The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, opened to the public in July 1997, eleven years after the death of its namesake artist. A visit to the O’Keeffe Museum offers insight not only into the artist’s paintings, but also her creative process as well as the light and landscape that inspired her. Since its opening, the Museum has attracted nearly 4 million visitors who come to connect with an icon of American art whose radical approach to painting and living inspired the world. The Museum is a vital platform for understanding O’Keeffe’s artistic legacy, creative process, and cultural landscape.
One of the most significant artists of the 20th century, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was devoted to creating imagery that expressed what she called “the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it.” O’Keeffe’s images—instantly recognizable as her own —include abstractions, large-scale depictions of flowers, leaves, rocks, shells, bones and other natural forms, New York cityscapes, and paintings of the unusual shapes and colors of architectural and landscape forms of northern New Mexico. The Museum’s collections of over 18,000 objects includes 140 O’Keeffe oil paintings, 700 drawings, and hundreds of additional works dating from 1901 to 1984, the year failing eyesight forced O’Keeffe into retirement.
In addition to the main Museum campus in Santa Fe, the O’Keeffe Museum maintains O’Keeffe’s two historic homes and studios in northern New Mexico at Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch, a research center and library, and a variety of collections relating to O’Keeffe and modern art. O’Keeffe’s home and studio along the Chama River in Abiquiu, New Mexico, about an hour north of Santa Fe, is a national historic landmark and one of the most important artistic sites in the United States. Through its collections and exhibitions, education programs, and community engagement, the Museum provides visitors with passage to O’Keeffe’s story and spirit, and to the curiosity and creativity in their own lives.
With a current annual budget of $10.5 million, the O’Keeffe employs more than 105 employees, making it one of the largest and most influential non-profit organizations in the region. The Museum enjoys national and international recognition, contributing to an annual attendance at all sites of nearly 200,000. The Museum also benefits from an operating endowment of more than $65 million and an acquisitions endowment of more than $60 million.
The O’Keeffe is undertaking a campus expansion project which includes enhanced galleries alongside expanded educational and public programming facilities to foster a new level of engagement with the communities and people of New Mexico and a renewed commitment to audience experience.
For more information on the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, please visit their website.
The Deputy Director of Collections and Engagement (Deputy Director, C&E) will head a division of staff with responsibility for public engagement, interpretation, collections care, and content development. A key organizational leader and administrator, the Deputy Director, C&E, coordinates all activities of the Division, ensuring effective planning and communication throughout the division and across the organization to deliver a world-class experience for the O’Keeffe’s guests and stakeholders.
The Deputy Director reports to the Director, is a member of the Leadership Team, and supervises a division of around twenty staff members that spans the following areas: Curatorial, Collections, Conservation, Research Collections and Services, Education and Interpretation, and the Historic Properties.
Direct reports currently include the Curators Team (includes the Curator of Fine Art, Curator of Education and Interpretation, Head of Research Collections and Services, and Curator of Digital Experience), the Registrar, the Conservator, and the Project Manager, Collections and Interpretation.
This is a full-time position located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
About Santa Fe
In Santa Fe, culture is at the forefront of city life. The 400-year-old Palace of the Governors is a backdrop to a city plaza that is animated with events year round. Restaurants serve dishes reflecting the Spanish and Native American influence, art and artists are found everywhere, including the fine-art galleries that line Canyon Road, and add contemporary energy to the Railyard district. Creative entrepreneurs are putting Santa Fe at the forefront of the experiential economy, most notably in the phenomenon that is “Meow Wolf.”
There are free outdoor concerts at the central plaza bandstand all summer long and the world-famous Santa Fe Opera with its glorious outdoor amphitheater. From dance and theater, to chamber music and symphony, or rock, pop, blues, and world music, Santa Fe’s performing arts scene is vibrant and diverse. Outdoor enthusiasts have options with both the hiking and biking trails that run through the surrounding terrain or head to the ski slopes in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, about a half-hour drive from downtown.
Tourism, state government and the nearby Los Alamos National Laboratory dominate Santa Fe’s economy as well as the health care sector. The city fosters entrepreneurship, especially in areas such as green technology and media, and supports start-ups through the Santa Fe Business Incubator.
It is a culturally rich and complex city that nurtures both the old and the new in an effort to retain its rich and diverse cultural history and heritage while addressing modern-day concerns. Santa Fe is renowned for its friendly people, religious tolerance, progressive politics, and social consciousness.
