Curator, Photography and New Media

Job title
    Curator, Photography and New Media
    Associate Director, Collection
    Contractual (3 years), full time (35h/week)
Posting period
    1 December 2020 to 25 January 2021 (posting extension)
Job entry
    1 April 2021

About the CCA and the Collection

Strengthened by its extensive Collection (archives, prints & drawings, photography and library holdings) and based on its exhibitions, programs, and research opportunities, the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is a leading voice in advancing knowledge, promoting public understanding, and widening the debate on architecture, its history, theory, practice, and role in society today. The guiding purpose of the Collection is to make these comprehensive and integrated genres of material available for advanced, interdisciplinary research in order to reveal the changing character of thought, culture, and intellectual circles of the past, and point to the future of architectural thinking and practice.

Photographs and new media are a significant component in CCA Collection and curatorial projects. CCA’s photography collection shows an exploration of the complexity of the photographic representation of architecture, the city, landscape, and its intentions and uses in different contexts and over time. The collection includes isolated works and groups (albums, portfolios). Videos and digital works have entered the collection in recent years.

Begun in 1974 by Phyllis Lambert and Richard Pare, the photography collection now consists of some 60,000 works dating from the invention of the medium, in 1839, to today. Important are the series commissioned by the CCA that offer unique readings by selected artists of places and buildings, such as the photographic investigation of Olmsted and more recently the films, videos and photographs in relation to CCA exhibitions. The collection is strong in works from the 19th century, including a unique collection of daguerreotypes, and with key holdings by leading photographers active in the United Kingdom, France, Greece, Italy, the Middle East, and Asia. Experimental photography and avant-garde movements of the 20th century are reflected with works by various modern international architects, photographers, and agencies. Significant contemporary corpora have been assembled in the past decades, but will need to be developed even more in the next years in order for the institution and the Collection to continue to be relevant in the discourse of architecture, photography, and new media.

Job Summary

The CCA seeks a dynamic, knowledgeable, creative, forward looking and highly motivated individual to lead its photography and new media program and collection. The incumbent will be responsible for the stewardship of the CCA’s exceptional photography and new media collection, for the development, sharing and interpretation of the collection; for building and maintaining a vibrant collection profile and contributing to and with developing exhibitions, programming, and publications.

The main responsibilities of this position are to develop a coherent and long-term strategy for strengthening and diversifying the photography collection through acquisitions (donations) and commissions (diversifying in terms of media to include digital, video, Instagram and other new media formats, and in terms of perspectives and also with respect to gender, geography, and ethnicity of its authors). Although the photography collection is a distinct part of the Collection, the incumbent advises on photography at large at the CCA, present in archives, prints & drawings and the library holdings.

The ideal candidate should be prepared to create, articulate, and implement a vision for an ongoing photography program. Past work should demonstrate creativity in curatorial approach. The incumbent reports directly to the Associate Director, Collection and works closely with the other curators.

Key responsibilities

• Researches, strategizes, plans, coordinates and cultivates all aspects of the acquisition and donation process for the photography collection, the creation of knowledge (including cataloguing and documentation of works) and supervises the activities and projects related to the photography collection collaborating actively with the curatorial, editorial, and reference team, as well as the Digital and Research divisions
• Demonstrates an understanding of the role of visual resources in contemporary scholarship as well as an aptitude for imaginative interpretation through exhibitions and publications for CCA audiences
• Acts as a reference and a support for internal research, and supports and advises guest curators, CCA Fellows and independent scholars
• Conceptualizes and contributes to exhibitions and related publications (in collaboration with Programs), contributes original research for publication (in collaboration with Publications), lectures for academic audiences and the general public
• Maintains relations with dealers, collectors, journalists and the photography community in general: participates in external meetings, conferences and other activities in the local and international research community
• Prepares and writes for grant applications and cultural property reports for donations

Required qualifications

• Education: Master’s degree in an appropriate area of specialization with an in-depth knowledge of history of photography or media and a record of publications and exhibitions
• An expertise in the network, culture and discourse of architecture, as well as an expertise on the evolution of photographic media (digital, video, etc.)
• A proven talent for developing relationships is essential—these include living artists with established reputations and their estates, emerging and under-recognized mid-career artists as well as a diverse network of art world colleagues and curators
• Number of years of relevant experience required: 5-7 years with progressive curatorial responsibilities within a photography collection
• Ability to work effectively in French and English; knowledge of other languages is an asset
• Good understanding of the changing information needs and expectations of the academic and advanced research community
• Experience with The Museum System (TMS) or a similar database and the preservation and handling of photography
• Excellent analytical skills

Please submit your application (resume and cover letter, in English or French) by email to to the attention of Human Resources, Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1920 rue Baile, Montreal (Quebec) H3H 2S6. The application deadline is 25 January 2021. Only successful applicants will be contacted. Please do not call.

The CCA is an equal opportunity employer and encourages diversity. The CCA invites anyone having the qualifications listed in the job posting to apply. For all CCA existing job opportunities, visit our website.

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