Director of Exhibitions and Collections – Stark Museum of Art, Orange, TX

Museum Search & Reference is leading the search for the key senior leadership position of Director of Exhibitions and Collections at the Stark Museum of Art in Orange, Texas. Family-founded and privately supported, the Stark Museum of Art is an integral part of a network of cultural amenities in Orange, Texas, overseen by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, which was founded by the region’s leading family of philanthropists. The Museum holds one of the nation’s most significant collections of Western American Art and has a strong regional educational mission, playing an important role in advancing the cultural heritage and enrichment of this historic town just two hours east of Houston.

The Director of Exhibitions and Collections job—a senior-level position—is an opportunity for a talented museum professional to play a leading role in the development, execution, and realization of a collections-based exhibition program to advance the Museum’s education-focused mission. This individual will manage incoming traveling exhibitions and other exhibition-focused initiatives that interface with the Foundation’s other venues, including the Lutcher Theater, an impressive, fully equipped performing arts center; The W.H. Stark House slated to re-open for regular tours in the coming year; and the 250-acre Shangri La Botanical Gardens, thereby engaging and inspiring a new generation of patrons, students, and general audiences. Located in the community-and-family-centric Southeast Texas city of Orange (pop. 20,000), the Museum plays a central role in the city’s cultural life and is an integral part of its regional identity, alongside the suite of cultural venues overseen and operated by the Stark Foundation. The Foundation provides all administrative and support services for the Stark Museum of Art including Human Resources, Payroll, Accounting, Risk/Insurance, Maintenance, Security, and Housekeeping in addition to funding for all programs and exhibitions, allowing the Museum staff to dedicate their time to core services and programs.


The mission of the Stark Museum of Art, founded in 1978, is “to educate, enrich, and inspire the broader community, and young people in particular, through interpretive and educational exhibitions, interactive programming, art-making experiences, and lectures, rooted in its significant collection of paintings, sculptures, books, prints, and artifacts with an emphasis on the art of the American West.” The Museum functions as a regional touchstone institution within its mission, also maintaining a library and archive which provide a collection of primary and secondary sources to support the research-and-educational mission of the Foundation. Additionally, the Museum oversees The W.H. Stark House, which preserves and exhibits the architectural structures, grounds, and collections of the family, utilizing historic preservation and interpretation strategies that promote a deeper understanding of the connections between the past and present and illuminate the family’s significant roles in shaping the history of this region. The Museum building is over 60,000 square feet and was built to withstand Category Five hurricane winds of 200 mph. The Museum galleries comprise 10,000 square feet of exhibition space in five galleries with a lobby that features another 5,000 square feet of viewing space. The W.H. Stark House is approximately 14,000 square feet spread out over 15 rooms. Visitorship at the Stark Museum of Art is over 40,000 per year including sizeable education-focused audiences, both virtual and in-person. Admission is free of charge.

About the collection:

The strength of the collection is Western American art from the early- and mid-nineteenth century with extensive holdings of explorer artists John James Audubon, John Mix Stanley, and Paul Kane along with exceptional works by Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Works from the twentieth century are represented in collections from the Taos and Santa Fe art colonies, with extensive holdings of artists such as William Herbert Dunton, Joseph Henry Sharp, and O.E. Berninghaus. The Museum also holds a significant collection of Native American art including baskets, pottery, clothing, and jewelry, and is engaged in an active outreach initiative to Native American communities related to the interpretation and presentation of these collections. Decorative Arts collections comprise objects in glass and porcelain that interpret themes of nature and American history and include significant holdings of Steuben Glass. The Rare Books and Manuscripts collection features printed books and manuscript material in Western American art and natural history subjects and includes extensive holdings of John James Audubon publications and manuscripts. In total, the Stark Museum cares for a collection of nearly 10,000 objects including paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, and decorative arts. Additionally, the Museum oversees the collection of The W.H. Stark House which comprises 7,600 objects and artifacts, including furniture and textiles.


The Director of Exhibitions and Collections position will appeal to a talented exhibition designer and manager with experience in developing, designing, managing, and executing a collections-based public exhibition program and who is adept in overseeing incoming travelling exhibitions. They will possess a record of experience with the preparation, design, and logistical realization of museum-quality presentations utilizing interpretive strategies that engage a primarily regional audience. The Museum has a total staff of 27 which includes a core staff of six full-time employees and twelve part-time education staff. This position reports to the Executive Director, supervises a full-time Collections Manager/Registrar, full-time Collections Assistant, part-time Exhibition Assistant, and part-time Registration Assistant, and plays a critical role on the Senior Staff leadership team conceiving of and developing content for the exhibitions program for the institution in all Museum galleries as well as the historic house. Exhibitions include special presentations, traveling exhibitions, rotating exhibitions of work in existing permanent-collections galleries, and collaborative initiatives with other Stark Foundation venues, working with a budget of nearly $200,000. The Director of Exhibitions and Collections will be a generative and generous team player, comfortable with staff development and mentorship, and employ a communicative and open interpersonal style that is welcoming and professional. As the museum is wholly supported by the Stark Foundation, there is no specific fundraising expectation embedded in this role. As such, the position can function with a certain level of creative freedom and experimentation, within the Museum’s allocated exhibitions budget, content guidelines, and community-based educational mission.

