American Folk Art Museum Logo

Career Opportunities

Associate Development Director

The American Folk Art Museum is the premier institution devoted to the aesthetic appreciation of traditional folk art and creative expressions of self-taught artists from the United States and abroad. The museum preserves, conserves, and interprets a comprehensive collection of the highest quality, with objects dating from the eighteenth century to the present.

The Museum is seeking an Associate Development Director to be a key part of a small development team—willing to take on new tasks and challenges as they arise with good communication and a sense of humor. Must be willing to work independently as well as in a team. Must also be an ambassador for the Museum to all its constituents: Trustees, donors, museums staff, members, friends, funders, partners, and average museum visitors.

Duties include:

  • Assist with planning and organizing Annual Gala—attend regular meeting with event planning consultants, solicit gala artwork donations with assistance from Development Team, communications with Trustees, oversee details
  • Spearhead the Annual Report, with assistance from Development team
  • Oversee data collection with visitor surveys, manage interns to analyze data
  • Assist Deputy Director for Development with cultivation events
  • Write grants identified by the Deputy Director for Development, maintain and renew funders, research new opportunities for funding. Take lead on Government grants: writing, grant fulfillment, paperwork, and reporting grants from the NEA, NEH, DCA, NYSCA, IMLS, CLIR, and more
  • Manage existing corporate partners, cultivate new partnerships
  • Assist Deputy Director for Development with planning Trustee meetings, scheduling, preparing materials, and minutes


Minimum 5 year experience with mid/high-level non-profit development work, must have solid writing and communication skills, special event planning experience. Museum experience a plus. Writing samples will be requested for finalist candidates.

The American Folk Art Museum is located at 2 Lincoln Square in midtown Manhattan. The administrative office for the museum are in Long Island City, Queens.

To apply: Please send cover letter and résumé to Karley Klopfenstein,

Equal Opportunity Employer
The American Folk Art Museum provides equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, alienage or citizenship status, marital status or domestic partner status, genetic information, genetic predisposition or carrier status, gender identity, HIV status, military status and any other category protected by law in all employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, lay-off and termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment.

Volunteer Opportunities

Quilters─we need you! The American Folk Art Museum is the recipient of an award from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to digitize a major collection of quilt-related data. The data comprises more than 6,000 quilts made in New York State prior to 1940 that were documented through The New York Quilt Project, an enterprise spearheaded by the museum over a two-year period during the 1980s. In addition to images of the quilts themselves, data in the archive includes personal stories, histories associated with the quilts and quiltmakers, and information about techniques, patterns, and materials. Once this information is digitized, it will become part of the Quilt Index, an international searchable repository, and will be available online for everyone to study, observe, and enjoy.

The work to digitize this massive quilt archive will take two years. A team of archivists will record and digitize the data, and volunteers are needed to read over the spreadsheets that are created. The work can be off-site; the only requirements are an internet connection, the ability to read Excel documents, and an enthusiasm for quilts! If interested, please contact Mimi Lester,


Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the American Folk Art Museum! Volunteers are vital to the success of the museum, contributing countless hours to visitor services, education projects, administrative assignments, and special events. The museum is always seeking energetic and committed volunteers interested in folk art and self-taught artists. While each opportunity requires specific skill sets, every qualified candidate must be dedicated, communicate effectively, possess basic computer skills—including familiarity with the internet—and have a valid email address.

To apply, please complete the Volunteer Application form here.

If your skills and qualifications meet our needs you will be contacted for an interview. If not, your application will be kept on file and you will be contacted if an appropriate position becomes available. Only individuals authorized to work for the museum in the United States will be accepted into the internship program. The museum will consider expressions of interest in providing volunteer services to the museum from non-work authorized individuals.


Curatorial Intern — Spring/Summer 2017 and Fall/Winter 2017–2018

The American Folk Art Museum is seeking a part-time intern for Spring/Summer 2017 and/or Fall/Winter 2017–2018 for its 20th & 21st Century Self-Taught Art Curatorial Department. Please note that this is an unpaid internship; credit toward class may be given if applicable. Work days and hours are flexible; however, a minimum commitment of six hours per week for at least ten weeks is required. This position is open to students at the graduate level.


  • Assist in research for upcoming monographic exhibitions
  • Conduct various research projects for the curator (notably, research on artists)
  • Produce reports in The Museum System (TMS)
  • Organize office materials and records


  • Strong organizational skills
  • Previous research experience
  • Ability to work independently and with acute attention to detail
  • Experience with library science and archival best practices (strongly desired)
  • Interest in self-taught artists and art history in general
  • Computer skills, including experience with Microsoft Office, Excel, and TMS
  • Student in art history and/or library science MA program preferred
  • Italian native speaker is a bonus (only for one of the projects)


Please email a cover letter and résumé (two pages max.) to the attention of Curator Valérie Rousseau at: Indicate “Curatorial Internship – 20th & 21st Century Self-Taught Art” in the subject line.


The museum offers internships for college and university students, graduate students, and emerging professionals interested in museum careers. The goal of an internship is to provide practical experience as well as a general understanding of the role of an individual department within a larger museum setting. Academic internships are by semester or full year. For general internship queries, send a résumé and cover letter to, stating the departments you are interested in working in, the skills you bring, and how you hope to contribute to the department.


Visit the Fellowship page to learn about current opportunities.


Log Cabin Quilt, Courthouse Steps Variation
Samuel Steinberger (1865–c. 1934)


Crewelwork Picture
Artist unidentified


The Kander Valley in the Bernese Oberland (Das Kander-Thal im Berner Ober-land)
Adolf Wölfli (1864–1930)