Organization: Monterey Museum of Art

Location: Monterey, CA

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About The Monterey Museum of Art:

A sense of place is important for the Monterey Museum of Art. Located between San Francisco and Los Angeles, two urban centers with rich arts cultures, Monterey has a strong artistic history of its own. Inspired by the beauty of the coast, artists from around the world have long settled here and transformed the region with their ideas. Early growth of the area was the direct result of an artist colony from which a rich artistic legacy evolved including California Impressionism, Early California Colorist, California Decorative to Arts & Crafts and modern American Photography. Today the artist community remains vibrant with over 100 professional artists still represented by the Carmel Art Association. A vibrant tourist destination, the Monterey Peninsula includes world-renowned attractions, including, 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The Monterey Museum of Art (MMA) is well positioned as the only dedicated art museum in Monterey — and the only nationally accredited art museum between Santa Barbara and San Jose, California. The museum’s permanent collection consists of more than 12,000 objects in five categories: Early California painting, Photography, Contemporary Art, American Art, and Asian Art. With the region notably the cradle of modern American photography, MMA has a reputation nationally, and internationally, for its distinguished photography holdings.


The Museum’s important collection of early California paintings and works on paper celebrate the Monterey Peninsula’s legacy as an influential art colony. Spanning the period from 1875 until 1945, the notable holdings include the work of early pioneers such as Jules Tavernier and Raymond Dabb Yelland and notable Impressionists E. Charlton Fortune and Evelyn McCormick. The collection’s emphasis falls on works created during the decades of the 1920s and 1930s – a period defined as California Modernism – exemplified by artists such as Gottardo Piazzoni, Francis McComas and Margaret Bruton.

The distinguished photography holdings of MMA span the history of this medium. The 19th century collection includes the works of Carleton Watkins and William Henry Jackson; Anne Brigman and Johan Hagemeyer represent the early-twentieth century Pictorialist tradition. As befitting an institution situated on the scenic California Central Coast – the cradle of modern American photography – the collection emphasizes the works of the influential f/64 group and subsequent generations of photographers who followed their path. Most notably, featured photographs include Edward and Brett Weston, Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham as well as Wynn Bullock and Henry Gilpin. The works of Charles Sheeler, Aaron Siskind, Irving Penn, Sally Mann and Gary Winograd, among others, represents the broader, national photographic tradition. MMA has also begun expanding its photography holdings into the 21st century with the works of contemporary artists such as Angela Strassheim and Chris McCaw.

The Museum’s contemporary art holdings span the period from 1945 to the present. The collection includes paintings and works on paper. It includes works by painters such as George Abend and Felix Ruvolo—key figures in the San Francisco Bay Area abstract expressionism movement, as well as works by Bay Area Figurative School artists, including Nathan Oliveira, David Park, Roland Petersen and Joan Savo.

MMA’s formidable collection of postwar and contemporary prints includes Henri Matisse’s Jazz portfolio as well as notable works by Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí, American artists in the prints collection include Alexander Calder, Ilya Bolotowsky, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist and Wayne Thiebaud.

MMA’s Asian art collection includes textiles, woodblock prints, jade and lacquer objects as well as ceramics from Japan, China and Korea. The collection is predominantly modern in scope and features masterful woodblock prints by masters such as Ando Hiroshige, Utagawa Kunisada and Katsushika Hokusai. Additional highlights include a formidable selection of Japanese netsuke; Chinese 19th and 20th century snuff bottles; fan ornaments from the 17th-19th centuries; and a collection of Chinese Yi Xing teaware.

A counterpart to the Early California collection, the American Art holdings include paintings and works on paper spanning major North American art historical movements of the late 19th century to 1945. The collection includes works by Thomas Eakins and paintings by members of the Ashcan School – including John Sloane – as well as examples by leading impressionists, such as Childe Hassam. The modern art collection includes prints and drawings by Oscar Bluemner, Stanton MacDonald-Wright and Rockwell Kent and key proponents of the Regionalist style, including Grant Wood. Works on paper by master Mexican artists, including David Alfaro Siqueiros and Rufino Tamayo comprise another important aspect of the American Art collection.


The Monterey Museum of Art has two locations within 0.8 miles of each other in historic Monterey, which complement each other with varied attributes and gallery space.

559 Pacific Street is a historic three-story building owned by the City of Monterey and leased for a nominal fee to the Museum. This 19,432 sq. ft. building houses 5,552 sq. ft. of gallery space made up of eight galleries that hold exhibitions from the permanent collection including American art, early California painting, photography and contemporary art. A small sculpture garden, Museum administration, a gift shop and some collection storage are also housed in this building.

