The Mobile Museum of Art is seeking a full-time Executive Director. For more information on the position or to apply, please read the following details.
The Mission of the Mobile Museum of Art: Educate. Engage. Enrich: Through the Arts
A Brief History of the Museum
Since its founding in 1963 as a public/private entity then known as the “Mobile Art Gallery,” the Mobile Museum of Art has evolved into the only AAM-accredited art museum in south Alabama, with a collection of over 6,400 artworks comprised of fine arts, decorative arts, and crafts. Its original facility of 14,000 sq. feet opened in the city’s largest green space, Langan Park, in October of 1964. Since that time, the facility has expanded to its current size of 95,000 sq. feet. Each capital campaign continued the Museum’s balance of “public-private” support, providing equal funding through private and government entities. In 2024, the Museum will celebrate its 60th Anniversary. In 2022, the Mobile Museum of Art engaged in reaccreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, which is on track to be successfully completed by 2023.
Today, the Museum continues to evolve in its service to the community, achieved through its programs, education, exhibitions, and outreach. Its educational programming and classes are conducted under the auspices of “The Museum School” in the Museum’s Education Wing. The Museum’s outreach includes on-site studio art classes and tours, a “Pop-Up Museum for Mobile,” a storefront installation located in downtown Mobile, and a “Government Plaza Gallery” of art installations made possible through a partnership with the Mobile County Commission. The Museum maintains a schedule of rotating, special exhibitions as well as collection exhibitions, including work by regional artists as well as work by nationally and internationally recognized artists.
The Executive Director of the Mobile Museum of Art will have an exciting and rewarding opportunity to continue and enhance the Museum’s growth and impact. The Mobile Museum of Art is financially strong and debt-free, with its building currently open and attracting returning and new visitors. The Executive Director, a collaborative, transparent, and energetic museum executive, provides overall vision, leadership, and artistic and strategic direction for the Museum as the region’s only AAM-accredited art museum.
This position reports to the Board of Directors (“Board”) and the Mayor of the City of Mobile. The Executive Director works closely with the Board on fundraising endeavors and provides guidance and direction on policy, programming, advocacy for the art collection, exhibitions, and programming—all of which are largely funded through private fundraising. The Director reports to the Mayor on all matters concerning the museum staff, facility, and grounds, all of which are supported by the City of Mobile.
This leader is expected to build strong, beneficial relationships with private collectors, community groups, and government entities (city, county, and state), including positive, productive engagements with city and county officials, state legislators, state public officials, and civic leaders.
The Executive Director leads a highly talented team of museum professionals and directly oversees multiple senior positions, including Curators, Finance and Administration, Operations Manager for Facility, Security, and Logistics, and the Public Relations and Marketing Team. The Executive Director oversees the management of a $3 million operating budget.
The Executive Director must bring a deep, abiding commitment to inclusive practices in all engagements while ensuring the Museum’s strong commitment to excellence in research, collections, exhibitions, scholarship, and programs. The Executive Director leads the MMofA’s efforts to break down traditional museum barriers, opening the Museum to regional, national, and global audiences to experience exciting and unique exhibits and programs. The Executive Director acts as the Museum’s primary advocate, curatorial guide, fundraiser, and ambassador by advocating for the Museum to government and private entities, establishing strong relationships with individual donors, art collectors, museum colleagues, and foundations. The Executive Director is charged with developing and implementing innovative strategies to magnify further the Museum’s growing brand and reputation in the region, state, and country.
Responsibilities and Qualifications
Alongside a passionate, enthusiastic commitment to the vision and values of the Mobile Museum of Art, the ideal candidate will bring a minimum of seven to ten years of demonstrated senior-level leadership experience in building successful educational, art historically-based, and/or community-based cultural programming, including experience with curating exhibitions, producing art publications, achieving earned revenue, fundraising, public education, strategic planning, program design, board relations, marketing, and communications.
The new Executive Director will have:
- Experience with public or private institutions, art collectors, artists, and/or government agencies.
- Proven ability to successfully develop, inspire, mentor, and lead multi-generational and diverse groups (staff, Board, volunteers) in an open, collaborative, and team-oriented approach.
- Strong cultural competence with a demonstrated commitment to scholarship, institutional transparency, and cultural equity.
- Proven success in building productive, long-term relationships; strong listening, communications, interpersonal, and motivational skills; demonstrated experience in art history and curatorial excellence, fundraising, particularly major gift, foundation, and corporate funding.
- This position reports directly to a Board of Directors (its private, non-profit arm) and the Mayor. The Director is an essential member of the City of Mobile’s cultural leaders.
- The Executive Director works closely with the Board of Directors on fundraising support for the art collection and with the City of Mobile on essential guidance and support on personnel, facility maintenance, and operations.
- This leader is expected to build strong, beneficial relationships with private collectors, community groups, and government entities (city, county, and state), including positive, productive engagements with city and county officials, state legislators, state public officials, and civic leaders.
- Minimum of 7 years of experience in progressively senior leadership positions at an AAM-accredited fine art museum or equivalent.
- Minimum of a Master’s degree in art history, museum studies, or a closely related field, with a Ph.D., preferred
- Excellent communication skills, written and verbal
- Proven record of fundraising, financial management, and working with private boards Demonstrated ability to build strong relationships, trust, and confidence within a wide range of constituencies
Desired Skills, Characteristics, and Abilities
- Demonstrate the ability to plan and implement artistic and educational programming, including exhibitions, workshops, speakers, and community events that reflect the Museum’s mission and engage the community.
- Identify and secure works for the Museum’s collection. Build, assess, interpret, and care for a museum art collection.
- Engage and energize Museum employees, volunteers, members, and community partners. Be the primary spokesperson for the Museum and promote its role and profile in the community.
- Possess excellent organizational, administrative, and financial management skills. Present a demonstrated record of curatorial excellence (preferably with related publications) and scholarship in the field.
- Exhibit a proven track record of success in cultivating fundraising relationships with wide-ranging funding sources.
The Mobile Museum of Art Board of Directors is conducting this search. To be considered for this opportunity, submit a cover letter detailing your qualifications for the position and resume/CV here.
Deadline for application: September 7, 2022, at 11:59 pm CST.