Damarete Associate Curator of Ancient Coins at the Harvard Art Museums

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The Harvard Art Museums seek an emerging or established curator of ancient coins. Engaging in scholarly and public debates on the Harvard University campus, within the United States, and internationally, the curator will lead the charge in deepening the museums’ presentation of ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and other coins, as well as seals, tokens, and medals, and in proposing fresh perspectives for the field of numismatics in the 21st century. We especially welcome candidates with a demonstrated commitment to connecting coins and other objects of material culture, and to expanding the existing narratives and frameworks of inquiry to ensure the relevance of ancient coins at the present time. This position is based in Cambridge, MA. A hybrid work schedule might be possible and will be discussed during the interview process.

Position Description

The Damarete Associate Curator of Ancient Coins in the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art will join the museums as a broad, multi-year rethinking and reframing of the permanent collection galleries is underway. Integral to this effort will be discussions and collaboration with curatorial colleagues as well as with community stakeholders. The Damarete Associate Curator will also participate in the institution-wide effort to promote and create a more equitable and inclusive cultural space.

The Damarete curator will research the current holdings to amplify their presentation and teaching potential; make acquisitions to diversify the holdings of ancient, Byzantine, and other coins; and contribute to the Museums’ exhibition and publication program. The curator will work closely with students and faculty to foster significant and sustained curricular use of the collection in both undergraduate and graduate teaching. The curator will mentor students and contribute to training and nurturing the next generation in the field. Working as an integral member of the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art, they will also promote dialogue, engagement, and collaboration with curators in other areas and with colleagues in the Department of Academic and Public Programs and in the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies. The curator will play an active role in soliciting funds for mission-critical purposes from individuals, foundations, federal agencies, and other sources.

The Collection

Comprising over 20,000 coins, the numismatic collection of the Harvard Art Museums is comprehensive and ideally suited for teaching. Greek, Roman, and Byzantine coins from c. 630 BCE to 1453 CE form its core, but it also features examples of (west) Asian, Islamic, western medieval, and later coins. Thanks to the long-term loan of the Arthur Stone Dewing Collection, the museums’ holdings of Greek coinage are particularly strong and include the world’s largest collection of Syracusan decadrachms. The coin collection has grown steadily through bequests, gifts, and purchases over the last 125 years. Among these, the Thomas Whittemore bequest of Byzantine coins is especially notable. The bequest of Frederick M. Watkins contains Greek and Roman coins of exceptional quality. The 2005 acquisition of the collection of Margarete Bieber, the 2008 acquisition of the Zvi Griliches Collection, and the transfer from the Department of the Classics of the Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection have significantly enriched the holdings of ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish coins.

Basic Qualifications

Candidates MUST at least meet the following basic qualifications in order to be considered for this role; candidates who exceed the minimum are also encouraged to apply.

Ph.D. in Classics/Classical archaeology, ancient history, art history, or related field; minimum of three years progressively responsible curatorial, teaching, and/or field-related experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Record of scholarship in the field of Greek and/or Roman numismatics. Experts on Byzantine or ancient Middle Eastern coins are welcome to apply but should demonstrate an excellent working knowledge of the coinages of the Classical world.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion in museum practice and to engaging a wide range of audiences and constituencies.
  • A commitment to playing an active role in a lively and rigorous university setting.
  • Experience in teaching, working with students, and/or mentoring a plus.
  • Experience working with donors, collectors, and museum patrons a plus.
  • Excellent collaborator with a sense of accountability to others.
  • Diplomacy, tact, and organizational acumen.

Additional Information

The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Requirements. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found on the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage.

The Harvard Art Museums employs associate curators and full curators. The associate-level position – requiring the minimum qualifications as noted above – is a 5-year term position with the possibility of a one- or two-year extension and/or promotion to full curator after demonstration of progression and accomplishment. A full curator position is a regular position with no term. It requires a minimum of eight years of relevant experience.

Although the position will remain posted until filled, applicants are encouraged to apply by Monday, February 6th, 2023.

For further information and to apply, visit the Harvard Careers website.