Work at Mingei International Museum as the Quilt Research Fellow | Mingei International Museum

Quilt Research Fellow

Who We Are

Founded in 1978, Mingei International Museum collects, preserves, and exhibits “art of the world, art of the people,” including folk art, craft, and design from all eras and cultures. Located in San Diego’s iconic Balboa Park, our highly respected Museum offers stunning exhibitions and diverse educational programs to more than 200,000 visitors each year. The Museum is a nonprofit organization.

Mingei has a deep commitment to creating a space where people are inspired to see their own world through new eyes and, in turn, rediscover, embrace and nurture their own creativity. The recently transformed Museum is a place where all are welcome, where the community can gather, and where individuals can rest and find creative inspiration.

Position Summary

The Mingei Quilt Research Fellowship is a 14-month-long fellowship focused on researching Mingei International Museum’s quilt collection of 378 American quilts; identifying the pieces in the collection; developing comprehensive and detailed descriptions for each quilt for Mingei’s database; identifying gaps within the collection; and researching potential acquisitions to broaden Mingei’s collection and create a more inclusive and diverse representation of makers in the quilting community.

Reporting to the Curator, the Mingei Quilt Research Fellow (Fellow) will lead the research into Mingei’s quilt collection by identifying artists/communities, regions, materials, timeframes, and important notes and characteristics of the quilts – creating comprehensive information for Mingei’s database. The Fellow will research quilt histories and origins across a diversity of communities. The Fellow will consult with quilt experts and scholars to assist with research. Additionally, the Fellow will create a detailed understanding of the gaps in Mingei’s quilt collection and identify areas of growth that would more effectively represent quilting practices and origins. Ultimately, the Fellow will research artists/quilts for potential acquisition based on missing representation in Mingei’s collection.

The position will develop a digital exploration of Mingei’s collection and their research in the form of digital content – created in collaboration with Mingei’s team.

Other tasks include participating and presenting in bi-monthly advisory committee meetings, in-person and virtual studio visits, identifying scholars and experts, and working with the Mingei team on the development of quilt-related programs.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Conduct responsible and accountable research into the history of quilts.
  • Collect comprehensive data on all 378 quilts within Mingei’s collection and add that information to Mingei’s database.
  • Consult scholars and experts on research.
  • Identify gaps within Mingei’s collection based on representation and research.
  • Research potential acquisitions for Mingei’s collection
  • Develop digital content presenting research and Mingei’s collection in collaboration with the Mingei team.
  • Participate and present in bi-monthly advisory committee meetings.
  • Possible tasks include:
    • Help develop additional programming in relation to the collection, such as lectures and workshops.
    • Attend/speak at conferences focused on quilts.

Qualifications and Skills:

Required Experiences and Skills

  • Extensive research experience and an understanding of research methodology.
  • An understanding that historical records and research can be skewed and are not universally inclusive
  • The drive to dig deeper into history to develop a more comprehensive understanding of quilt history and contemporary makers.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication.
  • Comfort with public speaking or a drive to learn.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Skilled at utilizing research when interpreting objects.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office and Google Suite.

Preferred Experiences and Skills:

  • Knowledge of EmbARK
  • Art handling experience, especially with textiles.

Terms and Compensation

This position is a part-time, temporary, nonexempt position, paid at $25.00 per hour. Benefits include paid time off, paid sick time, and a 401k plan with a company match.

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