Kress Interpretive Fellow opportunity at Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago logoJob Title: Kress Interpretive Fellow
FLSA Status: Salaried
Location: 111 S Michigan - Museum

Full Job Description available here.

Position Summary
At the Art Institute of Chicago, we are committed to developing interpretive approaches that celebrate the uniqueness and importance of the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection, with the aim of fostering curiosity and inquiry, discovery and exploration; stimulating emotional, social, sensorial, and intellectual connections with art; and assisting the broadest range of visitors in gaining new perspectives on art, history, and their place in the world. The AIC fosters opportunities for future museum professionals to inspire new interpretive frameworks and ways of engaging with the collection.

Under the primary guidance of the Director of Interpretation within the department of Learning and Public Engagement, the Kress Interpretive Fellow at the Art Institute of Chicago will work with departments across the Museum to gain exposure and first-hand experience to the breadth and depth of Interpretive practice within the museum, and to participate in conversations with colleagues nationally and internationally around interpretation.

As an area of focus, the Fellow will research and develop interpretive schemes for the AIC’s European Decorative Arts galleries and contribute to digital tools related to European Paintings. The Fellow will be primarily mentored by the Director of Interpretation, but also have a secondary mentor in the European and Decorative Arts Department by Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts.

Primary Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Researching approaches and museological frameworks for displaying and interpreting decorative arts collections, especially though not exclusively European decorative arts.
  • Conducting front-end visitor studies to better understand audience expectations and needs for interpreting decorative arts collections.
  • The Fellow will identify approaches for integrating conservation content within permanent collection interpretation, with the idea that this research would inform many areas of the museum and be especially relevant to European Decorative Arts.
  • In collaboration with the department of Digital Experience the Fellow will contribute to digital projects with an eye towards deepening connections throughout the museum’s permanent collection.
  • The Fellow will also contribute to the development of digital labels for various collection galleries, conceptualizing, researching, and writing content.
  • Beyond these activities, the fellow will work closely with the Director of Interpretation to inform other interpretive projects throughout the museum.
  • Participate in meetings and programs of the department of Learning and Public Engagement and other relevant departments throughout the museum.


  • Masters degree in Art History, Museum Studies, Education, Conservation Science, Humanities or a related field required
  • Demonstrated capacity for interdisciplinary thinking; exceptional research and writing skills; initiative, resourcefulness, and independence required
  • Demonstrated interest in exploring the role of museums in society and the relationship between museums and audiences required
  • Interest in pursuing a professional path in the fields of education, curatorial, interpretation, evaluation, or experience design
  • Highly developed diplomatic skill with the ability to work flexibly and collaborate as part of a team required
  • Knowledge of innovative strategies and tools, including digital, for engagement with content and comfort and ability to communicate effectively with a broad audience through creation of public-facing, accessible materials preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience communicating with audiences of different backgrounds, levels of knowledge, and types of ability required.Excellent oral and written communication skills required
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint)

For full consideration please submit cover letter, resume, and a writing sample (attach as one document).

Application deadline:
August 4, 2017

Fellowship will start September 2017 and is expected to end on May 2018.