Job Announcement: Associate Curator of Exhibitions
Letterform Archive is expanding our curatorial team to reflect the growing diversity of our collection and audience.
For the last few years, the Archive has focused on collecting and presenting work from underrepresented people, places, and writing systems. We also just opened our first-ever gallery. It’s time to expand our team to reflect and support these initiatives. We’re seeking someone with curatorial experience, preferably in the field of graphic design, to take a leading role in our new exhibitions program.
The Associate Curator of Exhibitions will develop exhibitions and contribute to other initiatives that make artifacts of lettering, typography, and graphic design radically accessible to the public. Reporting to the Curator, this new member of our Curatorial Team will also contribute to expanding our collection, as well as collaborate with our Programming Team to engage with our community.
About Letterform Archive
Letterform Archive is a nonprofit center for inspiration, education, and community. We offer hands-on access to a curated collection of over 85,000 items related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design. Every year, we welcome thousands of visitors from across the world, including students, practitioners, and design admirers from every creative background.
In addition to hosting visits and public events, the Archive serves a global community through social media, an online archive featuring state-of-the-art photography, and a book program that draws from the collection as well as publishes new work from its contributors. We offer courses and workshops in type design, calligraphy, and typography. We also curate exhibitions of our holdings and organize lectures by visiting artists and designers.
As a close-knit team of typophiles, lettering lovers, graphic design fans, and book arts enthusiasts, everyone at the Archive — regardless of role — helps in some way to promote the collection, offering tours, assisting at events, or engaging with the design community at large.
- Curation. Under the supervision of the Curator, collaborate with the Curatorial Team (Curator, Associate Curator, and Librarian) in research, acquisition, interpretation, presentation, and other curatorial efforts to enhance and share Letterform Archive’s collection. Help define the curation standards and strategy that will shape the future of the collection. This includes keeping pace with changes in relevant fields (e.g. lettering, typography, graphic design, and print media), and overseeing the evolutionary definition of what belongs in the Archive.
- Participate in planning and curating exhibitions, in both a leading role and in collaboration with guest curators.
- Maintain exhibition standards and procedures. Help us define our audience, adapt our style guide specifically for exhibitions, and ensure consistency between exhibitions. Work with Curatorial and Design staff to ensure accessibility. Maintain and adapt workflows.
- Manage exhibitions communication. Liaise with all teams across the Archive to ensure their involvement at the appropriate times. Run regular meetings for the Exhibitions Team and meetings dedicated to each exhibition.
- Supervise the Exhibitions Manager / Curatorial Associate, another new position responsible for exhibitions and collections project management.
- Manage exhibitions relationships, including guest curators and artists.
- Assist in managing relationships with other curatorial contractors, such as Curatorial Fellows and Curatorial Consultants.
- Develop exhibition budgets and collaborate with the Development Team on fundraising for exhibitions.
- Collaborate with the Publishing Team on exhibition catalog concepts.
- Create content. Write and edit exhibition wall text, catalog text, and other exhibition materials when needed. Write about the collection in occasional blog posts and other content with editorial partners
- Public engagement:
- Assist the Programming Team with managing the gallery experience.
- Collaborate with the Programming Coordinator on conceptualizing and executing exhibitions related programming.
- Host occasional introductory and research visits for individuals and groups: present on materials and publicize Archive programs, services, and merchandise.
- Assist with reference enquiries and retrieval of relevant collection items for research and introductory visitors.
- Be prepared to share the ways guests can have an impact on the sustainability of the Archive through time, money, or evangelism.
The Associate Curator of Exhibitions will regularly be required to perform desk-based computer tasks, including using a computer screen for long periods of time, typing, and making phone calls.
They may also frequently be required to move items weighing up to 30 pounds; push and maneuver a fully-loaded book truck weighing up to 60 pounds.
The Archive will provide reasonable accommodations to an employee with a disability who requires accommodations to perform the essential functions of their job.
COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
To ensure the health and safety of the Archive’s community, all newly hired employees of Letterform Archive are required to be fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions for medical, religious, or other reasons in accordance with all applicable laws.
- 3+ years of experience in a similar role
- 5+ years of managerial experience, including supervising staff
- Knowledge of and deep interest in lettering, typography, graphic design, and related printing arts
- Experience working with archives, museums, or special collections
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Willing to tackle a variety of projects, including new challenges
- An enthusiasm for learning and sharing with people of all backgrounds, knowledge levels, and abilities
- An advanced degree from an accredited university in art, art history, museum administration, museum studies, or related field
- Deep expertise in lettering, typography, graphic design, and related printing arts
- Expertise in art, design, or writing systems of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and/or the Middle East
Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.
Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination
Letterform Archive is an equal opportunity workplace, community, and place of learning. The Archive does not discriminate in employment or in offering educational services and programs. Learn more.
This role works out of Letterform Archive’s offices in San Francisco, California. This is not a remote position.
Position Type and Work Schedule
This is a full-time, exempt position working 40 per week during the Archive’s normal office hours in addition to occasional nights and weekends as required.
Compensation and Benefits
The pay rate for this role is between $88,000 and $98,000 per year depending on candidate experience and qualifications.
Letterform Archive offers benefits to all full-time employees including:
- Medical, dental, and vision coverage with subsidized dependent coverage
- Three weeks of Paid Time Off each year
- 10 paid holidays per year
- Sick leave
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
- 401(k) retirement plan
- Pre-tax commuter benefit
- Annual professional development budget
- Waived tuition to Archive workshops
- Complimentary Archive membership
You will be surrounded by — and able to interact with — beautiful, meaningful materials from the Archive’s collection, as well as a diverse and dynamic community of those who love letters and design. Your colleagues will be a small group of people who are passionate about the organization and eager to share their enthusiasm through their work.
How to Apply
Please apply by submitting a résumé and a short cover letter explaining your interest in this position at letterformarchive.org/careers by Friday, June 24, 2022.
You may address your cover letter to the “hiring committee” and it should be no more than one page. The most effective cover letters explain your interest in the Archive and this position, and make clear how your qualifications match this role’s responsibilities.
Letterform Archive is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are an individual with a disability and need assistance applying or have questions about accommodation during the hiring process, please email email@example.com.