Interpretative Fellow, Latinx Art Job at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX

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  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Houston, TX

Job Description

Project Description

Latinx art is an integral yet thus far significantly under-recognized part of American art. The MFAH understands "Latinx art" as work produced by artists of Latin American descent who were born or are active in the United States. This includes but is not limited to those who identify as Chicana/o, Puerto Rican/Nuyorican, Mexican American, Dominican American, Cuban American, as well as others born in Central, South America, or the Caribbean who have made the United States their country of residence. Despite Latinx artists' critical contributions to U.S. art histories, their work has not benefitted from the same level of representation and visibility as their peers in mainstream arts institutions or university classrooms. The MFAH and its International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA) are working to address this erasure via ¡Aqu Estamos!: Latinx Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. This multi-year, institution-wide initiative aims to transform this emergent field by opening critical pathways for the study and exhibition of Latinx art and artists within a major encyclopedic museum.

¡Aqu Estamos! will provide hands-on training for future museum and research professionals focused on Latinx art by placing fellows in Museum departments, including Curatorial, Conservation, Learning and Interpretation, and the ICAA. Mentored by key MFAH staff, emerging professionals and scholars will participate in an array of projects, including the ICAA Latinx Papers Project. Fellows will benefit from the unique and unprecedented opportunity to engage in the deep study of Latinx art with a cohort of ¡Aqu Estamos! fellows. Opportunities for collaboration and professional development will be facilitated by regular project meetings, workshops centered on critical issues in the field, and collaborative projects ranging from the development of collection object studies, interpretative materials, public programs, and/or publications.

Learning Outcomes and Objectives

Key to the ¡Aqu Estamos! initiative are emerging art museum interpreters who are well-positioned to make a significant contribution to the project and to visitor experiences with Latinx art. Interpretive fellowship opportunities recognize the importance of early career exposure to object-based research and interpretive practices in cultivating the next generation of art museum interpreters with demonstrated capacity in the field of Latinx art.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is offering an Interpretive Fellow, Latinx Art the opportunity to assist the MFAH department of Learning and Interpretation in making Latinx art at the MFAH accessible and engaging to the broadest possible audiences. The Fellow is expected to become familiar with and participate in a range of interpretive practices, which include the writing of interpretive plans; the development of content for printed or audio guides, in-gallery interactives and other interpretive tools and technologies, and online platforms; and the assessment of those interpretive resources.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work with Learning and Interpretation staff to develop interpretive online resources from research into Latinx works in the Museum's collections.
  • Collaborate with Curatorial and Learning and Interpretation departments to develop content for gallery-specific iPads and the MFAH mobile app.
  • Collaborate with the Museum's Conservation department to interpret conservation research and technical reports for the Museum's in-gallery and website audiences; Make these reports relevant through art historical research and accessible written content on in-gallery iPads or website platforms.
  • Training docents and teens to answer questions and engage Museum visitors in Latinx
  • Participate in the ¡Aqu Estamos! cohort working seminar and project meetings as needed.

Qualifications

  • A. degree in art history, studio art, or museum studies.
  • Ideally pursuing graduate study in these or related fields, or recently completed M.A degree in one of these fields.
  • Demonstrated interest or background in Latinx art.
  • Reading and writing ability in Spanish is
  • Basic fluency in the application of digital resources for learning and research a plus.
  • Familiarity with some aspect of museum work or learning theory as it relates to museum audiences desired.
  • Expects to develop a career in museum work, either as a museum, interpreter, educatoror curator.

Stipend

The Interpretive Fellow, Latinx Art will receive a $5,000 stipend per academic year. Please note that the MFAH is unable to offer tuition assistance or remission. This part-time, year-long internship will comprise approximately 125 hours with an average of 10-12 hours of work per week.

Application Instructions

Qualified applicants should apply online, which will be the most effective way to ensure consideration.

  1. Visit the MFAH Careers page at -
  2. "Click" on All current employment opportunities
  3. Scroll through the listings to find this role.
  4. "Click" and apply!

