Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs
The Walters Art Museum
About The Walters Art Museum
The Walters Art Museum is among America’s most distinctive museums, forging connections between people and art from cultures around the world. Located in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, the Walters is free for all. The Museum’s campus includes five historic buildings. The Walters Art Museum’s collection spans more than seven millennia, from 5,000 BCE to the 21st century, and encompasses more than 36,000 objects. This extraordinary collection is rich in works that reveal the heights of human creativity and artistry.
In December 2020, the Museum finalized a set of multiyear diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) goals that directly inform the museum’s Strategic Plan and are grounded in the following commitments: expand the histories the museum examines and share; partner with our communities; and center equity, inclusion, and accountability in our culture and decision-making. The Walters and its staff serve Baltimore and Maryland by embracing the role of educators and storytellers, using the collection to support learning, dialogue, and community engagement. The Museum is committed to its mission for the benefit of all, offering essential programs that help people to connect art to their lives. The Walters’ Visitor Promise aligns staff and volunteers across the museum to preserve and share the works in our care for future generations, partner with communities, and create welcoming, accessible experiences for visitors.
For more information about the Walters, please visit their website.
For the Walters Art Museum’s Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs, a new position, it is an opportune time to join a vibrant, healthy organization that is weathering the global pandemic. This individual must be philosophically, conceptually, and tactically aligned with the vision for the Museum as a place to bring art and people together for enjoyment, discovery, and learning where people of every background can be touched by art, to engage and strengthen our community, and to be a force for transformation in the Baltimore region and beyond by collecting, preserving, and interpreting art.
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs will partner with the Deputy Director and other members of the Leadership Team (comprising staff at and above the Director level) to create an integrated and aligned implementation of the vision articulated in the Strategic Plan (ratified by the Board in 2015). This Leadership Team is charged with management and oversight of the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the Museum’s programs, demonstrating its deep commitment to emphasizing the depth, breadth, and quality of its collections in order to engage local, regional, and national communities in new ways.
The Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs will uphold the Museum’s commitments to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in all programming, exhibition, and staffing decisions as outlined in the strategic vision. They will contribute to a values-based culture by demonstrating and requiring adherence to the highest ethical standards.
The Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs will bring to the Walters a demonstrated passion for the visual arts and dedication to making art collections more accessible and meaningful to the broadest audiences possible. They will assist the Executive Director in establishing and implementing the direction of the Museum’s artistic program, which comprises all aspects of the program including but not limited to reinstallations, temporary exhibitions, conservation, digital initiatives, and publications both digital and print.
As the Walters’ senior staff member responsible for the collection and overarching artistic program, the Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs will work closely with the Executive Director, Deputy Director, and all other Leadership Team members to spearhead the development of a rolling, comprehensive three-to-five-year programmatic calendar for the Museum’s collections installations and temporary exhibitions that showcase the breadth of the collection and engage multiple constituencies. Developed in collaboration with this leader’s peers—and in particular the directors of Visitor Experience, Learning & Community Engagement, and Marketing & Communications—this plan should incorporate a rich offering of collections-based permanent and temporary exhibitions/installations, temporary loan shows of both historic art and, as appropriately defined by the institutional strategic vision, work by living artists. It should reflect a systematic rethinking of how the Walters collection and its buildings can connect with new ways of thinking about the various histories of art, geographies, and people. This artistic program must be rooted in the Walters’ unique collections and its own multi-faceted histories, incorporating visitor and community voices in the interpretation and presentation of the collection and exhibitions, and provide opportunities for 21st-century museum visitors, audiences and diverse communities to see themselves represented. In short, it must reflect alignment with the programmatic vision for and mission of the Museum.
In partnership with the Executive Director, the Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs will lead and oversee the institutional units encompassing curatorial, collections, conservation & technical research, publications, and digital production of the Walters Art Museum. The Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs will develop an approach in alignment with the museum’s strategic direction for sustaining and caring for the collections, conceiving and organizing permanent collections installations and temporary exhibitions as well as embracing the power of technology to extend the museum’s reach far beyond its physical walls. The Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs will ensure that the Walters teams within the individual’s areas of responsibility work cohesively and collaboratively with each other and cross-departmentally. They will serve as a cultural change agent and conduit for translating the Museum’s overall vision into action. This individual will have primary day-to-day responsibility for supervising the work of their direct reports. As a member of the Walters’ Leadership Team, the Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs will foster open communications.
Working closely with the Executive Director, Deputy Director, and Senior Director of Building Operations, the Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs will assist in the oversight of all building projects that impact collections and program areas. Additionally, the Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs will work collaboratively with the Executive Director, Deputy Director and the Senior Director of Development in the stewardship and cultivation of Board members, donors, and other stakeholders and participate in the general fundraising activities to benefit the acquisitions, conservation, exhibitions, publications and digital initiatives, and, as asked and where relevant, other major initiatives. The Senior Director of Collections & Curatorial Affairs will represent the Museum in professional, academic, and social forums with local/regional, national, and international colleagues by presenting and promoting exhibition and research programs of the highest quality. They will also represent the Walters as an active member within the local Baltimore artistic community, as part of the stewardship of and inclusion of work by living artists and being responsive and relevant to local voices. This individual will participate in regular Board meetings as well as meetings of the standing committees of the Board; they will be the staff liaison for the Collections Committee and will partner, as appropriate, with the other Leadership Team members in the staffing of or preparation for Board Committees.
For more information on the key responsibilities and ideal candidate profile, please visit here.
Compensation and Benefits
The target salary for this role is $140,000. The Walters Art Museum offers healthcare benefits, flexible spending accounts, disability insurance, a 457B retirement plan with match, 26 days PTO a year plus 11 observed holidays.
Stephen Milbauer of Koya Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Stephen directly at email@example.com. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
The Walters Art Museum is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants.
About Koya Partners
Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.
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