Job - Curatorial Assistant, Art of the Islamic Worlds, MFAH

Zohreh Soltani Discussion
Curatorial Assistant, Art of the Islamic Worlds, MFAH

Job Category: Curatorial

Requisition Number: CURAT001349

  • Provides curatorial assistance to the Curator, Art of the Islamic Worlds
  • Collection management: on-going collection research; research of new acquisition proposals; creation and maintenance of collection files; label writing
  • Exhibition and catalogue projects: research and documentation of objects; creation and maintenance of checklists; interdepartmental coordination (Registrar, Conservation, Preparations, Photography, etc.); label and catalogue entry writing
  • Assists with permanent collection rotations, including research and label writing
  • Assists with travel arrangements for visiting speakers
  • Assists with research and writing of grant proposals
  • Performs other duties as necessary to support the curator with correspondence, reports, scholarly articles, lectures, catalogue manuscripts, collection-based support and general office responsibilities
  • Library: works with Library staff on book loans and acquisitions; checks out books from Library for curator
Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:
  • Broad knowledge of art history, particularly of Islamic art
  • Team player with the ability to meet deadlines combined with enthusiastic interest and willingness to work in a museum
  • Sophisticated research and writing skills essential
  • Writing sample required
  • Excellent organizational and computer skills; keen attention to detail
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with various museum departments and with the public
  • Foreign language skills preferred: Persian or Arabic
Education and Experience:
  • Minimum of BA in Art History required
  • MA in Art History with emphasis on Islamic Art, preferred
  • Some museum experience and a demonstrated interest in developing a career in museum work

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.

Position Available:

Title:                                                     Curatorial Assistant, Art of the Islamic Worlds

Reports to:                                          Curator, Art of the Islamic Worlds

Classification:                                     Full Time/Non Exempt/Hourly

Schedule:                                            35 hour work week – 9 am to 5 pm

Pay Rate:                                             Please see “Compensation” below

Work Location:                                  Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

Work will primarily be performed in a museum and office environment.  Work will involve extended sitting, standing, walking and computer use.  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 background and reference checks.
  • Required ability to handle multiple tasks concurrently.
  • Extensive computer usage.
  • Seeing, hearing, speaking, and writing clearly in order to communicate with staff, guests and others.
  • Frequent sitting, standing and walking, which may be required for extended periods of time.
  • Good vision or corrected by use of glasses and/or contacts for reading and viewing abilities.

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:


The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, offers an excellent benefits package that includes:

  • Medical Insurance: Employee and dependent coverage through a choice of managed health care programs
  • Dental Insurance: Employee and dependent coverage through two plan choices
  • Vision Insurance: Employee and dependent coverage through a vision program
  • Group health, dental and vision insurance coverage available and effective the first of the month following employment with the MFAH for this role.
  • Life Insurance & AD&D: Employee coverage at no cost to the employee
  • Long Term Disability: Employee coverage at no cost to the employee

The MFAH provides a generous schedule for time off under the following benefit categories:

  • Paid Time Off - Used for absences from work such as vacation, illness of short duration, and personal reasons. Hours are accrued biweekly, based on employment status, length of service, and hours worked
  • Reserve Time Off - Used for extended illnesses. Employees accrue up to 6 days per year, up to a maximum of 120 days
  • Holidays - Full-time employees receive ten paid holidays per year
  • Volunteer Time Off - The MFAH supports activities that enhance and serve the communities in which we live and work. Employees receive up to 40 hours of paid time off annually to give back and volunteer.

Other Benefits

  • Staff may contribute to the MFAH Retirement Savings Plan. Eligible staff contributing to the plan may receive up to a 5% matching contribution from the MFAH after one year of service.  (We also recognize prior nonprofit service which will provide for an accelerated employer match!)
  • MFAH Membership – Staff receive a free Family-level membership
  • Discounts – Staff receive discounts on purchases at the Museum shop and all on campus eateries and the Glassell School of Art.
  • Metro commuter subsidy available upon request


Salary will be commensurate with the applicant's experience and the needs and requirements expressed in the job description.  The MFAH has set the pay range for this job and level as a general guideline and not a guarantee of the compensation amount or salary. Additional factors considered in extending an offer include (but are not limited to) responsibilities of the job, education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities, the needs and requirements expressed in the job description, as well as internal equity, and alignment with market data, and any related regulations or other laws.