Job: Inaugural Director, Emilio Ambasz Institute, New York

The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Inaugural Director of the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and the Natural Environment

The mission of the newly established Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and the Natural Environment at the Museum of Modern Art is to promote the exploration and study of creative approaches to design at all scales of the built environment – buildings, cities, landscapes, and objects – with an emphasis on understanding their joint relationship to their natural environment. Through research and a variety of programs, including public lectures, conferences and symposia, and their digital equivalents, the Institute’s objective is to be a globally leading think tank furthering the understanding of the interaction between architecture and ecology.

The Museum seeks a Director of the Emilio Ambasz Institute who will also serve as a Curator, joining the curatorial team in the Museum’s Department of Architecture and Design, and reporting directly to the department’s Phillip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design.

As the inaugural Director of the newly established Institute, the successful candidate develops, leads, and implements the Institute’s manifold research initiatives through a range of programs, including exhibitions, public lectures, conferences and symposia, seminars, and publications on a variety of digital platforms. The Institute intends to address a diverse, global audience through a multitude of digital channels and offerings, and hence the Director should be particularly interested in developing innovative programs for digital outreach. Specific responsibilities include curatorial leadership of exhibition programs, including an inaugural exhibition on the emergence of green architecture (scheduled for 2023); fiduciary oversight of the Institute, including all annual financial reporting on the Institute’s use of funds; active contribution to the conversation and programs of the Department of Architecture and Design; collaboration with Museum departments and initiatives focused on ecology and sustainability; and partnership with external entities dedicated to ecological restoration and justice. The Director will be supported in the role by an administrative assistant, who will be hired by the successful candidate upon arrival at the Museum.

Additionally, within the scope of curatorial responsibilities, the Director will help to develop a strategy for the collection and future acquisitions that deal with sustainability.

Candidate Specifications:

  • Extensive record of academic and curatorial experience. Minimum educational requirements: Master’s degree in architecture or environmental studies or equivalent.
  • Ability to adopt an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating concepts and methodologies from a variety of disciplines, including visual, urban, and environmental studies.
  • Experience curating contemporary architecture in a museum, gallery setting or a comparable institutional setting.
  • Thought leader in, demonstrated commitment to, and knowledge of issues related to sustainability and ecological design, with an active role in shaping the current discourse around related social issues.
  • Possesses a strong international network of individuals and organizations who are currently active in the field.
  • Ability to lead people, with supervisory experience and demonstrated project management skills.
  • Exhibits a style which is diplomatic, extroverted, sophisticated, and demonstrates an ability to work with colleagues as well as trustees.
  • Proven ability both to initiate independent projects and work collaboratively, with the understanding that the work of the Institute is an integral part of the Department of Architecture and Design. Ability to work closely with the Chief Curator to collectively develop strategic priorities for the Institute and has the ability to take direction.
  • Innovative, independent thinker with a strong ability to develop and implement intellectual contents into tangible form.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, along with effective presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated research capabilities.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Skills in digital publishing and ability to develop innovative formats on digital platforms.
  • Unquestioned integrity that the organization and employees can trust without reservation.

The complete job listing including a list of major responsibilities and criteria for success can be accessed here.

Applicants should submit a statement of interest, current CV, and three references by no later than 22 January 2021. Please include salary requirements in your cover letter.

To apply, please follow the link on the job description web page.

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