Director of Collections and Exhibitions | Fort Worth, TX
Director of Collections and Exhibitions
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art (The Carter) in Fort Worth, Texas seeks a Director of Collections and Exhibitions (DCE) to join its leadership team at an important moment in the Museum’s history. Located within the rich Cultural District of Fort Worth along with the Kimbell and the Modern art museums, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, the Cowgirl Museum, the Botanical Gardens, and Health Science Center (HSC), the Carter seeks to redouble its commitment to its community while expanding its participation in the national conversation on American culture. This critical senior position oversees and integrates the work of Curatorial, Conservation, Registration, Art Services, Exhibition Management, Publications, and the Archives, supporting staff in their interdepartmental efforts to build an exciting future. The successful candidate will enjoy managing and working closely with the excellent professional staff at every level of the Museum and will be motivated by the rewards of external participation, building relationships throughout the community.
Once known as a museum of Western art, the Carter continues to honor the legacy of its founders while expanding the mission dramatically over the decades. The broad, extraordinary collection of American art now covers every region and era, including the work of contemporary artists, whose work frequently can be found complementing and informing the historic collection in the galleries. Curators and Educators draw relevant exhibitions and stories from the collection that contribute excellent scholarship and programs that resonate within the community. Guiding and inspiring this effort, the DCE will have strong curatorial expertise, truly value the role of education, embrace the work towards a more diverse and inclusive museum, and be committed to the team process.
As part of the senior leadership team, the DCE will be engaged in setting museum direction, as well as planning and executing objectives. They will oversee a large division of the Carter, approximately 25 staff, plus volunteers and interns. They must excel at and enjoy being able to deftly manage a professional staff, drive the vision and creation of content, represent staff issues and interests, and strive towards collaborative, interdepartmental excellence. The successful candidate will move easily from management to community engagement and donor cultivation and stewardship. They will have a track record of important acquisitions and a national network of relationships that help facilitate collection growth. Working closely with the Board of Trustees, the DCE is the staff liaison to the Board’s Collections Committee.
A beloved museum in a vibrant cultural hub, the Carter has been transformed in the last decade. In 2019 it completed a major and complete gallery renovation and reinstallation, a new institutional branding campaign and marketing plan, and they were successfully reaccredited by the American Alliance of Museums. There is a refreshed and refocused commitment to community outreach and internal dedication to Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion. Impressive educational programming and interpretive experiences aim to reach people of all ages and abilities with a wide range of community partners, including 17 regional school districts and partnering with over 20 local organizations. With an operating budget of $15-17 million and staff numbering 75-80 FT and 35-40 PT, the Carter is an exciting center of creative engagement, with strong regional connections and national ambitions, working to enhance its community impact, serve as a center for creation of knowledge, and position the Museum for future sustainability. The DCE will play a vital role empowering staff to meet this vision and work collaboratively to help ensure the future success of this local and national treasure.
Opportunities of the Position
The Director of Collections and Exhibitions will build upon a strong foundation of curatorial excellence and improved processes for communication and planning. Externally, they will join leadership in envisioning a new responsibility as a museum of American art, participating in the larger narratives of what it is to be an American. There is great opportunity to make a lasting and important contribution to the field, using collections, acquisitions, and exhibitions to tell new stories of national importance and better reflect the surrounding communities.
The Amon Carter Director of Collections and Exhibitions will be expected to:
- Serve on the Leadership Team, working collectively and individually to consider significant decisions and strategic direction for the institution, and jointly implement Museum policies and activities.
- Provide strategic oversight for the development of exhibitions with wide community appeal.
- With the Executive Director, advise on and continue to refine the strategic vision for the permanent collection, including new directions in collecting and changes in the Collection Policy, for all categories of the Museum’s holdings.
- Seek and recommend acquisitions. Lead the acquisition process internally and liaise with the Board Collections Committee.
- Lead the Curatorial Division, including the Archive and Conservation departments.
- Work collaboratively with Education & Library Services to program and interpret the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.
- Collaborate with the Executive Director and Director of Development & Communications to secure public and private contributions to fund special exhibitions.
- Oversee and recommend loan requests. Work closely with curators, the registrar, and conservators to ensure the appropriateness, safety, and condition of all loans.
- Provide editorial oversight for exhibition and collection publications and, as time permits, research and write catalogue essays and other scholarly pieces. Assist outside researchers.
- Recommend new initiatives that fulfill the Carter’s mission and once approved, see them through to completion. Oversee other initiatives as assigned.
- Oversee the creative and technical design, development, and implementation for the display of art objects throughout the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions.
- Develop and maintain processes for the exhibition calendar that create communication and proper workflow among staff throughout the Museum.
- Lead staff in Registration to ensure continuity of collections care and maintenance of the highest standards in the stewardship of the Museum’s collection.
Education & Experience Desired
- M.A. in art history required, Ph.D. an asset. Degree in field of American Art or Culture preferred. Experience in American art field is preferred but experience in fields such as 19th-century European art, or a specialty in Prints and Drawings considered when combined with the management experience required and with recognition in the field.
- Strong research and publication record desirable.
- Experience in acquiring art for museum collections.
- Minimum of 5 years of museum curatorial and management experience in a senior position with managerial responsibilities at an art museum.
- Experience developing and preparing successful grant applications to federal and state agencies and to foundations.
- Knowledge of preservation and conservation issues and techniques. Prior experience overseeing the treatment of art objects desirable.
- Must have experience and be comfortable engaging with the public and have persuasive, relatable communication skills both oral and written.
Desired Personal Characteristics
- Creative and strategic problem solver, inspiring and enabling staff to find solutions.
- Confident, diplomatic leader, with excellent interpersonal and relationship development skills; supportive and goal oriented.
- Team player and good listener with a high-level perspective.
- Committed to the interrelationship of art and education.
- Comfortable with a flatter, less hierarchical institutional structure.
- Organized and focused; able to manage multiple projects under pressure; detail oriented; a timely decision-maker.
- Thoughtful and sustainable commitment to DEAI and community engagement.
- Business acumen and financial-planning abilities.
- Positive outlook; Energetic and self-motivated.
- Sociability; enjoys community interaction and cross-staff partnerships.
- $140,000 - $160,000 per annum (commensurate with experience).
- Benefit package includes generous PTO, health plan benefits, Short Term Disability, Life Insurance, 403b Plan with $1 for $1 match up to 5%.
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is committed to fair and accessible employment practices, and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply for this search. Finalists will be asked to successfully satisfy pre-employment background checks and drug screening and must agree to psychometric testing prior to hire.
Nominations are welcome.
To apply in confidence, email: 1) a letter expressing interest in this particular position and giving brief examples of past related experience; 2) a résumé or CV; 3) names of three references with contact information. Submit application by April 29, 2022 to retained search firm: Lora Urbanelli, Museum Search & Reference, SearchandRef@museum-search.com. References will not be contacted without prior authorization.
For additional information visit:
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art was founded in 1961 to benefit the community through the generosity of Amon G. Carter Sr. (1879-1955) by sharing his collection of paintings and sculpture by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. Today, having expanded the mission and programs to reflect the range, creativity, and complexity of American art, the Museum strives to foster a vibrant cultural spirit for all, and stimulate the artistic imagination. With over 63,000 objects catalogued, the Carter’s outstanding collection now ranges from the eighteenth century to the present day, including paintings and sculpture, expansive collection of photography (over 50K) and works on paper (8K), and rich archives, all of which celebrate the breadth and depth of American art, from early daguerreotypes to site-specific installations by contemporary artists. There is a very active exhibition program and occasional traveling exhibitions that rotate several times throughout the year in galleries large and small, as well as outdoor projects. The Carter dedicates significant resources to advancing the study of American art, whether by general or project-driven curatorial research, publishing, the Davidson Family Fellowship, or lecturing on the collection.
About Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth is one of the 20 largest cities in the United States, with just under one million in population. Founded in 1849 as an army outpost, over the decades oil and aviation brought new wealth throughout the region, and a city grew. The post-war years found Fort Worth capitalizing on its strengths as a transportation, business, and military center. Known for its Texas hospitality and a dozen unique city districts full of culture and activities, it is nearby, but more “western” in feel than Dallas, which is 45 minutes away with its major museums and attractions. Historic Stockyards feature the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive and reflect its frontier roots. An accessible downtown area includes the 35-block Sundance Square entertainment district. The Cultural District, a few miles west of downtown, features museums, botanical gardens, the Fort Worth Zoo, and Health Science Center (HSC). Great natural refuge areas, parks and river activities are close by for hiking, kayaking, and strolling. Known as one of the best places to live in Texas for its job market, culture, and southern hospitality, and with many young professionals and families relocating to the area, (demographics averaging in the 30s), the city claims to be the “youngest” in the state. Fort Worth prides itself on its rich fabric of many cultures and diverse heritage. Home to a highly rated school system with some of the best public schools in Texas, Fort Worth prioritizes education. The cost of living in Fort Worth is slightly lower than other cities its size and politically, it declares itself as “leaning liberal.”
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Amon Carter DCE Job Profile_FINAL.docx