Manager of Exhibitions


Dumbarton Oaks is a Harvard research institute, museum, library, and historic garden in Washington, D.C. The institute supports research and learning internationally in Byzantine, Garden and Landscape, and Pre-Columbian studies. The museum is renowned for its world-class Byzantine and Pre-Columbian collections, as well as for its select works of European art. Online catalogues of our coin, seal, and textile collections are currently in preparation.

The museum engages local and Harvard communities, as well as scholars and visitors from all over the world, through exhibitions, gallery talks, and class visits. Over the past half decade, we have expanded opening hours and outreach to students and the public. The museum also offers innovative fellowships and internships from the undergraduate to the post-doctoral levels. Dumbarton Oaks is a vibrant home of the humanities with an overarching mission of communicating the value of culture and advanced research to the broadest possible public. The museum is an important part within this whole.

The museum team seeks a creative and experienced Manager of Exhibitions to lead the collaborative exhibition design process. The successful applicant will work closely with the Museum Director and the Curators to develop and maintain a long-term schedule that will deliver one or two annual temporary exhibitions as well as permanent collection rotations.


Duties and Responsibilities

  • Works closely with the Museum Director and the curatorial team on development. Develops project timelines and oversees all phases of exhibition planning and execution. Manages the exhibition schedule and coordinates with other stakeholders, including Facilities, Security, Communications, Events, and Public Programming. Organizes regular exhibition meetings to discuss layout and installation development with curatorial team and other stakeholders.
  • Manages exhibition graphic design from concept development to installation finalization. Develops or coordinates execution of all gallery graphics and digital media installations.
  • Manages bidding and delivery of outsourced exhibition tasks, including contractors.
  • Prepares accurate drawings-to-scale and models; maintains facility floor plans; regularly reviews layouts with key staff at all stages of design development.
  • Supervises the Exhibit Technician; oversees and contributes to exhibition construction, mount-making, installation and de-installation.
  • Prepares and monitors exhibition budgets.
  • Manages inventory of exhibition supplies.
  • Collaborates with Communications, Publications, and Events well in advance of exhibitions to help promote them and to develop appropriate interpretive material. Contributes to docent training about new exhibitions.
  • Coordinates long-term projects, such as creating new manuals, organizing existing materials, and establishing protocols for archiving exhibitions.
  • Collaborates with museum team and other departments on planning and implementing museum-focused public programs.

Supervisory Responsibilities

Supervises the Museum Exhibit Technician. May supervise summer interns or post-graduate fellows.



Basic Qualifications

  • A. degree in design history, art history, Museum Studies or equivalent.
  • Minimum five years of museum and exhibition management experience.
  • Two to three years of supervisory experience.
  • Computer proficiency (Office suite, as well as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch Up); experience with Mac; working knowledge of database management software (Filemaker Pro, Excel).
  • Knowledge of standard museum practices.

Additional Qualifications

  • Superior organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to handle and prioritize multiple projects, work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to act with initiative, resourcefulness, flexibility, and discretion.

Physical Demands

  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs

 Hours: Full-time, 35 hours per week

To Apply

The position remains open until filled. Please forward résumé and cover letter detailing relevant qualifications by clicking the link below.

Dumbarton Oaks is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).