Director and Chief Executive Officer
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Search for the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Director and Chief Executive Officer
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Santa Barbara, CA
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA) seeks a collaborative, dynamic partner and servant leader to serve as its next Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Director and Chief Executive Officer (Director). Working closely with staff and reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Director will expand beyond SBMA’s mission to “integrate art into the lives of people” and will use its art and resources to enrich and transform those lives, in Santa Barbara and beyond.
SBMA opened to the public in 1941 in a building that served as the Santa Barbara Post Office from 1912 to 1932. As one of the leading art museums on the West Coast, the SBMA collection comprises over 25,000 works of art spanning over 5,000 years of human creativity. The thriving institution originates exhibitions that travel to museums worldwide, hosts world-renowned exhibitions, and offers a wide array of educational and interpretive programs. The impressive collection and programming at SBMA serve a broad audience of 150,000 annual visitors.
The Director will join a dedicated team tasked with ensuring that SBMA is both an engaged central forum for the artistic and collective community of Santa Barbara, as well as a destination museum for national and global audiences. Poised for its next great chapter, SBMA recently completed an enormously successful $50M renovation of its original 1912 building under the leadership of the current Director, Larry J. Feinberg. This project improved and expanded exhibition space for the permanent collection, created new gallery space for contemporary art, photography, and new media, and enhanced the overall visit experience and flow through the Museum. This project also addressed critically important structural aspects of SBMA’s physical health; seismic retrofitting; replacement of mechanical, air handling, and climate control systems; replacement of aging roofs; improved ventilation; creation of new storage and conservation areas; and construction of a new art receiving facility and loading dock. Building upon this structure and bolstered stability, the foundation of SBMA is primed to serve as a springboard for enhanced impact and engagement.
The next Director will build on this foundation to ensure the continued financial and creative success of SBMA while building deeper connections between SBMA and the community. There is immense opportunity for continuation and expansion of educational and community programming that embraces and celebrates the deep diversity of a county and region that is 47% Latinx in addition to the full spectrum of diversity in other forms. Within this community there is great potential to engage a deeply philanthropic population that is eager to support SBMA’s invigorated path forward. Serving as an empathetic and accessible leader, the Director will also be a champion for staff at all levels and empower the full team to maximize their collaborative potential. Each of these priorities cannot be fulfilled without an abiding commitment to and thorough application of SBMA’s values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access within all functions of the Director role and stewardship of SBMA. With a commitment to world-class artistic excellence and to activating SBMA as a leading, shared resource for the rich, diverse community in Santa Barbara, the Director will guide SBMA in articulating and executing its next bold, compelling vision.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in the recruitment of the next Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Director and Chief Executive Officer. This a permanent, full-time position in Santa Barbara with a starting salary range beginning at $250,000. The position includes residence in a home owned by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, situated within walking distance from the museum in a settled neighborhood. Screening of applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: https://apptrkr.com/4078656. Electronic submission of materials is required.
Sarah James, Courtney Wilk-Mandel, Evan Layne, and Cara Meyers
1925 Century Park East, Suite 1700
Los Angeles, CA 90067
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected characteristic prohibited by applicable law.