Corning Museum of Glass

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CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS

INTERIM DIRECTOR OF COLLECTIONS

Corning, NY

Application Deadline:  Closed


Overview

The foremost glass museum in the world, the Corning Museum of Glass seeks a supportive and mentoring Interim Director of Collections to provide leadership, stewardship, and strategy as a member of the Museum’s leadership team during a 2-3-year transition to new Curatorial and Collections departments’ leadership. Join a talented and dedicated team, supporting and mentoring to ensure a smooth transition to the next generation of leaders for these departments, who may be advanced from within. The Interim Director of Collections reports to President and Executive Director Karol Wight and will advise and guide team members in the Exhibitions, Collections, Conservation and Publications sectors of the museum.

 Contemporary Art + Design Wing

Contemporary Art + Design Wing

The Director of Collections will have significant leadership and management responsibility, be an exceptional team builder, and be able to develop and manage a department leadership transition plan in addition to overseeing daily operations of the departments reporting to him or her.  The Director of Collections will be a champion of a talented and dedicated team: part strategist, part advisor and guide, and supportive of the Museum’s mission and programs. As a 2-3 year appointment, there is flexibility in the candidate’s background and training. First and foremost is the need for a seasoned team builder, mentor and leader. Moreover, s/he should have significant experience leading a large museum curatorial or collection department, or as a former museum director or senior museum executive familiar with collection management and curatorial practice. Experience with scholarly publications and editing is a plus.

The Director of Collections will be a flexible leader with a proven track record of building and strengthening teams and have the interpersonal skills to plan and manage a transition. S/he will function as a coach and advisor at a point in his or her career where leadership in service to the Department and the Museum are held above personal advancement.

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About the Museum

The Corning Museum of Glass, the foremost museum in the world dedicated to the art, history, science and technology of glass and glassmaking, has an international reputation and holds the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of glass. Its holdings span 35 centuries and number more than 50,000 objects dating from ancient to contemporary international glass. The Museum has been expanded several times since opening in 1951, becoming a major international destination.  In 1978, the Museum expanded with an addition designed by Gunnar Birkerts, and from 1996-2001 the Museum completed an ambitious five-year, $65-million transformation that added a third wing and a state-of-the-art teaching facility including a glass-blowing studio, plus spacious, natural-light-filled galleries and a new visitor center. In 2000 the Museum completed a renovation of the 43,500 sq. ft. Juliette K. and Leonard S. Rakow Research Library building, providing badly-needed space for the Library’s collection which numbers over 500,000 print items.  A redesigned 18,000-square-foot retail shop, one of the largest museum shops in the country, was located on the first floor. In 2015, yet another expansion project was undertaken resulting in the 100,000-square-foot Contemporary Art + Design Wing including a state-of-the art amphitheater for glass blowing demonstrations and 26,000 square feet of new galleries. Today, the campus’s architecturally distinctive buildings total 300,000 square feet (see: https://www.cmog.org/about/architecture), and the Museum annually welcomes almost 460,000 visitors from around the globe.

Collections and Exhibitions

The Glass Collection Galleries present the most comprehensive and celebrated glass collection in the world spanning 35 centuries in 13 galleries. The galleries explore glass and glassmaking from antiquity to present day, representing every country and historical period in which glassmaking has been practiced.

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Additionally, the new Contemporary Glass + Design Wing, the world’s largest space dedicated to contemporary art and design in glass, focuses on vessels, objects, sculptures, and installations made by international artists over the last 25 years, showing how glass is used as a medium for contemporary art. The Innovation Center offers an interactive look at the way new discoveries in glass have changed the world, augmenting the Museum’s mission “to tell the world about glass.”  Live narrated demonstrations of hot glassblowing are offered all day, every day, and visitors can elect to create their own glass pieces at The Studio.

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The Museum offers special exhibitions in its changing exhibition galleries and is entering the planning stage of a complete reinstallation of the Glass Collections Galleries (“35 Centuries of Glass”), slated for completion in 2022. The Director of Collections will support the Curatorial and Collections teams to provide oversight in creating the master reinstallation plan that includes timeline, budget, gallery design concepts, interpretation and implementation.  The Rakow Research Library, an international resource, the conservation laboratory and an annual calendar of scholarly publications add to the extraordinary facilities and world-acclaimed expertise of the Museum and its staff. 

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Education and Special Programs

The Corning Museum of Glass makes the art, techniques, science and aesthetics of glass accessible through many public programs and opportunities for learners of all ages, including family and youth activities, ongoing daily glassmaking demonstrations and gallery tours; classes, workshops, lectures and seminars, and residencies for professional artists in The Studio. Additional artist and scholar residencies are available at the Rakow Research Library and through the Rakow research grant.

Position Responsibilities Include:

General Duties

  • Hires, supervises, mentors and supports a staff of approximately 25, including 5 curators, in the Curatorial, Collections, Conservation and Publications areas of the museum.
  • Works with staff to help set exhibition, collection-management, presentation, interpretation, and publication strategies consistent with the key initiatives, goals and objectives of the Museum.
  • Ensures the continuance of the Museum’s record of outstanding exhibitions, collection enhancements, and important print and electronic publications, including two scholarly international journals of glass.
  • Serves as member of the Museum’s Leadership Team, a decision-making body that works closely with the President and Executive Director.

