Chief Curator

24 Jun 2022 7:05 AM | Anonymous member

Chief Curator


Maine Maritime Museum (MMM) is an independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to celebrating Maine’s vibrant maritime culture. Because this culture includes different backgrounds, perspectives, and voices—and because our museum welcomes visitors from around the world—our institution is firmly committed to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion.

If you believe in museums’ important role to reveal the past, to inform the present, and to shape the future, we invite you to join our team. You will join us on the beautiful banks of the Kennebec River, on a twenty-acre campus where collaboration and creativity are encouraged.


The Chief Curator, a key member of the senior leadership team, is responsible for overseeing the care and management of the museum’s artifact and archival collections, the creative leadership of its changing and permanent exhibition program, and the development of its publication program. The collections and exhibits include historic buildings and structures, including the Percy & Small Shipyard and Victorian Donnell House. The Chief Curator serves as a dynamic, passionate advocate for the museum’s mission, collection, and exhibitions.


       Leadership: Working with the Executive Director, develops a compelling, inclusive curatorial vision and sets the direction and priorities for the Curatorial Department to achieve it. Supervises and supports Curatorial staff, volunteers, and interns in accomplishing strategic projects that further the museum’s mission and vision. Ensures a deep commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in the museum’s Curatorial work. Manages department and project budgets in collaboration with the Finance Department.

       Collection Stewardship: Ensures that the collection is cataloged, stored, safeguarded, and conserved to the highest professional standard. Working with the staff Acquisition Committee, oversees all collecting decisions, including accessioning, deaccessioning (with board approval), and disposal of deaccessioned items in order to build and maintain the quality of the museum’s permanent collection relative to the museum’s mission. Ensures collection practices and policies are aligned with museum best practices and AAM accreditation standards.

       Exhibitions: Working with the Executive Director, Curatorial staff, and other departments, develops a visionary and engaging exhibition schedule. Oversees the planning, design, production, and installation of changing and permanent exhibits.

       Library & Archives: Oversees library staff and ensures the implementation of best practices and policies. Directs projects that further the accessibility and prominence of archival and photographic collections.

       Publications: Responsible for strategically developing the publications program, including serving as staff liaison with authors, publishers, and others. Carries out various editorial tasks as needed.

       Education: Provides learning opportunities about the collection and the museum’s exhibitions for volunteers and staff, plans and produces the annual maritime symposium, lectures at the museum and at other venues representing the museum, and collaborates with the Education Department on programs relating to exhibitions and collections.

       Research & Outreach: Researches the collection and shares new information regularly through publication, lectures, exhibits, and other means. Networks and collaborates with peer institutions nationally and internationally, and participates in community organizations with complementary missions and goals.

       Advancement: Identifies objects for acquisition in accordance with the Collections Development Plan. Works with the Executive Director and Advancement Department to identify, cultivate, and nurture potential donors of collections or acquisition funds; develops proposals and writes grants for funding and sponsorship of curatorial projects.

       Governance: Advises the Executive Director and Board of Trustees on Curatorial affairs—including strategic planning, policies, and facility needs—and serves on related Committees.

       Other duties and responsibilities as required.


Typical qualifications would be equivalent to:

       Master’s degree in history, maritime history, art history, American studies, material culture, museum studies, or a related field.

       At least 6 years of museum curatorial experience.

       Maritime knowledge, experience, or background—either formal or informal.

       Demonstrated success working with collections and exhibitions in innovative ways.

       Excellent oral and written communication with a track record of publication and experience in lecturing to diverse audiences.

       Strong leadership and strategic project management skills.

       Grant-writing skills, with a proven track record of successful grant applications.

       Knowledge of current museum trends in collections, exhibitions, and education.

       Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends for special events, lectures, auctions, and travel.

       Familiarity with PastPerfect Web Edition and Google Arts & Culture.



The Chief Curator position is a full-time, salaried, exempt position with full benefits. Starting salary is $65k-75k annum, commensurate with experience.


MMM is an equal opportunity employer and does not tolerate discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, age, protected genetic information, status as a parent, marital status, political affiliation, or any other basis prohibited by applicable law.


Please email a cover letter and resume to

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Maine Archives and Museums

P.O. Box 95, Portland, Maine 04112 

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