Museum Studies at Tufts University

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Weekly Job Roundup (1/13/2023)

Happy New Year, and welcome to the weekly roundup! We do our best to collect the latest job openings, and please be sure to check last week’s roundup. For more opportunities, we recommend the following databases:





Modern Views on Museum Leadership: The Case Against Visionary Leaders

In her article for Hyperallergic, Chazen Art Museum director Amy Gilman precautions museum professionals against falling into the “cult of the visionary museum director,” the idea that museum leaders should aspire to grand visions for the future of the institution.[1] She argues that this perspective is shortsighted and does not account for the short-term and long-term steps and strategies required to realize a museum’s mission: “As directors we must keep envisioning at the 1000-foot view, but unless we can ground that view in pragmatic examples that help our teams link aspiration to action, the 1000-foot view remains an elusive and frustrating dream.”[2] While Gilman’s argument against the visionary director is controversial, the evidence she provides to support this argument proves that she herself is an effective leader whose career could be interpreted by some to be visionary. For this reason, this article and the topic of effective museum leadership in general allude to the ideological shift modern museums experience to meet the changing needs of their communities.

The job should be less about fantastical visions and more about defining practical objectives for the entire institution and its constituents.

Amy GIlman, HyperallergiC (2021)

Museums are facing increasing public scrutiny about their missions and purpose in their respective communities. To maintain relevancy, museums must meet the complex needs of their communities, and museums are therefore experiencing great changes. It is more important now than ever that museum leaders be intuitive, dynamic, and competent to facilitate this institutional reinvention.[3] Now that museums are increasingly more active in their communities, directors have an even greater need to have experience in public relations, business management, finance, and marketing. While curatorial skills are an advantage, some high-level museum director job advertisements do not require experience in non-profits.[4] As scholar Willard Boyd asserts, the director must understand the mission and culture of the museum. Directors must have an aspirational vision of the museum grounded in reality, and the director must have the means through which to achieve the vision.[5] Boyd agrees with Gilman about the need for a pragmatic, rather than visionary, director: “To be effective, the director must be able to figure out what the right things are and then be able to get them done.”[6] For the role of the director, imagination must be accompanied by sound judgement.[7]

Additionally, Sherene Suchy reminds museum professionals of the importance of strong emotional intelligence. Effective leaders should communicate their passion for their institution to others, including potential funders and trustees.[8] Emotionally intelligent directors are likely to practice cohesive leadership, meaning responsibility is shared and staff training and development are prioritized. Cohesive leaders exemplify the behaviors they expect from their staff.[9] Emotionally intelligent leaders often lean into empathy, a trait critical to modern leadership. It is a driver of change, and leaders who practice empathy may be able to understand the pressures facing underpaid staff. For this reason, empathy is the foundation of diversity, inclusion, and pay equity.[10]

In the study of leadership in museums, it is apparent that there are many ideas about the qualities and skills an effective director should possess. Just as institutions have unique needs and missions, there can be no definitive model of a director that could efficiently serve any museum. Willard Boyd reminds the museum field that a perfect director does not exist. Instead, trustees should search for an effective leader who can grow as he or she gains institutional knowledge.[11] The ideal values of leadership, namely pragmatism and emotional intelligence, are not quantifiable and are challenging to identify in the candidate search process. Board members should therefore be prepared to assess candidates not just on their exciting ideas for the position, but also on their commitment to their current posts.


Article by Danielle Maurer

MA Candidate: History and Museum Studies

Tufts University


[1] Amy Gilman, “The Era of the Visionary Museum Director Is Over … or It Should Be,” Hyperallergic, July 27, 2021.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Gail Anderson, Reinventing the Museum: The Evolving Conversation on the Paradigm Shift, 2nd ed. (Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2012): 1.

[4] Willard L. Boyd. “Wanted: An Effective Director.” Curator 38, no. 3 (1995): 171-172.

[5] Ibid., 177-178.

[6] Ibid.,177.

[7] Ibid., 178.

[8] Sherene Suchy, “Emotional Intelligence, Passion and Museum Leadership,” Museum Management and Curatorship 18, no. 1 (1999): 60.

[9] Des Griffin and Morris Abraham, “The Effective Management of Museums: Cohesive Leadership and Visitor-Focused Public Programming,” Museum Management and Curatorship 18, no. 4 (June 2000): 335-368.

[10] Amy Whitaker, “Reconsidering People as the Institution: Empathy, Pay, Equity, and Deaccessioning as Key Leadership Strategies in Art Museums,” Organizational Leadership 64, no. 2 (April 2021): 257.

[11] Boyd, 177.

Weekly Job Roundup

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s roundup of exciting opportunities in museums! We do our best to collect the latest job openings, and please be sure to check last week’s roundup. For more opportunities, we recommend the following databases:

New England Museum Association Jobs
HireCulture – Jobs in the Humanities in Massachusetts
HistPres – Unique Historic Preservation Jobs
Museum Employment Resource Center
Job HQ – American Association of Museums
American Association of State and Local History Career Center







Conservator of Sculptures and 3D Objects, Museo de Arte de Ponce (Ponce, Puerto Rico)
Paper Conservator, Museo de Arte de Ponce (Ponce, Puerto Rico)

What’s Coming Up in the Art World in 2023

Happy New Year from the Museum Studies Blog!

As we look forward to 2023, here are a few of the amazing upcoming exhibitions that you should mark on your calendar. What shows are you most looking forward to?

Ningiukulu Teevee (2007) Shaman Revealed. Purchased with the assistance of the Joan Chalmers Inuit Art Purchase Fund, 2008. © Ningiukulu Teevee, courtesy Dorset Fine Arts. 2008/17.

Ningiukulu Teevee: Chronicles for the Curious
Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Canada)
Opens January 14th, 2023
Curated by Wanda Nanibush (AGO)

Vitality and Continuity: Art in the Experiences of Anishinaabe, Inuit, and Pueblo Women
Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, USA)
January 21st, 2023 to January 6th, 2024

Ming Smith (1992) Womb. Courtesy of the artist. © Ming Smith.

Egon Schiele from the Collection of the Leopold Museum–Young Genius in Vienna 1900
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan)
January 26th to April 9th, 2023

Projects: Ming Smith
Studio Museum in Harlem (New York City, USA)
Curated by Thelma Golden (Studio Museum in Harlem) and Oluremi C. Onabanjo (MoMA)
February 4th to May 29th, 2023

Wook-kyung Choi, (1960s) Untitled (detail). © Wook-kyung Choi Estate and courtesy to Arte Collectum

Action, Gesture, Paint: Women Artists and Global Abstraction 1940-70
Whitechapel Gallery (London, UK)
February 9th to May 7th, 2023
Curated by Laura Smith (Whitechapel)

Sofonisba Anguissola: Portraitist of the Renaissance
Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
February 11th to June 11th, 2023

Coded: Art Enters the Computer Age, 1952-1982
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, USA)
Curated by Leslie Jones (LACMA)
February 12th to July 2nd, 2023

Wangechi Mutu (2022) In Two Canoe. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery. © Wangechi Mutu

Painting Love in the Louvre Collections
National Art Center (Tokyo, Japan)
March 1st to June 12th, 2023

Wangechi Mutu: Intertwined
The New Museum (New York City, USA)
Curated by Margot Norton (The New Museum) Vivian Crockett
March 2nd to June 4th, 2023

Teresa del Pó (c. 1684) St. Sebastian. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett / Dietmar Katzeresa

Muse or Maestra? Women in the Italian Art World, 1400-1800
Kupferstichkabinett (Berlin, Germany)
May 8th to June 4th, 2023

The Ugly Duchess: Beauty and Satire in the Renaissance
The National Gallery (London, UK)
March 16th to June 11th, 2023

Katsushika Hokusai, South Wind, Clear Sky (Gaifū kaisei), also known as Red Fuji, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjūrokkei) © The Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Hokusai: Inspiration and Influence
The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, USA)
March 26th to July 16th, 2023
Curated by: Sarah E. Thompson

Musée d’Orsay (Paris, France)
March 28th to July 23rd, 2023
Curated by Laurence des Cars (Louvre Museum), Isolde Pludermacher (Musée d’Orsay), and Stéphane Guégan (Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie)

Juan de Pareja (1661) The Calling of Saint Matthew, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. © Photographic Archive Museo Nacional del Prado

Juan de Pareja: Afro-Hispanic Painter
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City, USA)
April 3rd to July 16th, 2023
Curated by David Pullins (The Met) and Vanessa K. Valdés (CUNY)

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (2000) Untitled (Memory Map). © Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map
Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City, USA)
April 19th to August 2023
Curated by Laura Phipps (Whitney) and Caitlin Chaisson

Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker
National Gallery of Ireland (Dublin, Ireland)
May 6th to August 27th 2023
Curated by Aoife Brady (National Gallery of Ireland)

Menstrual products from various decades. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum Europäischer Kulturen / Christian Krug

Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde: The Modern Landscape
The Art Institute (Chicago, USA)
Curated by Jacquelyn N. Coutré (The Art Institute) and Bregje Gerritse (Van Gogh Museum)
May 14th to September 4th, 2023

Flow: The Exhibition about Menstruation
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Berlin, Germany)
June 10th, 2023 to June 10th, 2024

Artist Portrait with a Candle (A), from the series With Eyes Closed I See Happiness (2012) Marina Abramović. © Marina Abramović

Secessions: Klimt, Stuck, Liebermann
Alte Nationalgalerie (Berlin, Germany)
June 23rd to October 22nd, 2023

Marina Abramović
Royal Academy of Arts (London, UK)
September 23rd to December 10th, 2023

Japanese American-owned grocery store, Oakland, California (March 1942) Dorothea Lange. © National Gallery of Art

Degas and the Laundress: Women, Work, and Impressionism in Late Nineteenth Century Paris
Cleveland Museum of Art
October 8th to January 14th, 2023

Dorothea Lange: Seeing People
National Gallery of Art (Washington D.C., USA)
November 5th, 2023 to March 31st, 2024

Article by Francesca Bisi

MA Candidate in Art History and Museum Studies, Tufts University

Weekly Job Round (11/20/22)

Welcome to the weekly roundup! We do our best to collect the latest job openings, and please be sure to check last week’s roundup. For more opportunities, we recommend the following databases:





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