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New York, USA
Head of design
at Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art is looking for a head of design to join its team in New York, USA.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art collects, studies, conserves and presents significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The museum lives in three iconic sites in New York City – The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters. Since it was founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the museum’s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.

About the department

As the museum aligns its work toward a single vision – to create the most dynamic and inspiring art museum in the world – the design department shapes and gives form to the many museum visitor experiences and communicates the museum’s scholarship, programming, and priorities through the creation of a consistent, compelling voice of the highest aesthetic quality and impact.

The design department is made up of two integrated, multi-disciplinary teams; exhibition design and communication design. The exhibition design team conceives and maintains the design of exhibitions, installations, and permanent gallery displays, collaborating with curatorial departments, conservation, exhibitions, buildings, and the digital department, among others. This team is comprised of exhibition designers, graphic designers, lighting designers, production artists, and producers. The communication design team establishes and manages the strong visual identity that distinguishes the Metropolitan Museum of Art experience, actively collaborating with external affairs (marketing), digital, education, membership, and development, among others. It designs and produces a wide range of printed materials used throughout the museum and externally. This team is comprised of graphic designers and producers.

General statement of responsibilities and duties

The Metropolitan Museum of Art seeks a proven leader to closely partner and collaborates with the director to ensure the successful implementation of design strategies across the museum. The head of design will also work closely with and report to the deputy director for exhibitions.

The role of head of design is complex and collaborative, ideal for a highly experienced individual ready to assume a multifaceted leadership platform to champion and elevate design within one of the most highly regarded cultural institutions in the world. The head of design will proactively engage with curators and provide the creative eye to develop vibrant and innovative visitor experiences.

With the insight, intelligence, and grace required to navigate complex content and competing resources, as well as time-honed abilities to collaborate with multiple stakeholders, the head of design will work within the museum’s creative and scholarly culture to champion the highest quality design and visual impact across the museum and realize the director’s overarching vision.

Primary responsibilities and duties:

  • continue to elevate design at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and invigorate it with vision, new ideas, high standards of excellence, and gravitas
  • building on a strong foundation, continue to develop and refine processes and promote alignment in the Metropolitan Museum of Art design, spanning exhibition design, wayfinding, graphics (including exhibition graphic identities, visual systems, and museum-wide ephemera), lighting, and production
  • attract, mentor, nurture and retain talent while empowering the design department and its cohesive design culture
  • advocate and promote holistic thinking about design, establishing strong collaborative relationships with curators, administrators, and other departments such as external affairs, exhibitions, buildings, membership, development, education, and digital
  • inspire impeccable craft and functionality for the creative presentation of ideas and messages
  • continue to develop and support project management on both the exhibition design team and the communication design team to create reliable efficiencies, manage resources and schedules, facilitate communication, and deliver excellent results
  • continue to forward and realize the audience engagement strategy, visual identity, and experience design guidelines in all museum products, putting visitor experience at the centre of all collaborative working processes
  • identify and manage creative resources as needed for collaborations and outside partnerships, including external design resources
  • other duties as assigned

Experience and skills:

  • ten-plus years of in-depth experience. Progressive responsibility within highly complex, dynamic environments, preferably within a museum context
  • strong professional contemporary design background evidenced by a recognized and distinguished body of work in a range of contexts; experience with branding, exhibitions, and digital platforms strongly preferred
  • proven success building and leading award-winning, multi-disciplinary creative teams
  • collaborative and inclusive work style with the ability to mandate and implement decisions
  • executive’s capacity for multi-tasking, project management and presentation to multiple constituencies, with the ability to acknowledge constraints
  • substantial experience managing large-scale projects, of a high volume and pace, within specified budgets
  • humble and self-reflective while provoking thought and pushing the comfort of convention
  • excellent communication skills, interpersonal dexterity, approachability, and diplomacy
  • deep engagement with history and culture from a global perspective together with active knowledge of current design strategies
  • highest standards of personal and professional integrity
  • interest in and experience with the promotion and realization of sustainable design strategies

Knowledge and education:

  • an advanced degree, preferably from a well-respected design program
  • intellectual rigour, creative passion, sophistication, and taste
  • broad technical knowledge across the department’s multiple disciplines, including experience with brand strategy

To submit your application, please click the ‘apply’ button below.

  • Applications have closed.