Executive Director: Wharton Esherick Museum

Posted November 13th, 2014 at 11:49 am.

Founded in 1971, the Wharton Esherick Museum is an independent, public supported entity with assets in excess of $6,000,000, including the site, collection and a $2,000,000 endowment fund.  The Museum is financially sound and never has had a deficit.  It is located on 15 acres of wooded hillside, just minutes from historic Valley Forge Park in the western suburbs of Philadelphia.

It’s an exciting time for the Museum, as we recently completed transfer of the site to the Museum from the Esherick family, and we just acquired Wharton Esherick’s old farm house which is adjacent to the Museum property, and are preparing to commence a capital campaign.

We are seeking to hire an Executive Director to help guide the Museum’s expansion and are looking for an experienced candidate who wants to shepherd the Museum through the next chapter in its 43 year-old life.  The Executive Director is responsible to the Board of Directors for overall management of the entire Museum including fundraising/development, strategic planning, human resources, programs, finance, marketing/communications and stewardship of the collections and facility.  This position is an expansion of our current staff.

Summary of Responsibilities:

  • Works in conjunction with the Board to develop a strategic direction and establish initiatives to fulfill the mission of the Museum and increase local, statewide and national awareness and prominence.
  • Leads and participates in all fundraising/development initiatives including applying for grants, and developing relationships with foundations, corporations and individual donors.
  • Leads, shapes and implements the Museum’s upcoming capital campaign.
  • Manages and leads the full-time staff of three, part-time staff and volunteers.
  • Serves as the spokesperson and chief advocate for the Museum.  Establishes strong partnerships in the community and enhances the Museum’s public image to expand interest and support.
  • Directs the overall development of public relations and marketing communications.
  • Manages, secures and maintains the collections and facilities of the Museum.
  • Conducts tours and participates in other activities as needed to ensure the smooth running of the Museum.

Required Qualifications:

  • Minimum education requires a bachelor’s degree – an advanced degree is preferred.
  • 10 years experience in a museum, non-profit organization or business.  At least five years at a senior managerial level preferred.
  • Ability to provide strong leadership, vision and strategic direction, including experience developing and implementing strategic plans.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of standards and best practices for museums, non-profits or similar organizations.  A history of involvement in relevant professional organizations is a plus.
  • Strong record of success in fundraising, applying for grants and audience development including experience developing and implementing capital campaigns.
  • Competence in managing museum operations, including personnel matters.  Demonstrated ability to supervise, as well as work successfully with, museum staff, volunteers and diverse public constituencies.  Proven ability to work cooperatively and effectively with a Board of Directors.
  • Evidence of success in developing, managing and growing an annual operating budget.
  • Demonstrated excellence in writing and public speaking.
  • Strong business, personnel and project management skills.
  • Good computer skills.
  • Willingness to work a variable schedule, including weekends and evenings as needed.

Salary is commensurate with abilities and experience, and includes a competitive benefits package.

About the Wharton Esherick Museum:

The mission of the Wharton Esherick Museum is to preserve, exhibit, interpret and promote the artistic creations of Wharton Esherick, including his studio-home, workshop, farm house, objects and archives, so that audiences everywhere can appreciate, study and be inspired by Esherick’s life and work.

It is hard not to be inspired by a trip to the Wharton Esherick Museum.  The Museum, a National Historic Landmark for Architecture, is the hand crafted home and studio of Wharton Esherick (1887-1970), a major American Modernist sculptor and furniture maker who began his life as a classically trained painter.  It is maintained as it was when Esherick lived and worked there, providing visitors with the opportunity to enter the home and lifestyle of an imaginative and productive artist.  The Museum receives approximately 5,000 visitors a year and is accessible only via docent-led tours for which reservations are required.  Learn more at http://www.whartonesherickmuseum.org/.

How to Apply:

Please send:

Cover Letter including salary requirements and responses to the following two questions: What is your vision for the role a museum plays in the local community? Name three qualities that you think make an effective leader and why.  Provide an example of how you drew upon one of these qualities in yourself, what doing so looked like and what the result was. Resume/CV. Professional and personal references will be required during the final interview process.Please send your Cover Letter (including question responses) and Resume/CV to Larry Liss, President at whartonesherickmuseum@gmail.com or Wharton Esherick Museum, PO Box 595, Paoli, PA 19301.

Filed under: Executive Level by Margie DuBrow

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