Associate Director, Research & Collections (The Wolfsonian - FIU)

The Wolfsonian - FIU
Miami Beach, Florida
$95,000 - $100,000 commensurate with experience
May 23, 2017
Jobs Outside Higher Education
Museums & Cultural Organizations
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The Wolfsonian­–Florida International University seeks an experienced Associate Director, Research and Collections to be part of the senior leadership team providing dynamic leadership and assuming responsibility for the full range of research activities, collections management, publications, and research library activities. The position collaborates cross-departmentally to plan and implement the highest stewardship and intellectual standards for the museum's collections, library collections, and research activities; has a central role in promoting the mission of the museum; and maintains a reputation as a leader in their areas of focus and in museum practice broadly.

The associate director reports to the museum director and will lead and manage the research activities, collection management, publications, and research library activities. As member of the senior leadership team, the associate director will contribute to the development and implementation of the strategic direction of the museum and also serve as an advocate and representative of the museum to all constituencies served by The Wolfsonian.

On the immediate horizon is the realization of The Wolfsonian’s master plan to relocate the museum’s collections and development of a new collections storage facility and resource center which will provide the proper location and environment to protect and preserve the collections and improve the space to allow increased accessibility and care of the collection and to renovate the main museum location and development and installation of new exhibitions in the renovated facility.  The key motivation behind these changes is increased accessibility, usability of the museum collections both in physical and virtual space along with diversification and balancing of the museum’s sources of revenue between earned, contributed, and university.

The associate director will be expected to liaison with The Wolfsonian Advisory Board and engage them providing support and guidance on research, publication and collections activities. The successful candidate must thrive in a culture that values research, teamwork, intellectual exploration, and innovation in engaging a broad audience.


  • Collaborates with the director, curatorial, exhibits, and collections teams, to define and oversee the direction for growth of the collections and research programs, and prioritizes projects and activities based on relevance to and efficacy in respect of the mission of the Wolfsonian-FIU.
  • Oversees the physical management, storage, and conservation of object and library collections; guides policy and procedure development in collections management, and works closely with core stakeholders to determine collections planning priorities and improve documentation.
  • Steers the agenda for the Museum's ambitious digitization effort, working closely with the Digital Asset Management and Collections Management teams to coordinate and establish priorities.
  • Promote the mission and enhance the reputation of the museum through the advancement of creative and interdisciplinary research, fellowship, internship, and publishing programs, and by expanding the traditional scope of these programs.
  • Engages and collaborates in budgeting, strategic and master planning, and institutional policy development; plays a key role in capital projects.
  • Assists with cultivation of donors and general fundraising activities that will benefit the acquisitions, conservation, exhibition and digitization programs.
  • Develops, participates in, and collaborates on a wide variety of institution- wide programs and policy development activities, including public programs and events, accreditation, emergency preparation and response planning.
  • Supervises academic programs coordinator to ensure implementation of programs designed to enhance use of Wolfsonian collection by FIU faculty and students.
  • Manages in collaboration with the Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and Education the preparation of all museum publications, including editorial content, production process, and relationships with co-publishers and/or distributors. Serves as Senior Editor for the Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts, working with guest editor to coordinate content and edit articles for each issue, and managing all aspects of publication process
  • Manages the annual competitive fellowship program. Oversees the application review process, planning, budgeting, and promotion. Supervises other curatorial staff in implementing program and responding to inquiries from scholars. Works closely with the director and development staff to raise funds for the program. Makes both written and oral presentations to potential private and corporate donors
  • Develops and maintains contacts with FIU administrators to establish strategies for sustaining and expanding opportunities for partnership between the academic community and The Wolfsonian. Coordinates collaborative research projects with other institutions, and facilitates independent research by individual scholars
  • Performs other related duties as required or as directed. The omission of specific duties does not preclude the supervisor from assigning duties that are logically related to the position.
  • Oversees and manages all collection, library and research activities.


  • Master’s degree in material culture studies, design history, architectural history, art history museum studies, anthropology, history, library science or closely related field
  • Expert knowledge in a significant aspect of The Wolfsonian's collecting scope, with a capacity to learn quickly about other areas
  • Minimum 10 years of extensive and progressively responsible experience in a museum setting; proven team leadership and managerial experience is required.
  • Extensive knowledge of professional museum principles, practices, and procedures in collections management, digital asset management, and exhibitions.
  • Solid background in anticipating and planning for operational and capital needs and budgeting, as well as experience with construction and renovation projects.
  • High degree of technical proficiency in database, cataloging standards, and digital asset management issues.
  • Excellent written, communication and presentation skills, especially the ability to communicate complex concepts about visual and material culture to the full range of The Wolfsonian’s audiences
  • Knowledge of a foreign language related to The Wolfsonian's collecting areas
  • Strong commitment to collaboration and outreach with multiple constituencies
  • Ability to flexibly handle multiple projects in a fast-paced environment and meet deadlines
  • Solid work ethic, high level of professional integrity, positive attitude, and a sense of humor
  • Demonstrated cultural, religious, race, gender, and age sensitivities and adaptabilities
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office and preferably collections cataloging software
  • Flexibility for working hours required to meet deadlines, for programming and events, and for local, national and international travel


As soon as possible after August 1, 2017.


Apply before June 16, 2917


Click on the link and search for Job Code 513316 to Apply Now and submit your resume, a one-page cover letter describing interest and experience, and the names of three references. The Wolfsonian–FIU can only consider applicants who complete the FIU online application process.  Any inquiries, questions or suggestion of candidates can be sent to


The Wolfsonian was set in motion by a big vision – to illustrate the nexus between material artifacts and society by looking at objects as both agents and expressions of cultural, political, and technological changes. The collection is unique, vast, and varied. In its scope and range, it is among the most important collections in the world of the visual and material culture of the modern era. The collection addresses issues of mass politics, mass communication, technological change, war, ideology, ethnic and national identity, urbanism, globalization, and many other phenomena that remain critical to understanding today’s world. It encompasses a very wide range of objects, including works on paper (posters, prints, design drawings), paintings, sculpture, furniture, glassware, metal tableware, ceramics, lighting, household appliances, textiles, and medallic art, as well as rare books, journals, and ephemera.

The majority of the objects in The Wolfsonian’s collections were produced in the United States and Western Europe. France, Germany, Great Britain, the Habsburg Empire and its successor states, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States are the countries most extensively represented. There are smaller, but still significant, collections from Japan, Spain, Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union, and Cuba. For much of Africa and Asia, The Wolfsonian’s holdings are largely related to tourism and to the colonial enterprises of the European powers.

Located in the heart of Miami Beach’s historic architectural district, The Wolfsonian opened as a public museum and research center in 2005. In 1997, The Wolfsonian became a department of Florida International University (FIU), a rapidly growing urban public research university with more than 50,000 students. The Wolfsonian strives to build strong programmatic and intellectual relationships with the academic community at FIU.

FIU is a member of the State University System of Florida and an Equal Opportunity, Equal Access Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

To learn more about The Wolfsonian please visit

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