La Mirada is a historic Mexican stone adobe, which dates back to the 1800s. In 1922 the adobe was incorporated into a modern residence with an adjacent guesthouse and walled garden. During the 1920’s the owners hosted gatherings that included the great luminaries of Hollywood’s silent era – Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Pola Negri, Rudolph Valentino – as well as fighter Jack Dempsey and writer Sinclair Lewis. In the 1960’s, Hollywood celebrities again graced the estate including Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who lived there while filming the 1965 film, The Sand Piper. Two generations of the Thomas A. Work family enjoyed the home for nearly half a century through the early 1980s, when Frank Work generously donated the house, furnishings and grounds to the Monterey Museum of Art. In 1994, the gallery wing, designed by the eminent architect Charles Moore, was named in honor of benefactors Jane and Justin Dart. La Mirada contains 5,355 sq. ft. of climate-controlled gallery space and a significant amount of collection storage. The three acres of magnificent grounds including the spectacular rose garden make it a popular venue for weddings and events.


MMA has a robust exhibition schedule producing 10-15 exhibitions annually. The schedule presents a wide array of exhibitions highlighting the collection, traveling exhibitions from other institutions, as well as significant loans from private collectors. It showcases local artists through our annual Miniatures show of small-scale and larger works. Recent notable exhibits include; “Lasting Impressions – Pedro de Lemos”, “Open Walls: You are Here”, “Miniatures 2015”, “Monterey Now: Warren Chang”, “Armin Hansen: The Artful Voyage Exhibition” and “Art in Bloom 2016”. In addition to its extensive exhibition program, MMA provides a range of other programs including youth education, docents, lectures, workshops, curatorial tours and public events. The Museum hosts a quarterly, and very popular free Family Day with a full day of activities inspired by our current exhibitions. MMA currently works with 25 volunteer docents. Exhibition openings, social events and the gardens at La Mirada regularly provide opportunities for cultivating awareness, interest and support among its members and visitors.

The Opportunity:

The Monterey Museum of Art (MMA) is seeking an exceptional individual to lead their AAM-accredited organization and serve as the torchbearer for the incredible arts legacy that resides on the Monterey Peninsula, while engaging, collaborating and building on current and future generations in the appreciation of the visual arts.

The Director, reporting to the Board of Trustees under the direction of the President, manages and leads MMA. The Director is the primary driver of the strategy to fulfill the Museum’s mission – to expand a passion for the visual arts and inspire appreciation of California art – past, present and future. The Director is expected to lead the development of innovative and thoughtful programming that engages both the community and tourists. As the face of MMA in the local community and among peer institutions around the globe, the Director will leverage a range of relationships in pursuit of the mission. Working with the Board, it is important that the Director continue to build on the financial successes MMA has experienced the last few years, while strengthening its operational capacity and continuing to execute the Museum’s strategic plan. Inspiring, active and diligent leadership and management, utilizing previous experience, will be required to take the Museum into the next phase of its evolution.

Key Responsibilities:


  • Be a respected and experienced leader representing the Monterey Museum of Art in the local community and in the regional and national arts and museum community;
  • Work with the Board to continue to refine the Museum’s long-term goals, as well as its exhibition schedule, operations and communications plan required to effectively execute the overall strategic plan;
  • Collaborate with the Board of Trustees in support of their advancement efforts by assigning resources and staff to ensure success, and actively participate as an engaged partner in fundraising;
  • Foster a culture of openness and collaboration between staff, docents and the Board of Trustees so that each may be informed and enhance the other’s work;
  • Work with the Board of Trustees to provide leadership, information, and support that enhances the governance of MMA; provide the Board sufficient and high-quality information to meet their obligation to make sound policy decisions and facilitate their fiduciary responsibility for the Museum’s resources, and assist the Trusteeship and Governance Committee in identifying potential Board members.


  • Develop, implement, and accomplish the annual operating plan and annual budget of the organization as approved by the Board of Trustees;
  • Hire, manage, motivate, and evaluate staff, while maintaining a collegial staff structure; encourage staff’s desire for professional development and rigorous standards;
  • Work with staff to evaluate the day-to-day operational effectiveness of MMA and align staff and resources to fulfill the goals outlined in the strategic plan;
  • Oversee, along with guidance and support from the Board Treasurer and Finance Committee, budgeting, the annual financial audit, tax filings, and maintenance of correct and complete records required for the healthy operation of MMA under all state, local rules and regulations and contractual requirements and in keeping with the best practices and standards of collecting museums.

Fundraising & External Relations

  • Embrace the role of primary spokesperson and chief fundraiser for MMA; proactively address development needs, including the building of unrestricted annual operating funds and endowment;
  • Actively pursue a strategy of cultivating new donors, as well as deepening relationships with existing supporters;
  • Work closely with the Development Committee to effectively reach out to current and prospective donors to cultivate and develop their support of MMA and explore new fundraising opportunities;
  • Activate the Board of Trustees in the development of deep community relationships; mentor and support the work of the Board to identify, cultivate and meet with prospective donors;
  • Raise funds to be used to support program, operations and capital needs of MMA;
  • Work in close collaboration with staff and docents to enhance the visitor experience before, during, and after a visit to ensure that visitors have a positive and enjoyable experience at the Museum;
  • Continue to explore new ways to use technology and digital media in promoting MMA in order to reach new audiences, and create innovative and engaging exhibitions and programs.

