Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA


m/Oppenheim Associates is assisting the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in the search for an internationally experienced arts visionary to bring forth its full potential as a leader amongst encyclopedic fine arts museums worldwide. For more information please review the complete Position Description.

Counted among the top five museums in North America by membership and attendance, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco is comprised of the de Young and the Legion of Honor . FAMSF has benefited from the leadership of 3 outstanding Directors in the last 28 years who stewarded the museum through a literal seismic change, launched a rebuilt institution by driving outstanding membership figures and record-breaking attendance, and provided a strong sense of curatorial excellence and scholarship internationally.

Through this period, Trustees focused sequentially on funding and managing huge building projects, cultivating new audiences for two refreshed museums and their collections, and building a regional, national and international reputation for FAMSF. These tasks now accomplished or well underway, the Board has turned to strengthening FAMSF’s infrastructure by adopting best practices for museum management and governance. The effort is being led by Board Members Carl Pascarella (previously President & CEO of Visa USA and Visa International), and Jack Calhoun (previously Global President of Banana Republic) who were each appointed to the task by Board President Diane B. Wilsey . This team is working hard to ensure that FAMSF can be a leading example of good governance for other leading museums internationally.

Simultaneously, the Board has embarked on the search for a new Director of Museums to:

  • Drive the arts, exhibitions, education and public programming vision of the de Young and the Legion of Honor;
  • Strengthen collections, and the research and conservation thereof;
  • Collaborate with the Board to embed museum best-practices into FAMSF’s governance approach and management culture; and
  • Position FAMSF as an international leader among encyclopedic fine arts museums.

All professional staff report to the Director through department heads for: Curatorial Affairs, Advancement & Engagement, Education & Public Programs, and Human Resources. A Deputy Director with the role of Chief Operating Officer also reports to the Director, and supervises infrastructure required to operate FAMSF, including: Technology, Facilities & Operations, Communications, and Budget & Finance. This organizational structure has been designed to reflect museum best practices for like institutions, and the Board anticipates that the Director might make adjustments.

The Director is responsible for setting the highest standards of professionalism across all departments of the museum, and must be a student of, and an active contributor to, the modern museum field. She or he is expected to shape strategies with reference to the continuing evolution of the visual arts sector, and must have insight into how new media, information technology and other tools can be leveraged to engage new audiences to experience the collection and attend exhibitions and diverse museum programs. Innovative practice is particularly important to FAMSF given its place in the heart of the tech-savvy and entrepreneurial San Francisco Bay Area. The Director will chart a long-term vision for FAMSF, making the Legion of Honor and the de Young central to the cultural life of the Bay Area and a must-visit institution in the global landscape of art museums.

For additional information, or to apply please contact Mark Oppenheim or Kim Brettschneider at info [at] moppenheim [dot] com.

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