Grants and Fellowships

Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow
Fowler Museum at UCLA, Fowler Museum

The Fowler Museum at UCLA seeks an Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow to participate in a collaborative interdisciplinary research project devoted to the Museum’s African art collection, considered one of the five largest such collections in the United States. This project, funded by a major grant from the Andrew J. Mellon Foundation, will focus on African objects from the Sir Henry Wellcome Collection that were donated to the Fowler between 1965-67. The Curatorial Fellow will work alongside key Fowler staff:  the Director, Chief Curator, Director of Collections Management and Registration, and Head Conservator as well as the Associate Curator of African Arts and a Curatorial and Research Associate. The Collaborative Interdisciplinary Research on African Collections project has the goal of documenting and understanding the full complexity of a group of up to 700 African objects in the Wellcome Collection from the perspectives of their roles, meanings, materiality, and provenance. Essential to this process is the work of robust and complete cataloguing of each object, including past attributions, cultural affiliations, collection history, and materials analysis. Part of the project will also include regular interdepartmental workshops and Advisory Council meetings that will include museum staff, faculty members, and community stakeholders to share progress, disseminate results, and discuss the challenges inherent in a collection with a complex history.

Over the course of twenty-eight months the Mellon Fellow will be responsible for carrying out in-depth research on a select group of African objects from the Wellcome Collection. These objects will be selected in consultation with other team members with a goal of providing the Fellow an opportunity to deepen an existing area of expertise or establish a new one. As part of this effort, the Fellow will coordinate and compile relevant sources on the objects’ history – both as collected and as part of a larger cultural tradition, essentially creating a biography for each. This detail-oriented research will be coordinated with the work of the Mellon funded Conservation Fellow, and it is hoped that the two avenues of inquiry will inform and enrich each other, with conservation data leading to curatorial research questions, and vice versa. At the end of the project, we expect that the Fellow will have a deep background in understanding the role objects play in museum collections, the role they once played in the cultures that created them, and the role they continue to play in the ongoing conversations about cultural patrimony and source communities.

Requirements:

  • A Ph.D. in the humanities, preferably art history, with a specialization in African studies is preferred.
  • At least one year of curatorial experience or equivalent record of academic accomplishment.
  • Substantial knowledge of African and African Diaspora Arts, especially historical arts in museum collections.
  • Ability to work with registrarial, conservation, and curatorial staff at a museum.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively with other staff, interns, and the Museum’s stakeholder constituencies.
  • Ability to work productively with international colleagues.
  • Experience researching physical libraries, archives and online sources of research information and documentation of same.
  • Knowledge of museum standards for collections security and management.
  • Experience with collections management software.
  • Familiarity with contemporary conservation techniques and practices.
  • Excellent administrative, analytical, research, and communication skills.
  • Ability to work with materials (feathers, fur, hairs, fibers, natural dyes, etc.) that may aggravate allergies.

Additional Information:

The term of this contract position is expected to start in September of 2019 and may last up until the end of 2021. The application deadline is April 15, 2019.

All applicants are required to submit a personal statement describing why art and material culture are important to investigate and preserve, and how your own educational and cultural background contributes to your understanding of these categories; curriculum vitae; and three references through the UCLA Career Opportunity site, accessible from the UCLA Gateway Employment page. Please select “Campus Job Openings” from http://www.ucla.edu/employment.html to submit an application.  The requisition number for this position is 29745.

The starting salary for the position is $54,000 per year.  UCLA offers full health, welfare, and retirement benefits to its permanent and contract staff members; certain eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for all plans.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy. UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy

Please be advised that the final candidate recommended for hire into a critical (or otherwise designated) position will be required to successfully complete a background investigation. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.


Andrew W. Mellon Conservation Fellow

Fowler Museum at UCLA, Fowler Museum

The Fowler Museum at UCLA seeks an Andrew W. Mellon Conservation Fellow to participate in a collaborative interdisciplinary research project devoted to the Museum’s African art collections, considered one of the five largest such collections in the United States. This project, supported by a major grant from the Andrew J. Mellon Foundation, will focus on African objects from the Sir Henry Wellcome Collection that were donated to the Fowler between 1965-67.

Over the course of twenty-eight months the Mellon Conservation Fellow will photograph, document, research and perform treatments on a group of up to 700 objects in the Wellcome Collection as identified by a Mellon funded Curatorial Fellow and Fowler Staff.  The Mellon Conservation Fellow will report to the Head of Conservation and the Director of Registration and Collections management and will collaborate closely with the Mellon Curatorial Fellow and Fowler curatorial staff on paths of investigation, such as materials and construction, which can provide a more holistic understanding of the objects.  The Mellon Conservation Fellow will also work closely with various UCLA campus departments that operate analytical instrumentation.

The Collaborative Interdisciplinary Research on African Collections project at the Fowler Museum has the goal of documenting and understanding the full complexity of as many as 700 African objects in the Wellcome Collection from the perspectives of their roles, meanings, materiality, and provenance. Essential to this process is the work of robust and complete cataloguing of each object, including past attributions, cultural affiliations, collection history, and materials analysis. Part of the project will also include regular interdepartmental workshops and Advisory Council meetings that will include museum staff, faculty members, and community stakeholders to share progress, disseminate results, and discuss the challenges inherent in a collection with a complex history.

Requirements:

  • Graduate of a recognized Conservation Master’s program.
  • At least one year of post-graduate experience in museum conservation.
  • Experience working with African and ethnographic collections. (preferred)
  • Some working knowledge or familiarity with the following instrumentation: microscopy, polarized light microscopy, portable x-ray fluorescence, x-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, fiber optic reflectance spectroscopy, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, x-radiography and computer tomography scanning.
  • Skill in operating digital photography equipment and managing digital images.
  • Must adhere to the AIC code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively communicate with curatorial and registrarial staff at the museum.
  • Experience with collections management software.
  • Ability to perform occasional heavy manual labor, including lifting or moving objects that weigh more than 50 pounds and crates weighing hundreds of pounds, use power and hand tools, and climb ladders.
  • Knowledge of the effects of various museum pests on objects and textiles, and skill in performing selected procedures to treat infested museum objects (i.e., freezing). (required)
  •  Ability to work with materials (feathers, fur, hair, fibers, natural dyes, etc) that may aggravate allergies.

Additional Information:

The term of this contract position is expected to start in September of 2019 and may last up until the end of 2021. The application deadline is April 15, 2019.

All applicants are required to submit a personal statement describing why art and material culture are important to investigate and preserve, and how your own educational and cultural background contributes to your understanding of these categories; curriculum vitae; PDF portfolio containing two condition and treatment reports and three letters of recommendation through the UCLA Career Opportunity site, accessible from the UCLA Gateway Employment page. Please select “Campus Job Openings” from http://www.ucla.edu/employment.html to submit an application.  The requisition number for this position is 29810.

The starting salary for the position is $45,000 per year.  UCLA offers full health, welfare, and retirement benefits to its permanent and contract staff members; certain eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for all plans.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy. UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy

Please be advised that the final candidate recommended for hire into a critical (or otherwise designated) position will be required to successfully complete a background investigation. Any convictions will be evaluated to determine if they directly relate to the responsibilities and requirements of the position. Having a conviction history will not automatically disqualify an applicant from being considered for employment.