Museum Director and Chief Curator

Museum Director and Chief Curator


Naples, FL   |   January 15, 2020

About Artis—Naples

Artis—Naples (website)

Home of The Baker Museum and the Naples Philharmonic, Artis—Naples is unique among cultural institutions nationwide, equally dedicated to both the visual and performing arts, featuring artists of global distinction. As a multidisciplinary organization, thematic programming is a critical element in artistic planning at Artis—Naples.

Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus

Led by CEO and President Kathleen van Bergen and Music Director Andrey Boreyko, Artis—Naples offers audiences more than 800 paid and free events annually within a variety of venues and settings situated throughout the 8.5-acre Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus. Artis—Naples welcomes more than 300,000 visitors each year for a broad array of artistic and educational opportunities perfect for audiences of all backgrounds and interests. The Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus is home to five buildings, including two performance halls (Frances Pew Hayes Hall and Myra J. Daniels Pavilion), The Baker Museum, the Toni Stabile Education Building, and the Kohan Administration Building.

The Baker Museum
The Baker Museum is one of the foremost fine arts museums in Southwest Florida. The Museum hosts several traveling exhibitions annually to complement installations of works from its permanent collections. Comprising more than 3,500 objects, the Museum’s broad holdings of 20th and 21st century art reflect the generosity and commitment of area collectors. Of particular strength are the Museum’s collections of American and Mexican modern art and significant gifts from the personal collection of Olga Hirshhorn.

With almost two decades of collecting and exhibiting, the Museum is dedicated to stewardship and scholarship from both its growing permanent collections and outside sources. At the same time, The Baker Museum seeks out the best traveling exhibitions from the leading arts institutions in the world—including recently the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Institution and École des Beaux-Arts, Paris—to enrich the Southwest Florida community.

The Baker Museum exhibitions re-opened to the public on December 1, 2019, after being closed for more than two years in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The repair of the Museum was paired with a simultaneous expansion of the building to the south, which creates new spaces for multidisciplinary exploration and social interaction. This expansion will open in Spring 2020.

Naples Philharmonic

The Naples Philharmonic has long been recognized as one of the cornerstones of Southwest Florida’s arts community. As part of Artis—Naples, the Naples Philharmonic performs more than 140 orchestral and chamber music concerts, as well as opera and ballet, education, community, and special event concerts annually between September and June in the 1,477-seat Hayes Hall, the 283-seat Daniels Pavilion, and around the Southwest Florida region.

Education and Community

In addition to creating and presenting visual and performing arts, Artis—Naples provides robust education and community activities for students of all ages. More than 45,000 students from Collier County Public Schools interact with Artis—Naples education programming each year both on its cultural campus and in classrooms. The Lifelong Learning program provides engaging lectures and study opportunities for adults seeking to engage more deeply with the arts.

The Friends of Artis—Naples, with more than 4000 members, offers activities, travel experiences, and events geared toward creating a deeper relationship between patrons and the arts.

In 2017, Artis—Naples acquired the Naples International Film Festival (NIFF), expanding its film offerings and providing a platform for the festival’s continued excellence and growth. In 2018, NIFF celebrated its tenth year in the community, and in 2019, NIFF was named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World.

Main Focus, Priorities, and Key Responsibilities

Our client seeks a leader who will be an energetic advocate and champion for Artis—Naples and the Baker Museum with the intellect, knowledge, experience, and training to represent and elevate the Museum in the region and in the broader cultural world. Genuine and deep commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility is required. Top candidates will have the expertise and network to effectively develop and seek out world-class, compelling exhibitions to expand audience engagement and build the Museum’s standing.

Reporting to the CEO of Artis—Naples, the Museum Director and Chief Curator provides the vision and artistic direction for The Baker Museum and will ensure that its exhibitions and programs reflect Artis—Naples’ commitment to excellence in the visual arts. Taking the curatorial lead, the Director will bring a 21st-century perspective to the task of defining the Museum’s scope and direction of exhibitions, acquisitions, and programming. The Director and Chief Curator will develop and maintain an ongoing programming schedule that captures the interest of the community and embraces the multidisciplinary mission of Artis—Naples.

