Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellowship
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) is one of Chicago’s major museum institutions and one of the nation’s largest facilities devoted to the art of our time, offering exhibitions, performances, and programs of the most thought-provoking art created since 1945.
Considered one of the premiere curatorial training opportunities in the nation, the MCA’s Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellowship is intended to offer an exceptional graduate-level candidate the opportunity to gain professional curatorial experience in a major museum setting. The Fellow is primarily responsible for exhibition- and/or collection-related research, with additional duties as appropriate to specific projects. As a 12-month commitment, the Fellow is exposed to all aspects of curatorial operations and participates in internal and external communications on a daily basis. With a start date of July 1, 2014, the full-time fellowship carries a stipend of $25,000 plus selected benefits.
The MCA considers exceptional candidates in art history, museum studies, and related fields with a strong emphasis on art historical research and methodology. Qualified applicants must possess an M.A. degree or be in their final year of graduate work. The MCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
The application deadline is January 31, 2014.
There are no application forms. Please note that application materials, including writing samples and any supplementary materials, will not be returned to candidates. All application materials should be typed and include the following:
- Cover letter that includes: name, current and permanent addresses, and telephone numbers of the applicant.
- A full resume of education and employment history.
- Two letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional settings.
- An essay describing the applicant’s interest in this fellowship, museum work, and reasons for applying.
- Two writing samples. Each individual writing sample should not exceed 2000 words.
- Application materials should be sent to:
Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellowship
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
Please note: International candidates must be in possession of a valid US work visa for the entire fellowship period.
After reviewing all applications, a group of candidates are selected for either an in-person interview or telephone interview. Final notification to all applicants will be mailed by the end of April.
The MCA Chicago Curatorial Department reviews applications. Final selection of the Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow is determined in consultation with the Susman family and curatorial staff.
The Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellowship was established by members of the Susman family in honor of Marjorie Susman.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does the cover letter differ from the essay of intent?
A: The essay should elaborate on your interest in the program, reasons for applying, qualifications, and professional and scholarly experiences related to the Fellowship. The cover letter is intended to be introductory. It is similar to a cover letter submitted with a job application.
Q: How long should the writing sample be?
A: Each writing sample should be no more than 2000 words (roughly 5 pages). It can be an excerpt of a longer work. Both academic and professional papers are accepted.
Q: Are international applicants eligible for fellowships at the Museum of Contemporary Art?
A: All fellows must provide evidence of their ability to work in the US pursuant to the Immigration Reform and Control Act. The Museum of Contemporary Art at times may extend offers of employment to foreign nationals. When such candidates are identified, the Museum of Contemporary Art will prepare and file all necessary materials in order to obtain and renew appropriate immigration status for these individuals that will allow them to accept and/or maintain their employment with the Museum of Contemporary Art. There should be no presumption on behalf of any fellow of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s sponsorship intent. The decision to pursue sponsorship is determined on a case by case basis.
Q: How strict is the start date?
A: Applicants must possess an M.A. degree by the start date of July 1. International applicants should also be in possession of a visa by the start date.
Q: I earned my M.A. several years ago. Can I still apply?
A: Qualified applicants must possess an M.A. degree. There is no specified time frame required to have received your degree, however, qualified candidates must have relevant professional or academic experience since obtaining their M.A.
Q: Can letters of recommendation be mailed separately from the application?
A: Recommendation Letters may be mailed with your application, or separately.
Q: Do the materials need to be sent by mail only?
A: Yes, materials must be mailed or dropped off in person at our security entrance on Chicago Avenue.
Q: Does my application need to arrive at the MCA by January 31, or simply be postmarked by that date?
A: Applications should arrive by January 31st. If January 31st falls on a weekend, application materials should arrive by the following Monday.
Q: Can my application materials be returned to me?
A: The MCA cannot return application materials. For that reason we ask that you not provide us with any original documents.
If you have any questions about applying for a fellowship, please email.