Museum Studies at Tufts University

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Weekly Job Round-Up

This week has been full of job postings. Best of luck to our hunters! These are the postings for the week of June 16:

Northeast: 

Director of Conservation Partnerships (The New England Aquarium, Boston, MA) 

Director (Lynn Museum/Lynn Arts, Lynn, MA) 

Director of Finance and Administration (Discovery Museum, Acton, MA) 

Executive Director (Museum L-A, Lewiston, ME) 

Manager of Adult Education (Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA) 

Research Communications Associate II (Museum of Science, Boston, MA) 

Collections Assistant/ Exhibit Preparator (Concord Museum, Concord, MA) 

Development Officer (Concord Museum, Concord, MA) 

Astor Curator and Department Head, Printed Books and Bindings (The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY) 

Director of Philanthropy (New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, MA)  

Planning and Logistics Administrator (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA) 

Assistant Director of Procurement (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA) 

Art Educator (MassArt Art Museum, Boston, MA) 

Digital Marketing Associate (Old North Church & Historic Site) 

Senior Institutional Giving Officer (Historic New England, Boston, MA) 

Manager of Development Events (John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Boston, MA) 

Museum Partnerships Growth Associate (Cuseum, Boston, MA) 

 Historical Interpreter/Actor (Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Boston, MA) 

Program Coordinator (Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA) 

Gallery Learning Museum Educators (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA) 

Family and Art Lab Programs Coordinator (The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA) 

Teaching Artists (Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA) 

Senior Assistant Director, Prospect Research and Management (American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY) 

Manager of Adult Programming (Jackie Robinson Foundation, New York, NY) 

Senior Curator (Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY) 

Executive Director (Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY) 

Director of Development (Seward House Museum, Auburn, NY) 

Executive Director (Nantucket Preservation Trust, Nantucket, MA) 

Midwest: 

Senior Curator (The John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI) 

Bloch Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow (The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO) 

Educator, Adult Learning (School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL) 

Community Arts Program Coordinator (John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI) 

Outreach Coordinator (John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI) 

Director – Library and Museum Manager (Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth) 

Museum Associate Preparator (University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK) 

Curator of Public Programs (Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Cleveland, OH) 

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL) 

Vice President, Design & Exhibits (John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, IL) 

Senior Manager, Collections, Education, and Operations (Missouri Botanical Garden, Chesterfield, MO) 

K-12 Programs Coordinator (Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, MO) 

Park Superintendent III (Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, North Platte, NE) 

Executive Director (Organization of American Historians, Bloomington, IN) 

West: 

Director of Education (Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ) 

Vice President, Education and Engagement (San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego, CA) 

Deputy Director, Advancement (Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA) 

Director, Donor Relations (Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA) 

Assistant VP, School and Family Programs (LACMA, Los Angeles, CA) 

Executive Director (Museum of Western Colorado, Gran Junction, CO) 

Director, K-College Programs (The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles, CA) 

Education Director (California Museum, Sacramento, CA) 

Curator of Latin Music (The GRAMMY Museum, Los Angeles, CA) 

Curator of Education and Interpretation (Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA) 

Executive Director (Holocaust & Intolerance Museum of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM) 

Curator of Interpretation (Wyoming State Museum, Cheyenne, WY) 

Education & Public Engagement Manager (San Diego Museum of Man, CA) 

Southern: 

Vice President of Education (Orlando Science Center, Orlando, FL) 

The Jorge Baldor Curator of Latin American Art (Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX) 

ICAA Digital Humanities Specialist (The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX) 

Director of Development (The Children’s Museum of the Upstaate, Greenville, SC

Executive Director (Stonewall National Museum & Archives, Fort Lauderdale, FL) 

Education and Programs Coordinator (Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio, TX) 

Director of Development (National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Pooler, GA) 

Chief Philanthropy Officer (The Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas, TX) 

Mid-Atlantic: 

Museum Deputy Directory for Education and Special Programs (Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons, MD) 

Chief Curator (Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ) 

Museum Curator of Latinx Political History (Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.) 

Assistant Director for Education, Outreach, & Visitor Services (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.) 

