Organization: The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Location: Williamstown, MA

Express Interest

Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer:

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute seeks an accomplished, entrepreneurial, and collaborative individual to serve as its Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer (Deputy Director). With a visionary Director and a strong and dedicated leadership team, the Deputy Director will build upon the Clark’s historic strengths as a renowned art museum and distinguished center for research and higher education whose experiential education and community engagement advance a vision that celebrates the distinctiveness of its constituent parts.  Reporting directly to the Director, the Deputy Director will provide strategic leadership in the areas of Business and Operations, Finance, Information Technology and Digital Transformation, Human Resources, and Building and Grounds.  The Deputy Director will serve as an integral member of the Director’s leadership team, assisting the Director in setting strategic goals, determining policy, and resolving the range of significant issues that arise from daily management to long range financial concerns. At the Clark, the Deputy Director interacts with all constituents – senior leadership, faculty and staff, students, visitors, and the Board of Trustees.

About The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute:

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, fondly known as the Clark, is one of only a handful of institutions globally with a dual mission as a renowned art museum and a distinguished center for research and higher education, dedicated to advancing and extending the public understanding of art. No other institution of its scale and character has such a complex and exhilarating mission — complex because interrelating the differing purposes of an art museum and a center for research and higher education is so challenging and exhilarating because the possibilities and implications of this combination are so dynamic.

From 2000 through 2016, the Clark redesigned and expanding its campus in Williamstown.  The Institute engaged the Pritzker Prize winning Japanese architect Tadao Ando to design and build two new buildings on its campus, the Lunder Center at Stone Hill (2008) and the Clark Center (2014).  The internationally acclaimed German-American architect Annabelle Selldorf was engaged to redesign the Clark’s Museum (2014) and Manton Research Center (2016).  Landscape architects ReedHilderbrand worked with Ando and Selldorf to integrate the exterior campus spaces with the new and renovated facilities.  One of the expansion project’s goals was to promote sustainable practices for ongoing operations and building support.  Technologies such as geothermal energy, green roofing, gray water and other hydro retention systems were integrated into the building and landscape designs.  The result of this effort was recognized when the US Green Building Council awarded the Clark with its Gold Certification, one of only a handful of American museums to achieve this standard. Ando’s Clark Center was named the best new museum in the world in 2014 by the British art magazine Apollo.

The Clark’s mission and its geographical location define three essential aspects of its character and identity: the quality of its art, the beauty of its pastoral setting and the depth of its commitment to the generation of ideas. The goal of all of its programs is to help people realize that engaging with art can enhance their lives.

In 1950, Sterling and Francine Clark chartered the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute as a home for their extensive art collection. Opened to the public in 1955, the Clark has built upon this extraordinary group of works to become one of the most beloved and respected art museums in the world, known for its intimate galleries and stunning natural environment. One of the few institutions in the United States that combines a public art museum with research and academic programs, including a major art history library, the Clark is now a leading international center for research and discussion on the nature of art and art history.

Building upon the founders’ legacy, the Clark completed its master plan for the 21st century. This final phase of a transformational campus expansion program adds new facilities to support the growth of museum and academic programs; enhances the visitor experience of the Clark; improves circulation throughout
the campus; and creates new levels of environmental sustainability across its 140-acre grounds while maintaining the unique character of its beautiful rural setting. Moving forward, among other initiatives, the Institute would like to increase programming, develop a broader global reach for the Museum and for the Research and Academic Program, and begin planning for a future fundraising campaign.

Art Museum:

The collection of the Clark features European and American paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs and decorative arts from the Renaissance to the early 20th century. The collection is especially rich in French Impressionist and Academic paintings, British oil sketches, drawings, and silver, and the work of American artists Winslow Homer, George
Inness and John Singer Sargent. Based on the
founding gift from Sterling and Francine Clark, the collection has expanded over the years through numerous acquisitions, as well as significant gifts and bequests, including the gift of the Sir Edwin and Lady Manton Collection of British Art and the gift of paintings by George Inness by Frank and Katherine Martucci.

