New York’s Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) seeks an experienced, visionary Director to partner with its distinguished Board and talented staff to position MAD as the must-visit destination for international contemporary art, craft, and design audiences. Situated in the heart of New York City at 2 Columbus Circle, MAD has an annual operating budget of $10M and a 28-member Board of Trustees.

MAD was founded in 1956 by Aileen Osborn Webb as the Museum of Contemporary Crafts and later became the American Craft Museum. In 2002, it was renamed the Museum of Arts and Design, and in September 2008, it opened the Jerome and Simona Chazen Building at the southwest corner of New York’s Central Park. MAD celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2016 and today welcomes more than 100,000 visitors onsite annually and serves 6,500 school students and over 4,000 members each year. MAD’s compelling visitor experience and curatorial content are complemented by its award-winning retail arm, THE STORE AT MAD, and the restaurant, ROBERT, an OpenTable Diner’s Choice 2016 award winner.

MAD is an American Alliance of Museums Accredited Institution with a mission to collect, display and interpret objects that document contemporary and historic innovation in craft, art and design. In its exhibitions and educational programs, MAD celebrates the creative process through which materials are crafted into works that enhance contemporary life.

MAD seeks to inspire the public to engage with modern and contemporary art, craft and design by offering an encounter with process and materials in an accessible manner. Through its exhibitions and educational programming, MAD provides diverse audiences with an understanding of the ways art, craft and design are conceived and realized, demonstrating interconnectedness across a spectrum of disciplines and fields.

MAD prides itself on being an artist-centered institution, focused on the ways in which artists and designers transform the world around us. Through exhibitions that explore process, a studio residency on the education floor, and a wide range of interpretive programs that pair time-based media, performance and education with curatorial content, the museum occupies a unique space in the contemporary art landscape—one where dynamic experiences of the creative process are key.

Onsite, MAD’s 12,000 SF of exhibition space hosts rotating special exhibitions and also include the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery, a groundbreaking presentation and study of studio jewelry. MAD’s permanent collection is global in scope and includes art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day. The Sarah and Seth Glickenhaus Education Center is an important destination and houses classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars, and workshops; its Open Studios engage visitors directly in the creative processes of artists at work. Lectures, films, performances and symposia are held in a 143-seat auditorium.


The Museum of Arts and Design seeks an experienced, visionary chief executive to serve as a strategic and innovative cultural leader of the institution. MAD’s new Director will have at least 10 years of experience leading an art museum or comparable institution, and a strong track record in management, creativity, fundraising and finance.

A Cultural Visionary: MAD’s new Director will play a leading role in affirming the Museum’s position as a leading institution in the field of arts, craft and design. His/her leadership will raise the profile of the institution, garner important partnerships, and focus public attention on MAD as an influential museum, at the center of innovation.

An Unparalleled Opportunity: MAD’s new Director will join a thriving institution poised to achieve new levels of public recognition. In recent seasons, MAD has capitalized on its unique geographic location in the heart of Manhattan by curating strong programming that has drawn diverse audiences, garnered excellent press, generated public notoriety, and attracted strong fundraising. MAD’s institutional profile has grown, and its new Director will have the opportunity to leverage this recent success into a national and global cultural brand and to inspire a talented and energetic senior management team.

An Exciting Future: MAD will soon launch a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign to increase the size of its endowment, fund new capital improvements, and provide additional support for MAD’s curatorial, public and educational programming. The Museum’s new Director will catalyze this effort and serve enthusiastically and successfully as the Museum’s chief fundraiser. S/he will be an exceptional and persuasive communicator, with strong public speaking skills, who can inspire others and enroll diverse stakeholders in an exciting shared vision for the future of MAD.

A Visionary Partnership: MAD’s new Director will report to the Board with full responsibility, authority and accountability for implementing a collaborative vision for the future of the Museum. In this, s/he will work in partnership with MAD’s distinguished trustees, whose tenures range in length from one to 35 years. The ideal candidate will be a persuasive and dynamic leader, with a passion for arts, craft and design, a discerning eye for acquisitions, proven ability in developing teams, and experience advocating publicly for the value of culture.

A Strategic Moment: MAD’s new Director will arrive just as MAD completes a

five-year strategic plan, funded by The Booth Ferris Foundation. The plan has been developed by a joint Board and senior staff group to support MAD’s curatorial vision and achieve six key strategic initiatives:

  • Fully align MAD’s curatorial, education and public programming;
  • Attract a larger, more diverse audience to the Museum;
  • Offer a stronger, better integrated visitor experience to visitors, including a large cohort of international tourists;
  • Expand MAD’s Board of Trustees and major donors;
  • Support and develop MAD’s professional staff; and
  • Solidify MAD’s long-term financial position.

A World Class Location: MAD’s new Director will have an opportunity to optimize the Museum’s current facilities in a prime location (left), smartly analyzing its real estate opportunities and capitalizing on the unique strategic revenue opportunities associated with both this particular site and with MAD’s busy retail and restaurant businesses.

A Team Builder: MAD’s new Director will be an experienced team- and organization-builder who is committed to recruiting, nurturing and retaining talented staff and community volunteers to realize MAD’s future plans. S/he will identify, understand and encourage each stakeholder’s personal growth, and through his/her leadership and high personal integrity, foster a positive workplace atmosphere where talent is rewarded and individuals have an opportunity to grow.

To download a detailed Position Guide for this opportunity, please click here. Telephone calls are welcome and encouraged before applications are made. Please call Emma Dunch at (212) 877-0500 for a confidential discussion of this role. 



Job Information
  • New York, New York, 10001, United States
  • 28208989
  • April 25, 2016
  • Director, Museum of Arts and Design
  • Museum of Arts and Design
  • Directors/Administrators
  • No
  • Full-Time