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Curator of Collections 


The Curator of Collections is responsible for the care, research and interpretation of Mystic Seaport Museum’s important collection of art and objects, including nationally significant collections of marine paintings, prints, scrimshaw, historic photos and more. The Senior Curator also works closely with the museum’s Collections teams, researching objects relevant to the Museum’s mission and exhibits, playing a major role in developing new exhibits and interpretation for the Museum. The Curator of Collections will report to VP of Collections. They will carry out research and support an active collecting and exhibition program, including participation in conservation and preservation activities.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop and contribute to educational and public programs and provide public service by responding to inquiries about areas of expertise within maritime history.
  • Manage Collections personnel
  • Conducts historical research primarily focused on the collection, and recommends acquisitions for the collection and objects for exhibitions.
  • Coordinates and oversees arrangements related to Museum-hosted symposiums and curatorial-driven events.
  • Provides tours of the collection and speaks with visitors, donors and Museum support groups about curatorial activities and exhibits as needed.
  • Brings the collections forward with public and institutional outreach, and develops new means to do so with new programming, strategic partnerships, and exhibitions.
  • Disseminate research through public lectures, and internal and external publications.
  • Works closely with Collections Manager and Registrar on incoming and outgoing loans.
  • Works to support the Museum’s acquisitions, exhibitions and gallery displays and presentations.
Position Requirements
  • The ideal candidate will have a Master’s degree in American History, Maritime History, American Studies, or related field
  • Knowledge of maritime history.
  • The ideal candidate will have a minimum of three years of museum experience with progressively responsible curatorial experience.
  • Demonstrated excellence in acquisitions, exhibitions, and scholarly museum publications.
  • Facility with digital imaging.
  • Familiarity with Mimsy XG, the Museum’s collections management database, is a plus
  • Experience as a researcher at museums and archives.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Proven success in advancing historical scholarship through original and creative research and writing.
  • Candidate must have a thorough understanding of material culture and exhibiting artifacts.
  • Ability to relate historic content to current affairs.
  • Ability to bring new ideas and understanding to the Museum’s interpretation of its collections.
  • Flexibility and ability to work well in a team environment.
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
EOE Statement Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state and federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In addition, state and federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, Veteran's status, age (40 years and over), physical or mental disability, religious affiliation or other protected status. It is our policy to comply fully with these laws and information requested on this application will not be used for any purpose prohibited by law.  
About the Organization Mystic Seaport Museum is the nation's leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929 to gather and preserve the rapidly disappearing artifacts of America's seafaring past, the Museum has grown to become a national center for research and education with the mission to 'inspire an enduring connection to the American maritime experience.'

The Museum's grounds cover 19 acres on the Mystic River in Mystic, CT and include a recreated New England coastal village, a working shipyard, formal exhibit halls, and state-of-the-art artifact storage facilities. The Museum is home to more than 500 historic watercraft, including four National Historic Landmark vessels, most notably the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan, America's oldest commercial ship still in existence.  

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