Specifically, the next Museum Director and Chief Curator will be responsible for the following:

Overall Museum Leadership

  • Establish the strategic direction of The Baker Museum. Develop and communicate short- and long-term objectives in partnership with the senior leadership team.
  • Forge a strong working relationship with the Board and engage them fully to build consensus around its appetite for risk-taking and creative programming to set the Museum’s institutional direction and ensure the Board’s support.
  • Develop and maintain the Museum’s annual budget; map out a long-range strategy to balance the budget on an ongoing basis; ensure that the day-to-day operations and programs are efficiently administered in a fiscally responsible manner and are aligned with industry standards.
  • Provide skilled and diligent oversight of the Museum’s financial resources and operations. Work with the senior leadership team to communicate with transparency and provide high-quality information to support sound policy decisions and facilitate their fiduciary responsibility.
  • Provide dynamic leadership of the Museum, with respect for its history and a creative vision for its future. Serve as the experienced and influential representative of the Museum locally and in the regional and national arts/cultural and museum community.

External Relations and Visitor Experience

  • Develop and maintain strategic partnerships with other art museums and their directors.
  • Build awareness, encourage innovation, intellectual engagement, and collaboration within the community.
  • In partnership with the External Affairs team, attract new resources to The Baker Museum and increase the scope of individual giving; liaise with Friends of Artis—Naples group which serves as funders and ambassadors for The Baker Museum. Partner with the CEO to steward the institution’s most significant past, current, and potential donors.
  • Work closely with the Education Department to deepen programming for the Museum, including preparation of materials and arrangements for speakers.
  • Attend professional conferences and events as a representative of the Museum.
  • Work in close collaboration with staff and volunteers to enhance the visitor experience before, during, and after a visit to ensure positive and enjoyable experiences for all audiences.
  • Continue to explore new ways to reach new audiences, create innovative exhibitions and initiatives, and partner with outside individuals and organizations to develop meaningful, engaging programming.
  • Embrace the power of new and interactive technology and its applications to advance the visitor experience.

Artistic and Programmatic Leadership

  • Provide direction for future exhibitions, acquisitions, publications, programs, and educational outreach.
  • Partnering collaboratively with the Executive Vice President, Artistic Operations and their team, integrate and align exhibition and education objectives with overarching objectives of Artis—Naples as a multidisciplinary organization with a thematic approach to programming.
  • Strategically plan for future collecting, overseeing acquisitions and deaccessions on a timely basis; develop a catalogue of the permanent collection.
  • Cultivate collectors and gifts of art to the Museum’s permanent collection.
  • Lead the development and planning of all curatorial initiatives, including each season’s exhibition schedule; conceive, develop, and oversee at least one original exhibition per year. Maintain and extend the Museum’s reputation for high-quality exhibitions which draw new audiences.
  • Provide experience, scholarship, and industry stature in order to elevate the Museum’s profile in the artistic and museum community regionally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Serve as an effective spokesperson and enthusiastic advocate for the Museum’s art collections, and the importance of art and culture to the community.
  • Develop with staff a vision for the Museum’s programs and exhibitions that reflects a commitment to creative excellence that is accessible to a diverse range of audiences.
  • Maintain consistent guidelines of the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors; remain current regarding industry best practices. Develop and oversee a written plan and timeline to achieve accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums.
  • Provide understanding and knowledge of the art and museum world and its key players, and an ability to translate this into meaningful collaborations and exhibitions for the institution that speak to the community and national audiences. Actively cultivate relationships with artists and collectors interested in deepening the Museum’s collections.
  • Inspire and direct scholarly activities that elevate the Museum’s profile, including authorship of publications and articles, seeking industry or academic recognition for specific portions of the collection or for noteworthy exhibitions and artists.
  • Pursue opportunities that contribute to and involve the community. Local residents, whose roots may stretch back several generations, are an important focus for museum activities, and are only part of the growing multi-ethnic and multi-generational population whom the Museum aims to serve. 

