Job Listing: Chief Curator & Deputy Director of Exhibitions & Community Engagement
Taubman Museum of Art - Roanoke, VA
Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Exhibitions & Community Engagement
Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia is located in the heart of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. We are seeking to fill the position of Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Exhibitions & Community Engagement. This exempt position serves as a key member on our Senior Leadership Team and reports directly to the Executive Director.
The Museum offers a competitive benefits package including excellent healthcare, vision, dental, STD, LTD, (may require an employee contribution), a generous 403-B match, PTO and a wide variety of professional development opportunities.
The successful candidate will be an engaged curator with a commitment to our mission along with a visitor-centered approach to meet the community where they are.
The Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Community Engagement provides creative leadership and implements the Taubman Museum of Art year-round schedule of exhibitions and community engagement interaction as an integrated practice and with a holistic approach for the visitor. This includes the curation and management of visitor-centered exhibitions and related interpretive materials, long-range planning of the exhibition schedule and contracts, and direction of the curatorial staff with collaborative oversight of community engagement programming and invested interest in the front-of-house visitor experience area.
Job Duties and Responsibilities:
● Provide effective leadership and management of the exhibitions and community experience; assist the Museum in delivering its mission and achieving strategic goals.
● Create and support a focused, visitor-centered approach that is embraced by the entire team.
● Manage and mentor the exhibitions and collections department staff.
● Build a collegial, focused department that works collaboratively and cross departmentally.
● Work collaboratively with the senior management team, Board committees, and community advisory groups, recognizing the opportunity not only to educate but to learn from these groups as well, always with mutual respect for experiences and capabilities.
● Provide leadership and responsibility for the planning and delivery of an integrated exhibition and educational portfolio (12-15 shows per year), working with national and regional collectors, artists and partners. Major curatorial and educational projects include banner exhibitions, the Museum’s 2-story Atrium space, outdoor mural, and sculpture garden. These may involve collaboration with community partners or artists-in-residence, as well as input and partnership in high-quality, participatory educational programming and interpretation tools.
● Work directly with the Executive Director for evaluation and planning and in collaboration with the Deputy Director of Operations and Project Management for exhibition timeline and implementation.
● Serve as curator of multiple exhibitions per year, working directly with artists and institutions, with primary responsibility for researching, writing, and developing exhibition and education-related materials such as didactics, labels, gallery guides, audio tours, and catalogues that communicate and engage across a variety of diverse audiences.
● Negotiate loans and contracts with regional, national, and international museums and galleries as well as private collections, artists, and lenders. Manage select exhibitions on loan and curated from other institutions or collectors.
● Work collaboratively with the Museum’s Executive Director, Assistant Curator, and guest curators in execution of exhibitions.
● Oversee exhibition design and gallery management with strict adherence to timelines with a hands-on approach and can-do attitude.
● Provide installation oversight of departmental, cross-departmental, and volunteer work groups.
● Provide guidance and oversight in the development of interpretation plans and interactive educational activities accompanying all exhibitions underpinned by solid educational goals and objectives that serve a diverse audience and myriad learning styles.
● Oversee the development and stewardship of the current collection of over 2,000 objects along with the Executive Director and the Registrar.
● Determine collections and conservation priorities, explore strategies to strengthen the collection, and ensure the highest standards of ethical practice are met in these pursuits.
● Assist in formulating the Museum’s acquisitions strategy and co-lead with the Registrar the collections committee.
● As Chief Curator, provide leadership and oversight in the acquisition, preservation, exhibition, educational programming, and research activities associated with the Museum’s outstanding permanent collection in collaboration with the Visitor Engagement team.
● Engage and provide access points for educators, adults, families, schools, young and elder audiences, bringing people and art together for discovery, learning, and enjoyment through connecting them in a meaningful way with the Museum’s exhibitions and permanent collection.
● Write and/or oversee the commissioning of texts for catalogues, exhibition-related material and information, as appropriate.
● Research and oversee the production of all exhibition-related publications, ensuring that each contributes to the artist’s oeuvre, is cost-effective, educational and delivered on time and on budget.
● Oversee training of all staff, museum hosts/guards and volunteers with timely information necessary to promote exhibitions and develop interpretive materials. This will include lectures and talks to various constituencies including members, sponsors, grant-giving bodies, donors, specialist groups, the press, and the public as well as educators and students.
● Ensure that Development staff is provided with sufficient information to prepare applications to individuals, sponsors, foundations and other revenue streams.
● Work collaboratively with the Development team in securing grants and in-kind gifts for exhibitions.
● Provide on-site support on high-visibility days and evenings for openings, late night programming, select Spectacular Saturdays, Member exclusive hours, fundraisers, and other events as identified by the Executive Director.
● Serve on the senior leadership team, providing input to reaccreditation, operations, marketing of exhibitions, and strengthening the visitor experience.
● Serve as Manager on Duty on assigned weekends to provide senior leadership, support for on-site Visitor Engagement team.
● Lead and co-lead initiatives such as Homeward Bound Juried Triennial, Biannual CanStruction, Artist-in-Residence with Roanoke’s Sister Cities, and institutional higher education partners.
● Ensure that all exhibitions and educational projects are delivered within agreed budgets and deadlines.
● Foster an inclusive environment through exhibitions, educational community programming, and staffing.
● Keep overall financial control of the Exhibitions Department while delegating to staff the day-to-day management of each budget.
● Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
● Strong project management, supervisory, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills
● Proven experience curating, delivering exhibitions, and writing publications
● 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
● Current, updated knowledge of American Alliance of Museums guidelines
● Hands-on experience in exhibition design and gallery management
● Strong, up-to-date knowledge of developments in art, nationally and internationally, through research, networking, and attending exhibitions
● Maintain an excellent knowledge of contemporary, historical, and popular art and culture including excellent professional contacts and relationships with artists, writers, and collectors nationally and internationally
● Robust, flexible, strategic operator with hands-on, can-do attitude to jump in and assist the team when needed regardless of seniority or responsibilities
● Possess the drive and determination to work within a fast-moving environment, delivering within restricted time, space and financial resources
● Ability to work with a diverse range of age groups, learning styles, educational needs, socioeconomic backgrounds, and more
● Excellent computer skills with proficiency in use of spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, and Windows; basic graphic design knowledge to provide input on marketing materials a plus; competency in social media applications a plus
Training, Education and Experience:
Position requires a Master’s degree in art history, museum studies, or a related field with major course work in art history, fine art, museum studies or arts management, with a PhD preferred. Minimum of 10 years’ experience in a Museum setting in curating, exhibition design, interpretation, community engagement, and project management required.
Must possess and maintain a valid Virginia driver's license and maintain a driving record acceptable to the Taubman Museum of Art and its insurance carrier(s). Must be available to work flexible hours including nights and weekends including openings, evenings, high traffic Saturdays and Sundays, and other key Museum events. Will require travel out-of-town on an occasional basis.
Physical Demands and Work Environment:
Must be able to stand, walk, and sit; ability to use hands and/or fingers, reaching with hands and arms; must be able to talk and hear; ability to occasionally climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl as required; must have the ability to lift up to 40 pounds as needed; must be able to see up close and have distance vision and have the ability to focus; must be able to work in a moderate noise level office environment.