning the collection.
  • The Curator will perform any other duties as may be required.


  • MA or Ph.D. in Art History or History of Photography.
  • Demonstrated expertise in history of Photography and New Media.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of photographic techniques and experience cataloguing photography.
  • Seven years’ experience in a curatorial role in a museum, or equivalent experience in the arts commercial sector or academia.
  • Record of publications.
  • Passion for the role of photography in the visual arts and for developing new audiences.
  • Experience with Collections databases.
  • Experience in donor cultivation.
  • Excellent written communication skills and public speaking.
  • Eagerness to work both independently and collaboratively in an innovative manner.
  • Proficiency in at least one foreign language related to field of study preferred.

Physical Demands

  • The position requires considerable time sitting, standing, and some climbing of stairs and reaching.
  • The position requires a substantial amount of time communicating by phone, email and in person.
  • Daily walking which includes stairs.

Work Environment

  • Noise level ranges from quiet to moderately noisy.
  • The position requires time working outside the Museum.
  • Some travel may be required.

Salary Range: $90,000 to $98,000 annually

DEADLINE: October 15, 2023

If interested, please submit cover letter, resume, and writing sample to or mail to The San Diego Museum of Art, Attention: Human Resources, PO Box 122107, San Diego, CA 92112.

The San Diego Museum of Art is committed to providing equal employment opportunity and will comply with all applicable federal, state, and local equal opportunity employment laws. The Museum prohibits discrimination against staff members or applicants on the basis of sex, race, religion, color, national origin, disability, protected medical condition, marital status, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, military or veteran status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.