Management and Administration

  • Create a positive working environment for the entire organization, strong staff morale, and a culture of teamwork and mutual support among all staff. Implement policies and procedures that ensure ongoing professional development and motivate and guide a highly functioning team.
  • Oversee the Museum’s budget in consultation with the senior leadership team and maintain the healthy operation of the Museum under all state and local rules and regulations and contractual requirements, in keeping with the best practices and standards of collecting museums.
Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate should possess the following competencies, core values, experience, and education:

Strategic and Visionary Leader:

Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; gathers and analyzes information skillfully; develops alternative solutions; works well in group problem-solving situations; uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics. Treats people with respect; keeps commitments; inspires the trust of others; works ethically and with integrity; upholds organizational values. Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; understands organization’s strengths and weaknesses; analyzes market and competition. Displays passion and optimism; inspires respect and trust; provides vision to peers and team members and mobilizes them to fulfill the vision; exhibits confidence in self and others. A decisive, results-oriented leader with a collegial, team-oriented working style, open and nimble in adjusting to emerging needs or shifting priorities.

Scholarship and Recognition:

Credibility within the arts and integrity. Significant academic and scholarly achievements in a relevant field, including published or edited works or articles; recognition and/or awards from relevant institutions or organizations; accreditation or certifications from relevant organizations, academic, and creative affiliations, including membership with arts organizations; and speaking engagements at seminars, panels, conferences and other industry gatherings. The successful candidate will have achieved significant standing with peer institutions and will have the stature to represent the Museum to appropriate stakeholders.

Skilled and Inspirational Manager:

Balances team and individual responsibilities; exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ views; gives and welcomes feedback; contributes to building a positive team spirit; puts success of team above own interests; builds morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; supports other’s efforts to succeed; fosters a cooperative work environment. Improves and promotes quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness. Displays passion and optimism; inspires respect and trust; provides vision and inspiration to peers and subordinates and mobilizes them to fulfill the vision; exhibits confidence in self and others. Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; educates others on the value of diversity; promotes a harassment-free environment; builds a diverse workforce. Treats people with respect; keeps commitments; inspires the trust of others; works ethically and with integrity; upholds organizational values.

A good listener and collaborator who is able to manage through conflict. Business/management experience, including supervision of staff and volunteers. A decisive, results-oriented leader with a collegial, team-oriented working style, open and nimble in adjusting to emerging needs or shifting priorities. Understands business implications of decisions and Works within approved budget. 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 be an effective motivator who communicates a shared vision, inspires quality performance, and cultivates strong morale by empowering staff through active and effective communication, feedback, and delegation, and by promoting teamwork and collaboration.

Communications Skills:

Speaks clearly, confidently, and persuasively in a variety of situations; listens and seeks clarification; responds well to questions in office and in public settings; demonstrates group presentation skills; participates constructively and thoughtfully in meetings. A demonstrated ability to interact comfortably with a range of constituents, building bridges among the various stakeholders of the Museum and throughout the region, including members, visitors, donors, the Board, and community leaders. A high degree of public relations insight, serving as the outward-facing representative of the Museum; able to speak and write fluidly about the Museum’s legacy, impact, growth strategy, and future direction to all audiences. Superb public speaking abilities, equally comfortable and effective in presenting to small groups as well as large audiences. Considerate and open, working collaboratively to find opportunities to the benefit the organization as a whole, promoting dialogue to identify best practices, synthesizing divergent views, and coalescing all constituencies around a shared view or plan.

Education and/or Experience

  • Advanced degree in Art History or related field required; PhD preferred.
  • Five years of experience in a leadership or curatorial position within a collecting museum, preferably with expertise in modern and/or contemporary art.
  • Progressively responsible curatorial positions with a collecting institution.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with best practices and ethics for all collections activities.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with environmental monitoring and conservation/preservation protocols for collections care.
  • Experience working with exhibition teams.
  • Experience cultivating and working closely with collectors and donors.

Other Skills & Abilities

  • Highly creative, strategic, organized, resourceful and visionary; a proactive leader, quick study and facile communicator; an individual with an entrepreneurial spirit inspired by the opportunity to build a museum and a track record demonstrating resourcefulness and good judgment.
  • A diplomat and advocate who can negotiate graciously with a group of committed and sometimes strong personalities, yet remain decisive, proactive, and fair.
  • A civically minded individual with high integrity who is committed to excellence, practices good judgment, and exudes credibility and enthusiasm for the work at hand.
  • Committed to bringing cultural experiences to impassioned and initially indifferent audiences alike; an advocate for the arts who generates interest and enthusiasm for the role each can play in the lives of others.

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 here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Artis—Naples is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ applicants.

At Koya, we don’t just accept difference – we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our team, our clients, and the communities we serve. Koya is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to creating an environment and team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, styles, and experiences.

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