Specific opportunities related to exhibitions and collections in the Museum’s 3-5-year strategic plan include an ongoing emphasis on Native American outreach initiatives and engagement planning along with the broadening of collaborative relationships and programming with other Stark Foundation venues. Exhibition development goals will continue to center on thematic insights into the collection that activate the potential of community storytelling, employing audience-engagement methods and educational programming that is relevant and compelling to the regional community as well as providing a broader context for the appreciation of Western Art.


  • Envision, design, and oversee all aspects of exhibition planning, preparation, and installation, collaboratively working with building services to realize exhibition structures and build-outs where necessary.
  • Requires facility and comfort with producing exhibition design and graphic packages including the development of fabrication specs, working drawings and floor plans, and logistical design issues including exhibition elements (i.e., furniture, lighting, matting, framing, mount-making, labels, banners).
  • Lead exhibition planning teams to effectively project manage the use of collections in onsite as well as digital exhibitions, displaying mentorship and guidance in proven museum practices of exhibition development and collections care.
  • Oversight of the exhibitions program and collections department including strategies to ensure compelling and professional results, meeting milestones and expectations.
  • Generate innovative ideas and marketing approaches to exhibition conceptualization and planning that appeal to new audiences and support a high level of visitor engagement.
  • Prioritize the development of a strong educational component to exhibition planning and collections development in line with the mission of the Museum and its related educational programming.
  • Contribute to thought partnership with other Stark Cultural Venues regarding off-site exhibition design and presentation opportunities.
  • Embody a generous and inclusive coaching and mentorship mindset through effective delegation and supportive team building, ensuring accountability while modeling open and professional communication practices.


  • B.A. in Museum Studies, Cultural Studies or a related field, or a B.F.A., and 3-5 years of increasing responsibility and experience coordinating and managing an art or multi-disciplinary museum exhibition program that appeals to a variety of audiences. Relevant experience in project management, exhibition design, exhibition development, and art historical contexts.
  • A background in Art History, History, or related field and/or a knowledge of American Art and Western Art is preferred, along with connections in the greater state of Texas and the East Texas region in particular.
  • Supervisory experience coordinating exhibitions along with project-management, communication, and team-building skills. Comfortable with delegation, evaluation, mentorship, and an avid proponent of professional development.
  • Knowledge of best practices for professional museum-quality installations, including ADA design principles, and experience in exhibition fabrication including virtual design models, the development of working drawings and specs, and the fabrication of mounts for 3-D objects.
  • Adept at the development and management of exhibition and project budgets.
  • Organizational and planning skills, and the ability to manage multiple complex projects simultaneously and communicate effectively to a variety of stakeholders.
  • Ability to relate to and communicate with multiple audiences and to serve as a spokesperson for the Museum as necessary.
  • Professional demeanor, demonstrating integrity, intellectual curiosity, and emotional intelligence.
  • Utilization of collections management systems and related technology to develop digital content for exhibition tours and distance learning is a plus.
  • An appreciation for, and broad understanding of, the legacy of Western Art as reflected in the Museum’s collection is appreciated.


  • $58,000 – $72,000 per annum (commensurate with education and experience). Orange has a reasonable cost of living, making this salary range more than acceptable for the region.
  • The position is based in Orange, Texas, and requires work onsite,
  • The Foundation, which oversees the Museum, offers an exceptional benefits program and working policy that prioritizes family and quality-of-life considerations. The Foundation prides itself on its demonstrated commitment to generously supporting its 120 staff over its 4 venues, including the Museum, prioritizing the individual and collective needs of the staff.


To apply in confidence, submit the following materials via email to Suzanne Tan, Senior Search Consultant, Museum Search & Reference at

1) A letter expressing interest in this position and giving brief examples of past related experience

2) A résumé or C.V.

3) The names of three references with contact information

Submit application by June 7, 2024. Applicants are encouraged to apply early as candidates will be considered on a rolling basis. References will not be contacted without prior authorization.Nominations are welcome.

For additional information visit:


Founded in 1836, Orange is a welcoming community of nearly 20,000 located two hours east of Houston (the seventh-largest metro area is the U.S., with a population of over 7 million), and 30 minutes from Beaumont (population 109,000) to the West and the city of Lake Charles (population 81,000) to the East. With charming neighborhoods, good schools, and plentiful outdoor activities. Orange benefits from the legacy of the W.H. Stark family. The Stark Foundation oversees four cultural venues in Orange—the Stark Museum of Art, The W.H. Stark House, the Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, and Shangri La Botanical Gardens—that attract visitors from across the region throughout the year. Families with young children can expect to enjoy festivals, parades, and a number of community-based events with active groups including the Lion’s Club, Kiwanis, Rotary, 4H, Scouting, as well as local engagement and volunteer opportunities.

Orange was originally called Greens Bluff after a man named Resin Green, a Sabine River boatman, who arrived at this location sometime before 1830. In 1840, the town was renamed Madison in honor of President James Madison and renamed Orange in 1858. The area experienced rapid growth in the late 19th century due to 17 sawmills within the city limits, making Orange the center of the Texas lumber industry. Orange’s growth led to the arrival of many immigrants in the late 19th century, and ship building during World War I contributed to the growth in population and economy. A U.S. Naval Station was installed after WWII and additional housing was provided for thousands of defense workers and servicemen and their families, raising the population to 60,000.

After the war, the peace-time population decreased to about 35,000. Orange was selected by the Navy as one of eight locations where it would store reserve vessels, and local chemical plants expanded, which boosted the economy during this time. The chemical industry continues today as a leading source of area revenue.

Orange is served by Interstate 10, a deep-water seaport, and Orange County Airport.

For more information about Orange and surrounding communities visit:

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