Curator, Collection Strategy, Artists Estates and Foundations

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Under the direction of the Chair, Department of Contemporary Art, the Curator, Collection Strategy, Artists Estates and Foundations will help the MFA define and implement a strategy to build its collection of modern and contemporary art by forging strong relationships between artists’ estates and foundations. Working as part of the MFA’s Department of Contemporary Art, and partnering closely with the Gifts of Art Program and other Development colleagues, the Curator will support near-term relationship building and long-term continuity and momentum for the Museum’s engagement and stewardship of artists’ estates and foundations.

In this newly created position, the successful candidate will work with other MFA staff to develop strategic goals and plans for implementation, working with purpose to realize success in strengthening the collection. This will include: developing a list of potential acquisitions, specifically targeted around artists’ estates and foundations; identifying and prioritizing top prospects and defining action steps for engagement; establishing robust relationships with key decision makers for artists’ estates and foundations and MFA leaders; and supporting gift conversations to secure important gifts of modern and contemporary art.

The successful candidate will have confidence in initiating contacts with prospects, be fluent and proactive in talking with artists and various stakeholders at foundations, estates, and people across the art market, and thrive in a fast-paced environment with varied projects and responsibilities. They will be prepared for active collaboration with internal staff and clear, professional communication with prospective donors on behalf of the Museum.

Responsibilities
  • Work with Curatorial and Development staff to identify potential donors among artists’ estates and foundations to help strengthen the MFA collection, and create a cohesive plan for implementing gift strategies.

  • Develop a compelling case for support to inspire gifts from artists’ estates and foundations to the MFA in relation to the collecting priorities of the MFA and the Department of Contemporary Art specifically.

  • Prepare research and prospect lists for review with curatorial staff as needed. Collaborate with Curatorial and Development colleagues to identify top priorities and prepare strategies for cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of prospects.

  • Conduct visits of artists’ estates and foundations as well as studio visits, create a network of potential supporters and collaborators, nationally and internationally, establish thoughtful relationships with key people responsible for placing works of art in public collections. Serve as point of contact and liaison, internally and externally, for gifts of art from artist’s estates and foundations and increase the MFA’s visibility and presence in this sector.

  • Partner closely with Foundation and Government Relations staff to ensure strategy development and close coordination in support of gift opportunities that could include financial support as well as gifts of art.

  • Support the MFA Director, the Chair, Department of Contemporary Art, the Director of Gifts of Art, and curatorial staff as needed to activate donor strategies. Maintain records to reflect cultivation and solicitation plans and progress.

  • Build a platform to sustain relationships through effective stewardship.

Requirements
  • Advanced degree in art history, museum studies, or related field with a focus on modern and/or contemporary art.

  • Minimum of three to five years’ experience in the non-profit or commercial art world (museums, artist foundations, galleries, auction houses, or related fields).

  • Ability to think creatively and deliver results within a defined strategy.

  • Proven track record of working successfully within a complex, fast-paced environment.

  • Demonstrated ability to make decisions, work independently and as a team player.

  • Strong organizational abilities, attention to detail and follow-through skills, ability to anticipate and plan next steps to reach desired outcomes.

  • Excellent written and oral communications.

  • Professional demeanor, confidence, and interpersonal skills.

  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential materials with professionalism.

  • Ability to learn and articulate museum policies related to gifts of art.

  • Experience in event planning and client/donor relations preferred.

  • Capacity to accommodate frequent travel.

How to Apply

This is a part-time, two-year term position. Candidates may work remotely (NY area-based strongly preferred) but are required to be at the Museum on a regular basis (once to twice per month).

For consideration, please submit your letter of interest and CV to: resumes@mfa.org. You may also submit your materials via postal mail to: Human Resources Department, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

The MFA is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer that is committed to building a culturally diverse staff and strongly encourages applications from diverse candidates.

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Posted on February 3