Associate Curator, History

Company Name: 

Oakland Museum of California


1000 Oak Street, Oakland CA 94607
Oakland, CA 94607

Contact Name: 

Human Resources




Job Description: 

Oakland Museum of California

Req No 2021-1392
Category Curatorial
Type Regular Full-Time
Closing Date
Targeted Job Start Date


The Associate Curator of History collaborates with curators and across the organization to research and develop multidisciplinary exhibitions that meet the Museum's community engagement, social impact and business goals, and further OMCA's commitment to equity and anti-racism; engage the diversity of Oakland residents; and research and develop the history collections. The Associate Curator engages multiple communities in dynamic conversations and explorations of traditional and contemporary California history.



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.
  • All positions will have core functional responsibilities, cross functional team activation and learning and development as a core function of each role.


  • Research and develop ideas for multi-disciplinary exhibitions, gallery installations and programs that meet OMCA's mission, community engagement, social impact, and business goals, and leverage our collections and campus in new ways; provide content expertise 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 within a cross-functional team to oversee the care, upkeep and refreshment of core gallery collections and experiences; identify and scope 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, develop and steward relationships with community members and organizations, collectors, and donors; collect objects and ephemera that relate to 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.



  • Ability to display and encourage visitor and internal customer service, take and share responsibility and treat others with respect.
  • Bachelors and Masters degree in relevant field or related experience required.
  • Minimum 2 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 taking a leadership role in project teams.
  • Advanced knowledge of California history.
  • Broad knowledge of current trends and issues in curatorship, exhibition development and community engagement.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The environment may include:

  • Museum environment involves both indoor and outdoor working conditions.
  • Ability to travel between OMCA locations, and other travel as required by position responsibilities.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends.
  • Engage with diverse visitor populations for extended periods of time in the galleries or throughout the campus.


The Oakland Museum of California is dedicated to diversity, inclusion, accessibility and equity. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ability/disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We highly encourage our diverse community to apply for available employment, internship, fellowship and volunteer positions at the Museum, as we aim to ensure our staff reflects the diversity of our visitors and surrounding community. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, OMCA will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities.


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