Museum Curator

Job Opportunity: Museum Curator

POSITION: Museum Curator 

The Bakersfield Museum of Art (BMOA) seeks an enthusiastic, outgoing, entrepreneurial individual with museum or similar work experience to develop and present exhibitions, run the Museum curatorial department and actively organize and oversee the permanent collection of the Museum. A successful candidate will thrive in our museum environment where ideas and innovation are encouraged, yet convention and tradition are equally respected. 

Nearing its 60th year, BMOA is an accredited Museum of Art located adjacent to Central Park in downtown Bakersfield, CA. Five gallery spaces comprise 5800 square feet of the 17,000 square foot facility and the Museum’s permanent collection exceeds 350 works of art. Currently, BMOA presents three annual exhibitions in the Museum galleries and hosts an Italian street painting festival, Via Arte, each October. Through these exhibitions, BMOA seeks to explore and develop modern and contemporary California art and artists while also giving nod to more traditional fine art. BMOA displays both established and emerging artists. Work from outside California is explored, though less frequently. 

Working among a small and dedicated Museum team, and in partnership with the Museum Director, the Director of Development, and the Museum’s exhibitions committee, the Curator will have the opportunity to strategically develop, direct and implement the exhibitions to fulfill BMOA’s mission of promoting the visual arts to diverse and broad audiences. The Museum seeks to continually expand its artistic reach to the many culturally diverse audiences throughout the Central Valley; specific cultural visual arts exhibitions are periodically shown. 

This is an opportunity for a candidate to work in a very hands-on, cooperative, inspiring environment with forward-thinking individuals who continually seek to elevate the quality and diversity of art shown at BMOA. A successful candidate will embrace California’s incredible art hubs for ideas and inspiration. A travel budget will be included to enhance this interaction. 


Bring exceptional visual arts, primarily from California, to a diverse regional audience, including families, school-aged children and underserved populations through exciting and engaging exhibitions and permanent collection display; 

  • Plan, budget and execute 4 annual exhibitions in alignment with BMOA mission; 
  • Oversee exhibition tactics including, but not limited to: conducting studio visits, arranging loan agreements, maintaining condition reports, maintaining reproduction releases and facility reports, designing exhibition schematics, and preparing text for all written materials related to each exhibition; 
  • Work with education and development departments to create and implement strategies and programs to expand exhibition reach (eg. lectures and visiting artist presentations to compliment exhibitions on display). 
  • Organize and manage the permanent collection of the Museum; 
  • Manage a department of two (with potential for additional internship assistance); 
  • Interact regularly with all Museum departments in support of BMOA’s mission; 
  • Maintain and adjust all project budgets regularly; 
  • Oversee all art belonging to or lent to the Museum and assure record and object descriptions of all items are maintained for collection files; 
  • Oversee the Museum’s Exhibitions Committee; 
  • Perform or oversee registrar functions to ensure record maintenance for BMOA’s permanent collection and exhibitions according to Museum’s best practices; 
  • Oversee handling of all art objects entering and leaving the Museum; 
  • Work with galleries, artists, museums, collectors and lenders to acquire all works for exhibitions and solicit works for the Museum’s permanent collection; 
  • Maintain all contracts and legal documents for all exhibitions and borrowed materials, and permanent collection items; 
  • Coordinating with the Museum Director and Director of Development, maintain considerable public and donor contact as it relates to the Museum’s current and future exhibitions and permanent collection. This may include assisting in grant writing projects as needed. 
  • Assist Director of Development and Museum Director with fundraising as it relates to all curatorial functions; 
  • Assist departments as needed in activities supporting curatorial strategy execution, including, but not limited to: gallery-led tours, developing curatorial content text for print and online materials, 
  • Work with other departments to coordinate exhibition openings and special curatorial events, including but not limited to Preview Circle Opening artist presentations, Curator’s Forum prospecting events, First Wednesday Curatorial Series); 
  • Candidate must agree to reside in Bakersfield or within a 50 mile radius of Bakersfield upon commencement of job. 


  • Ability to propose, create and execute project budgets for all exhibits and curatorial functions; 
  • Broad knowledge of contemporary/modern and traditional California art and artists; 
  • Ability to understand and propose artists and exhibitions that will make an impact in a museum of our size. 
  • Ability to cultivate relationships and work among a broad range of constituencies (including but not limited to collectors, donors, professional colleagues, board members, artists and the community) in an effort to further BMOA’s mission. 
  • Management experience in conjunction with collaborative team success; 
  • Flexibility to manage and ability to prioritize and plan multiple tasks – some outside the scope of curatorial department – in order to successfully implement the exhibition and curatorial program strategy. 
  • Exhibition fundraising skills – particularly helping link prospective donors with niche projects; 
  • Strong communications skills; 
  • Strong written, analytic skills and research skills; 
  • MA degree in related art field preferred; BA/BS from four-year college or university with an art-related degree required. 
  • Three to five years Museum Curatorial or related art experience required. 
  • Salary commensurate with experience; relocation assistance may be available. 

TO APPLY: Please send a cover letter and CV/resume to 

Bakersfield Museum Of Art 661-323-7219