The Museum has been recognized internationally for the quality and scope of its exhibition, publications and education programs.  Utilizing the expertise of both its staff and guest curators, the Clark has developed major exhibitions featuring the work of artist such as Van Gogh, Monet, Degas and Homer.  It has partnered with major museums in England, France, Spain, Japan, China, Canada and the United States on a wide range of internationally acclaimed exhibitions.  The Clark’s publications department has won numerous national and international awards for the quality of its books and exhibition catalogs.  It partners with the Yale University Press to market and distribute its publications.  The education department has been recognized by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and the International Conference of Museums (ICOM) for its ground-breaking programs.  The Clark is accredited by the AAM and supports the Alliance’s and the Association of Art Museum Directors’ (AAMD) best practices for governance, operations, and ethics.

Research and Academic Program:

The Clark offers an independent Research and Academic Program (RAP) designed to encourage fresh approaches to the production of knowledge about all periods and genres of art, and particularly the objects, conditions and issues they comprise.

The annual fellowship program has hosted nearly 300 scholars since its founding. RAP’s rich programming of conferences, symposia and colloquia has brought nearly 750 scholars, curators and educators to the Clark and beyond. In support of these programs, RAP has received generous support from a broad range of foundations and institutions. The Manton Foundation established an endowment in support of the program in 2007. The program’s directorship was endowed by the Starr Foundation in 2008. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Getty Foundation have both provided integral support for RAP’s international events and imaginative programming.

In recent years, RAP has collaborated with a growing roster of partner institutions, including the Getty Research Institute, the Council of Library and Information Resources, and the Institute national d’histoire d’art (INHA), as well as research universities across Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Programs closer to home continue this international spirit, with scholars from five continents having come through the fellowship program on the Clark’s campus in Williamstown.

International Initiatives

The Clark, with the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, holds a variety of colloquia, workshops and seminars focused on issues critical to the discipline of art history: the pressing intellectual issues with which art historians must deal, what they teach and publish, and the ways in which their work drives and responds to histories of art produced by museums.

A critical goal of this initiative has been to expand the geographies of art history by cultivating international collaborations. By partnering with institutions and scholars in southern Africa, East-Central Europe and the Indian Ocean region, the Research and Academic Program is engaging with approaches to the discipline that have challenged comfortable notions about how art history is written, with the goal of illuminating the variety of ways in which visual topics are addressed around the globe. This initiative is an ongoing activity, and new collaborations among regional partners have begun to take shape as a result of the Clark’s involvement.

Graduate Program in the History of Art

With Williams College, the Clark co-sponsors a Graduate Program in the History of Art whose specialized course of study prepares students for professions in the academic and museum worlds. Housed on the Clark campus, the graduate program is exceptional in drawing upon the rich art history resources — the professional staffs, libraries and art collections — of two institutions. Each semester, a distinguished outside scholar serves as Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor, offering a graduate seminar and an undergraduate lecture course. Through the work/study program, each student has the opportunity for work in a curatorial department, as a teaching or research assistant, or in the Williamstown Art Conservation Center. The curriculum includes a three-week international study tour during the 1st year. Selected students participate in Clark Fellows’ seminar lunches. All students receive intensive training in writing and oral presentation skills, culminating in a symposium at the end of the second year.

Library:

Established in 1962, the Clark library has become one of the major art reference and research libraries in the country. Focusing on post-medieval European and American art, the collection is outstanding in the fields of Italian and Northern Renaissance, Baroque, and 19th century French art, and the history of photography. Recent grants have expanded collections of non-Western contemporary art. The library’s resources include approximately 270,000 books, bound periodicals and auction sales catalogues, with current journal subscriptions numbering around 650.

