Mia Curator of European Paintings

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Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of European Art and Curator of European Paintings The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) believes that art—and a thriving art museum, animated with compelling stories of the human condition offering a window to the social, cultural, individual, and collective values—informs our understanding of peoples and cultures, strengthens communities, and enriches the lives of all. Mia offers its diverse audiences and communities a beautiful and accessible place to discover and explore humanity’s artistic triumphs. Mia’s work in the years ahead will inspire wonder and enhance access to its collection, fostering lifelong learning through participation in our programs. Founded in 1883, Mia is among the finest and largest encyclopedic museums in the nation. Mia’s collection includes a world-famous permanent collection of more than 90,000 objects defined by iconic works spanning approximately 5,000 years that embody the highest levels of artistic achievement. The museum consists of five curatorial areas: African Art; Arts of the Americas; Global Contemporary Art; Asian Art; European Art. Through the museum’s diverse and far-reaching collections, Mia links the past to the present, enables global conversations, facilitates cross-cultural dialogue, and fosters empathy, understanding, and exploration. The museum’s internationally acclaimed collection of European paintings comprises nearly eight hundred works dating from the fourteenth century through the twentieth. It offers a survey of the celebrated schools and individual artists that is both comprehensive and notable for its concentration of masterworks. Mia’s collection developed through varied and often delightfully unpredictable ways by a succession of astute trustees, donors, directors, and curators. The museum has rich holdings of Italian Baroque, 1600s Dutch, and Fauve, Cubist, and German Expressionist works. As Chair of European Art, the successful candidate will lead a curatorial team of four specialists who oversee European sculpture, decorative arts, textiles, works on paper as well as paintings. As such, the Chair of the European Art will be part of a curatorial leadership team that will ensure alignment of their department’s activities with the museum’s broader mission and strategic plan. He/she/they will actively foster a culture of respect and inclusion within the department and will serve as a mentor to his/her/their reports, helping them to achieve their full potential. The successful candidate will embrace Mia’s commitment to audience engagement and lifelong learning through innovative programmatic and delivery methods. He/she/they will work to engage different groups of stakeholders, including under-served and under-represented communities, to ensure a sustainable and dynamic future. In his/her/their role as departmental Chair, they will advocate for the highest standards of scholarship and investigation, reinforcing intellectual inquiry as a core tenant of Mia’s culture and output. Everyone is welcome at Mia, whether entering through the museum doors or viewing the online collection. Mia connects to its community by creating partnerships with community organizations and members to inform its curatorial approach and the development of public programs. The museum’s free general admission policy, public programs, classes for children and adults, and award-winning interactive media programs have broadened and deepened Mia’s relationships with the diverse communities the museum serves in Minneapolis and beyond.


Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of European Art and Curator of European Paintings






To lead the Department of European art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. To heighten the profile of the paintings collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Art through significant acquisitions, ambitious and intellectually rigorous exhibitions, gallery rotations, publications, and programs. To work cross-departmentally to provide input as needed regarding other contemporary acquisitions, exhibitions, and programs, as needed. To cultivate relationships with donors, professional colleagues, partner organizations and the community at large in furtherance of Mia’s strategic goals. To responsibly manage the museum’s collection of European painting, ensuring proper documentation, maintenance, display and conservation. To oversee the activities of department employees.


We at the Minneapolis Institute of Art aim to be an audience-centered, equitable and inclusive workplace where everyone is welcome. To achieve this aim, we are Mission Driven, Generous, Agile, Emotionally Aware, and Positive. We endeavor to create a workplace culture where we are responsible to one another, to our visitors, and to ourselves to do our best work.

Mia IS AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION / EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: It is the museum’s policy to hire and promote qualified people and administer all terms and conditions of employment without discrimination due to race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or other protected-class status. Mia does not discriminate on the basis of disability in admission or access to, or employment in, its programs and activities. If you are in need of a reasonable accommodation to enable you to complete the application process, please contact the Head of Human Resources. Mia FRAMEWORK FOR INCLUSION, DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND ACCESSIBILITY: Mia is committed to championing policies and practices that value diversity, foster equity, and empower an accessible and inclusive environment. Our strength lies in the diversity among the broad range of people who contribute their time and talents to Mia. We consider inclusion and accessibility a driver of institutional excellence and seek out diversity of participation, thought, and action. It is our aim, therefore, that our employees, trustees, interns, and volunteers reflect and embrace these core values.