With a mild four-season climate that averages 300 days of sunshine a year, easy access to outdoor recreation, and more arts and cultural events than one could possibly attend, and it’s easy to see why Santa Fe attracts a creative, active populace.
Strategic Leadership and Management Acumen
- Serves as leader of the Collections and Engagement Division, and manages its staff, budget, and activities.
- Works closely with the other members of the Leadership Team to define a bold, innovative strategic vision for a community-centric organization that exceeds all expectations for a single-artist institution.
- Actively operates as a facilitator and conduit to foster effective lines of communications among members of the Division, so all team members are able to contribute their respective input and expertise, and feel heard and informed.
- Plays a lead role in long-range institutional planning efforts, including planning for a new museum campus.
- Prepares annual budgets and staffing plans and oversees their management, working closely with Director of Finance to oversee and update the budget, and track expenses throughout the fiscal year.
- Participates as member of various museum-wide teams and workgroups, attends meetings representing the division, and delegates staff attendance appropriately to support participation, staff engagement, and communication.
- Provides staff support to the Collections and Education Committee of the Board of Trustees.
Curatorial, Collections, and Program Strategy and Oversight
- Collaboratively conceives a multi-year schedule of changing exhibitions, including organizing specific exhibitions, establishing their budgeting, organizing checklists, loan letters, and precis, as well as publications, audio tours, and other interpretive materials.
- Working with the curatorial and collections teams, analyzes and reviews loan and exhibition requests, as well as acquisitions and de-accessions of collection objects.
- Recommends and supports policies and procedures for collection development, management, access to and use of collections.
- Ensures highest standards of care for art owned by or in the custody of the Museum.
Building Relationships and Using Influence
- In coordination with the Director, represents the organization in the community to build relationships and support meaningful engagement with the people of New Mexico.
- Participates in appropriate professional organizations and encourages professional development for division staff.
- Works with Advancement and Communications in identification of funding opportunities and development of cultivation and marketing opportunities.
- Works closely with Director to raise monies for the Museum and to cultivate donors and contributors.
- Promotes collaborative efforts with other museums and arts organizations.
- Maintains network of contacts with museum curators and directors.
- Assists with and participates in programs planned by other departments.
- Serves as a lead to build partnerships with other non-profits, public and private schools, universities and community organizations that will enhance the educational potential of the Museum, and develop new and expanded audiences for children, youth, families, and adults.
- Performs additional duties, either incidental or implied, consistent with the employee’s background or training, or which may be reasonably delegated as being in the best interest of the Museum.
Qualifications and Key Competencies
- Excellent supervisory, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills matched by a commitment to mentorship and professional growth for staff, interns, and volunteers.
- Comfortable working with and managing professionals at various stages of career development to build a cohesive and diverse team.
- Excellent interpersonal relationship skills and a high level of EQ/emotional intelligence; thoughtful and measured in effectively managing a variety of internal and external relationships and interactions.
- Superb oral and written communications skills; an understanding and active listener.
- Sound judgment and organizational skills, attentiveness to detail, and the ability to balance and prioritize projects.
- Eagerness to participate in the life of the community, including evening and weekend activities.
- Comfortable engaging with diverse audiences, speaking publicly, and representing the Museum throughout the community.
- Knowledge of current museum practices and ethical standards.
- Experience and knowledge of best practices in museum or cultural education and participatory interpretation practices.
- Knowledge of the development and process of organizing exhibitions, interpretive plans, public programs, and publications (digital or print), and other content access and distribution strategies.
- Knowledge of contemporary, historical, and popular art and culture, preferably familiarity with the art of Georgia O’Keeffe and other American modernists of the 20th
- A strong commitment to equity and inclusion, with experience building and supporting a diverse staff to deliver programming that meets the needs of a culturally diverse audience.
- Excellent technology skills with proficiency in use of spreadsheets, word processing, project management, and collections management and access platforms.
Education and Compensation
MA or Ph.D. in the humanities preferred, with 6-8 years of leadership experience in a cultural organization.
Familiarity and experience in one or more of the areas of division responsibility (Education, Archive and Library, Historic Properties, Digital Experience, Fine Art Curation, Collections Care, Conservation).
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.
Naree Viner and Stephen Milbauer of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Stephen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ applicants.
Koya does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, military status, veteran status, genetic information, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We encourage all to apply because we believe a diversity of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone.
About Koya Leadership Partners
Koya Leadership Partners is a retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that partners exclusively with mission-driven clients, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our clients and ensuring they have the strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.