Director of Guest Experience and Operations (Liberty Hall Museum, Union, NJ) 

Curator of Community and Academic Programs (Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover, DE) 

Director of Inclusion (American Alliance of Museums, Arlington, VA) 

Historic Site Manager (NOVA Parks, Alexandria, VA) 

Exploring Xiangtan Museums

In May, I took a trip to China to visit a friend who is working as an English teacher in the city of Xiangtan. While I was there, I wanted to visit as many museums as possible to see if there was a cultural difference. Of course, I could only visit museums that were near the city, but I felt that I left with some new inspirations and understandings of the way we run our museums in this country. My few key takeaways:

Small projection of a pig statue that rotates for visitors to see all sides of the object.
Pig statue projection.
  1. Technology was everywhere!
    From the moment we walked in the door at the Xiangtan museum, we were surrounded by technology, but it didn’t feel obtrusive. Instead, it was used to bring the visitor closer to the objects. The picture to the right shows the projection of a statue of a pig that was on display in one of the museum’s cases. The projection of the statue allows the visitor to see all sides of the object because there were designs that were hidden in the case display. This technique worked particularly well for vases or objects that need to be displayed in-the-round. In fact, they had a section dedicated exclusively to pottery with the technological ability using QR codes to bring up digital recreations of vases and pottery that matched some pottery shards that were on display (see picture below). Using technology to put the objects in a greater context was an excellent way to engage visitors, who otherwise might have passed over this section of fragmented pottery.  
  2. This history was so much older than I expected. While in the US, we have Native American art and artifacts, which I have seen dating back as far as 12,000 years old, it was a totally new experience to see some pieces in the Xiangtan museum that could be dated as far back as 300,000 years ago! This was not something that I had thought in-depth about prior to visiting. The artifacts that have survived this long are mostly fragments of stone tools, and the technology that the museum incorporated allowed the visitor to feel like they could actually interact with the object because you could pull it up on the touchscreen kiosks to look more closely at them.  
  3. Less programming – the museums that we visited had less programming and more focus on history and the objects in the collection. In the United States, museums often attract people based on their programming, which is designed around their objects and the stories that the museum is trying to tell.  None of the Xiangtan museums that I visited had programming to supplement their exhibits.  

While I cannot speak for the culture of museums in other parts of the country, I had an excellent time visiting the ones in Xiangtan and seeing new ways to integrate technology into the experience. Even though I personally prefer our model of involving community programming, I found it compelling that the objects were such a focus in the museum experience.  

My friend, Mariah, using the interactive display about pottery.

Talking the Talk: Next Steps for the Salary Spreadsheet

You may have seen the Arts + All Museums Salary Transparency spreadsheet: a Google sheet of (at the time of this posting) nearly 2000 museum salaries from around the world. The nature of the data for each submission varies, but most entries include the name or type of museum, individual’s role and department, location, starting and ending salary, benefits, and required degree. Some individuals have also provided their gender and race. The bulk of the submissions come from museum professionals working in the United States, but the sheet also includes entries from countries such as Brazil, France, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Kimberly Rose Drew (@museummammy) shared her story of undercompensation at the 2019 AAM Annual Meeting & Expo

Michelle Millar Fisher, an assistant curator in the European decorative arts and design department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and colleagues created the spreadsheet to encourage transparency across the field after being inspired by Kimberly Rose Drew’s story of how she learned she had been undercompensated for her work at The Met. They may have also been inspired by a similar spreadsheet created weeks earlier by Alison Green of Ask A Manager for the same purpose: to “take the mystery out of salaries.”

At this point, the spreadsheet has grown 1800% since its first day and the story has been picked up by news sites such as Artnews, Artnet, Business Insider, Nonprofit Quarterly, and others. Fisher expressed her hope to Artnews that the spreadsheet “… encourages a conversation between coworkers… If you don’t do it, everything stays the same. Sometimes it takes just one tiny action. Solidarity is the only way to effect great change.”

Where do we go from here? What can you do?

