Head of Education and Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Academic Programs

Job description

Amherst College's Mead Art Museum invites applications for the position of Head of Education and Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Academic Programs. Amherst College has profoundly transformed its student body in terms of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and nationality, among other areas. Today, nearly one-quarter of Amherst's students are Pell Grant recipients; 45 percent of our studentsidentify as domestic students of color. Our expectation is that the successful candidate will excel at working in a community that is broadly diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, and religion.

The Head of Education and Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Academic Programs is a full-time, year-round position, job group and level RI-4. This key position serves as an energetic advocate of arts education, linking the museum with Amherst College's rich community and museum visitors, and models the museum's dedication to teaching, scholarship, and research. This position leads education at the Mead Art Museum and performs the responsibilities of the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Academic Programs, promoting faculty and student engagement across disciplines with the Mead's collections through curricular and co-curricular programs. The successful candidate will be a creative, collaborative, open, and inspired leader who represents and articulates the Mead's academic vision of innovative pedagogy and interpretative philosophies on campus and in the wider world. The head of education is dedicated and passionate about a museum that welcomes all into its space and the generative possibilities and meanings of art. Under the supervision of the director of the museum, this position promotes the Mead's collection as a unique resource for liberal arts learning; introduces new narratives and ways of thinking about art and culture through interpretation; facilitates in-depth research by scholars, students, faculty and staff that confronts difficult ideas, asks new questions, and explores different paths to meaning; forges and oversees new creative and scholarly partnerships with Amherst College faculty, research fellows, resident artists, students, and diverse organizations on and off campus; advocates for visual thinking, empathy, feeling, and sensory experiences as vital forms of learning in the arts; and participates in projects and programs related to the museum's collection and its exhibitions; and in other museum activities as needed. This position supervises the assistant museum educator, public programs and marketing coordinator, and study room manager and oversees student employees, interns, and volunteers.

The successful candidate will take appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and will participate in the college's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Key Responsibilities

Education and Research/Programs

  • Manages all educational activities of the Mead Art Museum
  • Oversees the museum's daily educational operations, working closely with the director to integrate those programs effectively into the museum's overall operations and in alignment with the college's and the Mead's strategic plans
  • Oversees, conducts, and encourages original research into the Mead's collection, leading to published scholarship and open-access writing on the Mead's website
  • Develops and leads an interpretive strategy for the Mead's collection, with special focus on connecting with a new generation of students through new technologies
  • Strategically shapes the museum's content, in conjunction with museum colleagues and the director
  • Acts as project manager and quality-controller for all museum education activities
  • Represents the museum at local, regional, and national events and professional meetings
  • Conceptualizes and leads new research on museums, education, and scholarship through symposia in partnership with peer institutions and museums
  • Plans, organizes, and carries out three-day first-year orientation program "Meet at the Mead" (late August-early September; planning begins in February)
  • Plans, organizes and carries out new faculty Orientation program at the Mead (September)
  • Oversees the interpretation of the Mead's collection, emphasizing innovative approaches to connecting the collection with our target audience of students
  • Consults with supervisor of Team Mead, a museum student group, to establish goals for and training programs
  • Works with study room manager, assistant museum educator, Serves as the coordinator of public programs and interns on Mead projects

  • Supervises the study room manager, assistant museum educator, and public programs & marketing coordinator to achieve the Mead's academic and educational programming goals
  • Develops and manages education budgets
  • Provides leadership for the museum's excellence in liberal arts education and community engagement
  • Manages, trains, and mentors front-desk student staff
  • Displays a high level of critical thinking skills and analysis
  • Resolves issues and anticipates problems through deep experience with academic museum practices
  • Proposes new procedures and policies as needed to promote optimum visitor experience
  • Takes an occasional role, as requested by the director, in fundraising, and works with the college's advancement office and the director to explore new grants for education

Five College Support and Communication
  • Supports Five College class visits to the Mead
  • Leads and manages orientations for students and faculty; provide introduction, present an overview to the topic
  • Guides exercises and discussion with works of art; conclude sessions; create evaluations of sessions
  • Connects with Five College faculty about class visits to the Mead and discusses session goals and themes; determines object selections
  • Researches topics and works of art for lecture/discussion during class visits
  • Develops systems to encourage faculty to take the lead after initial visits and courses

Curatorial Duties
  • Performs occasional curatorial duties, in connection with Mead's collection, with emphasis on the successful candidate's areas of special knowledge
  • Collaborates with faculty in planning installations and exhibitions that contribute to Mead's mission and curriculum


  • Master's degree in art history and/or related fields (history, visual, cultural, ethnic or religious studies with a concentration in art)
  • Seven to ten years of related experience in areas of museum education, teaching, or curatorial
  • Proven track record as a leader, manager, and administrator (experience as a strategic partner)
  • A broad knowledge of the newest museum education theories and practices to the programming needs of an academic art museum
  • The ability to think strategically, take-risks, learn through success and failure, conceptualize new ideas, and plan and implement long-term goals
  • Strong interpersonal and diplomatic skills with the ability to connect with a range of people
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong public speaking, problem-solving, interpersonal, organizational, and time management skills
  • Ability to take initiative, work independently and collaboratively
  • Experience and commitment to working with a diverse and inclusive community
  • Experience with Microsoft Office or equivalent
  • Able to work occasional evenings and weekends

  • Ph.D. in art history and/or related fields (history, visual, cultural, ethnic or religious studies with a concentration in art)

Interestedcandidates should submit a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information (email and/or telephone numbers) for three professional references. Review of applications will begin on March 12, 2018 and continue until the position is filled.
Amherst College, one of the premier liberal arts colleges in the nation, is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, a town of approximately 35,000 residents in the western part of the state. The college's community is composed of about1,800 students from 48 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 54 countries around the world, and about 1,000 staff and faculty. The college's scenic 1,000-acre campus includes a 500-acre wildlife sanctuary and the Book & Plow Farm ; three museums: Emily Dickinson Museum , Beneski Museum of Natural History and Mead Art Museum ; and multiple educational and cultural venues and resources through the Five College Consortium. The town of Amherst offers an amazing variety of coffee shops, restaurants and entertainment, and a very active outdoor life. Our vibrant campus, diverse community and beautiful surrounding, makes Amherst College and the Town of Amherst the perfect place to work, learn and live!
Statement of Non-Discrimination
Amherst College does not discriminate in admission, employment, or administration of its programs and activities on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, sex or gender (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity), age, disability, genetic information, military service, or any other characteristic or class protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. Amherst College complies with all state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Inquiries should be addressed to the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer , Amherst College, P.O. Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002-5000.





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Job No:
Posted: 2/14/2018
Application Due: 4/15/2018
Work Type: