Profession museum director

Museum directors oversee the management of the art collections, artefacts, and exposition facilities. They secure and sell works of art on the one hand, and strive to preserve and maintain the art collection of a museum on the other hand. Moreover, they also manage finances, employees, and marketing efforts of the museum.

Would you like to know what kind of career and professions suit you best? Take our free Holland code career test and find out.

Personality Type

  • Enterprising / Conventional

Knowledge

  • Art collections

    The variety of paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and other works that form collections in a museum and prospective new collections which are of interest for a museum or art gallery.

  • Museum databases

    The tools and processes involved in working with museum databases.

  • Art history

    The history of art and artists, the artistic trends throughout centuries and their contemporary evolutions.

  • Art-historical values

    The historical and artistic values implied in examples of one's branch of art.

Skills

  • Liaise with managers

    Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.

  • Maintain museum records

    Keep museum records current and in conformity with museum standards.

  • Implement risk management for works of art

    A registrar determines risk factors to an art collection and mitigates them. Risk factors for artworks include vandalism, theft, pests, emergencies, and natural disasters. It is the responsibility of a registrar to develop and implement strategies to minimise these risks.

  • Liaise with shareholders

    Communicate and serve as communication point with shareholders in order to provide an overview on their investments, returns, and long-term plans of the company to increase profitability.

  • Liaise with colleagues

    Liaise with fellow colleagues to ensure common understanding on work related affairs and agree on the necessary compromises the parties might need to face. Negotiate compromises between parties as to ensure that work in general run efficiently towards the achievement of the objectives.

  • Liaise with educational institutions

    Communication and cooperation for the supply of study materials (e.g. books) to educational institutions.

  • Maintain catalogue collection

    Describe, inventorise and catalogue items in the collection.

  • Advise on art handling

    Advise and instruct other museum professionals and technicians on how to manipulate, move, store and present artifacts, according to their physical characteristics.

  • Manage budgets

    Conduct cost estimates and budget planning. Monitor the budget, as well as costs and expenses. Forecast the budget development continuously. Report on the budget.

  • Handle art

    Work directly with objects in museums and art galleries, in coordination with other museum professionals, to ensure that artworks are safely handled, packed, stored and cared for.

  • Plan art educational activities

    Plan and implement artistic facilities, performance, venues and museum-related educational activities and events.

  • Sell art

    Secure and sell pieces of art in different markets. Negotiate prices, liaise with art dealers, and prevent from acquiring counterfeit art pieces.

  • Advise on loans of art work for exhibitions

    Working together with curators and museum collection managers, a registrar evaluates the condition of art objects for exhibition or loan purposes. The registrar also decides whether or not an artwork is able to withstand the stresses of travel or exposition.

  • Manage staff

    Manage employees and subordinates, working in a team or individually, to maximise their performance and contribution. Schedule their work and activities, give instructions, motivate and direct the workers to meet the company objectives. Monitor and measure how an employee undertakes their responsibilities and how well these activities are executed. Identify areas for improvement and make suggestions to achieve this. Lead a group of people to help them achieve goals and maintain an effective working relationship among staff.

  • Supervise art gallery staff

    Supervise the activities and performance of art gallery employees

  • Document museum collection

    Registrars are concerned with documentation and record keeping of museum collections. Documentation includes information about an object's condition, provenance, materials, and all of its movements within the museum or out on loan.

  • Monitor museum environment

    Monitor and document environmental conditions in a museum, in storage as well as exhibition facilities. Make sure an adapted and stable climate is guaranteed.

Optional knowledge and skills

evaluate cultural venue visitor needs classical antiquity marketing management advertise an art collection collaborate in the development of marketing strategies manage rented goods returns public relations analyse packaging requirements perform fundraising activities ensure special requirements for goods in storage investigation research methods store goods marketing principles manage fundraising activities manage artworks' installation in the gallery coordinate marketing plan actions paleontology history develop classification systems conduct scholarly research

Common job titles

  • Exhibitions administrator
  • Director, operations & logistics
  • John and jill freidenrich director
  • Program director
  • Director, membership & industry relations
  • Program director accelerated teacher cert pgm
  • Exhibition programs administrator
  • Museum and cultural affairs director
  • Executive director of development
  • Executive director