Small Museum Association

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Curator of Collections and Exhibitions

21 Nov 2021 6:19 PM | Margaret De Arcangelis

About the Position:

The Baltimore Museum of Industry seeks an inventive and resourceful person to fill the role of Curator of Collections & Exhibitions. As a member of the museum’s senior management team, the Curator serves as the head of the Collections and Exhibitions department and leads the effort to build, care for, and preserve the museum’s collections and oversees the museum’s exhibitions program. The ideal candidate will enjoy working cooperatively with colleagues and members of the public. The BMI expects the Curator to stretch the boundaries of traditional museum interpretation and pioneer new ways of using the museum’s extensive collections to tell compelling and timely stories of Maryland industry.

About the Baltimore Museum of Industry:

Located on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the Baltimore Museum of Industry celebrates Maryland’s industrial legacy and shows how innovation fuels ongoing progress. The BMI’s exhibitions, programs, and collections engage visitors in the stories of the people who built Baltimore and those who shape the region’s future. 

The BMI’s collections include some 50,000 objects, 4,500 linear feet of archival documents, and more than 250,000 photographs related to Maryland’s industrial history. These materials are evocative reminders of Baltimore’s growth from a small colonial town to a thriving manufacturing center and illuminate how its residents—no matter their station in life, race, ethnicity, or occupation—contributed to the region’s development. Over the last decade, we have improved intellectual and physical control of the museum’s collections, standardized policies and procedures, moved the bulk of the collections to an off-site facility, renovated the museum’s research center, updated long-term exhibitions, and overseen a dynamic temporary exhibition program. Now, we are eager to find new ways to tap our collections for programs and exhibitions, and to consider the strategic growth of this important historical resource. 

The museum’s core values of accessibility, empathy, flexibility, and honesty guide our work and interactions.

Key Responsibilities:

·        Exhibitions: Recommend and implement long-range exhibition plans that further institutional goals and expand the public’s understanding of Maryland’s industrial history and the role of workers; curate or co-curate annual temporary exhibitions and other exhibition projects; oversee exhibition development process including identifying and engaging designers, fabricators, and other contractors, and managing exhibition budgets and schedules; develop and maintain exhibition calendar 

·        Interpretation: Working with the Executive Director, the Director of Interpretation, and other colleagues devise new interpretative and design strategies for the museum’s permanent and temporary exhibition galleries to improve the visitor experience; actively contribute to rethinking presentations and understandings of the Museum’s collections to incorporate community voices and perspectives

·        Collections: Oversee the documentation, care, preservation, presentation, storage, and exhibition of the museum’s collections of objects, archival documents, photographs, and library materials; develop and oversee collections management policies and departmental procedures relating to acquisition and care of the museum’s collections; develop strategies for overall collections growth; evaluate new gift offers and incoming and outgoing loan requests in coordination with the Board Collections Committee; use the collections to proactively investigate enduring questions through exhibitions, programs, and digital initiatives

·        Collaboration: Practice collaboration, working closely with the Director of Interpretation and other museum colleagues to ensure that the exhibition program supports the museum’s strategic objectives and responds to audience needs; in tandem with Director of Interpretation, initiate, develop, and collaborate to deliver front end, formative, and summative evaluation of exhibitions and projects for and with the public on a regular basis to better understand and address community interests and goals

·        Communities: Engage community partners in the exhibition development process and project a strong voice in shaping and communicating the direction of the Museum as an open, welcoming, invested, and active community partner; ensure that community voices are heard and included, not just in a single exhibition, scholarly project, or program, but as part of sustained collaborations

·        Scholarship: Make regular contributions to, and keep abreast of current scholarship and museum practices; publish articles and essays in relevant outlets; represent the museum at conferences and with the media, serving as an advocate for the museum’s collections and the stories they tell

·        Resource Development: Collaborate with Development department staff on creation of grant proposals to support the work of the Collections department, preservation of the collections, and the development of exhibitions; serve as project lead for collections- and exhibitions-related grant-funded activities; cultivate and steward relationships with individuals and organizations that donate original materials to the museum’s collections

·        Leadership: Supervise and mentor staff and volunteers in the Collections department, including the Collections Manager, Archives & Library Manager, volunteers, and interns; administer the volunteer and internship program for the department

·        Administration: Create and administer department budget; prepare and submit monthly and annual statistical and narrative reports, noting both quantitative and qualitative milestones and progress toward goals; serve as staff lead for the board level Collections Committee, working with committee members to establish and update collecting policies and to seek and evaluate donation offers for the collections

Knowledge, Skills, and Qualifications:

The right candidate for this position is a strategic thinker who can translate ideas into action and has a proven track record of bringing complex projects from concept to reality. They are an outstanding listener who enjoys working with diverse stakeholders and believes that museums exist to serve their communities. They value being part of a team and working with colleagues to envision new programs, tackle problems, and find solutions. The ideal candidate will embrace the BMI’s preservation mission and appreciate the value of its collections as an historical resource and be eager to find new and exciting ways to use it. Additional qualifications:

  • Background and knowledge in history, museum studies, or a related field required
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in museum collections or exhibitions, in positions of increasing responsibility, including supervisory experience
  • Thorough understanding of collections care, object handling, storage, and security of collections; familiarity with developing a collection; proficiency in working with collections database systems, ideally PastPerfect and ArchivesSpace
  • Knowledge of research tools and methodologies
  • Knowledge of ethical, legal, and technical matters relating to accessioning, deaccessioning, incoming and outgoing loans, and inventories
  • Successful track record of curating exhibitions and familiarity with the entire exhibition development process including research, storyline and script development, design and fabrication, budgeting, and front-end, formative, and summative evaluation 
  • Superior interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills; experience researching and presenting in public forums such as lectures, conferences, symposia, etc.
  • Experience with planning, goal setting, and progress evaluation
  • Experience developing budgets and monitoring expenses; experience with identifying, evaluating, and overseeing relationships with contractors and vendors
  • Ability to manage relationships with colleagues and community partners; superior problem-solving skills and a “can-do” attitude

Compensation and Schedule

This position is 40-hours/week (Monday-Friday), with some evening and weekend work required.

The salary range for this position is $60,000-$70,000 DOE and benefits include paid holidays, sick time and personal time, health, dental, and vision insurance and a 403b plan with an employer match.

To apply

Please send a cover letter, resume, and names of three references to humanresources@thebmi.org noting Curator of Collections and Exhibitions and your last name in the subject line.  Applications will be accepted through Friday, December 31, 2021.

 

The Baltimore Museum of Industry provides equal opportunity to all applicants for employment. No applicant shall be discriminated against based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or any other legally protected classification.


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