Museum directors oversee the activities in a museum, particularly the acquisition and storage of the museum's collection. They are also involved in the process of securing artifacts, including negotiations and transactions, as well as exchanging and loaning artifacts to other organizations. Some also direct exhibitions put on by the museum, which may involve traveling with the exhibition.
Museum directors often specialize in a specific area. For example, a director of a natural history museum may have comprehensive knowledge in paleontology, while other museum directors may specialize in art or specific eras of human history. Additional roles may include organizing, fundraising efforts, promotion and marketing, securing grants, and charity events, and they may also spend time undertaking institutional research or arranging educational programs in the museum.
Museum directors typically work during regular business hours in an indoor setting, but may also leave the premises when traveling with exhibitions or directing educational or promotional events, some of which may take place during weekends or nights. This work requires extensive knowledge of the specialized field, as well as expertise in management and event-planning, and their days are often spent alongside staff who work underneath them. They are typically responsible for hiring staff, as well, in a role which varies in scope depending on the size of the museum and its faculty. Most museums require their directors to hold a master's degree, while a bachelor's degree may be sufficient in some cases. The degree should be a general curator's degree or in the specialized field of the museum.
Museum Director Tasks
Plan and develop the museum's and each department's operating budget.
Act as point of contact for conservation issues and advocate for the care of the collection.
Review existing and establish new procedures and protocol for collections care and conservation.
Coordinate, lead, and oversee all activities of the museum staff and volunteers.
Coordinate with conservation staff to determine the best conservation treatment procedures and priorities.