South Dakota Department of Education – Office of History
Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society
Position Title: Curator of Exhibits
Full Time Position – Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society
Location: Pierre, South Dakota
The Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society, located at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, South Dakota collects, preserves and interprets the rich heritage and complex history of South Dakota. The museum provides a regular program of exhibits, educational programming and special events including outreach programs such as traveling exhibits and mobile education kits. The museum includes a collection of over 35,000 artifacts.
Duties: The full time Curator of Exhibits (CE) will join our team and work on meaningful projects important to the collection, preservation and interpretation of South Dakota history while working on several key projects germane to the South Dakota State Historical Society’s mission. The Curator of Exhibits works under the supervision of the Museum Director. Along with the Museum Director, the Curator of Exhibits works with a team including the Curator of Collections and Curator of Interpretation to plan, design, fabricate and install visitor oriented temporary museum exhibitions. The CE will also maintain current exhibits and develop content for gallery interactives and other new technology. The Curator of Exhibits serves as team leader in the exhibit development process including research, graphic design, creating models, label writing and other functions in the museum exhibition process. The Curator of Exhibits will work with the team on any gallery renovation activity and serve as the museum’s team leader in updating the primary gallery exhibition, along with working together with any potential consultants or other project partners. Due to the nature of the work, the candidate selected is required to work on site. Job functions are not limited to those described below; Other duties may be assigned as necessary:
1. The Curator of Exhibits is the Team Leader for all exhibit development projects through the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society. The CE will develop goals, tasks and timelines for museum exhibitions and guide the team through concept development, research, fabrication, graphic production, label writing, and installation while ensuring that copyright, licensing, and contracts for exhibit services are properly executed.
2. The Curator of Exhibits will manage the development of a new traveling exhibit program including development of education related materials and other new content. Management responsibilities include booking the traveling exhibits and all record keeping functions for the program.
3. The Curator of Exhibits will work closely with the Museum Director and the exhibit team on the strategic planning of gallery improvements, redesign, and all other design and concept development tasks for the current primary gallery. The CE may be tasked to work with historians, consultants, and other museum professionals during the planning process.
5. The Curator of Exhibits will provide advice, guidance, and limited assistance to other South Dakota museums and facilities as part of the Museum’s consultation services. The CE will also assist with other programs within the South Dakota State Historical Society as required by the Museum Director or the Society’s Executive Director.
6. The CE will help develop new content for and assist with the development of
interactive elements for the galleries. The CE will demonstrate knowledge about technical operations and ability to work with new and current technology in exhibit design, fabrication and maintenance.
7. The Curator of Exhibits will assist other museum staff on special projects, programs or events as needed and when time allows.
Skills & Qualifications: We seek a candidate with a design emphasis and background in museum work, preferably with three-five years of museum exhibition experience. Graphic design experience is required. General knowledge of design software (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.) and basic Microsoft Office are required. The CE candidate must clearly demonstrate strong graphic production skills and a working knowledge of interactive design and development. The successful candidate must be able to lift 25 pounds and should have some experience with basic carpentry practices and be able to handle small hand tools, power tools and other shop equipment. Must be an effective communicator and able to work alone or in a team setting. Understanding budgets is necessary and the ability to examine and solve problems using both visual and verbal skills is essential. The right candidate will have excellent writing skills.
Education: Qualified applicants will have a minimum of a B.A. or M.A. preferred, in Museum Studies, Public or Applied History, Art, or an advanced degree in a similar subject. Demonstrable professional experience with graphic design, museum exhibit design and the proven ability to work with technology may be substituted for educational background.
Closing Date: October 18, 2021.
Time Frame: Start date negotiable
Salary: $18.36/hr to $27.54/hr. Initial pay based on experience. Full-time position, career track.
Benefits: Vacation and Sick Leave, paid holidays, health insurance and retirement benefits available through the State of South Dakota.
To Apply: Please send a cover letter, resume and three references with contact information to Jay Smith, Museum Director: email@example.com or by mail to:
South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center
900 Governors Drive
Pierre, South Dakota, 57501-2217
No phone calls please.
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