Mystic Seaport Museum “Discovering Antarctica” Guest Curator

Mystic Seaport Museum, the preeminent American maritime museum, is currently organizing a major temporary exhibition with the working title of Discovering Antarctica: 1820-2020, to commemorate the bicentennial of the continent’s discovery, in 2020. The museum is located in Mystic, CT, just a few miles from the historic home of sealing captain Nathaniel Palmer, who sailed from Stonington, CT in 1820, becoming the first American to sight the Antarctic coast. Palmer’s story is an entry point into a complex history of human engagement with the only continent without an indigenous population. Working from the museum’s vision statement – to reimagine the interchange between maritime heritage and broader contemporary culture – the exhibition intends to reveal different chapters from the two-hundred-year history, including the continent’s discovery, and the commercial, heroic, mechanical, and scientific eras. Of major importance will be visitors’ understanding of the role Antarctica plays today in furthering our understanding of global climate change. Exhibition planning began with a two-day workshop in Mystic in 2017, involving Antarctic experts in various disciplines in the sciences and humanities. This group of more than twenty specialists in fields as diverse as whaling and resource extraction, economic history, history of exploration, geophysics, marine biology, environmental history, and contemporary art and design will continue to serve as a valuable resource and sounding board as the exhibition content develops over the coming two years. The museum is hiring a guest curator to facilitate content development for the exhibition. This person should have expertise in a discipline related to the exhibition, be familiar with Antarctica as a subject (preferably through personal experience), and have some experience with museum work and/or exhibition development. This will be a contract position working remotely, not a full time employee of the museum. However, occasional travel to Mystic will be necessary. For more, see