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11 Feb 2019

Full-Time Head of Curatorial Research and Projects – Media Art

Kramlich Collection  Napa, California, United States

Kramlich Collection - jobs

Job Description

Head of Curatorial Research and Projects, Media Art


The Kramlich Collection is a private collection of film, video and media art recognised as one of the foremost and pioneering international collections within the field. Comprising artworks from the 1960s to the present from over twenty countries, the Collection is recognised for both its curatorial scope, excellence, and close relationships with museums. As part of its activities, the Collection works with the New Art Trust, established in 1997, to lend artworks and collaborate on exhibition and research projects with SFMOMA in San Francisco, MoMA in New York, and Tate in London. The Kramlich Residence in Napa Valley designed by Herzog de Meuron was completed in 2016 to present artworks from the Collection and develop special projects. Individual loans and exhibitions are ongoing in partnership with international public venues. 


To be based at the Kramlich Residence in Oakville, Napa Valley, the Head of Curatorial Research and Projects will play a leadership role in the development of the Collection’s activities in the areas of curatorial research, scholarly initiatives, education, events, and outreach activities of the Kramlich Collection. 

Over the next years, the Kramlich Collection wishes to expand on its pioneering role within the field of media art through a concerted yet focused development on the key interests and strengths of the collection. Active growth will take place around international loans, exhibition partnerships, and special projects. The role of Head of Curatorial Research and Projects will specifically focus on the curatorial activities related to these projects, in addition to the development of scholarly research and collaborative education initiatives to create workshops, retreats, partnership projects, publications, and program development for a future foundation. The ideal candidate will be an expert in contemporary art, specifically the history and current practices of media art, and have a strong public presence and scholarly experience. 

Collaborating directly with international artists, museums, galleries, and universities to develop and manage these curatorial and educational initiatives, under the close guidance and direction of the Director, the candidate must have senior experience developing curatorial research-based projects and educational events. The role is distinct from a typical curator in that the focus is on research-related activities and program growth, rather than exhibition curation, which is undertaken by the Kramlichs and Director, or curators at partner institutions. 

As custodians of major artworks by artists including Matthew Barney, Janet Cardiff, Tacita Dean, Joan Jonas, Isaac Julien, Steve McQueen, Christian Marclay, Bruce Nauman and Bill Viola, the role of Head of Curatorial Research and Projects, Media Art, will suit a person passionate about advancing the curatorial and art historical importance of artists working in media art, and energised to create and manage initiatives to broaden the opportunities for researchers, scholars, and professionals to learn about the artworks and professional practices required to present and preserve them into the future. 


Research and Educational Projects

  • Proposal, development and senior management of new research projects to create professional, educational, and scholarly events to strength the core interests of the Collection and broader field of media art.
  • Working closely with Director, initiate and develop collaborative research and educational projects and programs with local, regional, and international partners. Expand and develop on experience of previous media art retreats which have taken place at the Kramlich Residence involving artists, curators, conservators, scholars, and scientists.
  • Develop multi-year plan and strategy for evolution of these events and initiatives, together with assistance to structure the schedule and goals of visits to the Kramlich Residence, with cumulative learnings and outcomes. 

Curatorial Research

  • Review, develop, and draft new curatorial summaries and narratives on artworks currently on view at Kramlich Residences, including literature reviews to enhance existing bibliographic material. 
  • Research and preparation of curatorial summaries, narratives, and art historical contexts for next exhibition of artworks at Kramlich Residence based upon current exhibition checklist.
  • Review and develop existing curatorial information on all artworks in Collection with goal to strengthen understanding of key attributes and interests to be articulated within broader context of art since 1960s.
  • Review, enhance, and organize all background material – literature, high-resolution photography, and video – on artworks in collection to include improving methods of access for future guests and researchers, including potential requirements for publications, website, and public activities. 
  • Review and develop curatorial and educational material to assist the needs of future researchers, students, guests, potential loan and exhibition partners, and interns, to include developing proposals to explore and define the potential role, particular attributes, and broader goals of the Kramlich Residence and Collection operating as a center of research. 

