Director of Collections & Exhibitions
Reports to: Executive Director Status: Full time, Non-Exempt Supervises: Collections & Exhibitions Manager, Preparator
Mission and Description of the Metal Museum
The Metal Museum is the only museum of its kind in the country dedicated to preserving, promoting, and advancing the art and craft of fine metalwork. The Museum engages the metals community and the surrounding region through exhibitions, collections, studio practice, and community education and engagement. The permanent collection and exhibition program reflect a wide range and mixture of metalsmithing, including ferrous and nonferrous metals, hollowware, jewelry and architectural elements. With its unique focus on artwork and fine crafts made in metal, the Metal Museum helps initiate and promote dialogue and understanding of the field and its relevance in our modern culture.
To supervise the documentation and preservation of the Museum’s intellectual and physical collections, library holdings, and archives through routine registration duties and development and management of collections and special projects. To supervise the presentation of artwork on loan to the Museum from other institutions and private collectors and in the Museum’s collections through in-house temporary exhibitions, outside travelling exhibitions, and permanent collection exhibitions.
Essential Functions and Responsibilities
Create and implement Museum policies, procedures, and best practices encompassing acquisitions, loans, deaccessions, exhibitions, storage, packing and shipping, security of artwork in transit, fine art insurance administration, and risk management.
Develop and submit annual collections and exhibitions budget for approval and manage allocated budget throughout fiscal year.
Develop 5-year strategic plan for the department and oversee long-term projects to improve Museum’s collections and exhibitions.
Update facility report, collections policy and plan, and other related documents as needed. Schedule tasks for collections and exhibitions projects in Microsoft Teams and Planner and organize department documents and images in Microsoft SharePoint.
Hire, train, and manage Collections & Exhibitions Manager, Preparator, interns, and volunteers, as well as cross train other Museum staff, interns, and volunteers when necessary.
Oversee and coordinate in-person and virtual collections and exhibition programming, including receptions, lectures, and gallery talks.
Coordinate and facilitate Museum meetings regarding the Curatorial Department and committees of the Museum Board of Trustees, including the Collections Committee and Master Metalsmith Selection Committee. Prepare meeting agendas and department board reports.
Cultivate relationships with artists, collectors, donors, and other key stakeholders.
Apply for regional and national awards as they apply to collections and exhibitions. In collaboration with the Marketing Department, approve and provide content as needed for collections and exhibitions-related social media and blog posts.
Perform other duties as assigned within the scope of responsibility and requirements of the position.
Refine and expand the Permanent Collection in accordance with the collections development plan and collections policy, including seeking out new acquisitions and proposing and conducting deaccessions. Work directly with collections donors on the acquisition of new works for the collections, including researching proposed acquisitions and artists, presenting these artworks to the Collections Committee, and coordinating acquisition paperwork and shipments.
Oversee PastPerfect 5.0 database, including establishing data entry protocols, reviewing records, and managing the online catalog with assistance from Collections & Exhibitions Manager. Coordinate photography of Museum collections, research requests, and image rights & reproduction requests.
Manage environmental data and pest management with assistance from Preparator.
Manage the Museum’s temporary exhibition schedule of fine metalwork (~6 rotating exhibitions per year), including selecting exhibition themes, writing proposals for in-house exhibitions, and identifying guest curators and artist collaborators. Typical exhibitions include:
o The Master Metalsmith (1 annual) and Tributaries (2-3 per year) exhibition series, o outside traveling group exhibitions (~1 each year), and
o in-house temporary group exhibitions (~1 each year).
Oversee exhibition layouts and designs and advise on display requirements for artworks with assistance from Preparator.
Oversee, schedule, and proof all exhibition print materials (catalogs, gallery guides, postcards, didactics, etc.). Coordinate tasks and deadlines with content and design contractors and collaborators and provide Museum-required content as needed.
Assist with exhibition installation and deinstallation, including gallery and furniture cleaning, painting, lighting, and didactic installation.
In coordination with the Education Department, develop interactive displays and activities for exhibitions. Oversee updates and maintenance of all permanent exhibitions, including the New Acquisitions and Visible Storage Galleries, Beauty in the Boundary exhibit, and the Sculpture Garden with assistance from Collections & Exhibitions Manager and Preparator.
Qualifications & Qualities of the Ideal Candidate
An MA in Art History, Museum Studies, Library and Information Science, or a related field is required. Minimum 3 years of experience with collections and exhibitions work in a museum preferred. Will consider an equivalent combination of relevant education and experience.
Genuine interest in museums, metalworking, and visual arts strongly desired.
Enjoys networking with other individuals in the field to identify new and established talent. Ability to work with a diverse array of people, including Museum guests, supporters, clients, vendors, volunteers, and staff, in both large and small groups
Skills and Technical Competencies
Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace, and Adobe Acrobat Pro. Previous collections database experience is required.
Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work independently as well as part of a team. Ability to communicate clearly and concisely, both written and verbal.
Detail oriented and strong organization skills.
Able to take initiative and anticipate actions that are needed.
Ability to multi-task and conceptualize steps involved in implementing projects.
Hours, Compensation, and Benefits
The work week for this position is Monday through Friday, 9:30AM – 5:00PM, with rotating Sundays every four weeks. Additional hours (nights and weekends) may be required. All full-time staff are expected to be available to assist with Museum events. All Museum staff must be available the week of Repair Days, which is held annually in the fall.
The salary range is $45,000 - $60,000. Salary is contingent on experience and ability. Benefits include health insurance and a 3% Simple IRA employer match after 2 years of employment.
Send a cover letter, resume, and three references to Carissa Hussong, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please, no phone calls.
The Metal Museum is committed to building a culturally diverse staff and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We strongly encourage LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, Black, Indigenous, and people of color to apply.