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Career Opportunities

Title: Curator of Folk Art (full-time position)

Reports to: Director

The Curator of Folk Art provides leadership and intellectual oversight for the museum’s collections and exhibitions of historic and principally American folk art. The Curator of Folk Art (1) collaborates with the Director and staff to conceive and shape a distinctive and dynamic long-range exhibition program that advances the museum’s visibility and reputation, and ensures the Director’s strategic vision; (2) provides direction for collection growth through acquisitions; (3) actively cultivates relationships for gifts of funds for exhibitions and programs as well as gifts of art; and (4) contributes to the museum’s strategic planning process, helping to define objectives and programs to support its ongoing mission to promote knowledge of and appreciation for folk art.




  • Works with the Director and Exhibitions Committee to establish long-range plans for the exhibitions program; evaluates internal and external exhibition proposals and programs.
  • Curates original exhibitions drawn from the museum’s collection and external loans; partners with guest curators; and evaluates and contracts for important traveling exhibitions.
  • Develops and implements exhibition and publication budgets and schedules with appropriate staff.
  • Writes and edits exhibition and publication materials that convey sophisticated ideas while also appealing to a broad range of visitors and readers; collaborates with publications and design staff on production of materials.



  • Works with Director to solicit gifts of art to the collection.
  • Provides direction for collection growth and evaluation through acquisitions and deaccessions, and collecting plans.
  • Oversees research and interpretation of collection and cataloging.
  • Reviews and recommends loan requests based upon knowledge of the collection and merit of project.


Research and Education

  • Conducts original research for publications and exhibitions.
  • Works with Education Department in coordinating special programs related to exhibition schedules and developing interpretive programs and materials.


Promotion/Public Service

  • Meets with visitors, donors, collectors, and scholars as a representative of museum.
  • Responds to queries from the public regarding collections, exhibitions, and acquisitions and programs.
  • Conducts tours of exhibitions, museum, and collections to donors and potential donors, docents, scholars, etc.
  • Prepares and presents lectures and general talks.
  • Contributes to outside publications.
  • Visits public and private collections to expand knowledge in general and to solicit donations to museum collections.
  • Represents the museum and Director at appropriate professional associations and gatherings.
  • Builds and maintains network of professional relationships with artists, curators, critics, and other specialists locally, nationally, and globally.
  • Collaborates with development staff on fundraising, actively cultivating relationships with existing major and potential donors, foundations, and collectors.
  • Coordinates with Director of Communications and Marketing to promote exhibitions and other museum initiatives.



  • Master’s degree in field of American folk art, decorative arts, and/or art history.
  • Curatorial experience producing exhibitions/programs for museums.
  • Demonstrated experience and success in patron and donor cultivation necessary.


To Apply:

Please submit cover letter and resume to Include the job title in the email subject field. No phone calls, please.


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.

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


Volunteer Opportunities

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 immediate 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.


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)