Head of Interpretive Content

Head of Interpretive Content

J. Paul Getty Museum

Los Angeles, CA   |   June 7, 2021

About The Getty

The J. Paul Getty Museum (“The Getty”) seeks to inspire curiosity about, and enjoyment and understanding of, the visual arts by collecting, conserving, exhibiting, and interpreting works of art of outstanding quality and historical importance.

To fulfill this mission, the Museum continues to build its collection through purchases and gifts, and develops programs of exhibitions, publications, scholarly research, public education, and the performing arts to engage our diverse local and international audiences. All of these activities are enhanced by the stunning architectural and garden settings of the Museum’s two renowned venues: the Getty Center and Getty Villa. Admission is free at both the Getty Center and Getty Villa, which together welcome nearly two million visitors a year from all over the world.

The Getty believes diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are essential to its excellence and to the execution of the mission. The Getty community values differences in the pursuit of inquiry and knowledge, mutual understanding, respect, trust, transparency, and cooperation.

Committed to creating a diverse and welcoming workplace that reflects the diversity of the communities served and includes individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Individuals of color, women, LGBTQIA+, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more details, please review the Getty’s Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion plan here.

The Opportunity

The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks an experienced individual to lead their Interpretive Content department and work collaboratively with curators, educators, designers, and exhibition specialists to develop in-gallery and digital content for the Museum’s collections and special exhibitions across its two campuses (Getty Center in Los Angeles and Getty Villa in Malibu). This content takes many forms: didactics, digital labels, in-gallery interactives, web pages, audio tours, videos, and more. The Interpretive Content team also works closely with others in the Museum to deliver engaging and audience-focused content across a wide variety of platforms. This individual will be a collaborative, creative, and inspiring leader able to build relationships and trust across the Getty organization.

Reporting to the Museum’s Associate Director of Collections, the Head of Interpretive Content is responsible for developing and leading research into audience needs and using those insights to establish and deliver best practices for interpretation. Working closely with curators and educators and passionate about communicating about museum collections in deeper ways, the Head of Interpretive Content will be a key strategist in developing compelling, inclusive cultural narratives for the Getty’s collections and exhibitions, making them engaging, exciting, and relevant to broad and diverse 21st-century audiences. They also make interpretation recommendations to curatorial teams based on measurable data, with the aim of strengthening connections with museum audiences emotionally and intellectually.

The Head of Interpretive Content works with and leads a dedicated and professional team of 16 individuals who are all committed to engaging wide and diverse audiences with works of art both in person and online, setting broad departmental and individual goals, nurturing staff development and reviewing staff performance. In addition, the Head will be responsible for managing the Interpretive Content department’s annual operating and project budgets.

Responsibilities

The Head of Interpretive Content will be responsible for:

  • Overseeing the content development of interpretive texts (text panels, labels, and other printed content) produced for collection displays, exhibitions, education, and other Museum programs
  • Directing the production of digital media assets (gallery interactives, digital labels, audio and video programs, etc.) produced as part of the interpretation of collection displays, exhibitions, and Education and Public Programs
  • Managing and updating the Museum’s digital guide (GettyGuide) used by visitors to the Museum
  • Overseeing web-based initiatives for Getty.edu website, related to the Museum’s collection, special exhibitions, and education and public programs
  • Managing and/or supervising work done by outside consultants and vendors, including media producers and content editors
  • Administering and overseeing activities in the department including budgets, staffing, performance planning and review, and staff development
  • Setting audience-focused priorities for major projects and initiatives
  • Ensuring that projects are completed on schedule and within budget
  • Remaining current in museum interpretation practices and media production
Candidate Profile

The candidate will have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of supervisory and/or project process management experience. The ideal candidate will have a master’s degree in art history and/or museum studies or related field. Moreover, preferred qualifications include at least five years’ experience in museum interpretation (in-gallery and online) and audience engagement. Proficiency in standard business software will be expected.

