Houston philanthropists and art patrons John and Dominique de Menil established the Menil Foundation in 1954 to foster greater public understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, culture, religion, and philosophy. In 1987, the Menil Collection’s main building opened to the public. Today, some thirty years later, the Menil Collection consists of a group of four (soon-to-be five) art buildings and green spaces located within a historic residential neighborhood. The Menil embodies the ideals and values of its founders, in particular, that art is vital to human life and should be readily accessible to all persons.
The Menil is internationally recognized for its refined aesthetics, innovative exhibitions, conservation research, publications, scholarship, and unique architecture. The thirty-acre neighborhood includes the landmark Renzo Piano-designed main building, the Cy Twombly Gallery, the Dan Flavin Installation at Richmond Hall, and the former Byzantine Fresco Chapel (now a site for long-term installations), as well as a restaurant and bookstore. The art collection is actively growing and currently consists of more than 17,000 objects.
In 2018, the Menil Collection will inaugurate a new building. The Menil Drawing Institute was formally established in 2008. The following year, in recognition of the Menil’s artist-centered approach and growing collection of drawings, it was decided that a future building dedicated to the concept would be incorporated into the institutional master plan. Today the Menil Drawing Institute is nearly complete. The Los Angeles-based architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee (Johnston Marklee) have designed a distinctive freestanding building dedicated to the study, conservation, exhibition, acquisition, and storage of modern and contemporary drawings. The unique 30,146-square-foot structure features a trio of spacious courtyards and a design that modulates daylight in a way that both illuminates and protects delicate works on paper. Significant gifts of drawings have been instrumental to the Menil Drawing Institute’s early and continuing success. Additionally, the Menil has established a special acquisition fund for modern and contemporary drawings.
The Chief Curator, Menil Drawing Institute, has an entirely unique opportunity to create a dynamic program within an innovative new building and to help shape the future of the Menil Collection. Through major research initiatives, acquisitions, and displays, the Chief Curator will establish an international reputation for The Menil Drawing Institute. The Chief Curator is responsible for the management and growth of the Menil’s drawing collection and also for the Menil Drawing Institute’s programming and administration.
1. Organize exhibitions, programs, and other creative events associated with the Menil Drawing Institute.
2. Foster collaborative projects within the Menil and with national/international museums and related cultural and educational organizations.
3. Conceive and produce Menil Drawing Institute catalogues, brochures and other materials related to the drawings collection and exhibitions; review all future Menil publications that refer to its drawing collection and exhibitions.
4. Manage the drawings collection including, but not limited to, research on the collection, incorporating new information into exhibitions and publications.
5. Develop the drawings collection as a research resource for local, national, and international scholars.
6. Establish and oversee a fellowship program for the Menil Drawing Institute.
7. Serve as spokesperson for the Menil Drawing Institute, building enthusiasm for drawings and for the Menil Drawing Institute.
8. Collaborate with the Administrative Staff to create and manage the Drawing Institute’s departmental budget.
9. Oversee efforts related to collection management of the Menil Collection’s drawings, including physical inventory and database projects, collections care, and ongoing drawing assessments.
10. Supervise Drawing Institute staff and coordinate with other Menil staff.
11. Work with the Menil Drawing Institute Advisory Committee.
12. With the Advancement Department, play a significant role in the cultivation and solicitation of major gifts, donations and bequests.
13. Act as a leader within the Menil Collection, adding expertise, guidance and collegial participation in the discussion, formulation, and implementation of policies, procedures, and activities of the organization.
1. An advanced degree (Ph.D. preferred) in art history or related field.
2. Specialized knowledge of drawings and 20th century and contemporary art.
3. A passionate and energetic temperament, with the ability to manage, research, exhibit, and develop an important collection.
4. Significant museum curatorial experience with a proven track record of exhibitions and publications.
5. Ability to work in a collaborative environment.
6. A demonstrated interest and ability to share the collection with diverse audiences and build a positive image and strong relationships for the Menil Collection.
7. Innovative thinking and clear communication skills, with the ability to present the drawing collection and the Menil to all internal and external constituencies
8. A reputation for the highest level of integrity and credibility.
Interested applicants are encouraged to submit a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples either by post or electronically to:
Director of Human Resources
The Menil Collection
1511 Branard Street
Houston, Texas 77006
To ensure full consideration, please apply by April 30, 2018; however, applications will be received until the position is filled.