The MFA’s Asian art collection covers the creative achievement of more than half the world’s population since 4000 BC. The collection of more than 100,000 objects includes paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, metalwork, and other art forms from Japan, China, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, and the Islamic world.
The MFA houses the finest collection of Japanese art outside Japan. The early Buddhist paintings and sculpture are the envy of even Japanese museums. The Chinese and Indian collections are widely celebrated, known particularly for their paintings and sculpture from across multiple centuries. The Museum’s Islamic art collection is one of the best and highly respected collections in the United States. The Himalayan and Southeast Asian holdings are much smaller, but each of these collections contains familiar masterpieces. The Korean collection has important ceramics and Buddhist paintings.
Reporting to the Chief of Curatorial Administration, the Chair will galvanize and inspire departmental curatorial staff to develop an engaging exhibition program, deepen relations with its donors and continue to build and steward its collection. The new Chair must be deeply committed to exploring the changing nature of art museums and their relationship to the public. The Chair will embrace and champion the Museum’s core value, namely that the experience of our visitor is paramount to our mission, strategies and achievements.
The Chair will lead in developing the artistic vision of the Art of Asia department, and the development of exhibition and collection projects that are based in the institution’s Strategic Plan, and which deliver on its commitment to audience engagement. The Chair will work collaboratively with other curators and colleagues to achieve departmental initiatives and institutional strategic goals.
Minimum Qualifications and Experience:
• Advanced degree in Art History or extensive equivalent related experience in art exhibition and program planning and production.
• Significant knowledge of Asian Art, including a portfolio of exhibitions and publications that have advanced scholarship and connected visitors to Asian art in engaging ways.
• Extensive senior management level museum experience in exhibitions, installations, publications, and collection building.
• Should have established contacts with national and international curators, collectors, dealers, artists, and other museum professionals with the desire and ability to cultivate new relationships intended to enhance our Asian art displays, collection, and programming.
• Broad curatorial experience gained in museums that have sought and achieved imaginative ways of engaging with their visitors and which have met targeted results.
Ideal Candidate Profile:
• An experienced leader of people, ideas and institutional mission, with the dynamic communication skills to engage staff, donors and the public.
• Demonstrable ability to manage, mentor and retain talent, and disciplined in managing curatorial staff to reach for excellence in ideas, project execution and goal achievement.
• An international perspective but experienced in becoming personally and professionally committed to an institution’s city, people and artistic community.
• Committed to collaboration with others to achieve best outcomes as well as excel at timely decision making to move plans and objectives forward.
• Strong sense of accountability for achieving stated objectives and demonstrable experience doing so.
• Superior ability to present and defend ideas and projects that earn the respect of other senior leaders and builds credibility for the work of the Department and institution.
• Evident experience/ability to partner with the Director/CEO in developing the artistic vision of the contemporary program, develop exhibition projects, position the institution externally and realize support and works of art from donors.
• Evident experience working successfully with senior leaders of an organization to achieve, both their own and their peers’ objectives, including visitor experience, marketing, education and digital initiatives.
• Committed to supporting and contributing to the success of an institution’s business and financial imperatives.
• Committed to the training and professional development of staff to ensure up-to-date practices.
Personal Qualities and Attributes:
• Intellectual rigor
• Inspirational, passionate, curious
• Resilient with a healthy approach to work/life balance
• Generosity of spirit, a team player
• Superior judgment, tact and diplomacy
Application materials are being accepted immediately. For consideration, please submit your letter of interest and CV to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also submit your materials via postal mail to: Human Resources Department, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.
The MFA is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer that is committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourages applications from diverse candidates.
March 10, 2017