Curator/Department Head, European Art
European Art Department


Full-time, Exempt
Salary, commensurate with experience


The Detroit Institute of Arts seeks a full-time Curator of European Paintings, who will also serve as the Head of the European Art Department (EAD). The Detroit Institute of Arts’ European art collection is one of the largest and most distinguished in the United States. It comprises a diverse and extensive assemblage of paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts, ranging from ancient times to 1950. The highlights of the collection include works by Fra Angelico, Perugino, Van Eyck, Bruegel the Elder, Caravaggio, Ruisdael, Rubens, Rembrandt, Claude Lorrain, Poussin, Canaletto, Tiepolo, Goya, and Gainsborough.

The ideal candidate must have expertise in European Painting (1300–1850) and general knowledge of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. Additionally, the candidate must be a high performer able to innovatively engage a broad audience through permanent gallery installations and exhibitions of European Art, and related public programs. She or he must have a proven record and experience in the following areas: developing and managing a major art collection; planning strategic acquisitions; installing and overseeing permanent collection galleries; developing special exhibitions and related programs; researching objects toward original scholarship; cultivating patrons and fundraising; managing staff and budgets; and performing related departmental duties. Successful candidates must also be able to work with the museum’s educators in a dynamic, collaborative environment.


  • Oversee and manage the European Art Department
  • Research the museum’s collection and produce scholarly publications
  • Oversee and develop collection strategies and acquisition proposals
  • Propose and develop original exhibitions and related publications
  • Manage permanent collection galleries
  • Collaborate with the Collections Management staff to install artworks
  • Maintain collection records in accordance with DIA data and archival standards
  • Work in partnership with the Conservation Department to regularly assess the conservation needs of the collection
  • Partner with educators to develop and produce interpretive strategies and materials for exhibitions and permanent gallery projects, as well as conduct training for gallery teachers and docents
  • Foster and maintain good working relationships with existing and potential patrons, trustees, and museum colleagues, as well as with the academic community, art dealers, and collectors
  • Engage donors, sponsors, and foundations in support of fundraising
  • Act as staff liaison to the European Paintings Council (EPC) auxiliary support group
  • Conduct training and develop presentations, lectures, and tours for enrichments to support museum activities and community relations.


  • Ph.D. in Art History with specialization in European Art
  • At least seven years of curatorial experience, with at least five years in museum administration
  • Evidence of, and commitment to, original scholarship, with an outstanding record of research, publications, exhibitions, and acquisitions
  • Experience with patron cultivation and management
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Excellent working relationships with collectors, dealers, and scholars
  • Exceptional writing skills and public-speaking ability across diverse audiences
  • Proficiency in at least one foreign language

Interested applicants for this position must submit a cover letter, resume/curriculum vitae, and writing sample online at www.dia.org. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.