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Curatorial Research Assistant – Pre-1945 American Art

Position: Contract Curatorial Research Assistant: Pre-1945 American Art
Exhibition: “Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano”

Timeframe: Part-time, 3 days / week for approximately 1 year
Reports to: Alex Mann, Curator of Prints and Drawings
Start date: March or April 2019


The Smithsonian American Art Museum seeks a contractor primarily to support research, planning and implementation of the exhibition Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano. This four-venue international loan exhibition will open in March 2021 and be accompanied by a multi-author catalogue. It will be the first major cross-media survey of the late 19th century American Grand Tour to Venice, juxtaposing paintings, prints, and drawings by American expatriate artists with glass, beads, lace, and mosaics collected by American travelers. Featured artists will include Sargent, Whistler, Blum, Chase, Prendergast, and Marin, as well as lesser-known American women artists and the principal Italian glassmakers of this era. Particular attention will be given to object provenance, the role of politics and gender within histories of collecting, and relations between travel to Venice and the formation of museum collections in the United States.

The contractor will conduct scholarly research, maintain files on artists and works of art, organize loans, compose blog entries, and write didactic texts for potential use in the exhibition, its catalogue, and in related aspects of the overall project. Time permitting, the contractor will support other developing curatorial projects in SAAM’s Department of Prints and Drawings, including but not limited to exhibitions, permanent collection displays, and acquisitions.

For full job description and application requirements, please contact


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