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Director of Museum Affairs [The Preservation Society of Newport County]

Posted by Phillippa Pitts on March 28, 1973 in job announcements |

The Preservation Society of Newport County seeks qualified candidates combining both scholarly and management experience for the position of Director of Museum Affairs to provide vision and leadership on curatorial, conservation, research and educational initiatives at its eleven historic houses, ranging in date from the mid-18th to early 20th centuries.  With a collection of 55,000 objects comprised of fine and decorative arts, costumes, photographs, prints and drawings displayed within landmark period houses, the Preservation Society attracts over 800,000 visitors a year and is one of the largest cultural organizations in New England.  The position requires the following:

Provide the intellectual leadership of the organization, overseeing the curatorial presentations of each Preservation Society property, loan exhibitions, and interpretive strategies and programs from the internationally respected annual Newport Symposium to interpreting the historic properties through publications, the website, and audio and guided tours. The newly established post-graduate Research Fellow program, a major long term institutional initiative, is a vital emerging program requiring long term vision and planning on the part of this position.

Develop and oversee the philosophy and methods practiced by the Museum Affairs staff in collections management and major conservation projects on the fine and decorative arts, historic interiors and archives.

Serve as a liaison to the museum, academic and preservation communities through presenting lectures and participating in professional conferences and symposia. Encourage other Museum Affairs staff to do the same in their respective specialties.

Serve as liaison to appropriate Board committees and to represent the interests of Museum Affairs, the houses and the collection where responsibilities overlap with other Society departments; Marketing, Properties and Housekeeping, Special Events, etc.

In cooperation with Preservation Society communications office, work with a broad range of media, from television and magazines to the web, the director will promote the collections and work of the Society.

Participate in developing the major initiatives for the collections fund and research fellows program in the Preservation Society’s comprehensive campaign, collaborating with board, committee and staff members in fund raising.

Direct a staff of eleven full time museum professionals, in the achievement of the above objectives, with a 1 million dollar departmental budget and several grant funded projects.  Assignment also includes comprehensive program development, as well as individual staff professional development.

Qualified candidates will possess an M.A. in Art History, Architectural History, Material Culture or a related field, the ability to foster a collaborative intellectual environment among a professional staff, diplomacy and tact, and a strong presence in public speaking.  Ten years of scholarly and museum or historic site management experience is preferred.

Interested candidates should send resume along with cover letter to jdoda@newportmansions.org or mail to: The Preservation Society of Newport County, 424 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI  02840 Attention:  Jan Doda

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