Head of Exhibitions and Collection Management - NYUAD Art Gallery (Fixed Term for 3 years)

Job Number

Position Summary

UAE Nationals are encouraged to apply

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) seeks to appoint a Head of Exhibitions and Collection Management reporting directly to the Galleries Executive Director and Chief Curator.

This senior management position directs multiple units in care of art and exhibition-production work flows to ensure care for and presentation of art at NYUAD. The role requires demonstrated knowledge of museum best-practice and exhibition project management.

This position directs the overall functioning of multiple teams, and will lead on bringing them into alignment with mission-driven momentum.

Areas the role oversees include: Exhibition Design and Production (designers, construction crews, facilities and electrical), Registrarial (risk management for fine art, specialized logistics, legal liaison), and art preparation (art installers, conservators, lighting designers). This oversight extends across campus, from the Main Gallery (a non-collecting museum) to the Project Space (a gallery for cross-disciplinary experimentation and emerging artists) to the Campus Collection, and includes the Christo Award (for emerging artists) and other exhibitions or art care requirements as they develop.

The ideal candidate will have a background in collection management and registrarial work, as well as a strong track record with managing production schedules across departments, and a working knowledge of the expertise needed for handling particular kinds of art, lighting, and installation.

The HECM reports to the Executive Director of The NYUAD Art Galleries department. This is a three-year limited-term contract with possibility to renew. 

The exhibition program at the gallery is, by design, varied in region, period, and style. It requires that the HECM bring to the role a broad and flexible “toolbox” for producing art exhibitions from different regions and periods of history (from ancient to contemporary), across all media, from interactive digital installation to delicate, centuries-old textile.

Key Responsibilities:

Directing Exhibition Production

Lead and align the following teams and units, as detailed below:

  • Exhibition Design and Production
    • Team includes: designers, construction crews, facilities and electrical 
  • Registrarial team
    • risk management for fine art, specialized logistics, legal liaison, condition reporting, conservation
  • Art preparation
    • Team includes: art installers, conservators, lighting designers

Provide comprehensive oversight of exhibition delivery, ensuring excellence in execution. Accountable for the following steps:

  • Work with the curator to assess the requirements for exhibition’s production
  • Generate the scope of work specific to each production, and ensure its delivery on schedule
  • Generate plan for necessary contract hires specific to each exhibition
  • Build a schedule to ensure alignment across departments where they intersect with the exhibition’s production (education, publications, production, events programming), in service of the overall vision, across departments
  • Track the deliverables to ensure quality control of multiple teams involved in each stage of exhibition production and delivery

Art Registration and Risk Management

Oversee contract registrars and retain conservators as needed, to ensure compliance with Fine Arts Insurance requirements and museum best practices, including:

  • Generate, track, and archive relevant documents and records related to this area, or ensure this is done by an appropriate party
  • Assess where specialized consulting Registrar or Conservator expertise is required, and ensure delivery.
  • When needed, execute any other registrar duties, such as:
    • Generate exhibition agreements in collaboration with head of Business Operations
    • Lead on the consistent care and upkeep of the campus art collection, including scheduling and enabling delivery of preventative conservation
    • Ensure the Collection Management System is kept up to date with loans and collection details
    • Ensure all staff adheres to best practice around art handling and care
    • Oversee installs and de-installs to ensure care for the art
    • Organize logistics or ensure logistics are organized, for exhibition shipping and install
    • Conduct condition reports

Directing care and presentation of art across multiple campus venues

Care of collection, and of the spaces that present art:

  • Main Gallery (a non-collecting museum) - Ensuring it maintains climate and security protocols
    • Work closely with Public Safety and Facilities to ensure protocols are appropriate to each exhibition. 
  • Project Space (a gallery for experimentation and emerging artists) - Direct schedules and faculty collaboration efforts across disciplines collaboration.
  • Track and ensure delivery of the Christo Award (for emerging artists).
  • Schedule and ensure high-quality delivery of care for art collection on campus, including:
    • 2 major site-specific installations
    • A collection of painting and photography
  • Make possible other exhibitions or art care requirements as they develop around campus
  • Advise the Campus Art Committee on exhibition and acquisition proposals

Required Education:

  • BA in related field
  • Training in exhibition production

Preferred Education:

  • MA in Arts Administration
  • Project Management (including SCRUM and Agile methods)

Required Experience:

  • 5+ years relevant exhibition production-related experience with exposure to museum standard practice (such as Registrarial, Preparator/Art Technician, exhibition project management)
  • Working knowledge of Registrarial and Art Preparation
  • Demonstrated capacity for highly organized management, and for managing multiple tasks; highly detail-oriented; excellent communication skills, both electronic and in person
  • Track record of managing healthy teams in an exhibition-making context
  • Demonstrated ability to interact with multiple constituencies, including internal and external to NYUAD
  • Excellent communication skills across teams
  • Effective techniques for generating schedules and communicating
  • Museum best-practices
  • Ability to teach and mentor, to pass the knowledge base to emerging peers, scholars, and students

Preferred Experience:

  • Experience with exhibitions across different media, and in areas outside Europe and North America
  • Work on exhibitions across different subject matter and periods
  • Managing staff and interns and playing a mentorship role in their career trajectories
  • Professional fluency in a language other than English

Other Information

NYU Abu Dhabi is a degree-granting research university with a fully integrated liberal arts and science undergraduate program in the Arts, Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Engineering. NYU Abu Dhabi, NYU New York, and NYU Shanghai, form the backbone of NYU’s global network university, an interconnected network of portal campuses and academic centers across six continents that enable seamless international mobility of students and faculty in their pursuit of academic and scholarly activity. This global university represents a transformative shift in higher education, one in which the intellectual and creative endeavors of academia are shaped and examined through an international and multicultural perspective. As a major intellectual hub at the crossroads of the Arab world, NYUAD serves as a center for scholarly thought, advanced research, knowledge creation, and sharing, through its academic, research, and creative activities.