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Associate Curator of Textiles

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Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library encompasses an unrivaled museum of American decorative arts in its mansion and galleries and a magnificent 60-acre naturalistic garden—all set on 1,000 gorgeous acres.

Winterthur employs a wide array of positions in the areas of curatorial, horticulture, education, conservation, library, maintenance, marketing, development, technology, and administration.

At Winterthur, employment is more than just work. The Winterthur employee is offered a unique and rewarding experience that is rich in culture and natural beauty. Winterthur considers its employees and volunteers to be among its greatest assets and welcomes applications from candidates who will contribute their specific skills to its mission “to inspire, enlighten, and delight all of its visitors while preserving and enhancing [Winterthur]” and also uphold its core values of agility, excellence, innovation, integrity, inclusion, and transparency.


Winterthur is seeking a dynamic, innovative, collaborative candidate for the position of Associate Curator of Textiles. Reporting to the Director of Collections, the Associate Curator of Textiles oversees Winterthur’s collection of textiles made, own and/or used in the hemispheric Americas from the 17th century to the present.

The Associate Curator of Textiles will join the Curatorial Department headed by the Director of Collections. They will join a department composed of four other specialty curators, a department coordinator, and a curatorial fellow. The Curatorial Department is within the museum’s Collections and Interpretation Division. Winterthur is committed to its mission to inspire and educate through its collection, estate, and academic programs by engaging diverse audiences in the study, preservation, and interpretation of American material culture, art, design and history. Equity, inclusion, community-engagement, and accessibility guide institutional decision making and are central considerations to how we interpret, display, and build the museum’s collections.

Candidates with a broad knowledge of textiles, methods of textile production, and an understanding of fashion history are preferred. The Associate Curator of Textiles will regularly collaborate with the Textile Conservation Lab to ensure the ongoing preservation of the collection. They will actively participate in exhibition-related activities and donor cultivation events. They will promote Winterthur’s unique institutional resources that include the museum, garden, and library. The ideal candidate will want to work across the collection and possess enthusiasm for engaging with communities beyond Winterthur’s gates.

In addition to the core responsibilities related to care, display, and preservation of the textile collection, the Associate Curator of Textiles teaches in the University of Delaware/Winterthur Program in American Material Culture and holds Affiliated Faculty status.

This is a highly collaborative role that works both within the curatorial team and interdepartmentally to accomplish projects, expand the collection, and participate in programming targeted to both a scholarly and a general audience.

Compensation: Starting at $60,000 annually

Benefits:  Including, but not limited to, medical, dental, and vision insurance; generous paid time off plan including 10 holidays, vacation, personal, and sick time; 403b with employer match for eligible employees; discounts in the museum store and cafe; free general admission for you and your immediate family

Work Schedule:  Monday – Friday, 35 hours/week; occasional weekend and evening hours required


  1. Oversee the current collection of more than 28,000 historic and contemporary textiles held in the Winterthur collection, including several onsite storage areas, gallery spaces, and the house; to include housing, interpretation, cataloging, care and handling working in concert with teams in the Textile Conservation Lab and Preventative Conservation Team
  2. Acquire through gift and purchase objects for that collection that increase Winterthur’s ability to represent populations, stories, and production in the hemispheric Americas from the seventeenth century to the present day
  3. Regularly assess the collection and propose objects for deaccessioning
  4. Ensure all textile collection items (new and existing) have updated catalog entries and information available through the collections access database
  5. Conduct original research on the collection and related topics for publication and presentation in various formats both academic and popular
  6. Represent the institution in public and private formats including, but not limited to, tours, trips with donors and members, private consultations with donors and members, lectures, workshops, and other engagement opportunities
  7. Work with the Director of Collections, Curator of Exhibitions and staff to develop solo or group exhibitions in the Winterthur galleries; and provide information and support for exhibitions, tours, and other programmatic initiatives in the galleries and house museum
  8. Teach as Affiliated Faculty in the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture (WPAMC) an eight-week course on the Connoisseurship of Textiles, including identification of student research projects, syllabus design and development, care and handling of textiles, and many other topics
  9. Teach on an invitational basis for other courses and programs at Winterthur, including British Design History and in the Winterthur University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation
  10. Serve on an invitational basis as thesis advisor to students in the WPAMC program
  11. Consult with Winterthur University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) students during their textile blocks
  12. Participate in development-related strategy meetings to cultivate new donors and engage with current donors


Minimum Experience: Master’s degree in History, Art History, American Studies, or related field with 3 to 5 years in a curatorial position at recognized institution with some degree of specialization in textiles; exhibitions-related experience, teaching experience or equivalent interpretive experience required

Preferred Experience: Master’s degree in History, Art History, American Studies, or related field, PhD welcomed but not required, with 5 or more years of experience working with a large North American, Asian, and European textile collection; experience teaching with objects in a museum setting; comfort and expertise in public speaking and donor relations; experience curating textile-based exhibitions and developing accessible interpretation with a global perspective


  1. Knowledge of, and comfort working in historic house museum setting as well as exhibition galleries
  2. Experience working in a wide variety of storage conditions and knowledge of best practices for collections care
  3. Exhibitions-related experience
  4. Experience engaging with community members in collections-related projects
  5. Experience supporting development-related activities, including donor cultivation and grant writing
  6. Knowledge of, and experience working with conservators and preventative care teams
  7. Ability to develop and conduct a graduate-level seminar, including syllabus development, readings identification, classroom dynamics management, student project assessment and mentoring, grading, advising
  8. Ability to work in a team environment as well as independently
  9. Ability to operate PC and full Office suite, EMu collections management software
  10. Ability to develop and carry out independent research agenda as well as institutional research needs as required
  11. Ability to write and speak to a variety of audiences from scholars to the public
  12. Expertise in the technologies related to textile production of all kinds; maker experience in weaving, needlework, etc. helpful

Essential Functions:

  1. Ability to lift and move textile boxes (smaller boxes individually and larger boxes working in tandem with others when boxes weigh over 50 pounds) and rolled textiles.
  2. Ability to sit or stand for more than two hours to facilitate collections access, tours, and programming.
  3. Ability to travel locally, nationally, and internationally
  4. Fluency in English
  5. Ability to work at a computer for up to 8 hours each day
  6. Ability to stoop, kneel, and crouch. 
  7. Ability to carry small and/or unusually shaped objects.
  8. Ability to push, pull and navigate carts with heavy collections pieces through narrow passages with and/or without assistance. 
  9. Ability to reach objects and supplies in high places, and carry, climb, and balance on ladders.
  10. Ability to use small hand tools required to open/close crates. 
  11. Ability to tolerate limited exposure to object numbering materials and dusty environments.
  12. Train for and participate in Winterthur’s Collections Emergency Team
  13. Valid driver’s license and ability to successful completion of a defensive driving course to drive to donor visits and to assist with object moves
Education Level: 
Master's Degree