Publications, Brochures, Library, and Website

  • General coordination for future publications and brochures, including assistance with commissioning of essays, visits of authors, sourcing of reference material and imagery, rights permissions, fact-checking, bibliography and credits, and related tasks.
  • Proposal, writing and development of series of small publications/brochures dedicated to specific artworks in the Collection, to include new research and collaboration with artists and scholars as required.  
  • Review of existing library collection to develop proposals for areas to develop with specific attention to most important goals and needs for Kramlich Residence and Collection, relative to future programmatic aims. 
  • Manage ongoing cataloguing and organization of book library, magazines, curatorial materials, and electronic resources, including data entry into Qi and Libib.
  • Review and consideration of potential electronic access to specific materials from collection, either independent or in partnership with museum or educational partner. 
  • Discussion and development with education and library professionals on potential goals and/or partnerships.
  • Development and management of future website content following proposal and careful consideration of specific goals and parameters that connect to broader multi-year strategy on research, education and access.

Acquisition, Loans, and Database – Working closely with Collection and Project Manager:

  • Coordination and cataloguing of all curatorial information required for acquisitions and loans, including communications with museums, galleries and artists.
  • Coordination, preparation and cataloguing of all curatorial information for collection management database (Qi by Keepthinking). 
  • Preparation of curatorial summaries to assist acquisition questionnaires and future conservation summaries or treatment proposals, including related to New Art Trust artworks or future activities. 

Guest and Activity Program – Working closely with Director:

  • Management responsibility for event planning logistics for visits to Collection, tours, workshops, and talks. Tasks to include assistance on program development for invited guests, including organization and expansion of contact database and coordination of all guest related issues, including mailings, RSVPs, travel arrangements, etc. 
  • Lead tours of Kramlich Residence and Collection to high-profile personal and professional individual and group guests, either in collaboration with Director or in his absence.

Commissions, Special Projects, and Internships

  • Management assistance on future commission or installation projects with artists. Tasks will be diverse including logistical coordination, budgeting, scheduling, installation planning, etc. 
  • Responsibility to oversee and manage any interns hired to assist in above projects, including any new research or collaborative partnerships. Tasks will include developing detailed proposals and agendas for internships with goals, milestones, educational priorities, and individual task assignment. 

In addition, the candidate will be required to undertake a range of daily administrative and organisational tasks, including correspondence, filing, scheduling, travel coordination, and assistance with budget development.

The Head of Curatorial Research and Projects will report directly to and work closely with the Director of the Kramlich Collection, in addition to closely working with the collectors when Director is travelling. Daily and flexible collaboration required with full team: Exhibition and Technology Manager, Collection and Project Manager, Media Conservator, and Kramlichs.


  • Education: Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art History or related field is required. MA or PhD or similar experience preferred. 
  • Scholarship: Demonstrated scholarly expertise and academic activities within field of international contemporary art, with particular focus on the history of film, video and media art. Recent writing samples or material from research projects must be submitted and will form an important part of application review.
  • Professional Experience: Minimum 3-5 years working within contemporary art environment, preferably art museum or gallery, or university or foundation, specifically related to above responsibilities. Knowlege of contemporary practices of time-based media art conservation would be strongly beneficial. 
  • Skills and Abilities: This role requires a person who thinks creatively, passionately, and ambitiously about the history of media art with a view to considering the future of contemporary art and its audiences. The ideal candidate will have strong historical expertise combined with in-depth awareness of contemporary practices from around the world and whose reading might regularly combine Artforum, the Financial Times, cultural studies, philosophy, and technology news. The role requires a person with a creative critical mind and informed openness about how art can be most meaningful when it prompts questions that open perspectives and is able to convey this with passion and ambition.

In addition, a demonstrated strength to coordinate and work with teams collaboratively on complex projects. Ability to work effectively under pressure and in self-motivated and dynamic way to meet deadlines, enjoying freedom to work on one’s own at the same time as follow direction. Strong organisational skills are essential, with ability to prioritise and organize complex and multiple activities. Superb writing skills with precise attention to details. Ideal candidate will be very personable and engaging in social settings and experienced with public speaking. Strong computer and software skills are a distinct advantage. Strong computer and software skills essential, preferably within Mac environment (Office 365, Apple Pages, Numbers), with additional graphic or design skills beneficial.


Send cover letter, CV, and examples of writings, curatorial projects, or past activities to: 

Please include professional references.

Application deadline: March 1st 2019.

Full-time position based in Oakville, Napa Valley. Salary is commensurate with experience. Position includes benefits (healthcare, paid time-off, contribution to dental/optical).

Job Categories: Arts and Culture. Job Types: Full-Time. States: California.

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