Associate Curator of Maximus Gallery

Santa Barbara
Full Time
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

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Title: Associate Curator of Maximus Gallery

Classification: Full-time, Exempt

Department: Maximus Gallery

Reports To: Department Head and Curator of Maximus Gallery

Wage Band: Curator

Pay Range: $67,725 to $70,350*

Created: March 13, 2001

Revised: March 2024


Mission: The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History inspires a thirst for discovery and a passion for the natural world.


Position Summary: Participate in curation of a collection of 4,000 antique prints and works on paper in the subject of natural history art. This includes supporting research, documentation, exhibitions, interpretation, and development of the Museum’s antique natural history print collection.


Specific Responsibilities:

Collections Management

  • Ensure the highest level of care and support professional management of the collection.
  • Assist in curation and management of the antique print collection.
  • Conduct scholarly research on the collection and on subjects relating to the collection.
  • Work with collectors, donors, and supporters to develop and expand the collection.
  • Plan and develop shows drawing from the collection or featuring related art and subjects from other institutions or collectors, from idea to execution.
  • Ability to consider design choices, color palate, and context.
  • Familiarity with Past Perfect Database or similar database knowledge.
  • Assist in managing storage and organization of print collection using best archival practices.
  • Become familiar with the art collection; it’s history and context.

Exhibit Management

  • Participate in creating up to 3 original exhibits in the gallery yearly compatible with the Maximus aesthetic; ei. high standards, attention to detail, gallery layout, color choices, etc.
  • Subjects to align with the history of development of the sciences: biology, exploration, and discovery during the 17th to 19th century (dates of our collection).


  • Work together with the Curator of Maximus Gallery and the Maximus Exhibit Designer.
  • Become acquainted with a network of print dealers and resources.
  • Promote understanding and appreciation of antique natural history art among the public; promote the Gallery and its support among the general audience, supporters, and affinity groups.
  • Ability to effectively communicate with the public, visitors, colleagues, and donors.
  • Assist in the management of paperwork connected with donations, purchases, etc. in a timely manner.
  • Organize and participate in open houses and other special museum events as needed.
  • Answers questions related to any area of the gallery; provide reference information to staff, professional organization/institutions, students, scholars and the general public.
  • Contribute to a positive guest experience by greeting and addressing any questions when encountering guests as they navigate through the Museum and Sea Center.
  • Supports the Museum’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion for fellow staff, guests and the community.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Essential Requirements:

  • Master of Arts degree (Ph.D. preferred) in Fine Arts or Art History with a concentration in prints and works on paper, or equivalent experience.
  • Minimum of five years of experience in a museum or public art gallery preferred.
  • Experience in art curation or related work.
  • Experience in antique works on paper and understanding of early scientific illustration preferred.
  • Basic knowledge of conservation issues relating to works on paper.
  • Experience in planning and mounting exhibits.
  • Ability to research and write text panels.
  • Ability to put 17th – 19th century artwork into context for the audience.
  • Experience in working with donors and supporters.
  • Strong organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent communications skills (oral and written).
  • Comfortable with public engagement specifically in promoting understanding and appreciation of art.

Work Environment:

  • General office environment with occasional work throughout the museum’s facilities (exhibit halls, conference rooms, research laboratories and galleries) and outdoors.
  • Frequent work on computers (repetitive movement – typing).
  • Frequent sitting, standing, walking, climbing stairs and bending with occasional lifting of light to moderate loads (10-25lbs).
  • Occasional climbing on a ladder working in elevated areas.

The incumbent must be able to perform each requirement of the position as outlined in the job description. Essential Requirements are representative and are essential for satisfactory job performance. The Work Environment characteristics are representative of those that may be encountered while on the job. The Museum will make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.


*The pay range above represents the lowest possible rate for the position and the highest possible rate. Factors that may be used to determine where newly hired employees will be placed in the pay range include the employee specific skills and qualifications, relevant years of experience and comparison to other employees already in this role. Most often, a newly hired employee will be placed below the midpoint of the range.

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