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CCP Job Opening: Caveat Emptor

If you’re reading this, then obviously Jesus Christ did not consider you worthy of ascent to Heaven with Him in the Rapture, and Holy God has condemned you to be “left behind” until the End of the World comes on October 21, 2011. Moreover, if nobody you know has vanished overnight without a trace, as some 200 million souls presumably have, then clearly everyone to whom you’re connected is equally sinful and has been denied salvation.

Harold Camping in his Family Radio Worldwide studio, April 2011. Courtesy of Creative Commons.

Harold Camping in his Family Radio Worldwide studio, April 2011. Courtesy of Creative Commons.

Family Radio Worldwide evangelist Harold Camping predicted that this would happen. The 89-year-old former civil engineer turned biblical scholar “said he reached his conclusion after 70 years of intense study and a few incorrect interpretations like the one he made in 1994.” He pinpointed the exact date with “a mathematical formula using the numbers given in the Bible.” “The Bible Guarantees It!” Camping announced, adding that his proof is “infallible.”

You’re doomed, in short, to stay around until the middle of the fall semester, with things getting rapidly worse. And, as part of your punishment for your transgressions, you’ll continue to receive these missives from me with updates about the lunacies and shenanigans of your colleagues in our little corner of the universe. (That is, unless you elect to unsubscribe.) Here’s the latest development:

Center for Creative Photography logoSubject: JOB OPENING: Senior Curator of Photography for The University of Arizona Libraries and Center for Creative Photography

Job Title: Senior Curator of Photography
Appointment Type: Year-to-Year
Department: The University of Arizona Libraries and Center for Creative Photography

Position Summary:
The Senior Curator of Photography is responsible for establishing priorities and strategies for developing the Center’s collections, for actively acquiring photographs and archives through gifts and purchases, and for overseeing the Center’s exhibition program. As Head of the curatorial staff, the Senior Curator is expected to participate fully in the work of the Center to fulfill its mission and to maintain the highest standards of scholarship, connoisseurship, and professional practices in the field.


  • Identifies photographs and archives for acquisition to the collection through gift or purchase; develops strategies and priorities to successfully negotiate with photographers, dealers, collectors, and estate trustees for acquisitions; provides supporting documentation to justify acquisition.
  • Works in close cooperation with the Director and development officer to identify and cultivate individuals who have the capacity to support or facilitate acquisitions to the collection.
  • Conducts or directs research on the collection or on related topics. Utilizes this research for a variety of purposes: the development of exhibitions and public programming, the enrichment of the Center’s collections database and interpretive materials in the gallery, and for presentation in collection catalogues, scholarly articles, public lectures, symposia, etc.
  • Organizes and/or coordinates exhibitions in a team-based organization. This work encompasses selection, development, and implementation of exhibitions from initial project planning and research to participation in securing of resources and the budgeting process, the creation of the installation design and the development and presentation of interpretive programs that will accompany it.
  • Review and provide recommendations on loan requests received by the Center.
  • Actively integrates archival material into exhibitions, publications, and research activities of the Center.
  • Works with the Director in creating and managing program budgets.
  • Collaborates in a team-based work organization to produce documentation about collections, to ensure that the collections are properly conserved, and to promote research in the collections by students, faculty, CCP research fellows, curators from other museums, photographers, and visiting scholars.
  • Works with the Director and others to maintain excellent communication about the Center with the photography community, comprised of artists, critics, dealers, curators, scholars, professional organizations, collectors, and the press as well as with Board members and supporters of the Center for Creative Photography.
  • Cultivates relationships with University faculty to assess needs, leverage opportunities, and build future collaborations.
  • Promotes CCP as a campus-wide resource.
  • Hires, trains and supervises curatorial staff and student employees.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • M.A. in Art History or other relevant field.
  • Demonstrated broad familiarity with the history of photography and a proven record of research and writing.
  • At least five years relevant curatorial achievement (i.e. the acquisitions of works of art and the development and coordination of exhibitions) in this field.
  • Record of achievement that would allow appointment at the Full Curator level. This can be demonstrated by publication in scholarly journals, exhibition catalogs, and/or books, as well as active participation in academic and scholarly aspects of the history of photography.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Art History or other relevant field.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills.
  • Experience negotiating with artists, collectors, dealers and trustees of estates to acquire items and/or collections through gift and purchase.
  • Broad knowledge of museum practices in the related fields of conservation, collections management, budget management, outreach, marketing, and development and external affairs.
  • Experience developing programs and managing curatorial program budgets and goals.
  • Knowledge of preservation issues pertaining to photographic collections.
  • Experience in hiring, training, supervising, and mentoring staff and student employees.
  • Ability to carry out responsibilities and assignments collaboratively as well as work independently in a team based organization.
  • Ability to handle multiple responsibilities in a changing work environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully with diverse people and serve a diverse population to achieve institutional objectives.
  • Ability to perform some standing, walking, bending, frequent use of hands, stooping, light lifting at least 20 pounds.
Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ

Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ

Job Opened: 4/26/11; Review Begins: 6-06-11
Salary: DOE; Full-time; Benefits Eligible:  Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and life insurance; paid vacation, sick leave and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for employee and qualified family members; access to campus cultural and recreational activities; state retirement, and more.

For further details and to apply: Go to and search for Job #47445. To apply, complete the faculty/appointed application form in The University of Arizona’s Career Track application system and be prepared to attach a resume and letter of interest when instructed.  Be sure to include the names and contact information for 3 employer supervisory references on the faculty/appointed application where indicated.

As an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, the University of Arizona recognizes the power of a diverse community and encourages applications from individuals with varied experiences and backgrounds.
The University of Arizona is an EEO/AA Employer-M/W/D/V.
Human Resources (520) 621-3662; TDD (M-F 8-5) (520) 621=8299;

University of Arizona President Emeritus John P. Schaefer

University of Arizona President Emeritus John P. Schaefer

I realize that jobs at this level in our field come few and far between right now, but I’d advise anyone considering tendering an application for this position to exercise extreme caution. Note in particular that this appointment will be “year-to-year” — meaning no job security whatsoever. Just the ticket for someone charged with “establishing priorities and strategies” and otherwise furthering long-range institutional goals. I should add that while Tucson’s a nice little town (I’ve spent time there), there are no other employment opportunities in the area for someone with the above-described skill set, making it imperative for the designated appointee to go along to get along or face yet another job search and relocation.

This search may simply be pro forma, a mandatory institutional protocol before appointing Rebecca “Becky” Senf, Acting Senior Curator of the CCP, to the position. Perhaps they’ve found her wanting, though I certainly don’t know why. Or perhaps she knows something you don’t, and has opted to get out of Dodge — er, Tucson — while she still has her f-a-c-u-l-t-i-e-s intact.

Katharine Martinez, Director, Center for Creative Photography

CCP Director Katharine Martinez.

The requisite “ability to handle multiple responsibilities in a changing work environment” will definitely come in handy, as CCP Director Katharine Martinez can surely testify. She got ushered into her position with great fanfare and praise last summer, only to have her authority undermined a few weeks later by her boss, Dean of Libraries Carla J. Stoffle, and the CCP’s co-founder, John P. Schaefer — and to get attacked and humiliated by William “Wild Bill” Turnage of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. So that “work environment,” now poisoned by all that backstabbing, is definitely subject to sudden and substantial change without notice.

William Turnage says "Off with her head!"

William Turnage, managing trustee, Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Those are the circumstances under which the CCP Senior Curator of Photography “works with the Director.” And under which he or she must “maintain excellent communication about the Center with . . . Board members and supporters of the Center for Creative Photography.” Those Board of Fellows members include the aforementioned John P. Schaefer, who, in a clear conflict of interest, sits also on the board of the Ansel Adams Trust. Michael Adams, son of Ansel, who receives 45 percent of the revenues from the Adams Trust, also sits on the CCP’s Board of Fellows, yet another blatant conflict of interest. And those “supporters” to whom you’ll have to cozy up include Turnage, who less than a year ago threatened to withdraw the Adams Trust’s support of the CCP if Martinez failed to do his bidding. What a minefield to navigate.

My advice, if you go after this job: Watch your back, CYA, and don’t even think of going in without a clear exit strategy. If you get it, I see weasels in your future. Forewarned is forearmed.

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