Call for applications – Thomas R. Schiff Curatorial Fellowship, Contemporary Arts Center, Ohio, USA

Applications due January 31, 2018.

The Contemporary Arts Center, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, has established a Curatorial Fellowship named for Thomas R. Schiff, the noted American contemporary photographer and founder of FotoFocus, a lens-based biennial held in Cincinnati, Ohio. Schiff studied photography under Clarence White, Jr. and Arnold Gassan while earning a BFA degree from Ohio University in 1970. He began experimenting with panoramic photography in the mid-1980s, making use of a Hulcherama 360 panoramic camera. Schiff has also published seven books: Panoramic Ohio (2002), Panoramic Cincinnati (2003), Panoramic Parks (2005), Vegas 360 (2008), Wright Panorama (2010), Prospect (2012) and Virginia (2015).Schiff helped establish Images Center in Cincinnati in 1980. He also serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Agent of John J. & Thomas R. Schiff & Co. and as the Chairman of John J. & Thomas R. Schiff & Co.

Curatorial A

The purpose of the Fellowship is to support an emerging curator interested in contemporary art with a lens-based focus. The Fellow will actively engage in the Cincinnati art landscape and the richness of lens-based artistic activities in the region, country and internationally.

The Curatorial Fellow will work with the CAC Curator and other staff on several elements of contemporary curatorial practice including:

Exhibition development and organization
Film program
Conceiving, organizing and implementing public programs
Gallery text, web and print publications
Artist research
Managing checklists

The Fellow will have the opportunity to curate one substantial show and one smaller show with a lens-based art focus and contribute to publications.

This 3 year-long Fellowship supports our goal to better engage the lens-based art community in Cincinnati and the region. This prestigious Fellowship provides curatorial training and an opportunity for the Fellow to engage with a community of scholars, artists, writers, and thinkers from around the world. The Fellow is integrated into the CAC’s curatorial department, devoting his or her time to specific lens-based art exhibitions as well as other lens-based programs and events. The individual works directly with one or more curators, who serve as supervisors and mentors throughout the term of the fellowship.

This position will work with the curatorial staff on a variety of projects related to exhibitions, with an emphasis on the CAC’s expanding interest in lens-based art. The Fellow may also be asked to work on existing museum programs and exhibitions as well as propose new museum initiatives. Fellows will provide other support to curatorial staff and education staff as needed.

The Curatorial Fellowship is designed for recent master’s graduates of Art History or related fields of study and post-graduate students working on a higher degree in an Arts related field. Qualified applicants will have a familiarity with modern and contemporary art and related critical discourse in lens-based art.

The term of the Curatorial Fellowship is for 3 years and will start on March 1, 2018 and continue through the end of February 2021.

Fellowship stipend: The stipend amount is $52,000USD per year, with up to an additional $10,000USD for travel (maximum of six weeks) which may be shared by Curator/Supervisor. This Fellowship will also include medical benefits. Relocation costs will be reimbursed up to $5,000USD.

Reports to: CAC Curator

Eligibility: The CAC is committed to being an inclusive workplace. We welcome national and international applications from all ethnic group members, women, and persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups and others who may contribute to further diversification of ideas.

Expected outcomes:
Research towards organization and presentation of two lens-based art exhibitions: one substantial and one smaller exhibition. A public lecture, or other public presentation on the Fellow’s topic of research. Fellows must supply a copy of any publications that result from this work: book, journal article, etc., for the CAC’s archival records.



Applicants must possess a master’s degree in art history, curatorial studies, or a related field, with a focus in contemporary art, or be in their final year of such a degree program with a matriculation date no later than June 2018.
The Curatorial Fellows are expected to live in Cincinnati during the period of the fellowship.
Fellows will be Full Time, Non-Exempt, Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm with some evenings and weekends required.
Applicants must be a citizen of the United States or be authorized to work in the U. S. secure and be in possession of a valid U.S .work visa for the entire Fellowship period.
Prior museum experience is welcome.

Key Qualifications:

Ability to perform highly detail-oriented work with accuracy and efficiency.
Ability to work in a fast paced and exciting environment.
Experience writing and editing a variety of texts, including exhibition texts and labels.
Excellent computer skills, including the most recent versions of Microsoft Office applications — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
Experience with Google Docs workflow desirable.
Experience conducting object-based research, including bibliography, provenance, and exhibition history desirable.
Ability to interact with staff, patrons, gallerists, artists, and trustees in a professional manner.
Ability to maintain strict confidentiality.
General administrative and project management skills.
Ability to manage budgets using Excel.
Knowledge of foreign languages useful.

How to Apply:
Interested candidates should submit completed applications in writing, via e-mail (PDF only, please), which includes the following:

Up-to-date résumé or CV.
A concise research proposal (at least 2 pages, but no more than 3) about how the CAC is critical to the candidate’s research. Provide examples of subjects to be explored over the course of the fellowship.
Provide context, where relevant, of how this project fits into a larger body of work in your field.
List of prior publications, if applicable. Applicants should include copies of prior work and writing samples.
Two letters of reference.

No applications will be accepted from Fellowship awardees for a period of at least 3 years from their prior award.

Applications due January 31, 2018.

The Fellowship will be allocated no later than the end of February 2018 and all applicants will be notified of the CAC’s decision. Awardees must respond in writing to confirm acceptance of the Fellowship and will be required to provide a digital photograph of themselves for publicity purposes.


Please send cover letter and resume by January 31, 2018 to

No phone calls accepted, nor returned.

The Contemporary Arts Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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