Ogunquit Museum of American Art
Ogunquit, ME

Application Deadline: September 16, 2016
No longer accepting applications

Museum veranda

Museum veranda, sculpture garden, and ocean view.

Opportunity to be Executive Director of “a gem” on the scenic coast of Maine
and to lead a healthy, growing art museum 1.3 hours north of Boston

The Ogunquit Museum of American Art seeks a museum leader with curatorial knowledge and the vision and management experience to build on recent successes and develop this beloved museum to its full potential.  Over the last seven years the Museum has doubled its operating budget and membership, and a 2013 Andrew Wyeth exhibition broke attendance records.  The Museum’s collection is renowned for works by Maine and Ogunquit art-colony artists of the 20th century, but more broadly includes American art from the late 1800s to today.  Special exhibitions spotlight both American Modernism and contemporary art.  In addition, a lushly planted sculpture garden offers dramatic views of the Atlantic Ocean near Perkins Cove.

The Board seeks an Executive Director who will spur continued growth.  The new Director should embrace the ambitious growth goals of the Board, which is an engaged, congenial group of year-round residents from Newburyport (MA) to Portland and weekend/summer residents from metro-Boston and beyond.  The support and resources exist for a creative and motivated director to achieve the Board’s goals.  A new director with vision and insight can work with the Board to update the strategic plan.  A person with energy and an outgoing personality can fully engage community stakeholders, tap into existing and new resources, and execute the vision.

OMAA building Front view

Ogunquit Museum building and front gardens


Required knowledge, experience, skills and abilities

  1. Leadership skills to guide institutional growth. Ability to develop a vision, achieve buy-in and execute the plan.
  2. Minimum of 5 years of management/supervisory experience, with the skills to motivate employees and volunteers to high levels of achievement and retention. Experience planning and executing projects.  Demonstrated organizational skills and multi-tasking abilities.
  3. Art-museum experience, connections, and knowledge of current museum standards and trends.
  4. A. in art history or B.F.A. or degree in related field. Master’s degree preferred, such as in art or arts/nonprofit administration.
  5. Curatorial background, including experience with exhibition development and installation, collections care, and producing publications. Although the Director may be hiring curatorial help, he/she must be able to oversee the core mission-related activities, maintain artistic standards, and converse knowledgably with collectors and artists.
  6. Energy and sociability to engage and expand audiences. Capacity to cultivate and steward stakeholders, board members, and donors.
  7. Good public face for the Museum. Enthusiastic, effective speaker and communicator.
  8. Understanding of museum marketing and up-to-date uses of social media and technology.
  9. Fundraising and grantwriting experience. Eager to ask for gifts and committed to meeting targets.
  10. Willingness to plan and lead a future capital campaign. Successful campaign experience advantageous.
  11. With staff and the finance committee, able to develop and monitor budgets.
  12. Team player who enjoys wearing many hats and pitching in to help with events and whatever needs to be done to create success at a small museum.
  13. Welcoming, courteous and gracious manner. Will reach out to and participate in a small but sophisticated community.  Enjoys attending events and participating in community groups such as the Chamber.

Main and two adj galleries

Main and two adjacent galleries, with view of the sea

HOW TO APPLY.  Nominations welcome.  Apply in confidence: Email cover letter, résumé (Word document preferred), salary requirement, and names of 3 references with contact information by September 16, 2016 to retained search firm: Marilyn Hoffman, Museum Search & Reference,  EOE.  References will not be contacted without prior permission of the applicant.

Marsden Hartley Still Like

Marsden Hartley, Still Life with Eel-shelf 2, c. 1917, oil.


  1. Vision and direction: Partners with the Board to shape and further the institutional mission and goals.  Maintains and enhances the Museum as an outstanding cultural destination.
  2. Staff management: Hires, supervises, motivates, and reviews the staff. Evaluates needs and could hire a curatorial/collections-management professional or retain visiting curators.
  3. Curatorial: Oversees collections and exhibitions, as well as public and educational programs.  Recommends collection policies.  Proposes, funds, and implements improvements in collections care.  Acquires art for and refines the permanent collection.  Organizes or directs the development and installation of exhibitions.
  4. Operations and museum management: Ensures the smooth operation of the Museum and its facility and grounds. Recommends HR policies and improvements in technology and infrastructure.  Works with the Building and Grounds Committee and the Board to set and implement priorities.
  5. Development: Enhances the active growth of the institution through private, corporate and grant funding. With the Board and the Development Committee, sets and meets revenue, membership, and giving targets.  Cultivates, stewards, and engages donors and stakeholders.
  6. Finances: With the Finance Committee, prepares and operates within annual and capital budgets.
  7. Marketing: Oversees promotion of the museum to increase audiences and participation. Oversees publications, website and social media.  Provides a welcoming atmosphere for visitors.
  8. Outreach: Actively engages in the community, locally and regionally. Is the face of the Museum and visible at internal and external events.  Creates new partnerships and beneficial collaborations.
  9. Planning: With the Board, develops, refines and implements the Strategic Plan. With the Board, plans and leads a capital campaign within two to four years.


Mission: “Celebrating its artistic heritage and origins in Ogunquit’s art colonies, the OMAA engages and educates a diverse audience by acquiring, preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting American art.”

History: The OMAA was founded by artist Henry Strater and opened in 1953 on an oceanfront spot that painters such as Charles Woodbury called Narrow Cove, near Perkins Cove.  Architect Charles S. Worley, Jr. designed the original museum, which has been expanded and winterized since.  The collection grew rapidly with select works by artists associated with Ogunquit’s famous art colonies and art schools of the early 20th century.

Today: The OMAA has 5 galleries and three acres of seaside sculpture gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and offering magnificent views.  The OMAA houses a permanent collection of important paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints and photographs from the late 1800s to the present and is the only museum in Maine devoted exclusively to the exhibition, preservation and interpretation of American Art.  The collection encompasses over 2,000 works and includes artists Marsden Hartley, Rockwell Kent, Walt Kuhn, Charles Burchfield, John Marin, Peggy Bacon, William and Marguerite Zorach, Jack Levine, and Will Barnett, as well as many contemporary names.  Special exhibitions range from themes drawn from the collection to single-artist and loaned shows.

The Museum is open May through October for exhibitions, while the staff works year-round.  In addition to the Director, there are 6 part-time staff, expanding to 14 in summer.  The operating budget is over $600,000.  Education programs include school tours led by docents, outreach to schools and regional organizations, an in-depth program with the Baxter School for the Deaf, Wednesday story hours for children, and the popular Totally Tuesday public talks.  The museum shop offers unique pieces by local artists and craftspeople.  OMAA is a magnet for tourists and a member of the Maine Art Museum Trail.


Ogunquit is a resort haven on the sea, with visitors and summer residents drawn from all over the US, Canada and abroad.  They come for the beaches and scenic walks – including the rigorously conserved Marginal Way — and for outdoor recreation opportunities from sailing and fishing to birding and biking; and for the renowned Ogunquit Playhouse, ‘America’s foremost summer theatre.’  Ogunquit offers many art galleries and nearby antique shops to explore.  Restaurants boast fresh seafood and Maine lobster.  Southern Maine is a friendly, safe place to raise a family and has good public school systems as well as fine private schools.  See: and

Portland, Maine, only 45 minutes away, is famous for its gourmet restaurants that attract foodies from afar, as well as for the Portland Museum of Art and the city’s historic buildings and houses and unique shops.  Portsmouth, NH, only 20 minutes to the south, offers fine restaurants, museums, and historic sites.  Boston and Logan Airport are only 80 minutes away, and New York City is about 5 hours.  See: and