November 24, 2012 - Govett-Brewster Art Gallery - Senior Curator position
November 24, 2012

Senior Curator position

3-D model showing the Len Lye Centre and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.

Senior Curator position at the Govett-Brewster
Application deadline:
12 December 2012

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
Cnr Queen and King Sts
New Plymouth 4342
Aotearoa, New Zealand

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery—recognised as the leading contemporary art museum in Aotearoa, New Zealand and home to the collection of modernist filmmaker and kinetic sculptor Len Lye—is seeking a Senior Curator.

Located in the coastal city of New Plymouth in the culturally rich Taranaki region of New Zealand’s North Island, the Govett-Brewster has, since 1970, offered audiences energised and memorable encounters with the art and ideas of its time. The Govett-Brewster is a pathfinder, generating courageous exhibitions, innovative artists’ projects, cultural initiatives, significant publications and rigorous conversations with a wide national and international reach that stimulate ideas, challenge preconceptions and enrich the imagination.

Since 1980, the Govett-Brewster has been the guardian of the Len Lye Collection and Archive, presented and cared for in partnership with the Len Lye Foundation. Experimental filmmaker, kinetic sculptor, painter and poet, New Zealand-born Len Lye (1901–1980) was an intensely creative figure whose innovative ‘direct’ films are increasingly recognised as pioneering contributions to the development of the moving image.

The Senior Curator is a newly created position working closely with the Director. The successful candidate will bring a strong curatorial vision and an active engagement with current ideas and practices in art and contemporary culture internationally. The Govett-Brewster is at a pivotal moment in its 42-year history given its major development project, the Len Lye Centre, will begin construction in early 2013 with the opening planned for early 2015. The Govett-Brewster and Len Lye Centre will operate as a combined facility.

The Senior Curator will play a key role in the development of the opening and future programming and the establishment of the curatorial philosophy that will launch this ambitious new cultural organisation. The new combined facility of the Govett-Brewster and Len Lye Centre will offer a unique and independent curatorial voice given its dual focus on both contemporary international art practice, and the Len Lye Collection and Archive as a significant Modernist single-artist collection. Attention to time-based practice informs the entire programme. The Senior Curator will also work closely with the Director and artists on the development of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery Collection and the production of limited editions by artists.

The position includes strategic and senior management responsibility within the organisation and delivery of the artistic programme, artistic liaison and the development and commissioning of publications. The Senior Curator will be directly responsible for initiating, curating and delivering exhibitions of excellence; a strong, original, insightful and responsive curatorial vision is sought. The Senior Curator will articulate—through writing, symposia and public talks—the ideas and issues that inform contemporary practice. The Senior Curator will contribute significantly to the development of Govett-Brewster’s audience engagement programmes, offering guidance and building on successes to date. The Senior Curator will manage the Curatorial Team that encompasses the Len Lye Curator, the Assistant Curator and Guest Curators.

The Senior Curator will report to the Director, and will be part of the Leadership Team. The Senior Curator will work openly and collaboratively with a team of dedicated and passionate professionals across the museum. The Senior Curator will be responsible for enhancing productive relationships with key stakeholders, artists, arts organisations and colleagues across New Zealand and internationally.

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery is owned and operated by the New Plymouth District Council, New Zealand.

Applications close on 12 December 2012
To view the Position Description and to apply online visit

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery
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