Title: Chief Curator Department: Curatorial Reports to: Executive Director Status: Full time, Exempt
El Museo del Barrio is the nation’s premier Latino and Latin American cultural institution. Our mission is to present and preserve the art and culture of this important and growing community, through our ever-expanding Permanent Collection, acclaimed exhibitions, innovative programs, and renowned bilingual education initiatives.
The Chief Curator is a member of the El Museo del Barrio’s senior management team, actively participating in shaping the organization’s vision and mission, while directing its artistic program. This position leads the efforts to build, present, care for, and conserve the Museum’s collections, and is responsible for the p rogramming and conceptualizing the exhibitions. The Chief Curator manages the Curatorial Department and all aspects of its operations, working in a collegial manner to build trust and respect in a team-centric department and throughout the Museum.
The Chief Curator is the lead spokesperson for the art in the Museum’s collection and the exhibition program and must be at ease in a highly visible and public position. The incumbent must cultivate relationships with donors, collectors, and the broader art world, building support for El Museo’s artistic program through gifts, purchases, and exhibition fundraising efforts. And as a community ambassador for El Museo, the Chief Curator must develop civic, cultural, philanthropic, and governmental relationships, advan cing the Museum’s mission in tandem with the strategic success of its operations, fundraising, and revenue plans.
• At least 10 to 15 years of progressively responsible curatorial and art museum management experience; • An MA in art history (PhD preferred), supported by significant scholarship in the field including exhibitions, publications, and acquisitions; • Spanish/English bilingual skills; • A strong professional track record in museum administration, strategic planning, an d building collaborative relationships, with demonstrable results, is of paramount importance; and • Specialization in Latino, Latin American and Caribbean art is required
Duties and Responsibilities: • Management of Curatorial Department staff*, policies, procedures, and budgets • Management of the collection galleries, including layout and design, planning, display, and upkeep; • Management of the collection, including accessioning and deaccessioning, storage, conservation, and loans; • Development and implementation of a comprehensive, long-range collection plan; • Development and implementation of an exhibitions program strategy, and management of exhibition planning; • Management of interpretation, scholarship, and archive planning; and • Fundraising for the collection and exhibitions. *The Curatorial Department is one of the largest at El Museo and includes registration, the Museum library and archive, conservation, and art preparation.
El Museo del Barrio’s next Chief Curator will be a respected and season ed leader with a record of achievement in curatorial work and museum management, and a high degree of financial acumen.
• Works with the Executive Director of the Museum to set the direction and master calendar for exhibitions; • Serves as content authority for the exhibitions, ensuring balance of schedule, scholarship, and value for audiences in the community and the art world; • Works with the senior management team to ensure commitment to and support of the Museum’s exhibitions; • Serves as a key member of the fundraising team to develop support for the collection, exhibitions, and other programs; • Leads the effort to build the collection through gifts and financial support; and • Serves on the executive team (with the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director, Director of Development, and the Director of Finance and Administration ) to ensure the success of the Museum’s operations, fundraising, and revenue plans.
The Chief Curator will be responsible for articulating a coherent program of exhibitions. As such this role is responsible for constructing a program of relevant exhibitions that links the public to the context of art work. This position will also schedule projects that guarantee diverse experiences.
• Works to program exhibitions that thematically reflect the values of the institution; • Produces didactic material to provide greater public accessibility to exhibition content; • Creates alliances with art spaces to collaborate or co-organize exhibitions; and • Executes demanding standards with the department’s work in order to achieve excellence in exhibitions and arts projects.
The Chief Curator leads the collection acquisition and deaccession process. As such, the Chief Curator plays a key role in working with the Board of Trustees (specifically the Acquisition and Collection Committee), the various support groups of the Museum, and other art supporters in the community to execute that plan. The collection is a diverse, living experience and its presentations must be kept fresh and relevant to add value to the community. The Chief Curator is the principal architect of that experience and is responsible for developing and implementing the evolution of the collection installation over time.
• Plans and coordinates the collection plan with the curators, setting funding strategies and building external support; • Works with the Acquisition and Collection Committee chair to set agendas, develop acquisition strategies , educate members, and enlist support for the collection plan; • Coordinates, educates, and manages the support groups and their art acquisition efforts; • Develops and implements a deaccession program to build funds for acquisition and to provide space for an upgraded collection; and • Leads and works cross – departmentally to develop and implement a master plan for the presentation of the collection that speaks to a new generation of visitors while serving the needs of traditional audiences.
The Chief Curator is responsible for the content of the art displays and the interpretation of the art. The Chief Curator directs scholarship efforts, as well as the archiving of information associated with the art for future generations. The Chief Curator’s role includes the digital realm, where the stream of information must be organized, presented, and archived in a meaningful way.
• Publications and catalogues in both print and digital formats are important aspects of the Museum’s presentation of art; • Coordinates the gatheri ng of information, records, and other archival material associated with the collection and the library and archives of the Museum; • Manages the registrar and library departments’ efforts to digitize the records and archives of the collection; • Works cross – de partmentally to develop and implement a digital information strategy, including online experiences, for the Museum and its visitors; • Works cross – departmentally to implement a Museum Experience Initiative that incorporates the digital archives of the Museum , new technologies, and other visitor experience best practices; • Develops and oversees the scholarly content of publications for the Museum; and • Works cross – departmentally to develop and produce the Museum’s publications associated with the collection and the exhibitions.
The Chief Curator is the content authority for the art of the Museum. In that role, the Chief Curator works closely with the Education Department and other departments to ensure the accuracy and relevance of the information disseminated about the art.
• Works with the Director of Education to develop and deliver docent and volunteer education; • Coordinates with the Director of Marketing to develop and ensure the accuracy of all art – related information delivered to the public; and • Works cross – departmentally to ensure the relevance and accuracy of the education content. Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.