The Clark Art Museum Leadership:

Olivier Meslay, Director

Olivier Meslay, an accomplished museum professional and noted scholar, assumed the role of the Clark Art Institute’s Felda and Dena Hardymon Director in August 2016. He is The Clark’s fifth director and has more than 35 years of international museum experience. During his first year at the Clark, Meslay led its staff in opening the final phase of the campus expansion program with the November 2016 reopening of its Manton Research Center and has focused considerable attention on future curatorial plans and programs, further growth of the Research and Academic Program, and careful management of the Institute’s budget and operations. Meslay first came to the Clark in 2000 as a member of the first class of Fellows in the Research and Academic Program and developed a deep affinity for the Institute and the unique relationship between its museum and research programs.

Prior to joining the Clark, Meslay served as Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs, Senior Curator of European and American Art, and The Barbara Thomas Lemmon Curator of European Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA). While at the DMA from 2009 to 2016, Meslay oversaw its European and American art collection of more than 4,000 paintings, sculptures and works on paper, and managed the museum’s curatorial department, conservation program and art research library.

Meslay came to the United States in 2009 after a distinguished career at the Musée du Louvre in Paris where he held a variety of leadership positions over a period of 17 years from 1993-2009. He served as curator in charge of British, American and Spanish paintings from 1993–2006; as chief curator of Louvre–Atlanta, a collaborative project with the High Museum, from 2003–2006; and as chief curator in charge of the Louvre– Lens project, the first regional branch of the Louvre.

Meslay is the author of the recent publication From Chanel to Reves: La Pausa and Its Collections at the Dallas Museum of Art (2015), and of several other books, including Mind’s Eye: Masterworks on Paper from David to Cezanne (2014); and J.M.W. Turner, The Man Who Set Painting on Fire (2005). He has published extensively on the Franco-British artistic relationship in both the United States and Europe and has contributed essays to numerous exhibition catalogues.

Williamstown, Massachusetts:

Williamstown is in Berkshire County, in the northwest corner of Massachusetts. It shares a border with Vermont to the north and New
York to the west and is within a three-hour drive of both Boston and New York City. With approximately 8,400 people residing in Williamstown, it is the fourth largest town in Berkshire County, and ranks 189th out of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts by population.

According to The New York Times, Williamstown is “a pastoral, historic town where great art is housed in intimate settings, where academics mix with outdoorsmen, and where a weekend escape can involve everything from eavesdropping on world-famous professors in a village coffee shop to walking the northernmost reaches of the Appalachian Trail.”

The ultimate college town, Williamstown is home to Williams College, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Tony-award winning Williamstown Theatre Festival, which runs every July and August.

The neighboring town of North Adams offers
the vibrant Massachusetts Museum of
Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), the largest
contemporary art museum in the United States
and a major musical venue for the region,
hosting a wide-ranging concert program and two important music festivals, Solid Sound and Fresh
Grass. North Adams is also the home of the 
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and its 
lively student population. Just twenty minutes 
north of Williamstown is Bennington, Vermont,
 home to the Bennington Museum and Bennington College, and distinguished by its rich and pivotal place in early American history. This combination of cultural riches provides an extraordinary diversity of programs and services for the community and uniquely distinguishes the northern Berkshires as an important arts mecca, inspiring these institutions to jointly market the region as ArtCountry.

Beyond these northern communities, the region boasts a multitude of other world-class arts organizations, further underscoring its significance as a substantial and substantive cultural resource and clearly defining arts and culture as the most significant contributor to economic development in the region. In 2017, the National Center for Arts Research’s Arts Vibrancy Index ranked Berkshire County as the nation’s top cultural hub for medium-sized communities. A few of the major venues of note include Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra; Jacob’s Pillow, the longest running dance festival in America; Hancock Shaker Village; the Norman Rockwell Museum; The Mount (the home of writer Edith Wharton); and a number of important theater companies including Barrington Stage and the Berkshire Theatre Festival.

