Richard L. Menschel Associate Curator of Photography

Richard L. Menschel Associate Curator of Photography

locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 12/8/2023
Full Time


Richard L. Menschel Associate Curator of Photography

Harvard Art Museums


Job Summary

The Harvard Art Museums seeks a leader in the field for the position of Richard L. Menschel Associate Curator of Photography. As a member of the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art and reporting to the Head of the Division, the Menschel Associate Curator will steward a growing collection of photographs and time-based media that includes around 60,000 objects.  The incoming Menschel Associate Curator will contribute to the overall institutional vision for the Harvard Art Museums that promotes a more equitable and inclusive cultural space. The Associate Curator will bring fresh perspectives into the narratives and presentations of photography and time-based media from the 19th through 21st centuries through scholarship, exhibitions, and through their engagement with colleagues across the art museums, with campus and the broader photography and museum fields. Those with strong international perspectives/ interests and/or expertise are highly encouraged to apply.  

This is a five-year term position. Please see the Additional Qualifications and Additional Information below.

Position Description

Responsible for the care, documentation, research, presentation, publication, and strengthening of the museums’ exceptional collection of analog and digital photographs and its time-based media, including projection, installation, video and film. Expected to be an intellectual authority on, and to assume the full range of curatorial responsibility for, the collection of photographs and time-based media, which spans from the early nineteenth century to the present, and to advise on related matters at the university when needed. Crafts an ambitious exhibition, research and publication program for photographs and time-based art and works closely with students and faculty to foster a significant and sustained curricular use of the collection for both undergraduate and graduate teaching.   Works within a team environment and promotes dialogue, engagement, and collaboration with colleagues within the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art and with other curatorial areas that have overlapping collection holdings and expertise. Recommends purchases, works closely with collectors and museum supporters, solicits gifts for the collection, and assumes an active role in soliciting funds for museum purposes, including acquisitions, exhibitions, conservation projects, and publications, from individuals, foundations, federal agencies and other sources.   

Basic Qualifications

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications to be considered for this role:

Ph.D. in art history or related fields, with scholarly expertise in histories of photography and strong understanding of photographic media and techniques; minimum of 3 years progressively responsible curatorial, teaching, and/or field-related experience.  

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Demonstrated record of scholarship and achievement in the field of photography; experience in an academic museum and/or a demonstrated commitment to fostering appreciation and understanding of photographic art through teaching is a plus; demonstrated work to support and implement institutional EDIB goals a plus; successful experience working with donors, collectors, and museum patrons a plus; excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills, as well as fiscal management skills and experience. 

The Harvard Art Museums employs associate curators and full curators. The associate-level position—requiring the minimum qualifications as noted above—is a 5-year term position with the possibility of a one- or two-year extension and/or promotion to full curator after demonstration of progression and accomplishment. A full curator position is a regular position with no term. It requires a minimum of eight years of relevant experience. We welcome all interested candidates at both levels.

The Collection: 
Since the medium’s inception, Harvard professors and departments began experimenting with both the production and the collecting of photographs for teaching. By the 1890s, Harvard College students were learning about global social conditions through a massive collection of photographs called the Social Museum. In the late 1960s, the collections founding curator Davis Pratt foresaw the need for a curated collection of photographs that would serve both the university and the public and assembled photographs from repositories across the university to engage in scholarly and public debates on the Harvard University campus and beyond. As that collection became part of the Harvard Art Museums, it has grown in response to the expanding field of photographic scholarship and in correlation with the many areas represented in the globe-spanning collections of the art museums.  


Additional Information

Application reviews will begin on January 29, 2024. However, applications will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. 
Please note that the Harvard Art Museums will not provide visa sponsorship for this position. 

Please submit a cover letter, CV, and list of three referees. Additional materials may be requested later.  
Harvard University requires pre-employment screening. 
The Harvard Art Museums value staff diversity and are committed to building a culturally diverse community. We encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply. 

Work Format Details

This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

389059 Museum Sr Specialist

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)



Salary Grade



Division of Modern and Contemporary Art


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity


Full time. Monday through Friday. 35 hours per week. 

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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