Frederic Remington Art Museum
Ogdensburg, New York
Opportunity to be Executive Director of a vibrant and growing art museum in the scenic St. Lawrence River Valley located 2 hours north of Syracuse, NY and 1 hour south of the Canadian capital of Ottawa, Ontario. Candidates unfamiliar with the Museum or the region will find useful information at the end of this job description.
The Frederic Remington Art Museum seeks a museum leader with the vision, skill, and management experience to build on the Museum’s growth in the last several years. Following a strategic plan initiated in 2016, the Museum has refreshed its programs and some of its facilities to achieve significant growth in audience, budget, and support. With its unparalleled collection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures by Frederic Remington, a highly motivated Board and staff, and excellent customer service, the Museum provides strong resources with which an incoming leader can chart new directions in pursuit of the Museum’s mission.
The Board of Trustees seeks an Executive Director who will secure the Museum’s progress and spur continued growth. The Board, an engaged group of individuals participating in a committee system, works strategically with the Executive Director and staff to achieve objectives outlined in the strategic plan. A new Executive Director with energy, vision, and insight will work with the Board of Trustees to develop a new strategic plan that will fully engage community stakeholders, tap into existing and new resources, and execute their vision.
- A minimum of a four-year degree from an accredited four-year institution.
- Minimum of eight years of progressive leadership, development, planning, and operations experience in the arts/culture sector. Experience planning and executing projects. Demonstrated organizational skills and multitasking abilities.
- Leadership skills to guide institutional growth.
- Ability to develop a vision, achieve buy-in, and execute plans.
- A record of assisting with or accomplishing successful fundraising, including soliciting major gifts, overseeing events, and grant writing.
- Demonstrated skill at financial management; ability to shape and adhere to a budget.
- Ability to successfully plan, lead, and complete the public phase of a current capital campaign. Proven campaign experience is desirable.
- Knowledge of the art museum field, with connections in the art world and awareness of currently successful approaches. Appreciation of Remington’s work and the scope, significance, and potential of the collection.
- The ability to oversee exhibition development and installation, collections care, and producing publications. The Director must be able to manage core mission-related activities.
- Understanding of marketing and up-to-date uses of social media and technology.
- Highly motivated with the ability to encourage high levels of achievement and retention in employees and volunteers.
- Authentic, energetic, and engaging personality, with the ability to inspire and empower others. Skills to cultivate and steward a diverse group of stakeholders.
- Welcoming, courteous, and gracious manner, at ease with people of diverse backgrounds. Enjoy attending events and participating in community/regional arts, tourism, and development groups.
- Enthusiastic, effective speaker and communicator, who will provide a high level of visibility for the Museum, representing its mission and values to internal and external audiences.
- Inspiring, attentive leader willing to share information and delegate decision-making appropriately. A good listener and appreciative of diverse perspectives.
- Be a team player who is willing to assist with events and whatever needs to be done to create success at a small museum.
HOW TO APPLY: Visit www.fredericremington.org and click the “Director Search” tab. Nominations welcome. Apply in confidence. References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant. Review of applications will begin on June 1, 2020, and will continue until the position is filled. The Frederic Remington Art Museum is an equal opportunity employer.
JOB DESCRIPTION --PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES
- Development and finance. Obtain the financial resources necessary to achieve the Museum’s vision through private, corporate, governmental, and grant funding. With direction from the Board and Development Committee, set and meet targets for revenue, membership, and giving. Cultivate donors and maintain and expand financial relationships. With the Finance Committee, prepare and operate within annual and capital budgets. Seek out new sources of revenue through creative programs, earned income, and active pursuit of public and private grants. Participate in Remington Foundation meetings. Undertake proactive advocacy for the Museum.
- Operations: Ensure the smooth operation of the Museum. Work with the Building and Grounds Committee and the Board to set and implement facilities priorities. Maintain excellence in the security and maintenance of facilities. Recommend to the Board improvements in technology and infrastructure. Use up-to-date technology to improve operational efficiency, enhance programming, and advance development efforts. Oversee of Museum reaccreditation (next due in 2023).
- Human resources: Hire, develop, supervise, motivate, and review the staff. Evaluate organizational needs and structure staff accordingly. With the Personnel Committee, review and recommend HR policies.
- Education and curation: With the Collections committee and curator, recommend potential acquisitions and deaccessions. Provide curatorial oversight and direction, and pursue loan opportunities with other art museums. Ensure that Museum programs are innovative, inclusive, and of the highest quality, reaching new and diverse audiences. Evaluate the impact and sustainability of current programs; establish priorities, processes, and resources for new program development.
- Marketing and communications: With the Marketing Committee, oversee promotion of the Museum to increase audiences, participation, and support. Manage publications, website, and social media. Provide a welcoming atmosphere for visitors. Actively engage local, regional, national, and international audiences. Create new partnerships and beneficial collaborations.
- Vision and direction. Work with the Board of Trustees to shape and further the institutional mission and goals of the Museum with a current strategic plan. Maintain and enhance the Museum as an outstanding cultural destination.
- The Executive Director will take the helm of a Museum that has been refreshed in the past eight years with facility upgrades, exciting programs and exhibition content, and growing participation. The Executive Director will be able to build on this momentum and shape the future with their vision, including the preparation of a new strategic plan.
- The Board is dedicated to the Museum, with talents and expertise in a variety of areas.
- Currently, there is a small base of enthusiastic volunteers with potential for expansion with the development of a more robust training program.
- Establishment of the Pontiac Club as a means to revive and establish a new relationship with former significant donors, Remington collectors, and new Museum supporters.
- A growing membership base that is ready for deeper engagement.
- Regional colleges and universities as partners in Museum endeavors.
- A new permanent exhibit devoted to American sculptor and Ogdensburg native Sally James Farnham.
