Deputy Director, Collections, Research & Exhibitions
The Corning Museum of Glass is the world’s leading museum dedicated to the presentation, display and interpretation of glass and glassmaking. The collection, containing nearly 50,000 glass objects, represents an encyclopedic 3,500-year history. The Museum is a private, AAM-accredited 501(c)(3) institution. Since its opening in 1951 in one building, CMoG has grown to become a multi-building campus that includes in addition to the 167,000 square foot Museum, the Rakow Research Library and The Studio.
In March 2015, continuing its remarkable cycle of growth, the Museum will open the 100,000 square-foot state-of-the art Contemporary Art + Design Wing, an innovative glass structure designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners. The Phifer firm joins a distinguished group of architects who have designed buildings on the campus.
The new addition on the site of the former Steuben Glass factory will include a 26,000 square-foot gallery for contemporary art in glass and a 500-seat amphitheater hot shop for glassmaking demonstrations and artist engagements. With the expansion, the Museum will encompass over 325,000 square feet, of which 96,000 square feet will be dedicated to the galleries displaying the permanent collection and those used for special exhibits. To this extraordinary complex, CMoG expects to welcome more than 400,000 visitors a year.
The Museum offers an impressive variety of experiences for visitors. Workshops, classes, demonstrations, conferences, symposia, public lectures and seminars and artist presentations are offered for all ages and all levels of interest. The Museum’s GlassLab program enables designers to explore concepts in glass. Beyond the Museum walls, Corning collaborates with Celebrity Cruises to offer Hot Glass shows aboard their ships.
Education at the Museum is comprehensive, fully embracing the art and science of glass. The Museum has recently hired its first Chief Digital Officer to assist the Director of Education and curatorial staff in the development of a new interpretive approach for the entire permanent collection. The permanent collection galleries cover 35 centuries of glassmaking, from the creation of glass as a material in the second millennium B.C. to the contemporary. The Innovation Center is an interactive exhibit of the science and technology of glass, with an emphasis on discoveries in the 20th and 21st centuries. Artists and themes within the permanent glass collection as well as the special collections of the Rakow Research Library are explored in temporary exhibitions conceived and developed by the curatorial staff. These exhibitions regularly include loans from other international institutions. The Museum is developing a traveling exhibition program to share these exhibitions with a broader audience. Exhibition catalogues and related programming explore the themes and concepts of these shows.
The permanent collection continues to expand each year through gifts and acquisitions. The Ennion Society, the Museum’s patron group, raises money for acquisitions. Ennion Society members and other donors have been a generous source of gifts to the collection. The Fellows of the Corning Museum of Glass are among the world’s leading glass collectors, scholars, dealers and glassmakers. Their contributions support acquisitions to the Rakow Research Library.
With such vast holdings, the Museum’s famous Conservation Department plays a pivotal role in the condition and maintenance of every object in the Museum’s collection as well as objects on loan to Corning. The department is often called upon to oversee the conservation of important objects in the collections of other organizations and to teach the conservation of glass at other international institutions of higher learning.
The Rakow Research Library is considered the library of record on glass and contains the world’s finest collection of research materials related to the art, history and technology of glass. Since 2001, the library has been housed in a free-standing building, a former Corning Incorporated office building, designed to state-of-the-art standards. The library holds hundreds of thousands of research items in more than 40 languages. With a dedicated program of digitization, these assets are added to the Museum’s content-rich website regularly.
The extraordinary resources of the library provide a foundation for scholarly and technical articles and books produced by Museum staff as well as glass scholars world wide and provides a unique teaching opportunity for programs designed by the Education Department.
The Studio is the third building on the Museum campus. It is renowned as a hands-on teaching facility offering glassmaking classes for all skill levels in a broad range of techniques taught by artists and instructors from around the world. The Studio provides artist residencies and rental space for professional glassmakers. It also enables visitors to have a hands-on glassmaking experience as part of their visit to the Museum.
The Corning Museum of Glass’ operating budget is approximately $50 million. It has full-time Museum staff of over 150, and a 17-member Board of Trustees.
The Deputy Director, Collections, Research & Exhibitions (Deputy Director) is a new position reporting to and serving as a strong administrative and creative partner to the Executive Director, who, as of January 1, 2015, assumes the additional duties of President of the Museum. The Deputy Director will have an important role in the smooth conversion to the new organizational structure. With the transition of the current Executive Director to President & Executive Director, the Museum’s 17 departments will be restructured from three into two divisions.
The Deputy Director will work closely with the President & Executive Director to carry out policies and maintain professional standards and to continually review and evaluate programs and objectives. She/he will lead a passionate and committed team to ensure the continued success, reach and impact of the Museum.
She/he will provide strategic leadership, oversight and management of all departments in her/his division, which includes eight direct reports: Collections & Exhibitions Manager, Chief Conservator, Chief Librarian, Director of Education, Head of Publications, Chief Digital Officer, Director of the Glass Studio and Research Scientist. The Deputy Director will direct the collaborative efforts of those responsible for the maintenance, display, interpretation and care of the collections in accordance with the highest professional and ethical standards; will ensure the effective coordination and interpretation of the activities of her/his Division with other divisions encompassing curatorial direction and operations of the Museum; and will serve as an articulate and persuasive spokesperson to collectors, funding sources, press and the public.