In addition, the Head of Interpretation of the J. Paul Getty Museum will possess the following attributes and competencies:

  • Ability to work with and direct teams across disciplines and to build long‐term relationships
  • Good general knowledge of the history of art
  • Excellent writing, editing, and content development skills
  • Good knowledge of digital production, audio and video development, and online platforms
  • Diplomatic and adept at navigating complex organizational structures, using high EQ (emotional intelligence) combined with active listening skills
  • Proven ability to think strategically while also attending to daily management of time-critical tasks
  • Openness to others’ ideas; creativity in thinking and flexibility in collaborating with colleagues
  • Communicative, supportive, and inclusive leadership style
  • Demonstrated ability to recruit, manage, and mentor/develop staff
  • Prior experience working with multiple external stakeholders, including community leaders, vendors, and consultants
  • Demonstrated ability to mobilize internal and external support for programs, as well as to serve as an effective advocate for their team
Compensation & Benefits

The salary range for this opportunity has been set at $104,570 – $135,929.

Contact

Naree W.S. Viner and Christy Farrell of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Christy directly here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

The Getty is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

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. For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.

Appendix

Getty Center

Situated in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains off the 405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass, the 110-acre Getty Center was designed by architect Richard Meier. The Getty Center’s 86 acres of landscaped gardens and terraces include the Central Garden designed by artist Robert Irwin—a 134,000-square-foot work of art commissioned by the Getty Trust that features more than 500 varieties of plant materials. The Center serves a varied audience through the permanent Museum and GRI collections, changing exhibitions, conservation, scholarship, research, and public programs. The driverless, computer-operated trams are emission-free and glide on a cushion of air generated by electric blowers—the only tram system of its kind on the west coast of the United States.

The Museum at the Getty Center is home to pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, and decorative arts; a photographs collection that dates from the medium’s inception to the present, collected worldwide; and European and American sculpture from the late 12th century to the present day. The 1.2 million square feet of travertine used as pavement and wall cladding were quarried in Bagni di Tivoli, Italy, and total 290,000 blocks weighing 16,000 tons. Visitors ride free trams from the parking garage to the top of the hill.

Getty Villa

Located on 64 acres in Pacific Palisades, California, the Villa site occupies a small canyon defined by the coastal mountains to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south; the 11,000-acre Topanga State Park is immediately adjacent. The Villa contains the Getty Museum’s antiquities collection and in addition to the Museum, the site includes conservation training laboratories, antiquities conservation facilities, office buildings, and the Ranch House—Mr. Getty’s former residence. The former residence is now home to curatorial offices, a 20,000-volume-capacity Research Library, as well as conservation and analytical labs.

Originally opened in 1974, the Villa is modeled after the Villa dei Papiri, a Roman country house at Herculaneum that was buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79. In early 2017 the Getty Villa underwent a reinstallation of its collection from a thematic display to a chronological and art historical presentation. Opening in 2018, the new display, with almost 3,000 square feet more gallery space and redesigned display cases, invites visitors to follow the historical development of classical art from the Neolithic Period through the late Roman Empire (ca. 3000 BC–AD 600). About 300 variety of plants can be found in four gardens (Outer Peristyle, Inner Peristyle, East Garden, Herb Garden) planted with a mix of species from the ancient Mediterranean and native California varieties.

Facts at a Glance

  • Nearly 20 exhibitions are mounted each year at both The Getty Center and Getty Villa.
  • Collections contain more than 125,000 separate objects. Less than three percent of the art currently on view was personally acquired by J. Paul Getty.
  • The Museum brings well-known scholars and performers from around the world to the Getty through lectures, conferences, symposia, concerts, and theater works.
  • About 1,300 employees and nearly 1,000 volunteers and docents work at the Getty Center and Getty Villa.
  • In addition, Getty staff work around the world helping to conserve cultural heritage and to advance conservation science and art historical research.
  • Approximately 100 scholars from all over the world are in residence at the Getty each year.
  • More than 150,000 K–12 students visit both the Getty Center and Getty Villa each year for guided school visits subsidized by the Getty.
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum enjoys support from five donor councils, each comprising 12 to 30 members. The Museum Director’s Council was established in 2016; the Villa Council in 2001; the Paintings Conservation Council in 2002; the Photographs Council in 2005; and the Disegno Group, supporting the Drawings Department, in 2013. Each council has generously provided funding for major restoration and educational projects in their respective fields
  • The President’s International Council, an independent group committed to understanding the global context in which the Getty works, helps support the work of the Getty in Los Angeles and around the world.

For more information about the J. Paul Getty Museum, please visit their factbook and the website.