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Director of Exhibits, Penn Libraries, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Responsible for the development, design and coordination of, primarily, public exhibitions based on the holdings of the Penn Libraries. Maintain and coordinate exhibition calendar and related events. Work with exhibition curators to assess needs and requirements and assist curators by designing and producing exhibition-related materials (i.e., printed texts, catalogs, case texts, promotional materials, including rack cards, posters and digital content). Supervise exhibit staff. In cooperation with Registrar, coordinate traveling exhibitions, from loan negotiations to insurance, packing, transportation and registration. Oversee borrowing of materials from other institutions and individuals. Design and coordinate printing, mailing and distribution of invitations and posters for exhibition-related events. Serves as liaison to the Libraries’ Development Office and other departments as appropriate.
The Director of Exhibits oversees and shape the strategic direction of Penn Libraries’ public exhibits. Responsible for the development, design and coordination of, primarily, public exhibitions based on the holdings of the Penn Libraries. Maintain and coordinate exhibition calendar and related events. Work with exhibition curators to assess needs and requirements and assist curators by designing and producing exhibition-related materials (i.e., printed texts, catalogs, case texts, promotional materials, including rack cards, posters and digital content). Supervise exhibit staff. In cooperation with Registrar, coordinate traveling exhibitions, from loan negotiations to insurance, packing, transportation and registration. Oversee borrowing of materials from other institutions and individuals. Design and coordinate printing, mailing and distribution of invitations and posters for exhibition-related events. Serves as liaison to the Libraries’ Development Office and other departments as appropriate.
• 5 or more years of experience in managing exhibits
• Demonstrated ability to lead a diverse team of curators, staff and partners
• Knowledge of best practices and trends in exhibits
• Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and in collaborating and negotiating with diverse stakeholders
• Demonstrated commitment to addressing local and global environmental challenges
• Ability to create a welcoming and inclusive environment in daily work
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Proficient with typical business-related software (Microsoft Office/Google Office Suite)
• Self-starter, with the ability to carry a project from concept to completion
• Experience in a position requiring successful multi-tasking of priorities and projects
• Creative, flexible, and analytical thinker
• Substantial experience as an exhibit developer and exhibit designer
• Able to critically review exhibit outlines, scripts, and plans
• Experience in museum or informal education in another setting, and in collaborating with educators or program staff
• Experience navigating a major research university
• Skilled with Adobe suite and exhibit software
• Knowledge and experience developing wayfinding systems
*** REQUIRED*** Please submit a resume and cover letter as one attachment when applying.
$88,861.00 – $168,837.00
Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.
Please apply here.
Director of Exhibitions, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) seeks a Director of Exhibitions (DoE) to lead the department charged with creating, planning, developing and presenting innovative and engaging changing exhibitions, the permanent collection and traveling exhibitions. The DoE will oversee a motivated and energized team of exhibition professionals working across departments of the Museum to help ensure that the CMNH remains one of America’s leading institutions of natural science, research, collecting and visitor experience.
CMNH is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh that also includes the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum. The Museum is guided by a vision to become the world’s most relevant natural history (or nature) museum. Core values include:
- Understanding the interdependence of all life, led by science, but using all ways of knowing the inherent worth of nature
- Life’s history, present and future manifest continual evolutionary change
- Inclusiveness through learning
- Inspiration driven by advocacy for a sustainable future
CMNH is dedicated to scientific research tied to the goal of telling “big stories” that guide inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking. The DoE will play a pivotal role in presenting the story of nature, interpreting the essential ideas of life, and finding creative ways to engage audiences.
CMNH encompasses 115,000 square feet (10,700 m2) organized into 20 galleries as well as research, library, and office space. It holds some 22 million specimens, of which about 10,000 are on view at any given time and over 1.5 million are cataloged in online databases. Annual attendance is 400,000 and includes 30,000 school children. The Museum’s scientific sections are Anthropocene, Anthropology, Birds, Botany, Conservation, Herpetology, Invertebrate Paleontology, Mammals, Minerals, Mollusks, Vertebrate Paleontology, and Invertebrate Zoology, plus the Powdermill Nature Reserve, its environmental research and education center. CMNH was founded in 1895 and today it holds the world’s largest collection of butterflies and moths, the largest collection of Jurassic dinosaurs and offers the third-largest collection of mounted, displayed dinosaurs in the United States (behind the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History).
