Assistant Curator of Photographs

Job Family
Regular Full-Time
Position Status
Getty Center
Workplace Type
Hybrid/Partially Remote
Hiring Pay Scale
$66,156 - $86,015 Annually
Commensurate with experience and internal equity
Museum - 0311-Photographs
Requisition Number
ERRP Eligible

Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion at Getty

Getty believes diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion are essential to our excellence and to the execution of our mission. The Getty community values differences in the pursuit of inquiry and knowledge, mutual understanding, respect, trust, transparency, and cooperation. We are committed to creating a diverse and welcoming workplace that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve and includes individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Individuals of color, women, LGBTQIA+, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Job Summary

Our Mission


The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks to inspire curiosity about, and enjoyment and understanding of, the visual arts by collecting, conserving, exhibiting, and interpreting works of art of outstanding quality and historical importance and is one of four programs of the J. Paul Getty Trust.  The Museum operates two sites, the Getty Villa in Malibu, which exhibits its collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, and the Getty Center in Brentwood, which displays its collections of European art: Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, drawings to 1900, and photography to the present day (including non-European works).  The Museum mounts approximately 25 temporary exhibitions a year across its two sites; maintains an annual permanent gallery improvement program and offers wide-ranging and ambitious programming for its visitors.


The Opportunity


The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks an Assistant Curator of Photographs to become a vital member of a team working with one of the foremost collections of photographs in the United States. The Assistant Curator will play an instrumental role in supporting the collection and its many audiences through acquisitions, exhibitions, original research, and innovative interpretation. The Department of Photographs is committed to developing programming that is engaging and meaningful to diverse audiences. The successful candidate will bring creative ideas and fresh perspectives to developing and interpreting the collection, key attributes for our ongoing work to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, both through our internal work and our public-facing programs. Under moderate supervision, the Assistant Curator will help develop the collection particularly in the area of European nineteenth-century photography, with an emphasis on the early history of the medium in France and England, maintaining and managing it in collaboration with colleagues and under the direction of the Senior Curator.


The Assistant Curator will contribute to the ongoing work of cataloguing the collection for the museum website, including doing research, updating information, and writing descriptions of individual objects.  The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated person with exceptional organizational skills and experience managing projects in an iterative, fast-paced environment. A natural consensus-builder, the candidate understands how to collaborate successfully in a team with other curators in the department, as well as with colleagues across the campus, including Conservation, Design, Exhibitions, Education, Interpretive Content, Communications, Imaging Services, Preparators, and Registrars.

Major Job Responsibilities

  • Applies advanced knowledge of the history of photography to curatorial assignments of moderate complexity
  • Performs scholarly research
  • Conceives and executes exhibitions, in addition to assisting other curators with exhibition projects and acting as presenting curator for exhibitions organized by outside institutions
  • Verifies value and authenticity of potential acquisitions and participates in the preparation of acquisition proposals (both for gifts and purchases)
  • Travels and networks domestically and internationally to develop/maintain relationships with other colleagues and institutions
  • Publishes and lectures in area of specialization
  • Updates information in collection management system website
  • Contributes to the on-line presence of the photographs collection, including social media posts, Getty collection pages, blogs, and podcasts, and online exhibitions
  • Supports scholarly visits and requests


  • Master’s degree in art history, art or art education OR 2-4 yrs of curatorial experience OR Ph.D.
  • Fluency in at least one foreign language (modern or ancient) required
  • Capable to work in most curatorial functions


All employees must be fully-vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus as a condition of employment. Exemptions from this requirement as a reasonable accommodation due to medical contraindication, disability or sincerely held religious belief or practice will be considered.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships and collaborate with teams across disciplines
  • Excellent writing and proofing skills
  • Excellent organizational skills with attention to detail
  • Working knowledge of collection management databases, preferably The Museum System(TMS)
  • Demonstrated experience with art historical research and writing
  • Proven experience dealing with confidential information
  • Specialty in French and British photography before 1900 preferred, as well as advanced knowledge of nineteenth-century graphic arts

Benefits and Perks

Here are just some examples that Getty offers/provides for full-time employees:


  • Medical, Dental and Vision insurance coverage, starting on date of hire. Getty pays 75%-95% of the premium, depending on the plan selected.
  • 403(b) Employee Investment retirement plan – with up to 5% Getty Match
  • Getty contribution of 6%, on behalf of employee, to 401(a) retirement account
  • Educational Assistance and professional development
  • Paid Vacation, Sick and Personal Days
  • 12 Paid Holidays
  • Many positions have bi-weekly Off-Fridays
  • On-Site Fitness Center at Getty Center
  • Community service opportunities


To learn more about our comprehensive benefits and long list of perks, go to Getty HR.  

Equal Opportunity Employer

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status.