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9 Apr 2018

Full-Time Director

American Folk Art Museum  New York, New York, United States

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Job Description


The American Folk Art Museum seeks a new Director who will join a dynamic institution with a resilient spirit and fresh sense of possibility.
The American Folk Art Museum is the premier institution devoted to the creative expressions of self-taught artists, past and present.

Since 1961 the American Folk Art Museum (“AFAM” or the “Museum”) has been shaping the understanding of art by the self-taught through its exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. As a center of scholarship and by showcasing the creativity of individuals whose singular talents have been refined through experience rather than formal artistic training, the Museum considers the historical, social, and artistic context of American culture. Its collection includes more than seven thousand artworks dating from the eighteenth century to the present, from compelling portraits and dazzling quilts to powerful works by living self-taught artists in a variety of media.

In the past seven years, since the sale of its building on 53rd Street in 2011, the Museum has committed itself to a strategy of “getting the art out there.” AFAM has made sustained progress at its well-situated Lincoln Square location with a rotating series of exhibitions. Its Collections and Education Center in Long Island City, Queens, consolidates AFAM’s art holdings, archives, library, and staff in one location for the first time. The Museum has not only continued to deliver innovative exhibitions and programs, but has also significantly expanded its programs, strengthened its fundraising and finances, and enhanced its governance with the active involvement of its Board of Trustees.

Reporting to the President of the board of Trustees, the new Director must have a strong track record of fundraising and/or the ability to build a network of funding sources, particularly individual major donors. After gaining a comprehensive overview of the Museum’s history, collections, purpose, staff, operations, exhibitions, education and public programs, and base of financial support, the Director will focus primarily on assuring the Museum’s fiscal sustainability. The Director will lead staff in a concerted effort to bolster the Museum’s marketing and public relations, and work closely with Board members and other stakeholders to increase contributed and earned revenue.

The Director will directly or indirectly supervise nearly 30 on-call, full-, and part-time staff members. S/he will partner with staff on a strategic approach to audience development and programming to appeal to wider and more diverse audiences. The Director will also become acquainted with individual Board members and understand their strengths and capabilities, partnering with them to bring forth their best ideas, efforts, resources, and contacts.

The American Folk Art Museum has retained the executive search firm of Korn Ferry to assist in the search.
Please email nominations and applications (resume/CV and cover letter) to: Naree W.S. Viner, Nonprofit Practice, at:

The American Folk Art Museum considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does it discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Job Categories: Museum and Gallery. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: arts, director, fund-raising, marketing, and museum. States: New York.

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