Current Opportunities

Museum Director


The Trustees and the Search Committee of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art seek an exemplary leader, to partner with the CEO as the museum’s senior artistic executive and by virtue of the position to serve as a member of the Wadsworth Atheneum Board of Trustees. 


For more than 175 years, the Wadsworth has inspired audiences as Connecticut’s flagship visual arts institution.  The global arts community recognizes the museum for its peerless collections and as a place of engaging programming.   Dynamic and varied special exhibitions have captured the public’s interest for nearly a century, enriching the conversation about the art of the past and the art of today.  

An active acquisitions program and generous patrons have enabled the Wadsworth’s collections to grow from the original core group of 87 paintings to more than 50,000 high-quality works of art representing a broad range of cultures — from Mediterranean antiquity to the art of our modern times in a wide array of media.    The museum is home to one of the finest collections of European Baroque through Nineteenth Century art, American art and material culture, and remarkably rich 20th Century art holdings in areas such as Surrealism, Conceptual Art, sculpture, and post-WWII abstraction.  The Wadsworth’s last eleven exhibitions in a row have garnered national press and critical acclaim. 

The museum’s educational programs engage and inspire by offering creative, diverse, and awe-inspiring experiences with art to the broad public. We team with institutional and community partners, artists, filmmakers, performers, scholars and educators to co-create and deliver innovative and expansive programs.  We also embrace/welcome new challenges as the institution adapts to ever-changing digital demands and a call to action in response to a national reckoning around systemic racial injustice.


A $110M investment base comprised of unrestricted and restricted operating funds as well as restricted funds for the purchase of art, underpins a $10.5 million operating budget.    More than half of the museum’s physical structure and space was renovated in a $33M capital project between 2010 and 2015. Described as “stunning and astute” by The New York Times, the project renewed the museum’s historic structures with an eye toward an improved visitor experience.  It added 17 new galleries and additional special exhibition space now totaling more than 50,000 square feet, plus fundamental upgrades to multiple collection storage areas.  There is an emerging plan for incremental capital improvements to interior and exterior public spaces over the coming five years to better equip the museum to display its vast array of artwork and offerings to the public.

Quality of Life

The greater Hartford, CT community is a place of immense artistic vitality and diversity, home to people of diverse cultural backgrounds lifestyles, experiences, and interests.   In common with so many historic cities, Hartford is actively reshaping itself to thrive in the 21st Century.   The city’s positive energy centers around a wide spectrum of cultural and entertainment offerings such as the Wadsworth, the historic homes of Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe, the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, and an emerging, eclectic dining scene.  Located in the center of a stunningly beautifully region, US News & World Report recently ranked Hartford as one of the top 25 Best Places to Live for Quality of Life in the United States.

The Opportunity

Inspiring everyone to experience and appreciate excellence in art and culture requires a team effort and the talents of a diverse, highly motivated group of people.  The quality of this institution emanates from the collective work and talent of our staff.   In partnership with the CEO, the Museum Director will work with museum staff, curators, cross functional leaders, and management to develop, implement, and oversee the artistic, curatorial, and interpretive strategies of the Museum – bringing a 21st-century perspective to the task of defining the museum's scope and direction of exhibitions, programming, and collections management.   Managerially, the Director will oversee the care and display of the museum’s collections and lead the curatorial, exhibition, conservation, education, publications, and programming functions in support of the museum’s mission. 

Essential Functions

  • Seek to understand and internalize the legacy of the Wadsworth, operating from a point of curiosity, learning what makes the institution unique as the oldest continually operating museum in America.
  • Identify what “quality” and “excellence” means to the Wadsworth, both locally, nationally and internationally, and hold the organization to this standard.
  • Advance an innovative vision for the museum by facilitating the contribution of new philosophies, ideas, and approaches to exhibitions, collection installations, the permanent collection, acquisitions, educational experiences, and museum events. Champion fresh thinking and approaches to art; seizing opportunities to be creative, experimental, and innovative.
  • Direct and manage the timely planning, development and execution of the Museum’s curatorial, exhibition and educational program offerings and schedules. Oversee the care and preservation of the Museum’s existing collection, the acquisition of new artwork and the deaccessioning of work no longer deemed necessary for the collection.
  • Actively direct the development and organization of the exhibition program, partnering with finance and museum resources on related budgets, including both internally and externally generated projects.
  • Develop a close and productive relationship with the Curatorial and Educational Committees of the board.
  • Develop and implement collection management strategies, goals and objectives, developing the policies and procedures necessary to achieve these goals.
  • Actively work to identify and build strong relationships and partnerships with the diverse communities we serve to strengthen their voices and thoughtfully respond to their needs. 
  • Understand and internalize the concept of equity and what it means in term of accessibility and assisting our patrons in understanding the artistic narrative.
  • Represent the Museum as a thought leader and advocate for the arts on a local, national and international level.
  • Actively participate in the development of financial and strategic plans for all areas of responsibility and the administration of those plans.  Collaborate with the CEO in the formulation and enforcement of policies for the museum.
  • Serves as role model for all, leading, mentoring and managing Museum staff in areas under supervision; fostering a positive, inclusive work environment. 
  • Develop a strong positive working relationship with Board of Trustees to foster Board member participation and engagement in various aspects of the Museum’s operations, goals and objectives.
  • Cultivate relationships with museum trustees, collectors, artists and other donors for collection development and financial support.
  • Cultivates relationships with colleagues and peers in the marketplace and museum space.
  • Continue to acquire professional knowledge of current developments in the art world by attending seminars, workshops or professional meetings, and by conducting research. Contributes to this body of knowledge through actively contributing through publishing and presenting when opportunities are identified. Shares this knowledge as a coach and mentor to his/her team.
  • Perform related duties as required.

