The Zimmerli Art Museum, an important fixture of the Rutgers University, New Brunswick campus, is seeking a visionary change-agent to build upon the essential work of creating an integrated cultural magnet for the campus and the region. As one of the largest and most distinguishing university-based museums in the country, the Zimmerli seeks to use its world-class collections and abundant potential partnerships to provide the university and diverse regional, national and international audiences with relevant, engaging and topical exhibitions, programs and events. The successful candidate for the Zimmerli Art Museum Director will be a flexible collaborator with staff, faculty and students, excited to explore the potential for cross-disciplinary engagement. Reporting to the Chancellor or designee, the Director will be an enthusiastic partner to the Advisory Board, senior administration and university leadership. With a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, Rutgers University is entering into a new and exciting chapter of evolution, engaging in robust conversations about what defines excellence, collaboration and cross-disciplinary learning, and seeks a highly engaged Museum Director to build unity internally and to open pathways across its community.
Located at the center of Rutgers’ main campus, the Zimmerli Art Museum is emerging from a sequence of management transitions and is ready for a strong and accessible leader that will build momentum and direction among the staff (25 FT), volunteers and interns, and work together to amplify their place in the community. The Zimmerli’s budget is about $5M and its permanent collection totals more than 60,000 works of art in a wide range of media from the fifteenth century to the present. It is particularly strong in nineteenth-century French art and American prints, and includes the world’s largest holdings of Russian art and Soviet non-conformist art from the
Dodge Collection, with selections on view in the 35,000-sqare-foot gallery space at the Museum. While celebrating their unique collection strengths, staff and community alike express a critical need for more depth and diversity on view, and a collective desire to energize the model. The new Director will help define and establish an exciting, innovative, 21st-century exhibition and acquisition profile that will align with community on and off-campus. They must be an authentic champion of new ideas and be eager to enjoy the complex, stimulating engagement of student and faculty energy.
Successful candidates will have a solid record of effective museum management, especially at a university, and of harnessing staff with positive energy. They will be creative and active fundraisers with an understanding of the complex and interdisciplinary nature of university relationships, and be comfortable with audience and donor development. Candidates will understand the challenges of evolving facility needs and budget realities and be able to envision and lead growth and adaptation. As the University prepares for in-person instruction this fall and celebrates the return to community life with new President Jonathan Holloway, there is great excitement and optimism for the future.
Opportunities of the Position
The next Director will have an exciting opportunity to join with staff, students and faculty to increase access, flexibility and porosity at the Zimmerli, constructing a new model of a welcoming teaching museum, a laboratory for learning and nexus for relevant, contemporary, cross-disciplinary dialogue. This is also a good moment to lay the groundwork that leads to museum accreditation with the American Alliance of Museums.
The Zimmerli Art Museum Director will be expected to:
• Be a visible influencer, at the table for university conversations.
• Care deeply about connecting with community, both on and off-campus.
• Be committed to advancing diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in all aspects of their and the Museum’s work.
• Create a strategic vision for the Zimmerli that honors its strengths and expands its breadth.
• Join with staff in creating a welcoming culture at the Museum, from front-facing interactions to exhibitions and programs.
• Continue to provide a vigorous schedule of publications and intellectual engagement.
• Explore the opportunities for a robust digital museum platform.
Education and Experience Desired
• At least five years, preferably more, of museum management desired; preference will be given to university museum experience.
• Advanced, preferably terminal, degree in Art or Art History required; PhD an asset.
• A broad understanding and appreciation of world art history and culture, and familiarity with global contemporary art are also expected.
• Must have a significant track record of advancing direct, experiential engagement between art and communities of all kinds.
• A strong network of museum professional contacts nationally and internationally is desired.
• Persuasive communication skills both oral and written are a must.
Desired Personal Characteristics
• Ambitious, energetic and positive outlook.
• Authentic commitment to community.
• Enthusiastic spokesperson for the museum as a robust educational platform.
• Diplomatic relationship builder.
• Not just tolerant of fluid university culture, but energized by it.
• $150,000 – $180,000 per annum (commensurate with experience).
• Competitive university benefit package includes medical, dental, and paid time off. Please reference: https://uhr.rutgers.edu/benefits/benefits-overview
To apply in confidence, email 1) a letter expressing interest in this particular position and giving brief examples of past related experience; 2) a résumé; 3) names of three references with contact information (not contacted without prior permission). All applications and nominations are kept confidential. Submit application by July 26, 2021 to retained search firm: Lora Urbanelli, Museum Search & Reference, [email protected] For additional information visit: http://museum-search.com/open-searches/. Nominations are welcome.
It is university policy to provide equal employment opportunity to all its employees and applicants for employment regardless of their race, creed, color, national origin, age, ancestry, nationality, marital or domestic partnership or civil union status, sex, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, disability status, liability for military service, protected veteran status, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical cellular or blood trait, genetic information (including the refusal to submit to genetic testing), or any other category protected by law. As an institution, we value diversity of background and opinion, and prohibit discrimination or harassment on the basis of any legally protected class in the areas of hiring, recruitment, promotion, transfer, demotion, training, compensation, pay, fringe benefits, layoff, termination or any other terms and conditions of employment. For additional information please see the Non-Discrimination Statement.