The Mattatuck Museum is known for engaging its community in an understanding of the past and providing vision and leadership for the future through its exhibitions, programs, and collections of national significance. The collections of the Mattatuck Museum span the history of American art from the colonial era to the present day with special strengths in Connecticut art and artists, and Naugatuck Valley history and material culture. The collection includes more than 8,000 objects including paintings, unique works on paper, photography, and sculpture, as well as objects, textiles, furnishings, ephemera, and archival holdings. The Museum is also recognized for its collection of buttons, a group of 20,000 miniature works, including 10,000 collected from around the world that were donated to the museum by the Waterbury Companies in the 1990s.
The Chief Curator is a member of the Museum’s senior management team, actively participating in shaping the organization’s vision and mission while directing its exhibition program. This position leads the effort to build, present, care for, and conserve the Museum’s collections, and is responsible for the support and content of the exhibitions and related efforts. The Chief Curator manages the Curatorial Department which includes the Assistant Curator, Collections Manager/Registrar, and Archivist/Librarian, and all aspects of department operations.
As the lead spokesperson for the Museum’s collections and exhibitions, the incumbent must be at ease in a highly visible and public position. They must cultivate relationships with donors and collectors to build support for the Museum’s curatorial program through gifts, acquisitions, and exhibit fundraising.
PRIMARY AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY
- In partnership with the Executive Director, manage the strategic direction of the department, ensuring alignment with the institutional strategic plan;
- Lead the curatorial team in presenting a dynamic program of exhibitions and collection installations annually;
- With department staff assistance, oversee all aspects of exhibition production (IE schedules and other logistical matters) for originally conceived shows and those traveling from other institutions;
- Plan, develop, and manage departmental, exhibition, collection, and project budgets; and
- Manage, mentor, and develop staff to implement best standards of care and protection for collections and loans.
Curatorial Vision and Content Authority
- Works with the Executive Director to set the direction and master calendar for exhibitions;
- Serves as content authority for exhibitions, ensuring balance of schedule, scholarship, and value for audiences;
- Implement an institution-wide curatorial voice for the overall exhibition program;
- Conduct research and write exhibit labels, didactics, and catalog essays;
- Work with Education team to develop and deliver docent and volunteer education;
- Coordinates with Development team to ensure the accuracy of all funding requests;
- Coordinates with the Marketing team to ensure the accuracy of all information delivered to the public; and
- Maintain an active presence in the regional and national art community.
- Coordinate the gathering of information, records, and archival material associated with the collection and archives of the Museum;
- Manage the departments’ efforts to digitize the records and archives of the collection;
- Develop and oversee the scholarly content of publications for the Museum; and
- Work cross-departmentally to develop and produce the Museum’s publications associated with the collection and exhibitions.
- Part of the senior management team, playing a key role in institutional planning efforts;
- In collaboration with the Director of Development, play a key role in donor cultivation to secure works of art and funding for exhibits, publications and other programs;
- Provide content for Museum communications as needed; and
- Work in collaboration with the Director of Education to provide interpretive content for school groups, public tours, docents, and public programs.
Collection Acquisition and Deaccession
- Plan and coordinate with the Collections Committee the Collection Plan;
- Work with the Collections Committee chair to set agendas, develop acquisition strategies, educate members, and enlist support for the Collection Plan;
- Develop and implement a deaccession program to build funds for acquisition and to provide space for an upgraded collection; and
- Lead and work cross-departmentally to develop and implement a master plan for the presentation of the collection that speaks to a new generation of visitors while serving the needs of traditional audiences.
Education and Experience Requirements
- 3 to 5 years of progressively responsible curatorial and/or art museum management experience;
- Bachelor’s degree in art, art history, museum studies, or a related field, supported by significant scholarship in the field including exhibitions, publications, and acquisitions (MA or Ph.D. preferred);
- A strong professional track record in museum administration, strategic planning, and building collaborative relationships;
- Experience in donor cultivation and grant development;
- Ability to create and successfully manage an annual budget;
- Demonstrated project management skills, including the creation and implementation of project outcomes and schedules;
- Proficient in the Microsoft Office Suite; and
- Experience with collections management software.
The Mattatuck Museum is an art and regional history museum located on the historic Green in downtown Waterbury, CT. Founded as the Mattatuck Historical Society in 1877, the Museum opened its first display hall in 1912 and has been exhibiting art ever since. Waterbury, CT is 30 minutes southwest of Hartford, 40 minutes northwest of New Haven, 1 hour south of the Berkshires, 2 hours northeast of New York City, and 2.5 hours southwest of Boston, MA. Waterbury’s population is 114,403 (2020 census) and it is the second-largest city in New Haven County, Connecticut.
The Museum offers a full benefits package including vacation, holidays, health/dental insurance, and 403(b) plan, as well as, support for professional development to qualified employees.
Recruitment will continue until the position is filled. To apply, please send a cover letter, current resume, and 3 professional references to: CHIEF CURATOR, Attn: Janice Shambor, Finance Manager via email to Janice@mattmuseum.org.
Documents should be sent as attachments using Microsoft Word or PDF format and should not exceed five (5) megabytes. No phone calls, please. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. The Mattatuck Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer. As such, we are interested in candidates who are committed to high standards of scholarship, performance, and professionalism, as well as to the development of a climate that supports equality and diversity.