Assume a leadership role as the Elizabeth Macmillan Chair of European Art, overseeing a curatorial team of four specialists. • Assure alignment of the department’s activities with the mission and goals of the institution. • Mentor and nurture direct reports while fostering an atmosphere of inclusion, collegiality, and collaboration. • Be an enthusiastic participant in developing innovative strategies to maximize satisfaction of staff, audiences, and community stakeholders.


Oversee the museum’s collection of European paintings: • Collaborate on planning and goal setting to ensure department goals support strategic plan goals. • Oversee prioritization of projects. • Oversee related budgets and policy/procedure development and adherence. • Oversee the establishment of standards of performance and evaluates performance to aid departments in attainment of goals. • Participate in decisions relating to selection, promotion, transfer, pay and discipline of staff. • Ensure appropriate advice, counsel and assistance is provided in the resolution of problems. • Provide work direction.


Conceptualize, organize, and execute special exhibitions that provide fresh insights and new ways of understanding human creativity. Work collaboratively with other museum staff to: • Develop thematic concept and conduct research leading to object selection. • With museum colleagues establish learning objectives and interpretive goals. • Seek out potential venues for the exhibition (should it be able to travel). • Research and invite experts to contribute intellectual capital. • With the approval of the Chief Curator and Director, solicit funds from individuals and groups.


Locate, research and recommend works of art to the Director for purchase. • Foster relationships with collectors locally and nationally, actively soliciting their help in enhancing the collection. • Communicate and maintain positive relationships with dealers. • In consultation with the Director and the Director of Advancement, solicit funds from individuals and groups.


Interpret the permanent collection through gallery rotations, special projects, general and scholarly publications, public speaking, and teaching. Oversee management of the collection on display, in special exhibitions, in storage, and on loan. Work collaboratively with members of museum staff to: • Plan installations and participate in the generation of support materials such as visitor-friendly didactic panels and labels. Rotate displays as necessary for conservation and educational reasons. • Prepare publications that will enhance the general and scholarly understanding of the collection. • Conduct research and field work that supports the interpretation of the collection. • Prepare lectures for the general public, museum support groups, and the scholarly community on issues relating to the collection. • Oversee the conservation and security of works. Utilize knowledge of aesthetic and historical significance, as well as monetary value, to prioritize care and maintenance. • Maintain files on all objects. • Review loan requests from other institutions and make recommendations about the suitability of lending based in the validity of the project, the condition of the object, and Mia’s exhibition plans.



Cultivate relationships with partners, patrons, and the general public. • Foster relationships with members of the public (artists, scholars, critics, community groups and other relevant publics), in encouraging their interest in Mia, its collections and its mission. • Serve as professional resource for members of the community, including private collectors.


Perform special projects and other related duties and responsibilities as required or assigned.


Participate in museum community as active scholar/curator in their field. Engage actively in enhancing the reputation of Mia’s collection and exhibitions locally and nationally. Maintain awareness of availability of art objects and exhibitions through active research, contact with dealers, other professionals, and collectors. Advise and cultivate prospective Mia donors. Represent Mia through participation on committees and involvement in programs that enhance the knowledge and appreciation of art.

QUALIFICATIONS: Education: Minimum of M.A., Ph.D. preferred. Skills/Experience: Required:

Minimum of ten years curatorial experience in the field of paintings and at least 5 years curatorial management experience. Strong record of research and scholarship, with proven experience organizing exhibitions and producing publications of high quality. Demonstrated skill at strategically building a collection through gifts and purchases. Strong budget, exhibitions, programs and strategic planning experience and demonstrated skills in those areas. Ability to effectively lead cross-functional teams with proven skills in working effectively and positively across functional areas within an organization. Excellent planning, organizational and project management skills. Excellent and effective written and verbal communication skills. Team player with proven ability to work effectively and positively with staff, trustees, and all other internal and external contacts. Ability to build positive and effective relationships with donors and the broader community. Proven experience supervising staff with strong department management skills.

Equipment Operated: Computer, telephone, copy machine, fax machine. Background Check Requirements:

Satisfactory criminal background check required.

SEARCH PROCESS Mia has retained Sally M. Sterling Executive Search to support the search for the Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of European Art and Curator of European Paintings. If you wish to submit your own application materials or nominate a candidate for this position, please send an email message with supporting materials to europeanmia@sallysterlingexecutivesearch.com


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