Additional Interim Contract Assignment Responsibilities

  • Serve as a mentor and coach to staff in order to strengthen leadership skills, teambuilding, and collaboration within departments and across the Museum.
  • Ensure effective staff relations based on trust and respect, and teamwork in an environment that values collegiality, support and empathy.
  • Assess Department functions, priorities, and processes to ensure efficiencies, effectiveness, excellence, and museum best practices.
  • Recommend and support staff professional development opportunities to build leadership and management skills consistent with the transition plan and the goals of the Museum.
  • Develop a 2-3-year Department transition plan, including regular evaluation of staff strengths, capabilities and growth; and a management leadership handover protocol.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience Required

Education, Training and Traits

  • Minimum Master’s degree in a relevant museum field, such as art history, decorative arts, or science/technology – but not necessarily in glass.
  • Minimum 10 years’ museum experience in a senior-management position at a substantial museum.
  • Demonstrated success in team building and coaching.
  • Applied knowledge of professional curatorial principles, practices and procedures.
  • Museum collections management, curatorial and conservation experience, and experience with scholarly publications and editing is a plus.
  • Experienced in budget preparation.
  • Demonstrated organizational planning and problem solving.
  • Understands and maintains highest standards related to organizational responsibilities and public accountability.

 Skills and Abilities:

  • Self-directed, energetic and motivated; with a strong work ethic.
  • Thrives in a fast-paced environment of growth, creativity and intellect.
  • Strong staff management and leadership skills.
  • Collaborative by nature, supportive and mentoring.
  • Flexible and helpful; a consultative decision-maker with high standards and ethics.
  • Effective interpersonal skills; tactful, and diplomatic.
  • Fosters trust and respect; support rather than control, and team over self.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and listening skills and a demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and professionally.
  • Proficient computer skills in MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Outlook calendaring, database and additional software knowledge preferred.

About Corning and the Region

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Corning is located in the southern Finger Lakes region and is home to Corning Incorporated, a Fortune 500 company and one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. In 2013 Rand McNally named the town of Corning the “Most Fun Small Town in America”. The Gaffer District in the town’s historic downtown has more than a hundred shops, art studios, galleries, antique shops, restaurants, and bars featuring wine and craft-beer tastings. Corning also features the Rockwell Museum and Palace Theatre, along with annual events like GlassFest, named one of the 100 Best Events for 2016 by the American Bus Association. Cornell University's Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art is nearby in Ithaca. Corning dates back to the late 18th century and historical sites dot the region.

Corning Glass Works moved to Corning from Brooklyn, NY in 1868, and for 150 years Corning Incorporated has maintained its headquarters in Corning, providing an economic base and bringing employment opportunities and a steady stream of international business leaders to “the Crystal City.” Corning Incorporated supports the Corning Museum of Glass and other nonprofit organizations and ensures that Corning has top-rated public, charter and private schools resulting in a very desirable place to live and work. 

The Finger Lakes region to the north of Corning is known for its vineyards and outdoor recreation opportunities including hiking, fishing and boating. The area is marked by high gorges, many with dramatic waterfalls, including Taughannock Falls and Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca.  Watkins Glen is a half-hour from Corning. Skiing is at Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Cortland, 66 miles away.  Farther north, Adirondack Park is a 6-million-acre mountain and recreational forest preserve. On Cayuga Lake, the city of Ithaca is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College – known for arts, film and theater education and performances. Twenty minutes away in Elmira, Elmira College features the Mark Twain Study and Broadway theatre at the Performing Arts Center.

Opportunities for affordable home ownership abound in the Corning area, which has a population of 11,000. Access to Corning is via nearby Corning/Elmira Regional Airport and Interstates 86 and 81, which connect to New York City, 4 hours away. Toronto and Philadelphia are both a 4-hour drive and Washington, DC is 5 hours away.  Rochester and Buffalo, both with outstanding museums and airports are an easy drive.

Nominations and Applications are Welcome

Nominations and applications are welcome in strict confidence by contacting Dan Keegan or Marilyn Hoffman at searchandref@museum-search.com

Be part of the excitement of the Corning Museum of Glass.  This is a highly attractive opportunity to work for a 2-3 year term in a senior position at a renowned AAMD museum that is one of the nation’s great art destinations and the world leader in its field. 

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As one of the 20 largest-budget art museums in the US, the Corning Museum of Glass offers  competitive salaries and excellent benefits.  The Museum is an equal opportunity employer and strives to attract applicants with diverse backgrounds and ideas spanning across cultures, languages, beliefs, ethnicities, races, genders, and sexual orientations.  

How to Apply

Email cover letter and résumé (Word documents preferred), salary requirement, and names of 3 references with contact information by April 16, 2018 to: Dan Keegan and Marilyn Hoffman, Museum Search and Reference, searchandref@museum-search.com. References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant.