Gallery Docent

An exception among its peers, China Institute Gallery is the only major exhibition space in the United States that exclusively showcases Chinese art. Since 1966, the Gallery has been a New York cultural icon, and is one of the best destinations in our City for learning about Chinese art. Its trailblazing exhibitions–attended by local, national, and international audiences–covers all of the country’s art forms and illuminates 5,000 years of Chinese history. Known for the originality of its thematic approach, the depth of its scholarship and the beauty of its presented artworks, China Institute Gallery is a symbol of excellence worldwide. Its scholarly publications and education initiatives expands the impact of its programming far beyond our Gallery’s doors.

Discover China Through Art (DCTA), China Institute Gallery’s innovative art education program, was created in 1992. DCTA serves K-12 schools, universities, senior populations, and the general public. Participants receive interactive docent-led gallery tours accompanied by informative video presentations and hands-on art workshops. Since 2020, the program has expanded its reach, offering its education workshops virtually and offsite.

About the Role:
China Institute Gallery seeks candidates for the position of Gallery Docent. After receiving training in exhibition content and reference materials, the docent will lead gallery tours and workshops tailored to meet the needs of the following: K-12 students; university students; senior groups, and general audiences. The program is usually comprised of a gallery talk, video presentation and hands-on art workshop. The docent will commit two hours for each DCTA program, to consist of preparation; content presentation (usually 60 to 90 minutes); and program wrap-up/cleanup. The docent will receive a flat fee for each DCTA session given.

Responsibilities include:

  • Mastering exhibition content and background material
  • Presenting each element of DCTA sessions (gallery talk, video presentation and hands-on workshop)
  • The ability to modify DCTA sessions to serve specific age groups
  • The ability to control a group as it progresses through the Gallery, especially as it relates to the safety of individual artworks
  • Maintaining cleanliness in the Gallery and in art workshop classrooms

This is a paid part-time position offered on an as-needed basis; the number of assigned tours depends on the number of tours booked.
For each specific tour and workshop offered (usually a minimum of three months), the docent is expected to make a commitment of two to eight days per month.

Generally, tours are held from 10:30am to 12:00 pm and from 1:30pm to 3:00 pm, Monday – Friday. Evening and weekend hours may also be required. Docents will be required to attend a half-day training session for each new exhibition and/or workshop design.


  • Ability to speak confidently and clearly before groups and online
  • Flexibility to tailor tours depending on the ages of participants (especially in the K-12 age range)
  • Willingness and eagerness to learn about Chinese art and culture
  • Background in Asia Studies, Chinese History and Art preferred
  • Prior teaching experience preferred
  • Fluency in English required; fluency in Mandarin preferred
  • Strong time management skills

To Apply:
Please include a resume, cover letter, employment authorization status and send to Yue Ma, Director, Art Education Program (DCTA) at No calls please.
Please include a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements and send to No calls please.


China Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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