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Curatorial Associate (Terra Foundation Curatorial Research Fellow)

Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois
Closing date
May 30, 2024

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Position Type
Research Scientist / Analyst
Full Time
Organization Type
Department: Block Museum

Salary/Grade: NEX/10

Job Summary:

The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art plays an active role at Northwestern University, a leading research university situated in the Greater Chicago area. The museum presents a rigorous and diverse program that reaches across time, place, culture, and media; acting as a convener for interdisciplinary conversations; being an innovative "third space" for teaching and learning; and collaborating with and supporting faculty and students.

The Block seeks a curatorial research fellow for an exhibition focusing on the Indigenous art history of Chicago, which has received a two-year research and development grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art as part of their Art Design Chicago 2024 initiative.

The Terra Foundation Curatorial Research Fellow will work in collaboration with a team of three curators.

This project takes a deliberate approach to recounting an underappreciated art history of Chicago from Native American perspectives. Chicago sits on the homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa; as well as the Menominee, Miami, and Ho-Chunk nations. The site has long been a cultural and economic hub for Indigenous peoples and is currently home to a diverse Native community. With this acknowledgement as a critical reference and call to action, The Block's project will explore the confluences that have shaped and continue to shape Indigenous creative practices in Chicago, putting the past in conversation with the past. We will develop Indigenous Chicago through a collaborative, decolonizing process that upholds Indigenous curatorial methodologies of inclusivity, reciprocity, and research shaped by community priorities.

Preferred Application Deadline is Sunday, May 12, 2024.
  • Please Note: Not all aspects of the job are covered by this . This is an 18 months term, part-time (25 hours/week) position.

Specific Responsibilities:
  • Research objects for the exhibition checklist. Manage object checklist.
  • Coordinate with Northwestern campus programs and partners. Support engagement with local and regional Native American advisors.
  • Assist with book development, including requesting images and photo rights.
  • Help plan curatorial research travel.
  • Undertake exhibition archiving after close.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

  • A Bachelor's Degree in art history, history, anthropology, performance studies, visual studies, or a related field and specialization in Native American studies, or equivalent work experience.
  • Ability to conduct art historical research.
  • Competency in writing about art.
  • Ability to write clearly and concisely.
  • Strong organization skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to follow directions and to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).
  • Demonstrated excellent writing and verbal communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • A Master's Degree in art history, history, anthropology, performance studies, visual studies, or a related field and specialization in Native American studies or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • Previous work experience in a museum, cultural center, or related institution particularly as a curatorial intern or curatorial assistant.
  • Background in Native American Studies and experience with undertaking multidisciplinary research.

The target hiring range for this position will be between $18.00 - $21.00 per hour. Offered salary will be determined by the applicant's education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity and alignment with market data.


At Northwestern, we are proud to provide meaningful, competitive, high-quality health care plans, retirement benefits, tuition discounts and more! Visit us at to learn more.

Work-Life and Wellness:

Northwestern offers comprehensive programs and services to help you and your family navigate life's challenges and opportunities, and adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.

We support flexible work arrangements where possible and programs to help you locate and pay for quality, affordable childcare and senior/adult care. Visit us at to learn more.

Professional Growth & Development:

Northwestern supports employee career development in all circumstances whether your workspace is on campus or at home. If you're interested in developing your professional potential or continuing your formal education, we offer a variety of tools and resources. Visit us at to learn more.

Northwestern strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters for people who can obtain them as a critical tool for minimizing severe illness. More information can be found on the COVID-19 and Campus Updates webpage.

The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.


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