JOB: Curator and Dept Head, Art Institute of Chicago

Inquires and application to: Open until filled.

The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) invites applications for Chair of the Department of African Art and Indian Art of the Americas and Curator of African Art.

The Art Institute of Chicago is a renowned, encyclopedic art museum housing one of the world’s most important permanent collections, including many iconic works of leading artists, and mounting approximately 30 exhibitions a year.  The Art Institute’s African collection includes over 400 works that highlight the diversity of tradition-based arts on the continent, with emphasis on the sculptural traditions of West and Central Africa. Included are masks and figural sculpture, beadwork, furniture, regalia, and textiles from countries including Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa. The museum’s collection of over 80 African ceramics is the largest in an American art museum.  Additionally, the museum’s holdings of Indian art of the Americas span more than 4,000 years and include outstanding works from across the United States as well as ancient Mesoamerica and the Andean countries of South America. Ceramics, basketry, textiles, stone sculpture, metalwork, painting, and beadwork present a remarkable picture of the indigenous artistic heritage and deep-seated patterns of thought and ritual performance throughout the region.

Reporting to the President and Director of the museum, the Chair will oversee the collections of African art and Indian Art of the Americas, including the maintenance and display of the permanent collection and the assessment and recommendation of acquisitions.  The Chair will also organize, select, design, administer, and implement in-house exhibitions and periodically, national or international loan exhibitions. Additionally, the Chair will work in liaison with the Departments of Education, Digital Experience, and Interpretation to develop compelling narratives and programs for broad community engagement.  Overseeing a staff of 4 four employees as well as potential interns and fellows, the Chair will also be charged with hiring an assistant/associate curator for Indian art of the Americas.

The successful candidate will be a seasoned Curator holding a terminal degree or its equivalent in African Art, with a track record of scholarship, exhibitions, and publications in the field.  Minimum of 8 years of experience working in museums and/or with objects; strong connoisseurship skills and keen understanding of materiality and authenticity issues.   Minimum of 5 years of budget responsibility and managerial experience.  Excellent verbal and written communications skills. Record of success in donor cultivation and fundraising.  Record of success in public engagement and outreach, including but not limited to in-gallery experience, publications, digital formats, and community programming. Up-to-date knowledge of the market for African Art, with a personal network of contacts (e.g. dealers, auction house specialists, collectors, scholars, conservators) in the field.  Knowledge of French and/or appropriate languages in area of specialty.   Working knowledge of Pre-Columbian art and related cultural property laws.  Open-minded and collaborative approach to working with colleagues across the museum, including other curators, conservators, museum educators, interpretation staff, and digital experience staff.  Working knowledge of contemporary art practices and trends in area of specialty.

Applications should be submitted electronically at:

The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace.

European Conference on African Studies

The sixth European conference on African Studies (ECAS 2015) takes place in Paris 8-10 July at the Sorbonne and Panthéon.

Co-organizers are IMAF (Institut des Mondes Africains) and LAM (Les Afriques dans le Monde).
The principal theme of ECAS 2015 is Collective Mobilizations in Africa: Contestation, Resistance, Revolt.

Alongside the conference, delegates are invited to take part in AFRICA ACTS (5-12 July), a weeklong, Paris-wide event dedicated to performance arts in Africa and the Diaspora.

For conference information and program:
For AFRICA ACTS information and program:

ACASA 17th Triennial Symposium to be held in Ghana

The next Triennial Symposium of the ACASA will be held in Ghana from August 9 to August 13, 2017.  To read more about it, please see the article written by the Ghana News Agency here.

ACASA 16th Triennial Symposium held at the Brooklyn Museum


The 16th Triennial Symposium on African Art was held at the Brooklyn Museum from March 19 to March 22, 2014.  The conference was organized by Kevin Dumouchelle, Triennial Chair, and the conference program was developed by Gary van Wyk, Program Chair. The 16th Triennial at Brooklyn considered the full range of topics related to the arts of Africa and the African Diaspora currently being addressed by ACASA members—from considerations of the archaeological and archival contexts of historical African art to examinations of emerging artistic practices on and off the continent. Like the accomplished Lega elder who once used a three-headed sakimatwemtwe figure, ACASA members looked to the future and the past, simultaneously. A Local Arrangements Committee assembled with the task of enhancing the symposium experience and ensuring a successful event. The members of this committee were: Yaelle Biro (Volunteer Coordinator), Dana Elmquist (Outreach Coordinator), Roger Arnold (Symposium Coordinator), Christa Clarke, Ed DeCarbo, Kate Ezra, Barbara Frank, Frederick Lamp, Gary van Wyk, Susan Vogel, Jerry Vogel.


Learn more about the Brooklyn Museum, host for the Sixteenth ACASA Triennial Symposium, including its collections, exhibitions, and mission.


For a full listing of symposium panels and roundtables, click here.

Dr. Kim Berman Addressed 16th ACASA Triennial Symposium

ACASA is pleased to announce Kim Berman as keynote speaker for the Sixteenth ACASA Triennial Symposium on African Art. Dr. Berman addressed ACASA attendees on Saturday, March 22 at 5:00 PM in Brooklyn Museum’s Cantor Auditorium.

Berman is an Associate Professor of Visual Art at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Co-founder and Executive Director of the Artist Proof Studio (APS), a community-based printmaking center in Newtown, JoKim B pichannesburg. Berman is also an accomplished artist, whose art engages social and political transformation in her native South Africa, and beyond. In 1997, she initiated the Paper Prayers campaign to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and promote advocacy through the visual arts. In 2000, Berman implemented Phumani Paper, a national poverty alleviation program that supports craft enterprises in handmade paper and crafts throughout South Africa.

Berman has lectured and exhibited widely in South Africa and internationally. She received her B.F.A. from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1981 and her M.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts / Tufts University in 1989. In 2009, she earned a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand completing a thesis entitled “Agency, Imagination and Resilience: Facilitating Social Change through the Visual Arts in South Africa.” Dr. Berman’s talk will address the intersection of art and activism, and the role that art can play in connecting communities and overcoming social and political boundaries.