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Call for Applications: Aga Khan Museum: Curator, Islamic Art History

September 1, 2018

The Aga Khan Museum (AKM) in Toronto, Canada offers visitors a window into worlds unknown or unfamiliar: the artistic, intellectual, and scientific heritage of Muslim civilizations across the centuries from the Iberian Peninsula to China. Its mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the contribution that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage. Through education, research, and collaboration, the Museum will inform and inspire audiences from all cultures by presenting art created in the Muslim world throughout the past fourteen centuries, along with current paths of artistic practice and cultural development.

The Museum is seeking to expand its existing curatorial team with the addition of this position.

Purpose of Position 

Reporting to the Director of Collections and Public Programs (DCPP), the Curator, in his/her role as subject specialist and working with members of the curatorial team, currently comprising of one Curator and one Assistant Curator, is responsible for the curation of the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions. He/she takes a leading role in the conceptualisation, planning and implementation of feature displays and rotations. The Curator further contributes to the provision of audience-friendly interpretation for all public displays. S/he is expected to produce original research in support of public programs and share knowledge with the public through lectures, workshops, conference contributions as well as both scholarly and popular, collection-related publications, including exhibition catalogues. The Curator shares expertise associated with acquisitions, contemporary art commissions/ residencies and initiates as well as manages the curatorial aspects relating to the loan of works of art between the AKM and other institutions or private collections.

The Curator works closely with the DCPP and departmental colleagues with regard to strategic forward planning and the delivery of public programs, in particular with regard to curatorial collection tours and academic as well as other relevant, educational events for the general public. The Curator is also expected to foster and maintain excellent working relationships with other AKM departments as required, in particular the Development Department.

As a member of the AKM’s curatorial team and of the Collections and Public Programs (CPP) Division, the Curator plays a crucial role in the development and implementation of a genuinely 21stcentury museum in Toronto with a major global role by maintaining and expanding national and international networks and partnerships with relevant curators, scholars and institutions.

Key Responsibilities

Curation of Collections

  • Leading on the conceptualization and realization of permanent gallery interventions, rotations and feature displays.
  • Coordinating, consulting and collaborating with the Collections Management Department on matters relating to the material needs, storage, display and digitization of the collection.
  • Proposing acquisitions and participating in decisions regarding the acquisition of works of art.
  • Based on the AKM research strategy, studying, researching and interpreting works of art in the collections and in temporary exhibitions for a broad audience.

Temporary Exhibitions

  • Conceptualizing and interpreting temporary exhibitions, working closely with the CPP team on all relevant aspects.
  • Fostering productive cooperative relationships with curators and scholars in other art and academic institutions, as well as dealers, collectors, and other individuals relevant to the interests of the Museum in Toronto, Canada and globally.


  • Participating in public educational programs referencing permanent and temporary exhibitions.
  • Providing intellectually impactful yet accessible and audience-friendly insights for museum visitors, special interest groups and patrons regarding the arts and culture of Muslim civilizations through a variety of public engagement mechanisms.
  • Researching, presenting and publishing academic papers, essays or books regarding or relating to works of art in the collection.

Other Responsibilities

  • Participating in AKM-wide, conceptual and strategic meetings as required.
  • Contributing personal subject expertise at external requests and engaging in personal research, with the prior approval of the line manager.
  • Acting as a courier for works of art from the AKM when required.
  • Any other tasks assigned by the line manager.

Qualifications & Experience

  • A PhD or equivalent experience in Islamic art history. A focus on the Eastern Islamic World is preferred.
  • Significant experience in a museum or academic institution required.
  • Demonstrated record of scholarly publications and educational activity in the field of Islamic art.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate well to a wide range of publics.
  • Good knowledge of languages, among them English, French, German. Skills in Arabic, Persian or Turkish are required.
  • A strong network of academic colleagues in the field of Islamic art.
  • Exceptional communication skills, oral and written.
  • Flexible, collaborative and results oriented team player
  • Strong work ethics, professional and personal integrity and a team player.
  • Creative and dynamic thinking; results oriented.
  • Expressed interest in the mandate of the Museum.

To Apply

Please send your cover letter and resume to [email protected]. Shortlisting of applications will commence on September 1, 2018.


September 1, 2018
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Aga Khan Museum
Toronto, Canada