Employment TypeJob (Full-time)
Leadership (Executive Director, President/CEO)
Bayou Bend, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s house museum for American decorative arts, seeks a highly motivated Director to grow its audience and patronage. Located in the historic River Oaks neighborhood just minutes from the MFAH’s main campus, this 14-acre oasis is the former home of Houstonian Ima Hogg (1882-1975), a prominent civic leader, philanthropist, and collector who donated her house and collection to the museum in 1957. The collection of furnishings, ceramics, silver, and paintings that Hogg amassed—a collection which the MFAH has continued to build—comprises one of the world’s foremost collections of American decorative arts and furniture created between 1620–1876. With 28 period rooms, the museum is an exceptional repository of American and Texan heritage. The house is surrounded by expansive gardens that offer visitors serene walks and provide a venue for a robust set of outdoor programs, events, and seasonal parties.
The incoming Director will be Bayou Bend’s third director in sixty years and will manage an annual budget of $4.5 million, a staff of 18 and a loyal docent corps of more than 200. The new Director will honor Bayou Bend’s traditions while exploring ways to update the house museum experience. Central to making the collection and programs relevant to a twenty-first-century audience is establishing new points of contact between the public and Bayou Bend by developing programming, partnerships, and collaborations funded by new contributions from donors. The MFAH seeks a Director who will be that rare blend of someone eager to create new visitor experiences and gifted at energizing donors to support these activities.
The Director will bring vision and professional management skills and excel in inspiring and developing staff, docents, and community stakeholders. The Director will work closely with the director of the MFAH, Gary Tinterow, and his leadership team and staff to help Bayou Bend leverage the MFAH’s resources and expertise.
The Bayou Bend Director will report to Mr. Tinterow, and liaise closely with the CFO, COO, and CDO of the MFAH to accomplish the broader mission at Bayou Bend. The new Director will, in addition, oversee relations with the Bayou Bend Sub-Committee, a group of trustees and community leaders, and the Bayou Bend Docent Organization, as well as the River Oaks Garden Club, which supports the maintenance of the gardens.
There are few places like Bayou Bend in America: it is a house museum with a superb collection, with a founder whose story is deeply connected to the history of its community, and is attached to one of the country’s most dynamic art museums. For a director with vision, Bayou Bend offers a platform for ground-breaking interpretation and stewardship of cultural heritage, at a site that is both nationally recognized and well-loved by its local community.
Salary range $160,000 – $180,000, as commensurate with experience. The MFAH offers attractive health insurance and pension benefits.
Equal Opportunities for All
The MFAH believes that diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusivity are fundamental to the organization. We welcome all candidates whose experience has prepared them to contribute to the organization and our pledge for workplace diversity, inclusion, and excellence.
The Museum’s commitment to their policy and practice of nondiscrimination represents more than good intentions. It provides for employment decisions that are made without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, or veteran status, or any other protected characteristic as established by law or any other reason unrelated to your ability to join and contribute to our organization and support our mission to provide a museum experience for all.
Research shows that women and individuals from under-represented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that an applicant meets 100% of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if much of this job description describes you, then you are highly encouraged to apply for this role.
The MFAH is equally committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals interested in employment with the organization. As part of this commitment, we want to ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation needed to 1) participate in the job application or 2) interview process; 3) perform essential job functions; and/or 4) participate in the benefits and privileges of employment with the MFAH. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact SearchandRef@museum-search.com.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, offers an excellent benefits package that includes:
• Medical Insurance: Employee and dependent coverage through a choice of managed health care programs
• Dental Insurance: Employee and dependent coverage through two plan choices
• Vision Insurance: Employee and dependent coverage through a vision program
• Group health, dental and vision insurance coverage available and effective the first of the month following employment with the MFAH for this role.
• Life Insurance & AD&D: Employee coverage at no cost to the employee
• Long Term Disability: Employee coverage at no cost to the employee
The MFAH provides a generous schedule for time off under the following benefit categories:
• Paid Time Off – Used for absences from work such as vacation, illness of short duration, and personal reasons. Hours are accrued biweekly, based on employment status, length of service, and hours worked
• Reserve Time Off – Used for extended illnesses. Staff members accrue up to 6 days per year, up to a maximum of 120 days
• Holidays – Full-time staff members receive ten paid holidays per year
• Volunteer Time Off – The MFAH supports activities that enhance and serve the communities in which we live and work. Staff members receive up to 40 hours of paid time off annually to give back and volunteer.
