Resident Collections Fellow, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research (Bloomfield Hills – due 28 April 2016)

The Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research is accepting applications for its 2016-2017 Resident Collections Fellow.  This is a unique opportunity for an emerging museum or historic house curator with a passion for the decorative arts and architectural history to play a leading role in the preservation and interpretation of Cranbrook’s diverse historic collections and built environment. The fellowship includes an apartment in Saarinen House.
The Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research centralizes Cranbrook’s 112-year story and offers intellectual engagement with its legacy.  Publicly launched in 2012, the Center encompasses the management and curatorial leadership of all of Cranbrook’s collections, Cultural Properties, Archives, and historic architecture (most notably Cranbrook House & Gardens and Saarinen House).  By preserving and interpreting the community’s unparalleled landscape, architecture, collections, and archives, the Center provides memorable educational experiences and meaningful research opportunities for internal and external audiences.  The Center’s offices are housed within both Cranbrook House (including the Collections Fellow’s office) and Cranbrook Art Museum, where the Center is able to take advantage of the new state-of-the-art Collections Wing.  The public operation of Cranbrook Archives, which is a key component of the Center, is located in a new space in the Lower Level of the Art Museum.
Reporting directly to the Center’s Director, and working collaboratively with the staffs of the Center (including the Archives) as well as Cranbrook’s Art Museum, Institute of Science, and Schools, the Collections Fellow will research collections and assist with the development of their documentation, storage, care, conservation, and inventory, as well as their display and interpretation within the context of Cranbrook House (the founders’ 1908 Albert Kahn-designed manor home), interventions with Saarinen House (Eliel Saarinen’s 1930 Art Deco masterwork), and small campus-wide exhibitions; develop and organize collections-based education programs for Cranbrook Schools; develop lectures and tours for regional audiences, such as the Center’s popular Day Away bus tours; assist with visiting researchers; develop the representation of the Center’s collections and programs on the Center’s evolving website and through the Center’s blog (“Cranbrook Kitchen Sink”); and provide private tours of the campus, including both Cranbrook House and Saarinen House.
The Center’s 2016-2017 Collections Fellow will have the opportunity to work on several major projects: the development of a master plan for the preservation and interpretation of Cranbrook’s newly defined “Heritage Areas” (including a Japanese garden, a Greek theatre, the Albert Kahn-designed Tower Cottage, and a Boat House—all from the early twentieth century); the completion of a furnishings inventory and development of an interpretation plan for Cranbrook House; the continued documentation and interpretation of the nearby Frank Lloyd Wright Smith House (a Usonian home completed in 1950), including the development of an oral history program; the development of the Center’s first website; and the development and hopeful implementation of a research journal.
The ideal candidate should have an M.A. in decorative arts, art history, architectural history, material culture, or a related field (completion of M.A. coursework required), with an emphasis on late 19th- through mid-20th-century art and architecture and a specialty/interest in the decorative arts and design; demonstrated object-based research and interpretation skills; outstanding speaking, writing, and editing skills; attention to detail; strong computer skills (Microsoft Office and PowerPoint); and collections database experience (TMS preferred). Previous curatorial experience or internships preferred.
The Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research is a part of Cranbrook Educational Community, which includes its Schools, the Academy of Art and Art Museum, an Institute of Science, and Cranbrook House & Gardens. Located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, twenty miles north of downtown Detroit, Cranbrook’s 319-acre campus is a National Historic Landmark that welcomes tens of thousands of museum visitors each year to the Institute of Science, Art Museum, and historic houses. Cranbrook also is home to more than 1,600 students in grades pre-K through 12 attending Cranbrook Schools and 150 graduate Academy students.
The 12-month fellowship ideally will begin in June 2016 (although a later start-date will be considered) and continue through June 25, 2017. There is a possibility that the Fellowship may be renewed for a second year. $515/week salary with a modest apartment in historic Saarinen House provided (no pets or smoking permitted). Applications reviewed until position filled with priority given to applications received by April 18.
To Apply
Send letter (including Fellowship and career goals), résumé, writing sample, list of references, and completed Cranbrook Employee Application (which can be downloaded from the Employment page of our website at to: Cranbrook, Human Resources, P. O. Box 801, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48303-0801, or email
Cranbrook is an equal opportunity employer and strives to provide a work environment that welcomes diversity

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