The Museum’s collections and scientific research are at the core of the Museum’s larger activities. Those activities are driven by the Museum’s vision of being the world’s most relevant nature museum. To reach that goal the Museum relies on a collaborative process across a broad range of in-house expertise including web and social media developers, videographers, science communication experts, program managers, and educators. The Museum also works closely with learning researchers and experts in diverse disciplines in the surrounding world-class university communities.
The DoE will work closely with an exhibits team of 8 as well as across multidisciplinary departments to ensure effective project development, design esthetics, and fresh perspectives. The annual department budget is $620K. In addition, individual exhibition projects range from a few thousand to a million dollars or more.
As a member of the CMNH senior staff and reporting to the Deputy Director, the DoE will provide vision and leadership for the department and advocacy at the senior-management level. The DoE will be a proven collaborator comfortable with distributed control, the importance of partnerships, and visitor-experience outcomes. The DoE will be a team builder who appreciates the rigor and passion scientists bring to the process and will have a record of developing exhibitions that are creative, exceptional interpretations with content that resonates with diverse audiences.
High-level planning along with delivery will be important and, therefore, the job includes strategic direction, master-calendar development, exhibits presentation and evaluation. Developing creative and compelling ideas that are ambitious but achievable will be an essential part of the job responsibilities.
Overview of Job Responsibilities
Exhibit Experience Strategy
- Collaborate with the CMNH leadership team to develop near- and long-term direction for exhibitions that meet the strategic goals of the Museum.
- Oversee the development of the exhibition schedule aligned to the core mission and goals.
- Ensure that master planning, content balancing and experience design are aligned to both scientific sections of the Museum and visitor-experience objectives.
- Oversee the development of all exhibitions including creative concept, budget development, contracting, design, fabrication, installation and maintenance.
- Ensure effective cross-department collaboration, input and content interpretation.
- Work collaboratively to develop strategies for assessing the effectiveness of exhibition experiences, visitor engagement and presentation of the science behind the exhibits.
Management and Administration
- Effectively lead an exhibition department responsible for securing the public visibility of the scientific research and the relevance of that work as it is experienced by visitors.
- Manage budgets and staff of the department.
- Lead with a guiding hand, with empathy and support of others, while adhering to high standards of performance.
- Serve on the senior-management team of the Museum on behalf of the Exhibits Department within a greater responsibility of serving the good of the Museum, its mission, scientific research and audiences.
- Facilitate cross-department teams, from concept project development to presentation and evaluation.
- Ensure properly prepared plans, reports, contracts, evaluations and assessments in order to achieve goals, and maintain accurate records and accountability within the department.
Qualifications, Knowledge, and Skills
- Minimum 5 years of professional experience, including senior-level experience in exhibition development, project management, budgeting, fabrication and installation.
- Bachelor’s degree in relevant field, Master’s degree preferred.
- Sufficient understanding of natural sciences to effectively lead and collaborate.
- Collaborative leader with a proven ability to work with a wide range of team members including scientists, educators, fabricators, vendors and other partners.
- Evidence of building consensus with other senior leaders, staff, donors and the community.
- Experience developing interpretation strategies translating to visitor experiences.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills; a storyteller who understands the big picture and is able to translate ideas into experiences.
- Grant proposal writing and fundraising experience working with development teams.
Please click here to apply.
Posting a job opening with PA Museums
Hiring the best candidate increases your organization’s capacity, and PA Museums is here to help. We post job openings as a service to our membership and potential membership. We post positions available in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and sometimes those in neighboring states depending upon a number of variables. To post a position opening with PA Museums, please feel free to send us your job description that includes any application deadlines, salary information, and how to apply. We post openings for thirty days, but we are pleased to extend postings at your request. Please email us.