- An approaching 100th Anniversary celebration of the Museum in 2023.
- Connections with other museums and arts organizations in the region and nationally that can be further developed.
- The Museum staff (6 FT, 12 PT) is talented and dedicated, working as an effective team.
- A major digitization project is underway with the aim of making the Museum’s collection accessible to audiences worldwide.
- The Frederic Remington Art Museum is a small museum with big ambitions. Leading it requires dedication and long hours. Growth must be undertaken sustainably.
- Although the budget is balanced, the Museum has limited financial resources. Broadening the donor base and earned income sources is essential for future success.
- The Executive Director has many responsibilities. It is challenging to apportion time and energy accordingly and strong organizational skills are essential.
- The Museum is in the quiet phase of a $2M Centennial Capital Campaign with approximately 25% of the goal having been raised. A successful campaign is essential to provide funds for upgrades critical to the Museum’s future.
- A small staff bears many responsibilities. The Director must be creative in finding and stretching resources to keep them appropriately compensated. Allocating time and resources for professional development is necessary. Finding funding to hire additional personnel in key areas will be necessary for growth.
- The transition from a working to a strategic Board is largely complete. There is further work to be done to define and maintain appropriate roles for Board, committee members, and staff.
- The large majority of the collection is on loan from the Ogdensburg Public Library pursuant to a long-term loan agreement. This creates a unique relationship with the City of Ogdensburg and with the Ogdensburg Public Library.
- Management of construction projects projected for the near future, specifically, roof replacement on the Parish Mansion and the complete renovation of the Eva Caten Remington Educational Center, as funding permits.
$70,000 — $100,000 annual compensation. Salary is commensurate with experience. Competitive benefits package.
Expected start: October 2020
More about the Frederic Remington Art Museum
Mission: The Frederic Remington Art Museum expands and deepens appreciation and understanding of Remington’s work by engaging contemporary audiences and keeping his legacy relevant.
When Frederic Remington’s wife Eva died in 1918, she bequeathed the majority of her estate to the Ogdensburg Public Library with the intention that a memorial collection be established to promote the legacy of her husband’s life and work. The Frederic Remington Art Memorial opened in 1923, and today, as the Frederic Remington Art Museum, continues that project of promoting the significance of Remington’s contributions to American art and culture.
The Museum houses the world’s largest collection of original paintings, drawings, sketches, and sculptures by Remington, in addition to a broad array of his photographs, personal effects, and correspondence. It encompasses the full range of Remington’s artistic vision and process, from preliminary sketches to completed works, with everything in between. This collection represents an essential resource for researchers, educators, curators, artists, and the general public interested in the life and work of Frederic Remington and the artistic and historical milieu in which he worked. The collection is rich in its holdings of Remington’s non-Western art, making the Museum particularly well-suited to present Remington as more than a Western artist. The Museum also houses a significant collection of artwork by sculptor Sally James Farnham, and will open a new, permanent exhibition of her work in July 2020.
The Remington serves as an anchor for cultural tourism and an asset and partner to other educational entities and organizations in Northern New York. But its audiences are found far beyond its home location, including art enthusiasts, experts, collectors, students, curators, and educators worldwide.
The Museum provides year-round educational programs for children, teens, adults, and families in the North Country. Area educators frequently make use of the Museum and its collection to deepen their students’ educational experience, and visitors to the Museum (which is free for residents of the City of Ogdensburg) receive helpful suggestions from docents and activity guides to make their visit an enriching learning experience. The Museum’s Eva Caten Remington Education Center is home to our children’s museum, Kid’s Place, that features dynamic interactive exhibits and a variety of games, puzzles, and artistic opportunities created expressly for children of different ages and abilities. Kid’s Place is always free to children and their caregivers.The Education Center also partners with the Ogdensburg Youth Garden Club to provide interactive learning gardens on the grounds of the Center. A large classroom provides excellent space for hands-on classes, workshops, open studio times, and an after-school art club.
The board and staff of the Frederic Remington Art Museum undertook comprehensive strategic planning in 2016. The plan outlines a series of objectives and concrete action steps that will guide the Museum in the years leading up to the celebration of its Centennial in 2023. The most general of these objectives can be summarized as follows:
- Redefine Remington, his work and his legacy for 21st century audiences
- Be a valuable cultural asset to Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County, the North Country, and eastern Ontario
- Build the Museum’s audience and constituency locally, regionally, nationally and internationally
- Develop the financial and professional capacity and physical infrastructure to implement this plan
Budget and Funding Sources
The annual operating budget for the Frederic Remington Art Museum is approximately $800,000 - $1M. The sources of funding for the Museum are: philanthropic giving (32.6%); earned income (29%); government income (17.2%); Museum admissions and memberships (13%); and investment income (8.2%).
The Museum campus comprises three adjacent historic buildings. These are: the Parish Mansion and Newell Wing, which house the Museum and galleries; 311 Washington Street, which contains administrative offices, meeting space, and public events space; and the Eva Caten Remington Education Center, which includes interactive galleries for children, a classroom, a guest suite, and offices.
About Ogdensburg and the North County The City of Ogdensburg is located in upstate New York along the southern shore of the beautiful St. Lawrence River, directly across from the Canadian town of Prescott, ON. The Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge conveniently connects the two countries. The City of Ogdensburg is in close proximity to local universities and colleges including St. Lawrence University, Clarkson University, SUNY Canton, and SUNY Potsdam. Located within a 120 mile radius are the cities of Ottawa, Montreal, and Syracuse, and a total population of 7.1 million people. The region offers a diverse geography from the scenic St. Lawrence River (including the Thousand Islands) to the Adirondack region, affording recreation enthusiasts and their families opportunities for outdoor adventure. The region is also notable for a large contingent of seasonal residents.