  1. If you haven’t yet, look over the spreadsheet. It’s grown from a 100-entry sheet of mainly curatorial submissions to a nearly 2,000-entry behemoth of positions in administration, collections, digital, education, operations, security, visitor services, and other departments. If you’re interested in downloading a copy of the data, you may be able to obtain one by emailing the contact provided on the front page of the sheet.
  2. Submit your own entry. The spreadsheet has been locked to preserve its data, but you can (and should!) add your information through this Google form. While it has grown impressively, we’re still nowhere near a full picture of the field.
  3. Be open with your colleagues. Workplace etiquette has long dictated to keep mum about one’s salary, but silence perpetuates the status quo. Transparency about salaries and benefits exposes both institution-based and field-wide inequities.
  4. Speak up. In a NY Times article about the Ask A Manager spreadsheet, Liz Dolan of the podcast “Safe for Work” and formerly of the marketing teams for Nike and the Oprah Winfrey Network suggests “[asking] for regular raises, noting that the earnings compounded over time [are] considerable.” She also notes, “Sometimes you have to be first and that is the scary part… It’s important to build that confidence.” Whether you are applying for or already in a museum job, use the data from this spreadsheet and other resources such as annual wage surveys to bolster your ask for pay you deserve. (You can find additional pay-related resources under Tab 3: Other Resources on the spreadsheet.)
  5. Team up. Asking for change can be intimidating. Lean on and lend your support to colleagues if you or they decide to speak up.
  6. Share up. Transparency is important; action on the the information provided is doubly so. Share the spreadsheet and other salary data with the people with pockets (or paying power): museum leadership, board members, HR, you name it. They need to understand that this is an issue to be taken seriously, and – hopefully – with our voices combined, we may move the needle.

Weekly Jobs Round-up

Happy hunting! Here are some new job postings for the week of June 2.

Northeast

Southeast

Mid-Atlantic

Midwest

West

The Politics of Seeing

A Sign of the Times by Dorothea Lange, 1934

Hopefully summer time is going swimmingly for everyone, whether you’re in internships, jobs, or are relaxing. For museum-goers, popping into an exhibit or two (or thirty) during the dog days is a favorite past-time. And that’s exactly how I kicked off my summer, by visiting the Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeingexhibition in Nashville at the Frist Art Museum.

The difference from last summer to this one is that I have a year of museum studies under my belt, and now I am looking at exhibits with a critical (albeit, novice) eye. Here is my shameless plug and a challengeto anyone reading: send in an exhibit critique this summer for a guest spot on the blog. We would love to hear from places around Boston and beyond—for the nomads. I personally would love to read more about and experience more exhibits that show museums care about engaging all walks of life.

So, rewinding, Dorothea Lange… who is she? She’s a popular photographer from the 20thcentury who used her camera as a tool for justice. She wanted to expose inequalities in regard to race and gender, to address issues around the Great Depression and migrant workers, and to demonstrate the decline of the rural communities and environments. These topics are not unfamiliar to us today, if you will excuse the double negative.

Dorothea Lange

I’ll be frank—I am not a photography fan. I can get down with a selfie or a scenic vista, but my world isn’t transformed by many pictures. I don’t know if it was my schooling coming in handy or maturation on my part, but I appreciated this exhibit for what it was trying to do, to give its audience a lesson on a compelling woman in history who visually captured the lives of those who would have been lost to time and to subtly make a point about how the world hasn’t changed in many ways.

Like many reinvented museum exhibitions today, this exhibit was clearly standing up for something. It wasn’t shying away from pointing out the injustices of this country. The major critique I would give is that it didn’t necessarily give an answer on how to change the oppression of minorities or the neglect of the poverty-stricken in this modern age. However, it does have a charming way of showing how photographs can be edited by the owner to represent the message the owner wants, rather than revealing the whole, complex truth. 

We should care about that visitor connection for so many reasons, but I will start with a basic one: many people for centuries haven’t seen “their story” in a museum and that’s fortunately changing. This exhibit was giving a low down on some of the rundown minorities of the past, but it wasn’t as accessible as it could’ve been due to entrance fees. Go away from this article today thinking about how museums can become more connected with the unconventional museum goer. (On a personal note, feel free to drop a line about how to spice up photography exhibits.)

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