As a key member of the Museum’s executive team, the Deputy Director shares responsibility with the Chief Operating Officer and other division heads for establishing and implementing the Museum’s programmatic, administrative and financial goals.
The Deputy Director will attend all Board meetings and have working relationships with Board members as needed.
Responsibilities will include:
- Establishing and administering budgets
- Determining necessary staffing and resources, including recruiting and hiring; also supervising and coaching department heads and directors within the division
- Motivating, inspiring and communicating effectively and frequently with staff; leading high performance, results-driven teams and fostering collaboration, open dialogue, and debate
Education and Interpretation:
- With the Director of Education and Interpretation, setting vision and strategy for education and interpretation throughout the Museum and ensuring that the educational programs are accessible and of high quality
- Working closely with the Director of the Studio to enhance and build Studio programming to ensure that the Studio remains an international leader in glass studios
- With the Chief Digital Officer, providing vision, leadership and strategic direction for the Museum’s digital program onsite and online
Collections, Exhibitions and Acquisitions:
- With the President & Executive Director, formulating the Museum’s acquisitions strategy and regularly attending acquisitions meetings; working closely with the curators to develop strategies for cultivating possible gifts of art
- With the President & Executive Director and curators, formulating the Museum’s exhibition program; with the Collections Manager, ensuring that all exhibitions are delivered on budget and on time
- Working with Chief Conservator and other appropriate staff to determine collections and conservation priorities to continue to strengthen the collection and ensure the highest standards of ethical practice
- With the Collections Management and Conservation departments, ensuring the appropriateness, safety and condition of all loans and each object in the Museum’s collection
Scholarship and Research:
- Working with the President & Executive Director and the curators on scholarly research and connoisseurship; with the Chief Librarian, ensuring that the Rakow Research Library continues to be the library of record on glass
- With the Head of Publications, continuing to prepare and publish the Museum’s books and journals, and determining the future publication strategy of the institution.
Development and Marketing:
- Working closely with the Development office to identify funding sources in support of exhibitions, collections and education programs; assisting with the cultivation of donors and patrons
- Working closely with the Marketing Department and Exhibitions Planning team to ensure that approved exhibitions are marketed effectively
The successful candidate will have a minimum of ten years of senior-level experience gained in an art museum or other appropriate arts institution. A master’s degree in a relevant field is required. A doctorate in art history is a significant advantage, but not a requirement. Training in Islamic or Ancient art would be valuable.
Among the most important qualities the successful candidate will have are leadership skills, financial and strategic planning skills and technical literacy, programmatic creativity, passion for art and significant knowledge of the art museum world. The candidate must have an understanding of, and experience in, the methods, techniques, and procedures involved in the interpretation and exhibition of a museum collection.
In addition, the following qualifications and characteristics are highly desired:
- Mission-driven, with belief in and commitment to the Museum’s mission, vision, and brand; commitment to and experience in developing and managing programs that will further the strategic vision of the Museum
- Reputation as a strategic thinker with ability to review and analyze complex issues, evaluate solutions and adopt an effective course of action
- Deep experience forging effective relationships with staff, volunteers, visitors, funding sources, trustees and other high-profile leaders
- Exceptional listening skills, comfortable receiving input from many sources, a collaborative spirit and equally at ease as a leader or team member
- Capacity to lead, manage, motivate and inspire a staff of accomplished professionals; promote team work and nurture creativity and innovation; encourage collaboration
- Experience in hiring and evaluating staff
- Proven facility working with finances, developing and monitoring expense and income budgets
- The ability to quickly learn about the art, history, science and technology of glass is essential; existing in-depth knowledge of glass is optimal
The ideal candidate should have the following personal characteristics:
- Mature, confident and a courageous decision maker
- Innovative, creative and entrepreneurial
- Personable, warm and engaging, tactful and able to navigate successfully in a variety of settings and with a variety of constituencies; sense of humor
- Commitment and determination to successfully implement and achieve the Museum’s mission
- High energy and a roll-up your sleeves work ethic
Corning is an historic and artistic city in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. Most famous for its glassmaking past and present, Corning welcomes more than half a million people every year from all over the world.
The historic Gaffer District is Corning’s restored downtown, where the annual Glass Fest as well as music festivals, parades and a regular farmers market take place. The Rockwell Museum and Corning Incorporated’s worldwide headquarters are located in the Gaffer District as is the Corning Museum of Glass.
Corning’s population is 10,200. The cities of Rochester and Syracuse, both about 100 miles away, have populations of 200,000 and 130,000 respectively. Both are important academic centers with thriving cultural institutions. Cornell University and Ithaca College are located in Ithaca, New York, 45 miles from Corning. The Clemens Center in nearby Elmira hosts touring Broadway shows and other major entertainment. Elmira is also home to the Arnot Art Museum. The area is served by daily flights to major cities.
Address all inquiries and recommendations in confidence to the retained search consultants (e-mails are preferred). Please do not send printed catalogues or material.