Barbara B. Taylor Director
Saint Louis Art Museum
St. Louis, MO
The Current Situation and Opportunity
The Saint Louis Art Museum is uniquely positioned to be a leader among cultural institutions. Such leadership is exemplified by establishing itself as an anchor in its community, serving as a gathering site and convening entity, and facilitating the engagement of a broad range of audiences with art and artists.
At this historic moment, art museums and other cultural institutions are facing challenges on many levels – navigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for their visitors and staff, enduring financial strains, and stewarding their collections responsibly. The challenges must be faced while responding to and addressing societal issues, including those related to diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. These issues form part of broader conversations around the relevance of art and the museums displaying it, and the significant positive impact these institutions could and should have on their communities in the 21st century.
The Museum possesses a readiness for change and inquiry, rather than a desire to remain static. In June 2020, the Museum’s Board of Commissioners directed three of its officers to work as a study group to examine what the Museum is doing to heal racial disparities in the region and what more could be and should be done. The result of this work is the Diversity Study Group Report.
The Museum’s next Director will arrive at an institution poised to forge its next chapter from a position of stability and strength, ready to implement new and ambitious goals with a strong commitment to expanding its role in the community while maintaining the high standards of its own history. Intentionally, the Museum’s current strategic plan concludes in 2021 to allow the new Director to play a pivotal role in envisioning the Museum’s future. Working in conjunction with the Museum’s governing boards, its very capable team, and its various constituents, the Museum’s next Director will have the opportunity to shape and implement a plan which will enhance the Museum’s profile as one of the leading encyclopedic public museums.
About the Saint Louis Art Museum
Mission: The Saint Louis Art Museum collects, presents, interprets, and conserves works of art of the highest quality across time and cultures; educates, inspires discovery, and elevates the human spirit; preserves a legacy of artistic achievement for the people of St. Louis and the world; and engages, includes, and represents the full diversity of the St. Louis community supporting it.
For more information about the Saint Louis Art Museum, including its world-class encyclopedic collection and overviews of its educational and community programs for a wide range of audiences, including students and teachers, teens, families, as well as adult programs which include talks, presentations, performances, and films, please visit the Museum’s website.
Main Focus, Priorities, and Key Responsibilities
The Barbara B. Taylor Director is the chief executive of the Museum and is responsible for setting the Museum’s direction, implementing the Museum’s strategic plan, catalyzing the organization to move forward, and fostering the engagement of others in this endeavor for the public good. The Director is a leader, both internally and externally, guiding the Museum’s fulfillment of its mission at a strategic, organizational, and operational level. Additionally, the Commission and Governing Boards are important partners to the Director in all these processes. Two particularly important components of this role for the Museum are active, engaged, and transparent communications, along with exceptional talent management.
At least 10 years of executive experience in the nonprofit sector and in increasingly senior roles, overseeing a team of professionals while navigating complex organizational structures and processes. Top candidates will have an advanced degree in art, art history, arts management, or another relevant field; candidates with equivalent professional experience and successful track records of accomplishments will also be considered.
Ideal candidates will possess a passion for art and museums; political acumen and governance experience; experience in fundraising and philanthropy; experience in financial stewardship; appreciation for and experience in guiding processes; well-honed communication skills; and a genuine belief in and deep commitment to the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
Koya Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Naree W.S. Viner and Stephen Milbauer are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
The Saint Louis Art Museum is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented applicants.