The Department of Sociology is seeking a Postdoctoral researcher for the project 'The Return of the Medici? The Global Rise of Private Museums for Contemporary Art', which is funded by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) and led by Professor Olav Velthuis. The Postdoc will be part of programme group Cultural Sociology at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). The project studies the global rise of private art museums. This rise is highly controversial: according to some they are neo-aristocratic institutions which translate economic into cultural inequality, while others argue that they democratize and support art, especially when government support is absent or declining. The project addresses three interrelated questions: What motivates art collectors to found a private museum and how are these motivations activated, refracted or muted by pre-existing local and global field structures? (2) How do private museums position themselves in local and global cultural fields through their acquisitions and exhibition programs? (3) What is the impact of private museums on visitors, art markets and public museums; are these museums the contemporary art world’s new taste makers, or are they predominantly following other institutions? Using both qualitative and quantitative data, the project focuses on the rise of private museums in The Netherlands, United States, Brazil, Russia, India and China.