Curator of Collections and Exhibitions - The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH

Now in its 98th year, The Dayton Art Institute is one of the nation’s finest mid-size art museums. It remains the Miami Valley’s only fine art museum, serving on average of more than 130,000 visitors each year, including residents from the Greater Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus metropolitan areas, as well as a five-state regional audience.  The museum is housed in one of Dayton’s best-known landmarks, an historic 1930 Italian Renaissance-inspired building overlooking downtown Dayton and the Great Miami River.  The 60,000 sq. ft. building was designed by prominent museum architect Edward B. Green of Buffalo to resemble the Villa d’Este near Rome and the Villa Farnese at Caprarola.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The museum’s encyclopedic collection is comprised of more than 26,000 objects, spanning 5,000 years of art history, with approximately 1,000 works of art on view in the permanent collection galleries.  The collection features a renowned Asian art collection, as well as noteworthy 17th-century Baroque paintings; 18th- and 19th-century American fine and decorative art; contemporary art collection; and African, Pre-Columbian and Oceanic art round-out the collections.  

In addition to its permanent collection and special exhibitions, The DAI provides a range of exceptional educational programs for guests of all ages. 

Mission:  The Dayton Art Institute is committed to enriching the community by creating meaningful experiences with art that are available to all.

Vision:  The Dayton Art Institute is the premier visual arts destination for people of all ages and backgrounds in the Dayton region and beyond.  With an internationally recognized collection, we are dedicated to collection stewardship, creative engagement, educational programming, and superior guest experiences.

The Dayton Art Institute has 72 FTEs and an operating budget of nearly $5 million.   Annual membership consists of 5,500 member households, representing more than 11,000 individuals and 114,600 visited the museum in 2016.


The Dayton Art Institute will be celebrating its Centennial in 2019 and the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions will have the opportunity to present the collection in new and exciting ways.  A key initiative in the museum’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan is to refresh, reinstall, and reinterpret the permanent collection galleries to reflect major strengths of the collection.  While the reinstallation has begun, the Curator of Collections and Exhibitions will be able to work closely with the curatorial and education staff to affect the outcome.  The Curator of Collections and Exhibitions will be expected to enhance the regional and national reputation of the museum by creating exhibitions related to the museum's collections, both traveling and in-house, temporary exhibitions.   S/he will have the opportunity to explore ways to expand the museum's commitment to collecting and exhibiting art, while continuing to pursue collection growth in areas of existing strength.  Staff in the department include the Kettering Assistant Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Kettering Postdoctoral Curatorial Assistant in Asian Art, Registrar, Chief Preparator/Exhibition Designer, Assistant Preparator and Museum Technicians. 

S/he should be an innovative thinker who is able to perform well in a dynamic work environment and passionate about being a member of a team that is developing new art initiatives that engage diverse audiences.   S/he should be an enthusiastic individual with an engaging personality, able to communicate sensitively and effectively to diverse audiences, fostering goodwill among the museum's many members and guests.  S/he should be comfortable working with board members, donors, media contacts, and the city's social, business and civic leaders.


The Curator of Collections and Exhibitions reports to the Director and CEO and is a key member of the senior leadership team.  Specific responsibilities include:  

• Developing and overseeing the safekeeping of the museum’s diverse art collections.

• Creating significant exhibitions and publications, such as Centennial publication and revised permanent collections catalogue, that enhance understanding of and appreciation for art. 

• Cultivating donors, developing and monitoring project budgets, contributing to and monitoring grants.  

• Acting as a general art resource to the institution and the community, as well as and a liaison between the curatorial department and other departments within the museum. 

• Working with the education department to create public programs that engage multiple audiences.

• Setting and maintaining high professional standards for the museum in creating all of its exhibitions and in managing its collections.

• Working with Board committees to manage the museum’s collections.

• Fostering collaboration and building relationships in the broader community.


The ideal candidate should have: 

• Master's degree in art history or a related field; Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) preferred. 

• 7-10 years of progressively responsible experience in a curatorial position in an art museum or in the field, with a demonstrated record of accomplishment, and/or considerable experience in developing and presenting exhibitions of works of art and managing collections.

• Specialization in European and/or American Art; European Art from the 15th to 20th-centuries preferred.

• Demonstrated senior level experience in a small-to medium-size art museum. 

• Demonstrated leadership and management skills with an emphasis on fiscal management and project management; budget oversight and team leadership. 

• Exemplary written communication skills.  Adept at writing in a variety of voices and styles; eagle eye editor and proofreader. 

• Excellent project management skills.  Able to plan and organize multiple projects, prioritize duties, meet deadlines and work effectively both as part of a team and independently. 

• Knowledge of professional museum standards, including collection management, art handling and preventative conservation practices. 

• Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, electronic mail, and calendar software applications.  Familiarity with collections databases (TMS) a plus. 

• Comfortable with technology, including use of social media, mobile devices and other relevant media.


The Dayton Art Institute offers a competitive salary and benefit package.


The preferred start date is no later than fall 2017.


Applicants should submit a current CV, a letter of application stating their interest in the position and their experience as it relates to the responsibilities and qualifications described above, as well as the names and contact information for three references.  Initial screening of candidates will be conducted by Diane Frankel of Management Consultants for the Arts, the executive search firm working with The Dayton Art Institute.  Recommendations for candidates are also welcome.

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Subject line:      DAI Search

The Dayton Art Institute is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or disability.

Last modified on Thursday, 25 May 2017 09:35