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Chief Curator & Creative Director

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Posted: 09/16/2016

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.

Chief Curator & Creative Director
Professional Opportunity
New Canaan, CT
Open Until

Job Summary

The Chief Curator & Creative Director of the Philip Johnson Glass House will serve as a visionary leader for the next phase of programmatic development of this historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, located in New Canaan, CT.

The Chief Curator & Creative Director directs a small full-time professional staff assisted by a corps of highly educated and trained educators, and reports to the Executive Director of The Glass House. The Chief Curator & Creative Director collaborates with other Glass House management members including the Deputy Director, Director of Communications, the Visitor Center/Design Store Manager and Senior Manager of Buildings and Grounds. The Chief Curator & Creative Director also has the opportunity to interface frequently with senior management in the National Trust Historic Sites Department, as well as peers at National Trust Historic Sites across the country.


The Glass House campus is a 49 acre National Historic Landmark that contains 14 structures reflecting the ever changing work of the noted architect who used the site for fifty years to experiment with the relationship between art, architecture and landscape. The Glass House Chief Curator & Creative Director must demonstrate a level of knowledge and enthusiasm in each of these fields. It is the Chief Curator & Creative Directors responsibility to ensure that these remarkable assets are used creatively and effectively to engage and inform the public about the legacy of Philip Johnson and David Whitney, and the work of the National Trust. 


Raise the profile of the Glass House to reach new audiences

As the leader of the curatorial staff, the Chief Curator & Creative Director will continue to implement the vision of the Glass House as a place of creativity, experimentation, and dialogue through innovative and dynamic programming and partnerships. The Chief Curator & Creative Director will work to strengthen the ties between the Glass House and appropriate constituencies in the arts, architecture and educational communities.

Work toward a transformative visitor experience with new programs and partnerships locally, nationally and internationally

The Chief Curator & Creative Director will supervise and work with the Manager of Interpretation and Education to create meaningful experiences to ensure that visitors become even more engaged and committed supporters of the site over time. This will require creating and implementing inspiring work plans for the financially sustainable, entrepreneurial use and interpretation of the site. Connecting with the public through the nexus of the arts, culture, and historic preservation will be essential.

The Chief Curator & Creative Director manages the design and development of mission-based programming, including site tours, guest lecturer series, and a broad range of artistic installations. The Chief Curator & Creative Director will also develop and implement an artists-in-residence program for the Glass House.

Direct staff  

The Chief Curator & Creative Director is responsible for providing authoritative personnel management, offering timely and consistent guidance and performance feedback, encouraging professional development, and fostering an entrepreneurial team approach to all operations.

The Chief Curator & Creative Director will manage Glass House Curators, Collections Manager and the Manager of Interpretation and Education to meet the goals of the position.



  •  At least 10 years of professional level experience, including at least 3 years experience with budgeting, staffing, supervising professionals and leading teams to generate high quality results.
  •  At least 3 years of experience managing large, cross-functional projects and teams, including related experience in visitor education, visitor experience and program creation in an arts & cultural setting. Familiarity with and professional connections in fields of Modernism, architecture, design, and the work of Philip Johnson preferred. Demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit evidenced by comfort with a fluid, dynamic workplace that may involve utilization/lending of staff to/from other parts of the National Trust.
  •  Demonstrated understanding and commitment to the values and mission of the National Trust.
  •  Advanced analytical and problem solving skills, including issue identification and prioritization.
  •  Advanced project-management, team-management and client-management skills. Ability to achieve results with limited supervision.
  •  Proven ability to collaborate across divisions to implement processes and achieve results. Track record of building and maintaining productive relationships with multiple stakeholders.
  •  Ability to prioritize, multi-task efficiently and respond to a high volume of ongoing requests in a timely fashion.
  •  Experience supervising professional staff, as well as successfully managing key internal and external stakeholders and relationships.
  •  Effective and inspiring team leadership skills, with a commitment to diversity, demonstrated by success in managing a varied staff with wide-ranging skill  sets, as well as success in marketing to and engaging culturally diverse audiences and partners.
  •  Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including strong public speaking skills.
  •  Proven ability to continually develop skills related to use of rapidly changing technology and communications best practices. Advanced knowledge of the Microsoft suite of software required. Familiarity with other software, including databases, a plus.
  •  Regular and reliable attendance required, with ability to attend meetings and participate in community events outside of regular business hours.
  •  B.A. degree (or equivalent years of experience) required. Masters degree or equivalent experience preferred; in non-profit management, architecture, art/art history, historic preservation, or equivalent from an accredited institution is a plus.

How to apply
Please email cover letter and resume to 416128-CS-1121@nthp.hrmdirect.com

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