Director of Curatorial Strategies - Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, California

This search is on hold.   Resumes are welcome for future consideration.  

Envisioned as a new museum and a new kind of institution, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is planned to locate in California.  Founded by filmmaker and technological pioneer George Lucas, the Museum will focus on the art of storytelling in a broad range and history of visual art forms. The facility is designed by award-winning architect Ma Yansong of Beijing-based MAD Architects, with a surrounding landscape designed by Chicago-based Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects.  All told the Museum will comprise approximately 300,000 square feet of purpose-built space, including nearly 100,000 square feet of gallery spaces, three state-of-the-art cinematic theaters, a fully outfitted education center, library, two restaurants and a rooftop observation deck.

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be revolutionary within the world of art museums. There will be no artificially constructed divisions between “high” art and “popular” art. Audiences will be able to explore a wide variety of visual storytelling, including painting, photography, illustration, film, animation and digital art. The unprecedented breadth of the Lucas Museum collection will provide opportunities to present an expansive and open definition of art, acknowledging that all visual art forms can make a meaningful connection with viewers. 

At the Lucas Museum, narrative art refers to works that focus on visual storytelling through compositions of recognizable images that convey an emotionally powerful story or meaning to broad audiences. The Museum’s holdings, an actively expanding collection, look at art through three lenses: 

• The History of Narrative Art features traditional paintings by artists such as Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth, as well as a broad range of illustration, children’s art, comic art and photography from many periods and cultures. 

• The Art of Cinema explores all facets of cinematic art and its design processes, including concept art, storyboards, set design, props, costume and fashion, animation and visual effects. 

• Digital Art features new technologies and media from digital cinema to digital architecture, bringing together works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Zaha Hadid and Pixar Animation, to name a few. 

From its inception, the Lucas Museum’s innovative and accessible approach to collecting art that resonates with the public will be at the core of all education initiatives. Programs will include: 

• Permanent collection presentations 

• Temporary exhibitions 

• Daily film screenings 

• Public lectures 

• Hands-on workshops 

• School tours, workshops and programs 

• Classes for all ages

The Lucas Museum will provide a common ground for individuals and families to share their thoughts and connect with others on topics outside their comfort zone and day-to-day lives by breaking traditional boundaries and juxtaposing works of art and genres that are rarely considered side-by-side. Social bridging will be a core value of the Museum demonstrated in how the art is collected and presented. 

The Museum’s Board of Directors is headed by its founder, George Lucas. Its members are business and institutional leaders as well as cultural icons. Future staffing will include approximately 250-300 professionals, organized in departments ranging from education to collections management, and film programs to librarians. The estimated operating budget for the Museum’s inaugural years is to be approximately $25-30 million.  Annual attendance is estimated to be at least 1,000,000 guests, including local, regional and national visitors, as well as interested cultural tourists from around the world. The anticipated opening of the Museum is 2020.


Developing the Role and Image of the Museum
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art must position itself among a complex constellation of museums and other educational and cultural institutions while it develops its capacity to serve as a local, national and international destination. The Director of Curatorial Strategies will work with the President and a core leadership team to infuse the Museum with vision, energy and excitement and with a clear and strong curatorial perspective.

New Facility and Exhibition and Program Planning
During the construction of the new Museum, the Director of Curatorial Strategies will further develop collaborative plans with partner institutions--cultural and educational--in order to present pilot exhibitions intended to preview the Museum's collections and programs in several venues.

Strategically Developing the Collection
long with the Founder and the President, the Director of Curatorial Strategies will develop and refine plans for augmenting the inaugural collection in thoughtful and strategic ways.  This will include identifying and recommending acquisitions through purchase, as well as building relationships that may result in collaborations, loans, and gifts to the Museum.


Working in dialogue with the Lucas Museum’s President and Deputy Director, the Director of Curatorial Strategies will understand and embrace the institutional mission and goals, and provide programmatic and administrative leadership for collections, archives, exhibitions and public programs. Specifically, the new Director of Curatorial Strategies will:

• Conceive opening collection presentation and exhibition plan; develop pilot programs with local institutional partners; (pre-opening priority)

• Survey and assess existing fine arts collection; (pre-opening priority)

• Outline curatorial staffing priorities, recruit and hire the curatorial team; (pre-opening priority)

• Shape and develop a diverse, innovative and academically rigorous exhibition program; 

• Oversee strategic growth and management of the permanent collection;

• Coordinate publications; 

• Manage touring exhibitions; 

• Develop and maintain the Museum’s regional, national and international professional networks; 

• Collaborate with museum educators to plan and implement progressive programs for schools and teachers, children and families, and adults; 

• Oversee all administrative, financial and personnel matters of the exhibitions and collections departments;

• Work with the President and other staff to cultivate Founders, trustees, collectors, donors, and artists;

• Provide programs and stewardship for any support groups and selected major donors and participate in cultivation events; 

• Work in a collegial and collaborative manner with peers in film, education, development, finance, marketing, public relations, and visitor services; 

• Cultivate strong ties with the local community, collectors, educators, city and county officials, and affinity groups. 


The best candidate will have at least five years of relevant senior curatorial experience and will possess a graduate degree in art history, curatorial studies or a related field.

S/he will have proven management ability and communication skills and demonstrated commitment to developing and working with diverse audiences.

Ideally, s/he will have had experience working with a start-up and/or new facility and will understand that the position will evolve over time and change once the Museum opens.

Most important, the final candidate must be innovative, creative, and inspiring. The new Director of Curatorial Strategies will be a successful advocate for the Museum and its collections, exhibitions, and programs, whose work will advance the mission and reputation of the Museum and build audiences locally and globally. 


This is a new position and will be filled as quickly as possible. 


The salary is highly competitive and dependent upon skills and experience.


Applicants should submit resumes and one-page essay describing their interest in the position and the experience they have had which relates to the responsibilities described.  Suggestions of potential candidates are also welcome. All applications and suggestions will be reviewed by Management Consultants for the Arts, an executive search firm working with the President and Deputy Director of the Museum.

Send applications to: 

Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
Linda Sweet and/or Diane Frankel

Email only:      This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject Line:     Lucas Museum

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 March 2017 09:44