In addition to these offerings, Berkshire County is widely recognized for its extensive natural assets and recreational opportunities including extensive biking and hiking trails, skiing and snowboarding facilities, cross-country skiing, and state and local parks offering access to pristine lakes, rivers, and streams. The region’s natural beauty is enhanced by rolling hills, deep forests, and even the state’s highest peak, Mount Greylock, the inspiration for Herman Melville’s classic, Moby Dick. To learn more about Williamstown and the Berkshires, please click: http://destinationwilliamstown.org

Candidate Profile:

The new Deputy Director will be a seasoned and creative visionary who can lead in a shared governance environment and work with other senior leaders on strategic operations, planning, digital transformation and financial management. Strong candidates will have demonstrated the ability to work effectively across an institution and cultivate creative solutions toward ambitious strategic and operational goals while translating them into action.  The incoming Deputy Director will be an accomplished financial and operational leader who will supervise facilities including campus security, information and media services, retail/ museum shop, risk management, outside catering and food service vendors, grounds, and human resources. In addition, the Deputy Director works regularly with the Institute’s legal counsel, insurance underwriters, and government agencies, and other staff and special projects as needed.  With the Director, the Deputy Director will serve as the staff liaison for the following Board committees: Executive, Budget and Finance, Audit, Buildings and Grounds, Investments, Nominating and Governance. The Deputy Director will also have a passionate commitment to the arts and a commitment to adhering to the best practices and standards of collecting museums.

The ideal candidate also will possess a strong and transparent communication style that will effectively lead and mentor a talented staff of seven direct reports who oversee some forty staff in addition to fifty contractors, and create a positive working environment for the entire organization, strong staff morale, and a culture of teamwork and mutual support among all staff.

Additionally, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following capabilities and attributes:

  • Significant experience leading and managing day-to-day operations in a complex setting;
  • Success as a chief financial officer, with an understanding of the operational complexities associated with non-profit and/or higher education institutions;
  • Experience supporting governing boards and participating in committees or subgroups of a financial, administrative or operational nature;
  • Demonstrated understanding/expertise in strategic financial planning, budget planning, financial and investment management, debt financing, cash flow management, investment strategies, and other financial functions;
  • Ability to lead information technology within finance, digital technology, capital projects, and facilities management, and other administrative areas;
  • Possess the ability to lead with a decisive, consultative, and hands-on leadership style, foster open communications, and proactively build positive relationships exhibiting a high level of integrity that inspires trust and confidence;
  • Ability to operate with transparency and communicate financial information to senior leaders, and board members, as well as colleagues across the institution who do not have a finance background;
  • Curiosity about and willingness to embrace the complex and mutually beneficial relationships that exist within the museum, and between other affiliated institutions;
  • Demonstrated interest in increasing the transparency of business and operational practices;
  • Successful record of hiring, developing, managing, and mentoring a large staff; and
  • A Master’s degree in a related discipline is preferred.

Contact:

Andy Evans and Mo Lashendock of Koya Leadership Partners have been retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The Institute provides equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment. This policy applies throughout the Institute, and all departments and personnel are responsible for its implementation.

Equal opportunity applies to all personnel actions such as recruiting, hiring, compensation, benefits, appointments, promotions, training, transfers, discipline and termination. It is the continuing policy of the Clark to recruit and employ the best qualified individuals without regard to age, ancestry, color, creed, disability, genetic information, gender identity or expression or transgender status, national or ethnic origin, political belief, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, military status, or any other protected status as defined by Federal or State Laws or regulations.

The Institute provides reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. Employees needing accommodation should contact the Human Resources Department. If an employee believes that he/she or another member of the staff has been treated in a fashion that violates the non-discrimination policies of the Institute and/or federal, state or local employment policies and laws, he/she is encouraged to immediately bring the concern to the Director of Human Resources so the concern can be immediately investigated and resolved.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with institutions of higher education, mission-driven organizations and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.