The Jacob Rothschild Head of Curatorial Department

The National Gallery with its world class collection is seeking to appoint a Head of Curatorial at an exciting time in its history given its bicentenary in 2024.

This role is responsible for leading the Curatorial Department and you will run and manage the Department in matters of staffing, strategy, planning and budgets. You will be responsible for ensuring that curatorial commitments are met, including scholarly and exhibitions-based work . You will be expected to act as an advisor to the Director and the Board on curatorial issues, through the Director of Collections and Research when appropriate.

You will have a full, relevant postgraduate qualification and will be required to demonstrate having extensive external professional experience at a senior level.  You will need to have highly developed interpersonal skills, and the ability to influence and persuade senior colleagues through personal credibility. You will be required to maintain your own area of expertise and will represent the curatorial work of the National Gallery in Britain and internationally.


Please apply directly on our website by 18 June 2023:

First degree in a directly related subject and a post-graduate qualification, having either a PhD or demonstrable equivalent research experience as defined by the Arts and Humanities Council.

• A strong record of directing and managing people, projects and financial resources, not least through periods of change/crisis
• Demonstrable breadth of knowledge of paintings in the western European tradition, c1250-1910 and an associated strong record of scholarship in a relevant field at an international standard
• Demonstrable track record of successful curatorship of an important collection of Old Master paintings
• Knowledge of the National Gallery’s status as a DCMS-sponsored institution and the national advisory roles of its specialist curatorial staff
• Evidence of the design and delivery of successful exhibitions with a strong record of curating exhibitions at an international standard
• Proven record of credibility as a leader, and the ability to supervise and shape the work of internationally recognised specialist curatorial staff; evidence of good self-management skills and emotional intelligence to deal with a many people across diverse teams, external colleagues and donors
• A strong record of operational management: ability to create appropriately ambitious yet achievable goals, ensure the department has resources appropriate to its activities
• A strong record of people management: record of making strong staffing and recruitment decisions, record of successful dealing with conflict management and day to day problem solving

• The ability to lead a large, complex team and take responsibility for own and department’s activities
• The ability to act calmly, boldly, fairly and effectively under intense pressure and multiple deadlines
• Evidence of ongoing professional and relevant academic personal development
• The ability to act as an external ambassador and advocate for the National Gallery and to develop appropriate professional contacts with colleagues in the museum, academic and artistic worlds, nationally and internationally
• An interest in innovation and appropriate change: analytical skills, overall vision; proven ability to pose important questions, initiate change, prioritize
• Ability to be creative, imaginative and think in the long-term: flexibility of mind
• Ability to act decisively and with speed to create order, find answers, solve problems: excellent time-keeping and organisational skills
• Ability to motivate and cohere teams with a related ability to build trust and respect between two individuals, teams and the organisation and external partners: qualities of honesty, transparency, active listening
• Powerful communicator and advocate to and on behalf of the curatorial department and the National Gallery internally and externally: lead by example
• Resilience, stamina, maintaining a sense of perspective

• The job holder will be required to travel regularly throughout the UK and internationally. They will be required to attend a substantial number of events outside normal working hours (i.e. receptions and private views, dinners, seminars).
• The ability to work and communicate effectively in at least one other Western European language is highly desirable.
• To value and respect colleagues and members of the public, regardless of their background, and promote a positive environment which supports equality and diversity.
• To cooperate and contribute to measures introduced by the Gallery to ensure equality of opportunity and encourage diversity.

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