• Staff may contribute to the MFAH Retirement Savings Plan. Eligible staff contributing to the plan may receive up to a 5% matching contribution from the MFAH after one year of service. (The Museum will also recognize prior nonprofit service which will provide for an accelerated employer match!)
• MFAH Membership – Staff receive a free Family-level membership
• Discounts – Staff receive discounts on purchases at the Museum shop and all on campus eateries and courses for you or your family at the Glassell School of Art.
• Metro commuter subsidy available upon request
Duties & Responsibilities
Finance and Fundraising
• The Director’s primary responsibility will be to operate the site as a self-sustaining financial operation, raising funds and increasing the donor base to ensure the site’s financial sustainability.
• Work with the Bayou Bend Sub-Committee, the Bayou Bend Docent Organization, the River Oaks Garden Club, and other stakeholders to cultivate existing and new relationships with donors, sponsors, foundations, and local businesses to secure funding for the Bayou Bend’s operations, educational initiatives, programs, and acquisitions.
Vision and Leadership
• Provide thoughtful and dynamic leadership that engages and inspires stakeholders and staff, enhances the visitor experience for a diversity of audiences, and continues to amplify the museum’s role in the community.
• Bring fresh ideas and a vision for the future of Bayou Bend and develop operational plans to realize that vision.
• Oversee development of an interpretive plan for Bayou Bend’s collections, gardens and house that focuses on the unique features of Bayou Bend and that integrates with MFAH’s broader interpretation and engagement goals.
• Enthusiastically and successfully align Bayou Bend’s various interest groups and stakeholders, building consensus and fostering an atmosphere of enthusiasm, excitement, and cooperation around new institutional initiatives.
• With MFAH leadership, build and extend the reputation of Bayou Bend locally, regionally, and nationally.
• Recruit, hire, train, manage and mentor staff; promote and reward excellence and collegiality; provide ongoing support and guidance to maintain a motivated and dedicated team.
• With MFAH staff support, review and develop audience and engagement metrics that can inform new program and event opportunities at Bayou Bend.
• Supervise the maintenance and development of the gardens, working with MFAH and appropriate stakeholders to update the Master Plan and to set long-term programmatic goals.
• Develop and oversee several key annual community and fundraising events, including Christmas Village and Bayou Bend’s Spring Weekend donor events.
• Ensure Bayou Bend’s collections and assets are properly maintained, stored, preserved, and exhibited and that effective collection policies are in place.
Education and Experience
• At least eight years of professional experience in increasing roles of responsibility at a museum or cultural nonprofit and at least five years in a director position or, if at a large institution, a deputy or senior leadership position.
• Strong leadership and organizational skills and a track record of successfully hiring, developing and mentoring staff.
• A record of fundraising success that includes cultivating relationships with private donors, foundations, and other funding sources, and raising money for endowment and operations.
• Experience working with a substantial volunteer or docent group preferred.
• Demonstrated experience growing an institution’s financial base and visitorship.
• Bachelor’s or graduate degree in a discipline related to one of Bayou Bend’s areas of operation, or equivalent experience. Knowledge and passion for decorative arts, American art, architectural history, garden design or similar subject areas is a plus.
• Excellent financial management skills and demonstrated success with operational budgeting and reporting, multi-stream revenue development and long-term financial planning.
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to engage with visitors, donors, docents and community members effectively.
• An understanding of and ever-present commitment to diversity, accessibility, and inclusion.
• An outgoing personality who enjoys regularly being out in public and at events, representing the museum in a wide variety of situations.
• Ability to multitask, prioritize, and adapt to changing situations.
• A thought leader; someone intellectually curious, deeply interested in the connections between art and culture and how those are manifested in a museum experience.
• A person that enthusiastically enjoys fundraising and is comfortable fostering relationships and participating in social events with donors in a variety of settings.
• An articulate and dynamic manager with proven success in developing cooperative and effective relationships with stakeholders, donors, and staff.
• Experience with change management.
HOW TO APPLY
To apply in confidence, please email: 1) Cover letter expressing interest in this position, giving brief examples of past experiences and salary requirements, 2) Resumé or curriculum vitae, 3) Names and contact information of at least three references and your professional relationship, to Connie Rosemont, Senior Search Consultant, Museum Search & Reference at: SearchandRef@museum-search.com by September 8, 2023. References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant. Nominations are welcome.