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Department Chair, Prints and Drawings

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, houses one of the richest and most extensive print and drawing collections in the world, containing almost 200,000 works ranging from printing in the 15th century to the present. From Dürer and Rembrandt to Goya and John Singer Sargent, the collection has many strengths, but it boasts unexpected areas of depth, such as a major gathering of rare books, extraordinary 20th century prints, and one of the world’s finest collections of postcards.

Reporting to the Chief of Curatorial Administration, the Chair of Prints and Drawings will be expected to lead, galvanize and inspire departmental curatorial staff. The charge will be to develop an engaging exhibition program, deepen relations with its donors and continue to build, preserve and share its collection.

The Chair will be deeply committed to exploring the changing nature of art museums and their relationship to the public, and will embrace and champion the Museum’s core values – namely that the experience of our visitor is paramount to our mission, strategies and achievements.

The Chair will lead in developing the artistic vision of the Prints and Drawings department, and the development of exhibition and collection projects that are based in the Museum’s Strategic Plan, and which deliver on its commitment to audience engagement. The Chair will work collaboratively with other curators and colleagues – within and outside of the MFA – to achieve departmental and institutional strategic goals.

Candidate Profile:

Minimum Qualifications and Experience:

• Advanced degree in Art History or extensive equivalent related experience in art exhibition and program planning and production.

• In-depth experience in Prints and Drawings, including a portfolio of exhibitions and publications that have advanced scholarship and connected with visitors in engaging ways.

• Extensive senior management level museum experience in exhibitions, installations, publications, and collection building.

• Broad curatorial experience gained in museums that have sought and achieved imaginative ways of engaging with their visitors and which have met targeted results.

Ideal Candidate Profile:

• An experienced leader of people, ideas and institutional mission, with a dynamic communication style to engage staff, donors and the public.

• Demonstrable ability to manage, mentor and retain talent, and disciplined in managing curatorial staff to reach for excellence in ideas, project execution and goal achievement.

• An international perspective but experienced in becoming personally and professionally committed to an institution’s city, people and artistic community.

• Committed to collaboration with others to achieve the best outcome, and is an excellent and timely decision maker to move plans and objectives forward.

• Strong sense of accountability for achieving stated objectives and demonstrable experience doing so.

• Superior ability to present and defend ideas and projects that earn the respect of other senior leaders and builds credibility for the work of the Department and institution.

• Evident experience/ability to partner with the Director/CEO and a range of colleagues to develop the artistic vision of the Prints and Drawings program, conceptualize and realize exhibition projects, position the institution externally and realize support and works of art from donors.

• Evident experience working successfully with senior leaders of an organization to achieve, both their own and their peers’ objectives, including visitor experience, marketing, education and digital initiatives.

• Committed to supporting and contributing to the success of an institution’s business and financial imperatives.

• Committed to the training and professional development of staff to ensure up-to-date practices.

Personal Qualities and Attributes:

• Intellectual rigor

• Inspirational, passionate, curious

• Generosity of spirit, a team player

• Superior judgment, tact and diplomacy

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