Please submit the following materials to MFAH Careers by April 8th:

  • Letter of interest describing your experience and professional goals as relevant to this opportunity (maximum 1200 words)
  • Curriculum vitae including relevant undergraduate and/or graduate coursework completed
  • Academic writing sample (maximum 10-12 pages)
  • The name and contact information for at least two (2) academic or relevant professional references

Applications or letters of interest sent via mail, fax, or direct email to a staff member will not ensure consideration. Only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. Notifications will be sent by May 6th.

About the MFAH

The MFAH is an organization comprised of 600+ employees and 1,000+ docents and volunteers. The museum is more than 100 years old and ranks nationally among the top 10 art museums in exhibition space, memberships, endowments, and attendance, with 1M visitors annually. Our multifaceted institution includes multiple gallery buildings, a sculpture garden, two art schools, three eateries and two house museums for decorative arts. The encyclopedic collection numbers more than 70,000 works of art in a wide range of media. As an employer, MFAH offers a supportive, collegial and inclusive work environment and a competitive benefits package.

Over the last 20 years, the Museum built a core collection of post-World War II modern and contemporary art with over 850 emblematic works in all media from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and the United States. During this time, the MFAH acquired works by major Latinx artists including Ana Mendieta, Luis Jimnez, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Mel Casas, Csar A. Martnez, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Margarita Cabrera, Camilo Ontiveros, Vincent Valdez, Adriana Corral, Jay Lynn Gomez, Antonio Martorell, and Allora & Calzadilla. To date, the Museum's holdings in this area encompass 400+ works by 71 artists. The MFAH is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of Latin American and Latinx art.

Position Available

Title:Interpretative Fellow, Latinx Art

Academic Level:Recent Undergraduate or currently enrolled MA

Supervisors:Dr. Caroline Goeserand Dr. Brittany Levingston

Department:Learning and Interpretation

Schedule:To be determined, based on fellow's schedule and needs of the MFAH Learning and Interpretation Department

Term:2024-25 Academic Calendar

Location:The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Work Schedule

The fellow will work with the supervisors in the Learning and Interpretation Department to determine an acceptable schedule, equivalent to 10-12 hours per week, which will allow the fellow to do research, attend meetings, and assist in the production of interpretive resources.

Working Conditions and Other Requirements

  • Work is primarily performed indoors in a climate-controlled environment, with some limited work (special events, festivals) occurring outdoors. May be exposed to various environmental and event related factors such as but not limited to music, and crowd noise at a high, medium or low noise intensity
  • Ability to collect and analyze research and data as well as verbal information to reach logical recommendations and conclusions
  • Ability to work under deadlines and sometimes changing requirements or expectations in an appropriate manner
  • Job duties will include extended standing and working with a computer
  • Work will be performed across MFAH campus, including studios, galleries, and outdoor locations.

With or without reasonable accommodation, the individual selected must have the capacity to perform effectively all essential functions. In addition to the other demands mentioned, the demands of the job may or will include:

  • Must undergo and meet company standards for relevant criminal background and professional reference checks.
  • Seeing, hearing, speaking, and writing clearly in order to communicate with staff, guests and others.

Equal Opportunities for All

At the MFAH, we believe that diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusivity are fundamental to our organization. We welcome all candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to our organization and our pledge for workplace diversity, inclusion, and excellence.

Our commitment to our policy and practice of nondiscrimination represents more than good intentions. It provides for employment decisions that are made without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, or veteran status, or any other protected characteristic as established by law or any other reason unrelated to your ability to join and contribute to our organization and support our mission to provide a museum experience for all.

Research shows that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that an applicant meets 100% of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if much of this job description describes you, then you are highly encouraged to apply for this role.

The MFAH is equally committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals interested in employment with the organization. As part of this commitment, we want to ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation needed to 1) participate in the job application or 2) interview process; 3) perform essential job functions; and/or 4) participate in the benefits and privileges of employment with the MFAH. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact the human resources department: HR@mfah.org.

Job Tags

Part time, Outdoor,

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