Position: Research and Content Development Specialist

Office or College

Gilcrease Museum

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Position Summary

The Research and Content Development Specialist, under the supervision of the Senior Curator and Curator of Art at Gilcrease Museum, will work in conjunction with Gilcrease Museum’s Interpretive Planning team and community advisory team to conduct scholarly research, evaluate objects, and contribute to developing exhibition narratives around the extensive collection of Indigenous art, material culture, and archives in the Gilcrease collection. This is a three-year, full-time appointment. The position is funded through an award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is contingent upon grant funds being received.


Thomas Gilcrease, a citizen of the Muscogee Creek Nation, established Gilcrease Museum in 1949 with a focus on the art, history, and culture of the Americas, including one of the most significant holdings of Native American art and ethnography in the country. The Gilcrease collection includes Plains and Southeastern pre- and post-removal art, archives, and material culture; First Nations, Inuit, and Northwest Coast art and material culture; Southwestern art and material culture; Mesoamerican archaeology; art of the Native American Church; and modern and contemporary Native American art.

Gilcrease Museum is in the early planning stages of a $75 million building renovation and expansion, including new spaces for both temporary and permanent exhibitions. In conjunction with the building expansion, Gilcrease is creating a new Interpretive Plan to completely reimagine the interpretation and long-term exhibitions of the interdisciplinary Gilcrease collection.

Physical Requirements

Physical dexterity sufficient to use a keyboard and telephone; carrying, pushing, and pulling up to 50 pounds; may be subject to extended periods of walking, standing, sitting, reaching, balancing, bending, kneeling, handling, climbing, and twisting; must have visual acuity to closely examine small objects, speech and hearing sufficient to perform interact with co-workers and to communicate well with professional and general audiences.

Working Environment:

Hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.; occasionally working evenings or weekends may be required; local and national travel is required.

Characteristic Duties

  • Conducts original research on art, ethnography, and objects in the Native American and Indigenous collections (including the Kravis Discovery Center), with an emphasis on developing content to support key themes and narratives in the Interpretive Plan
  • Assists in evaluating key strengths of the Native American and Indigenous collections
  • Identifies new acquisition priorities to augment existing collections
  • Assists in identifying conservation priorities
  • In conjunction with the Anthropology Collection Manager & NAGPRA Coordinator, consults with representatives from Native American nations, scholars, and artists regarding research, interpretive planning, programming, and exhibitions to ensure accuracy of historical representations as well as contemporary perspectives
  • Collaborates with Collections Management, Digitization and Curatorial teams to share research findings and add to collection cataloging
  • Assists in building sustainable, ongoing relationships with Native nations in Oklahoma.
  • Presents scholarship on the Gilcrease collection to other museums, at conferences, and/or other professional venues
  • Participates in education programming; conducts volunteer docent and staff training
  • Sets weekly goals for all major tasks and writes monthly report summarizing progress
  • Participates in Interpretive Planning and staff meetings as needed
  • Performs other duties as requested.

Minimum Qualifications

Master’s degree from an accredited university or college in art history, art, anthropology, history, Native American studies, or related field with strong scholarly background in Native American and Indigenous art and culture; experience with outreach and collaboration with Native American communities; strong oral and written communication skills for scholarly and general audiences; ability to independently manage a project and work effectively in a team; detail oriented, self-driven;  must be proficient in PC or Mac software applications, including Word, Excel, and Outlook.

Preferred Qualifications

Two plus years of experience working with museums or cultural institutions; knowledge or association with Native American scholarship, contemporary artists, and communities in Oklahoma; experience handling artwork to museum standards; working knowledge of TMS or other museum collection database; working knowledge of NAGPRA federal laws and procedures for compliance.  Multilingual a plus.

Application Information

The University of Tulsa seeks to recruit and retain talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds.  The University of Tulsa is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified candidates across all group demographics to apply.  The University does not discriminate on the basis of personal status or group characteristic including, but not limited to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, ancestry, or marital status.

Please submit a cover letter, résumé, and contact information for three references to:  The University of Tulsa, Office of Human Resources, 800 S Tucker Drive, Tulsa, OK  74104 or submit online at: utulsa.edu/job-application.  The review of applications will commence immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

The University of Tulsa is an Equal Opportunity Employer, including Disability/Veteran.



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