Vice President of Collections & Chief Curator
The Maryland Center for History and Culture (MCHC) seeks a dynamic, visionary to serve as the Vice President of Collections & Chief Curator. A member of the senior leadership team, the Vice President of Collections & Chief Curator creates exhibitions and collections-based content that advance the MCHC’s vision and mission to collect, preserve, and interpret the history, art, and culture of Maryland.
The ideal candidate for this position is an experienced team player who has overseen diverse collections, develops innovative exhibitions, and enjoys interfacing with the public and a variety of stakeholders, from scholars and community members to donors and trustees. The Vice President of Collections & Chief Curator will interact with all departments to create relevant, innovative exhibitions and content. They will be flexible and enjoy tackling a wide range of responsibilities.
This position reports to the President & CEO and leads a team of 10 staff within multiple departments, including Museum, Library, and Imaging Services.
Works with the Museum and Library teams to forward collection stewardship, including:
Facilitating acquisition of collections through gift and purchase for Museum and Library
Monitoring responsible deaccessioning of Museum and Library collections
Advocating for conservation needs of Museum and Library collections
Overseeing all collection storage conditions and advocating as needed to address storage needs
Promoting the use of the collections
Managing ingoing/outgoing loan programs with other institutions
Tracking and digitizing Museum and Library materials
Ensuring proper collections management and registrarial procedures
Manages major projects for the Museum and Library, such as space planning, facilities improvements for collection spaces, and acquisition of equipment
Prioritizes conservation needs in the collections and coordinates broader conservation projects
Oversees the conditions and organization of storage areas, as well as strategizes about effective collection moves when necessary
Formulates the acquisitions strategy
Researches collection priorities and advocates for resource allotment
Conceptualizes and produces multi-disciplinary exhibitions that engage communities through compelling storytelling
Creates partnerships with other institutions, working with them to share exhibitions and programs
Oversees all exhibition development, including:
Creating an overall interpretive plan in concert with leadership
Developing and maintaining budgets
Managing exhibition contractors, RFPs, and production schedule
Organizing cross-departmental teams and managing exhibition development
Assisting in creating relevant programming and marketing material for exhibitions
Supervises, mentors, and supports the development of Museum, Library, Imaging Services staff
Recommends new priorities to fulfill organizational goals and works with the staff responsible for seeing them through to completion
Builds and maintains relationships locally and nationally to further the institution’s leadership role
Represents the organization through internal and external channels, including reporting on Museum activities at board meetings and presenting about collections, projects, or other initiatives
Coordinates and presides over, with the Chair of the Museum Committee, quarterly Museum Committee meetings. Recruits and recommends potential Museum Committee members
Leads donor and requested curator-led tours
Lectures and participates in programs relating to pertinent MCHC
Represents MCHC as needed in media
COLLABORATION ACROSS DEPARTMENTS
Works with the Education staff to facilitate digital and onsite programs that utilize collections
Collaborates closely with the Advancement Department to steward gifts, including grants, fellowships, and internships made in support of collections and exhibitions
Collaborates closely with the Advancement Department to initiate, complete, submit, and provide required reporting for various grant funding applications
With the Director of Communications, collaborates on the website and digital collections portal and guides the content of social media and blog posts that relate to collections
At least 5-7 years of experience working in a museum environment, with demonstrated knowledge of all aspects of exhibition, design, and production
At least 5-7 years of collections management experience
MA in history, museum studies, anthropology, material culture studies, or related fields, supported by scholarship including exhibitions and publications
A strong professional track record in museum administration, strategic planning, and building collaborative relationships
Preferred KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS:
Strong project management, supervisory, and problem-solving
Experience supervising staff, interns, and volunteers, including providing feedback and evaluating outcomes
Strong leadership skills, with the ability to create cohesive, collaborative teams that work in tandem to accomplish organizational goals
Excellent oral and written communication skills, public presentation and teaching skills, and ability to deliver content to diverse audiences
Proven experience and knowledge of best practices in museum education and participatory interpretation practices
Excellent oral and written communications skills, with the ability to convey complex ideas and themes that will be easily understood by Museum visitors and the general public
Ability to organize, present, and communicate messages effectively
Knowledge of the role fundraising plays in advancing curatorial and collections projects
Knowledge of the latest interpretation techniques, including artificial intelligence, virtual reality, etc.
A demonstrated commitment to values of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion and employing these values to create a more inclusive, accurate, and representative telling of Maryland history
Proficiency in use of spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, and databases
Ability to lift and shift boxes and materials weighing up to 25 lbs.
About the Position:
This is a full-time, salaried position with benefits with occasional evening and weekend hours. The salary range is $75,000-85,000 annually. The final salary will be determined based on the experience and qualifications of the successful candidate.
How to Apply:
Please email a cover letter and resume with contacts of three professional supervisory references to [email protected] by November 12, 2022. Subject line: Chief Curator. Incomplete applications may not be considered. No phone calls, please.
The Maryland Center for History and Culture is an equal opportunity employer that seeks to educate people of all ages about the American experience through the rich history of Maryland using their collections and to preserve important objects and archival materials from prehistoric Maryland to the present day. We do not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or any other status protected by law and strongly encourage all qualified professionals to apply.
The Maryland Center for History and Culture collects, preserves, and interprets the history, art, and culture of Maryland. By exploring multiple perspectives and sharing national stories through the lens of Maryland, MCHC inspires critical thinking, creativity, and community. Learn more at mdhistory.org.