The Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation in the search for a Curator.

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation seeks a Curator to oversee its non-digital art collections—Post-War Abstract Painting and Art of the Spanish Americas—as well as to assist with the grants process and promote the Foundation. The Curator will contribute to the shaping and execution of the Foundation’s vision and delivery on its mission as it moves to the next phases of growth. This position is based in Chicago, Illinois.

The Curator will utilize excellent interpersonal skills and a dynamic personality to cultivate relationships that lead to new partnerships with art organizations and museums around the world. This includes being a visible and active member of the national and international art community which will require monthly domestic and international travel to South America and Spain. The successful Curator will have experience working in a creative entrepreneurial organization that requires thinking dynamically about the future while also being effective in the present. Recent PhD graduates, with the interest and drive to work outside of academia or strictly curating, are encouraged to apply. The Foundation team includes four staff in Chicago and three in Santa Fe.


Post-War Abstract Painting: The Thoma Collection of Abstract Painting highlights new forms of color-based abstraction developed in the late 1950s and 60s in response to Abstract Expressionism. 73 artists and 162 works associated with terms like Color Field, Post-Painterly Abstraction, Hard-Edge, Finish Fetish, Washington Color School, Perceptual Abstraction, Op Art, and Minimalism define this historically significant collection.

Art of the Spanish Americas: The collection of Spanish Colonial or Art of the Spanish Americas art numbers more than 130 works from the 17th–19th centuries, principally paintings from South America. The collection includes religious themes and portraits from the Viceroyalty of Peru. Upwards of 50% of the works are on loan to various museums to include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, and the Blanton Museum of Art, and several exhibitions are in the planning phase. The Foundation continues to collect, and the collection is believed to be the largest in private hands, eventually to be donated to museums in the Americas. These paintings are mostly acquired in Spain and travel to Spain will be required occasionally throughout the year. Active interface with museums and travel to South America annually to research and promote the collection is critical. Additional scholarship, documentation, organization, and thoughts on disposition is needed. At any one time there are always several paintings under study and consideration for purchase.


  • Oversee the research, documentation, and promotion of the Post-War Abstract Painting and Art of the Spanish Americas collections
  • Cultivate relationships with peer institutions domestically and internationally
  • In partnership with the founders, participate in the grant process and decisions that relate to the three collection areas of responsibility (up to $2 million per year is granted in these three areas in aggregate)
  • Provide support to the founders on special projects


  • Excellent interpersonal skills, a dynamic personality, and the ability to cultivate relationships that lead to new partnerships with art organizations and museums
  • Curatorial experience working in a creative entrepreneurial organization that requires thinking dynamically about the future while also being effective in the present
  • Superior research, written, and verbal communication skills
  • A self-directed temperament and self-motivation with the ability to execute on plans independent of direction
  • The creativity and confidence to propose new ideas

A PhD in Art History or a related field is required for this position as is three years of curatorial experience. The successful candidate should be fluent in Spanish, written and verbal, with translation experience.


This is a unique opportunity at a growing institution. The Curator’s position at the Foundation is second only to the founders and the successful candidate will play a lead role in determining the ultimate homes of the collection over the next ten years.

This position offers the opportunity to grow into the role of Executive Director of the Foundation, a role that demands innovative insights and documentation of the collections, excellent relationships with key contacts around the world as they relate to the collection and granting, and a respected relationship with colleagues at the Foundation.

The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation offers a competitive salary and package of employee benefits. This position is located in Chicago, Illinois. The Curator will report directly to Carl Thoma.


All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Before submitting your materials, please read them over for accuracy. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the successful candidate has been selected.

To apply for this position, please visit: Curator, Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation.
To nominate a candidate, please contact Ron Schiller.

All inquiries will be held in confidence.

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