Director of Exhibitions

Job ID
# of Openings Remaining
Full-Time Regular
EPO Exhibitions Department


The Director of Exhibitions is responsible for overseeing the strategy, planning, physical control, logistics and ongoing care of the Library’s exhibits. The Director develops and executes a strategic and innovative plan for exhibitions featuring the comprehensive collections in the Library. The position is also responsible for managing staff, activities and budget, as well as general oversight for ensuring that departmental goals support the Library’s missions and cultural growth.

Principal Responsibilities

Reporting to the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Research Libraries, the Director of Exhibitions:

  • Develops and executes a strategic and innovative plan for exhibitions using collections in the Library
  • Leads the planning, development, design, and installation of all in-house and externally organized exhibitions
  • Works with NYPL leadership team to plan for the integration of programs across all areas
  • Works closely and collaboratively with staff to ensure that NYPL standards are met, including the quality of content, exhibit maintenance and staff professionalism
  • Works closely with Development department to strategize and secure private funds for exhibitions as needed
  • Focuses on collaboration techniques with LPA and Schomburg to promote artistic synergy. Partners with the Marketing, Communications and Public Programs areas to plan and market exhibits and special collections
  • Oversees an exhibitions calendar including several major exhibitions per season/year and recommendations for appropriate public programs to work in conjunction with the exhibitions
  • Reviews and negotiates all exhibition-related contracts, ensuring fulfillment of contractual obligations
  • Manages staff, key vendors, and contracted personnel including consulting curators, lighting designers, graphic designers, art installers, etc
  • Collaborates with Facilities department to develop policies and procedures for exhibition activities.
  • Manages budgets, schedules, facility integration, vendors, partners and team members as relating to daily operations, exhibitions and special projects
  • Manages various outside partnerships to develop and/or enhance content, exhibits and programming

Managerial/ Supervisory Responsibilities

Position oversees an Exhibitions team which includes a combination of 17 regular and seasonal temp/hourly staff (i.e., Assistant Director, Installation Coordinator, Curatorial Associate, Research Assistants, Art Handlers and Preparators).

Key Competencies

  • Accountability and Professionalism
  • Customer Service
  • Collaboration and Teamwork
  • Job-Specific Knowledge and Skills
  • Leadership and Management
  • Performance Management and Development

Minimum Qualifications

  • MLS or advanced degree from an accredited college or university and 7 years relevant experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Must include 5 years’ experience managing exhibitions
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, and meet deadlines
  • Strong budget administration skills
  • Knowledge of standard loan and registration practices
  • Proven organizational skills, with strong ability to set priorities, manage multiple tasks, work independently, interact with the public and high-level individuals and work collaboratively with diverse constituencies

Preferred Qualifications

  • The ideal candidate will have 5 or more years’ prior experience managing exhibitions in a library or comparable cultural environment, possessing a demonstrated background as a persuasive and dynamic leader, with a passion for design, the arts and a discerning eye for acquisitions
  • A proven ability in developing teams, and experience advocating publicly for the value of culture is highly preferred

Work Environment

  • Research Library setting

Physical Duties

  • The employee may occasionally be required to lift and/or move items in excess of 20 pounds

Union / Non Union

Non Union


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