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Director of Collections and Curatorial Initiatives

  • June 22, 2020 6:24 AM
    Message # 9051702

    Planting Fields Foundation is seeking an experienced museum professional to join a growing team to lead all collections and curatorial initiatives for the organization. The Director of Collections and Curatorial Initiatives will have a sophisticated understanding and passion for art, architecture and art history, the materials, techniques, and condition of objects, along with a robust record of exhibitions and publications; will have a deep understanding of collections management and historic preservation principles; will be adept at working with peers to bring the best out of them; and has an ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously while working in a fast paced environment. The DCCI will work as a strategic thought partner to the Executive Director and as the lead administrator for collections and curatorial affairs. The DCCI is part of the senior management team and is responsible for fostering a collaborative culture within those initiatives and across the museum. This position will shape and implement the organization’s collections and curatorial objectives and priorities; champion a vibrant and innovative approach to art, preservation and scholarship and is committed to exploring the evolving relationship between historic sites and their audiences.

    This is an exciting opportunity for an ideal candidate to join a growing organization embarking on a next phase of institutional growth. With a strategic planning process underway, opportunities are in abundance to optimize the site’s tangible and intangible heritage and to create a long-range vision to achieve that goal. The ideal candidate will be highly motivated and resourceful in overseeing all collections and curatorial projects from the ground up. This position reports to the Executive Director.

    Given the increased need for safety at this time, Planting Fields has taken several measures to ensure the safety of staff, visitors, and volunteers. The following measures will be in place: 

    ·        Masks covering nose and mouth are required by all staff, visitors, and volunteers when indoors and/or engaging in close contact with others. Masks are provided to all who do not have their own. 

    ·        Hand sanitizer is readily available in locations across the grounds and within all buildings. 

    ·        Gloves are provided by Planting Fields. 

    ·        Procedures are in place for the regular cleaning of high touch surfaces. 

    Position Description
    This duties and responsibilities of this individual will include, but not be limited to the following:

    ·        Develop a strategic approach to achieving goals for sustaining and caring for the collections and archives, conceiving, and organizing collections displays and historic interiors.

    ·        Assess department functions, priorities, and processes to ensure efficiencies, excellence, and alignment with museum best practices and AAM best practice standards.

    ·        Spearhead development of a comprehensive three- to five-year programmatic calendar for the collections, historic interiors, and exhibitions, all considered for engaging multiple constituencies.

    ·        Lead collections management improvements to include both object and archives collections.

    ·        Work collaboratively with development colleagues in the cultivation of donors and general fundraising activities to benefit strategic goals.

    ·        Develop research priorities that advance scholarship and interpretive initiatives; establish academic partnerships to advance research goals.

    ·        Work collaboratively with the Director of Education and Engagement to inform interpretation and audience engagement work.

    ·        Advocate for internal initiatives that modernize, streamline, and integrate collection content, aligned with industry standards and using existing and new processes.

    ·        Keep trustees and related committees updated on key collections and curatorial work. Participate in Board meetings; be the staff liaison for the Collections Committee.

    ·        Represent the organization in professional, academic, and social forums.

    ·        Play a key role in historic preservation projects, including the development, management, and evaluation phases.

    ·        Develop and monitor departmental and exhibition budgets, contracts, agreements, and other administrative documents.

    ·        Perform other tasks and duties as assigned.

    Qualifications and Requirements

    •        At least 7-10 years of progressive leadership in a senior collections and/or curatorial position.
    •        Advanced degree in art history, museum administration, or historic preservation; MA required.
    •         Proven track record in taking initiative and moving projects from conception and program design to implementation and evaluation.
    •        Strong communication and collaboration skills.
    •        Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to prioritize multiple time-sensitive projects in a fast-paced environment.
    •       Interest in contemporary art and working with creative professionals.
    •       Must be diplomatic, analytical, of the highest integrity, and possess sound judgment.
    •       Regular office hours are required. Due to the nature of the responsibilities, evening and weekend work is sometimes required, and at times may be on an emergency basis.

    This is a full-time position based in Oyster Bay, New York.


    Employees are eligible to participate in a generous benefits program.
    Salary range is $60,000-$80,000.

    To apply, send a resume and letter of interest (both in PDF format) to gwouters@plantingfields.org.

    About Us

    Planting Fields Foundation preserves and interprets Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park as the premier public garden and Gold Coast estate for today and tomorrow while creating enriching experiences for the visiting public. Founded in 1952 by William R. Coe, the Foundation is a not for profit public educational foundation.  Located in Oyster Bay, New York and originally landscaped by the Olmsted Brothers, the grounds feature 409 acres of greenhouses, rolling lawns, formal gardens, woodland paths and outstanding plant collections. The original historic estate buildings remain intact including Coe Hall, a 65-room Tudor Revival mansion designed by Walker & Gillette. The interior of the house is a showcase of artistry and craftsmanship and features a distinctly American aesthetic through original ironwork commissions by Samuel Yellin and murals painted by artists Robert Winthrop Chanler and Everett Shinn.  Planting Fields is included in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Museum Association of New York strengthens the capacity of New York State’s cultural community by supporting professional standards and organizational development. We provide advocacy, training, and networking opportunities so that museums and museum professionals may better serve their missions and communities.

Museum Association of New York is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

265 River Street
Troy, NY 12180 USA

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