Curator of History

Company Name: 

Oakland Museum of California


Apply Online
Oakland, CA 94607

Job Description: 

Oakland Museum of California

Req No 2016-1192
Category Curatorial
Type Regular Full-Time
Closing Date ..
Schedule ..
Targeted Job Start Date 2/15/2017


The Oakland Museum of California values are fundamental to our institutional culture and guide our work together.

Excellence: We are committed to excellence and working at the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.

Community: We believe everyone should feel welcome and part of our community, both within the Museum and with our visitors and neighbors.

Innovation: We embrace innovation and calculated risk-taking to achieve our mission.

Commitment: Our work at the Museum demonstrates a sense of purpose and a shared accountability for the institution's success.


The Curator of History researches and develops exhibitions and core gallery installations that meet the Museum's community engagement, social impact and business goals, and engages the diversity of Oakland residents; and oversees the research and development of the history collections.



The following reflects OMCA's definition of essential functions for this position, but does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned. OMCA may assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this position at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons.



  • Support the Museum's mission, values, vision, and core commitment to the visitor experience, community engagement, and institutional relevancy for the future
  • Contribute to and support the OMCA strategic plan, annual priorities, and institutional initiatives such as diversity advancement
  • Contribute to a positive organizational culture based on mutual respect, a spirit of collegiality, cooperation, and openness to many perspectives
  • Participate in a culture of ongoing learning, collaboration, innovation, creativity, and community engagement


Collections, Exhibition, and Program Development



  • Research and develop ideas for multi-disciplinary exhibitions, gallery installations and programs that meet OMCA's mission, community engagement and business goals, and leverage our collections and campus in new ways; serve as content lead as part of a core team that leads the collaborative development and implementation of exhibition and gallery projects; participate in audience research, and community consultation and co-creation as key elements of exhibition development
  • Work with a cross-functional team to oversee the care, upkeep and refreshment of core gallery collections and experiences; identify, scope and prioritize projects and resources for annual planning; develop innovative methods for meaningful and relevant community engagement and audience development through collections; participate in developing the vision for how the core galleries can drive audiences and create meaningful connections
  • Participate in the planning of touring exhibitions including, where feasible, modifying content and experience to better meet institutional goals and enhance the California experience for visitors
  • Support fundraising and Center activities by conducting original research, writing, and preparing and giving presentations
  • Work closely with the Collections Team to research and catalogue legacy and newly acquired collections and artifacts; monitor and update collection records in database to ensure accuracy and currency, develop collections policies and procedures, conduct collection surveys to prioritize work for grants and annual planning, attend to the Museum's policies, procedures, and professional standards regarding the acquisition, documentation, care, and presentation of collections
  • Using OMCA's Collection Plan, monitor sales and auctions for relevant material, develop and steward relationships with collectors and donors, collect objects and ephemera that related to significant current events in Oakland and the Bay Area, steward collection items and donor relations through the acquisition process
  • Conduct research and stay abreast of recent scholarship in California history to inform programs and collection development, track contemporary issues that affect our community
  • Develop, negotiate, and monitor professional services contracts
  • Train and supervise volunteers and interns




A combination of experience and education that demonstrates possession of the necessary knowledge and abilities for this position is required as noted:




  • Bachelors and Masters degree in relevant field required
  • Minimum 5 years of demonstrated experience originating and developing exhibitions with sound scholarship and broad community relevance and appeal
  • Demonstrated experience with collection development and research
  • Experience leading and supervising teams




  • Advanced knowledge of California history
  • Broad knowledge of current trends and issues in curatorship, exhibition development and community engagement
  • Basic understanding of fundraising techniques, grant application procedures, and funding sources
  • Superior communication and presentation skills
  • Understanding of Museum ethics and standards for collections management and conservation
  • English, fluent in both spoken and written form; a second language (particularly Spanish or Mandarin) desirable
  • Proficiency with MS Office suite; collection databases


While performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently exposed to the following:



  • Noise, such as groups of people working in enclosed areas
  • Typical office environment
  • Ability to lift up to 25 pounds


The Oakland Museum of California is a multicultural organization, committed to diversity and practicing equal opportunity employment in recruitment and hiring. Qualified candidates of diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply for open positions.

Apply Here