Measures of Success

Note: “Success” will be jointly defined and agreed upon as part of CEO and Board collaboration.

  • Successful, first-rate quality locally and nationally recognized art exhibitions (with new and unique ideas).
  • Successful multi-modal (live, online) exhibition events, programs, classes, and forums.
  • A positive, collaborative, collegial and inclusive organizational culture and work environment as measured by surveys, focus groups, skip-level meetings and anecdotal information.
  • A collegial and respectful relationship with the Board of Trustees, Honorary Trustees, Electors, Docents, Staff and Volunteers
  • A leadership team that is informed and aligned with our strategic framework.
  • Increased public awareness of and engagement with museum offerings and exhibitions.
  • Increased engagement with diverse audiences.
  • Increased public attendance at museum and participation in museum-sponsored events (in-person and virtual) among all community demographic groups.
  • Patron enjoyment and satisfaction with museum offerings, inspiring “moments of beauty” experiences into the lives of the community and visitors.
  • Enhanced reputation of the museum, locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Growth in the Museum’s educational and community engagement initiatives.
  • Enhanced relationships with the communities the museum serves as well as outside entities (e.g., State and local entities, nonprofit organizations).
  • Identification of the museum as aligned with, and relevant to, the social fabric of the times.

Minimum Qualifications Needed to Perform Essential Functions

Any combination of education and experience providing the required knowledge, skills and abilities for successful performance would be qualifying.  Typical qualifications would be equivalent to:

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Master’s Degree in art-related field.
  • Ph.D. in art-related field preferred.
  • Strong track record of innovative projects, including technology based and social media savvy strategies
  • Extensive successful experience overseeing and managing the artwork collection of a museum.
  • Extensive successful experience managing museum exhibition planning and implementation.
  • Successful experience overseeing the acquisition and preservation of artwork.
  • Successful supervisory experience.
  • Proven track record of fostering a fun, creative, dynamic, and provocative museum atmosphere.
  • Bilingual (Spanish/English) a plus

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of Wadsworth history and art collections.
  • Knowledge of museum best practices in the display, handling, and procurement of artwork.
  • Knowledge of federal and state laws related to areas of responsibility.
  • Embracing of the value of diversity and inclusion.
  • Emotional intelligence skills, including the ability to adapt to unforeseen situations, the ability to influence key stakeholders, and the ability to negotiate to achieve a desired outcome.
  • Excellent organization and time management skills, including the ability to manage multiple simultaneous projects and conflicting time constraints.
  • Positive public relations and customer service skills.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, including active listening skills and strong presentation skills.
  • Ability to read, write and speak English fluently.
  • Proficiency with collection/exhibition management software experience with Google and Windows Office applications required (including Gmail, Google Docs, Word, and Excel), and a working knowledge of Skype, Zoom, and other virtual video communications.
  • Ability to lead others, supervise, motivate, and evaluate staff.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain collaborative working relationships with others contacted in the course of work.
  • Ability to maintain composure under stressful situations.
  • Ability to approach issues and problems with flexibility and unique approaches, openness to different perspectives and a solution orientation.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of information.
  • Ability to work as part of a team and with a diverse group of individuals.
  • Ability to engage in self-evaluation regarding leadership, performance and professional growth.

Physical, Mental, Sensory, and Environmental Demands

Climate controlled art museum with display galleries, standard offices, café, library/archives, theater, museum shop, and other non-public spaces. Work is performed primarily indoors and occasionally outdoors, in lobbies, art display galleries, public spaces and non-public offices and storage areas.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to receive oral and written instructions and information in English and to clearly communicate in English in person, over the telephone, through email and through other electronic means. The employee is required to move about their work area, between galleries and storage areas, ascend and descend stairs; and stand and/or sit for extended periods of time.  Local, in-state, out of state, and international travel is required.    The employee is occasionally required to lift, drag and/or move up to 15 pounds unassisted. The employee is required to identify, observe, and assess visually or otherwise.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with a disability to perform the essential functions to the extent the Wadsworth may do so without undue hardship. The term “Qualified individual with a disability” means an individual who with or without reasonable accommodation can perform the essential functions of the position.


 The preceding job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and essential functions and responsibilities of work performed by the employee in this job position. It may not contain a comprehensive list of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required for this role. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

How to Apply

Wadsworth Atheneum is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.   To apply please submit a letter stating the reason for your interest, your CV noting your experience and credentials plus a list of professional references to Jeffrey Brown, CEO, at  Applications will be reviewed as received and accepted until such time as the position has been filled. 

Salary Range: 
Salary information is available upon request

About This Job

  • Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
  • Hartford, CT
  • Category: Professional
  • Salary Range: Salary information is available upon request
  • Posted: December 1, 2021