The Phillips Museum of Art serves as a cultural and educational resource for Franklin & Marshall College and for public audiences of Lancaster County. The Museum grew out of a substantial exhibition program of contemporary art located in a single gallery as well as a collection of material culture and ethnographic materials bequeathed to the College over the course of several decades. In 2000, the Museum was located inside the Steinman College Center, which Minoru Yamasaki designed in 1976. In 2011, the College renovated and expanded the Museum to current its configuration of three floors, four galleries, a sculpture garden, a classroom, along with professional offices and work spaces. This renovation, coupled with a $500,000 award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2009-2014) to “solidify the museum’s connection to the academic program and increase student and faculty use of the museum’s resources,” has created a campus synergy about the Museum’s potential.
The Phillips Museum’s permanent collection of approximately 7,500 objects was fully inventoried for the first time in 2016. The collection is broad and eclectic, consisting of fine art, decorative art and household materials donated by long-standing Lancaster families, textiles, and ethnographic materials. Most objects in the collection have come as gifts or bequests. In 2009 the Museum accessioned a group of approximately twenty contemporary art works, which have been installed as part of the Patricia E. Harris Center for Business, Government & Public Policy. Most recently, the Museum acquired 375 paintings, drawings, and other works of art by the African‐American artist William Hutson (b. 1936), who lives nearby and formerly taught at the College. The Huston collection also holds works from contemporary African-American artists from Europe and the United States. Some of the highlights of the Phillips Museum collection include mid-century Abstract Expressionists, Fraktur, a large collection of Japanese woodblock prints, West African sculptures, and more than 100 photographs, ranging from early daguerreotypes to works of landmark 20th century photo-documentary series.
Each year, the Phillips Museum mounts at least eight exhibitions, drawn mostly from loaned objects and travelling shows but also from the permanent collection. The Museum hosts two annual student shows and a biennial faculty art show. In addition, one gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of objects from the permanent collection. Programming associated with the exhibitions is extensive, and ranges from artist talks and academic panel discussions, to music and dance performances. The College’s film department regularly uses the Museum to screen films and display student video works. College courses use the exhibitions and the permanent collection, and each year at least one course is taught in the Museum using its collection. The Museum now produces two or three quality catalogs every year in addition to two or three student-driven publications.
The Museum has close working relationships with the Departments of Anthropology, Art & Art History, American Studies, Classics, Film Studies as well as with dedicated faculty members across the F&M campus. The Museum, while not an academic department, contributes significantly to the College’s academic program, not unlike the College Library and its Special Collections and Archives, with whom the Museum frequently partners on special projects.
The Museum Director reports directly to the Provost of the College. The President of the College recently established the Phillips Museum of Art Advisory Council, and its members offer counsel and support to the Director on matters of strategic planning, collection development, and the financial well-being of the Museum. The Director chairs the College’s Exhibition Advisory Committee, whose faculty and student members the Provost appoints.
The Phillips Museum staff includes a full-time Collections Manager, a full-time Curator of Exhibitions and Academic Affairs, a part-time Preparator, and a part-time Office Coordinator, all of whom are mid-career professionals hired in the last two years. The Museum also benefits from a part-time post-baccalaureate position and the assistance of a cadre of engaged student workers.
The Phillips is still a young institution; nonetheless, the new Director inherits a strong foundation to build upon.
The Director will be able to review, revise and finalize a strategic planning initiative to infuse the Museum with vision, energy and excitement.
To build audiences, awareness, and support for the Phillips, the new Director must position the Museum as innovative, accessible and connected to and engaged with multiple departments in the College community as well as with external constituencies locally and regionally.
The Director will find and cultivate willing collaborators across the campus who are eager to explore creative uses of the Museum’s collections and programs to advance the College’s mission, including its focus on enhancing access for talented students from increasingly diverse backgrounds.
The new Director will develop innovative ways to utilize the collections beyond the conventional exhibition program, allowing access to the permanent collection by users from all disciplines and interests.
The new Director will help identify new sources of funding and revenue, developing an advisory council to assist in the effort.
The Director will help define the role of the Museum in programming a new visual arts building designed by architect, Steven Holl; construction will likely begin later this year.
The Director is responsible for overseeing and managing the everyday programs and operations of the Museum and planning for and assuring its future. The Director reports to the Provost, reflecting the vital academic role of the Museum.
Specifically, the new Director will:
• Work with the Museum staff and with faculty across disciplines to foster the use of the Museum in support of the educational mission of the College.
• With staff and faculty, explore, use, and research the permanent collection for exhibitions at the Museum and elsewhere.
• Develop and oversee an annual operating budget as well as project budgets.
• Work in concert with the Provost and College administration in a carefully crafted development effort to support the Museum’s operations, exhibitions, programs, and special projects and be willing and able to visit, cultivate, and solicit prospective donors and to represent the Museum on campus, in the community and at regional and national events.
• Lead the Museum to maintain and enhance its permanent collection through acquisitions and gifts of the highest quality.
• Assure the care and preservation of the Museum’s collection and the appropriate use, protection and maintenance of the facility.
Franklin & Marshall College is seeking an energetic and entrepreneurial Director with a solid art and or humanities background and a passion for working with College students with diverse interests and backgrounds. S/he must be able to articulate a strategic vision for the Museum and must possess strong skills in management, exhibition and program development, and fundraising.
Specific requirements include:
• M.F.A. or M.A. in art history or a related field required, Ph.D. desirable, with progressively responsible experience as a curator and/or administrator of a Museum or comparable not-for-profit art organization.
• Academic credentials and/or work experience that demonstrates the interpretive use of objects (art, material culture, science) for exhibitions and/or teaching.
• An established record of exhibitions and publications.
• Demonstrated experience managing both the budgets and operations; familiarity with basic accounting principles and ability to navigate financial statements.
• A record of success in securing competitive grants and in raising funds from individuals.
• Ability to be a compelling, energetic and enthusiastic spokesperson, capable of articulating the mission and goals of the Phillips Museum to diverse audiences.
• Effective mentoring of students and staff.
• Familiarity with best practice standards governing collections care, acquisitions/de-accessions, exhibitions, publications, and facilities management.
• Ability to create ideas for connecting the Museum with the curriculum and with students.
• Conversant with new technologies, the ability to lead the Museum successfully in an increasingly digital age.
It is expected that the position will be filled by the start of the next academic year.
PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATION:
Submit a resume and one-page narrative electronically describing your interest in the position and the experience you have had which relates to the responsibilities described. Applications will be reviewed in strict confidence by Management Consultants for the Arts, an executive search firm working with the Provost and the search committee:
Send applications to:
Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
Attention: Linda Sweet or Bill Appleton
Subject line: F&M Director Search
Franklin & Marshall College is committed to having an inclusive campus community where all members are treated with dignity and respect.
As an Equal Opportunity Employer, the College does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices on the basis of gender/gender-identity, sex, race or ethnicity, color,
national origin, religion, age, disability, veteran's status, genetic information, family or marital status, sexual orientation, or any other protected class.