Collections and Public Programs

  • Develop, with the Board, staff and key volunteers, a programmatic vision for the Museum that reflects a commitment to excellence that is accessible to a wide range of audiences;
  • With the Registrar and other staff members, actively safeguard the physical health of the collection, diligently inform the Board of any long term considerations;
  • Continue to assess the current collection, in consultation with the Exhibition and Acquisition Committee, while continuing to move the Museum forward on its acquisitions and deaccessions;
  • Actively cultivate relationships with collectors interested in deepening the Museum’s collections;
  • Understanding and knowledge of the art world and its key players; an ability to translate this into meaningful collaborations and exhibitions for the institution that speak to the community and national audiences.


Core Competencies:

In addition to the following core competencies, successful candidates will have knowledge of AAM/AAMD standards and practices, a Master’s or doctoral degree in a related discipline, and the expertise required to evaluate, care for and steward the MMA collection.

The ideal candidate will have the following professional competencies and personal characteristics:

Strategic and Entrepreneurial Leader: The Executive Director will be a leader with an entrepreneurial and enthusiastic spirit, and the background and skills to deliver on the mission of the Museum and the vision for its future. This individual will be a proven strategic thinker with the foresight, capacity, and experience to understand and balance complex and discrete needs. Agile in ambiguous situations and capable of providing stability and inspiring confidence when faced with important and quickly-changing circumstances, the Executive Director will be a consultative thought-leader to the Board and other stakeholders.

Business Acumen and External Relations Expertise: The Executive Director will have strategic oversight and management over finance and operations. S/he will promote a culture of excellence and high-quality execution at all levels within the institution, providing outstanding stewardship for the advancement of the Museum. Highly skilled in budget, financial and personnel management, this individual will have the perspective to consider the impact of decisions, strategic plans or initiatives, and programs on the organization, and make sound recommendations accordingly. S/he will have a high degree of public relations insight, serving as the outward-facing voice of MMA in the community and throughout the region. This executive will be able to speak and write fluidly and extensively about the Museum’s history impact, growth strategy, and future direction.

Skilled Manager and Team Player: The Executive Director will be a decisive, results-oriented leader with a collegial, team-oriented working style, remaining open and nimble in adjusting to emerging needs or shifting priorities. S/he will have a proven record of visible and effective management and the demonstrated ability to professionally develop, nurture and retain a strong team that is focused on impact, excellence, accountability and efficiency. This individual will also be a fervent motivator able to inspire a shared vision, quality performance and strong morale. S/he will empower and cultivate MMA staff through active and effective communication, feedback and delegation, and promote intra- and interdepartmental teamwork and collaboration.

Expertise in Development and Fundraising: The Executive Director will be a bold, fearless and experienced fundraiser with a measurable track record of success in development, and the expertise and mindset to build strong relationships within the community, with current and potential donors and the Board. This leader will have demonstrated expertise with various fundraising and communications channels with success as a high-touch leader engaging with all of the Museum’s constituents. The Executive Director will be a flexible, confident and self-motivated thought partner who will work with the Board of Trustees in identifying and devising a fundraising strategy for MMA.

Relationship Builder and Collaborator: The Executive Director will be exceptionally skilled at developing, building, and sustaining excellent relationships, both internally and externally. This leader will be a natural collaborator with a demonstrated ability to connect with and build bridges among the various stakeholders at MMA and throughout the region, including staff, members and visitors, the Board, and community leaders. S/he will be considerate and open, working collaboratively to find efficiencies and opportunities for the benefit of the Museum as a whole, promoting dialogue with team members to identify best practices, synthesize divergent views, and coalesce all constituencies around a shared view or plan. The Executive Director will be proactive in partnering with others to address the human impact of change.

Passion for the Mission and the Arts: The Executive Director will have a passion for the arts, the mission of MMA, and for the Museum’s history, collections, and future. This leader will be driven by the deep arts legacy in the region and by the opportunity to influence future generations and the community. The Executive Director will be an empathic leader, treating others with respect. An individual of unquestioned integrity, ethics and values, this leader is someone who can be trusted without reservation. S/he will be a strong advocate for the Museum and have the focus and knowledge to represent the arts and MMA in the community.


Monterey Museum of Art has engaged Koya Leadership Partners to help in this hire. This search is being led by Michelle Bonoan and Medelene Beasley. Please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here or email Medelene at the following:

Michelle R.S. Bonoan
Managing Director
Medelene Beasley

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital-consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits 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