Director of Collections and Archives - Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

ARLIS/NA JobList,

Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Salary: $80,000+
Employment Term: Full time
Employee Contact: Leslie Rycroft

Description

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is a non-profit cultural organization that inspires people to discover and embrace an architecture for better living through meaningful connections to nature, the arts, and each other. In Wright’s own words, the Foundation’s vision is to “make life more beautiful, the world a better one for living in, and to give reason, rhyme and meaning to life.” The Foundation’s mission is to preserve the buildings, landscapes, collections, and communities of the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Taliesin and Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s own homes and studios, and offers a broad range of educational experiences through tours, exhibits, performances, school and youth programs, and digital engagement, as well as academic and scholarly programs in collaboration with universities, scholars, and practitioners in the field of architecture.

The Director of Collections and Archives serves as lead historic content expert, curator, conservation specialist, and historian responsible for the documentation, care, presentation, exhibition, and interpretation of Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s historical resources and collections at both of its campuses, Taliesin (Wisconsin) and Taliesin West (Arizona). The Director of Collections and Archives is responsible for the day-to-day strategic management of the Collections Department as well as fostering a collaborative culture within the department and across the Foundation, as well as with key outside partners with which the Foundation works on a routine basis. Reporting to the VP of Preservation and Collections, the Director is charged with the care, preservation, and risk management of the Foundation’s collection while ensuring that the collections are available for current and future visitors, as well as ensuring all aspects of collections record-keeping for the permanent collections and loan material.

This leadership role is responsible for balancing a complex and interconnecting set of priorities, ranging from digitization of the collection to keeping up to date with best practice innovation in the physical care and storage of collections materials.

Essential Functions:

  • Develops, monitors, projects, and oversees the Collections Department strategy and budget. Works with the Foundation’s Senior Leadership Team to define, outline, and implement Collections Department goals to align with its near and long-term plans. Manages collections, archives, collections photography, library resources, installations, conservation work done by outside conservators, and staff.  Supervises, evaluates, hires, and trains staff and volunteers as required.  Plans, organizes, directs, schedules, and executes the work of the Collections Department.
  • Develops, maintains, and implements the Collections Management Policy and procedures and ensures that the Policy reflects up-to-date professional museum practices and standards. Produces and revises collections management procedures. Works with Facilities Department to develop, maintain, and implement Integrated Pest Management Policy and Disaster Preparedness Plan. Oversees implementation of the Collections Management Policy, including accessioning and deaccessioning materials under that policy. Coordinates disposition of deaccessioned material as required.
  • Ensures all aspects of the physical and records management of the museum’s collections are properly handled according to museum best practices and professional standards, which includes accurate and up-to-date record keeping, proper standards of storage, security, risk management, and preventative conservation action.
  • Leads a team that oversees and manages the Foundation’s collections management systems (including digital asset management), serving as systems administrator.  Ensures the accuracy and completeness of collections records by reviewing, updating, implementing, and enforcing adherence to data standards and authority files.
  • Leads a team that manages all details regarding incoming and outgoing loans and temporary exhibitions, including contractual arrangements, loan agreements, adherence to exhibition contracts, condition reports, photo and archival documentation, and related cataloguing information. Schedules and oversees all shipping arrangements, including the coordination of packing, unpacking, and crating of objects. Designates and coordinates couriers from the Foundation, lending, and borrowing institutions. Determines courier assignments and trains couriers as required.
  • Works with the Finance department to manage fine arts insurance coverage for collections and for incoming and outgoing loans. Maintains up-to-date valuation of objects in the collection and works with outside evaluators, specialists, and conservators.
  • Works with the Advancement department to prepare, implement, and report on grants affecting the Collections department.
  • Supports inquiries and requests from scholars, homeowners, and other interested persons related to information on Wright and the collections. Oversees non-commercial rights management for permissions to use images under copyrights and other intellectual property rights held by the Foundation and materials in the collections.
  • Works collaboratively with Public Engagement department to schedule and organize installations of major exhibitions and permanent collection installations, rotations, and site-specific artist installations. Oversees regular updates of rotation schedule for light sensitive objects (textiles, works on paper, scrolls, prints, and photographs) as well as long-term exhibition schedules.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion through respectful communication and cooperation with others through continuous training and while modeling inclusive behaviors. Helps build and expand the relevant technical and professional knowledge skills across the Foundation.
  • Represents the Foundation positively and professionally to outside vendors and contractors and occasionally tours VIPs or new trustees through storage and collection areas as needed.
  • Assists Vice President of Preservation and Collections in the preparation of materials for board committees and participates in board and committee meetings as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Requirements 
  • Master’s Degree in Art History or Architectural History, Museum Studies, Arts Administration, or closely related specialty and at least ten (10) years of curatorial/collection management experience, including at least five (5) years of management/supervisory experience leading a relevant department or team.
  • Thorough knowledge of best practices in collection management including the handling, care, installation, and storage of art, registration methods, and fundamental exhibition practices, policies, and procedures.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Acrobat, collections management and digital asset management systems
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and adapt to changing priorities as needed.
  • Ability to manage sensitive information in a confidential manner.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Strong familiarity with Frank Lloyd Wright’s life and work 
  • Background in Asian Art, particularly as contained within an archival, museum, or scholarly setting
  • Grant writing experience

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