Director of Collections

Museum Search and Reference

Honolulu, HI 96814


May 24, 2023


Apr 07, 2023

We are pleased to announce a remarkable opportunity for a dynamic and culturally-attuned museum professional to assume the strategic role of Director of Collections at the Honolulu Museum of Art (HoMA), the state of Hawai’i’s premier art museum, on the island of Oahu. The Museum occupies 3.2 acres near downtown Honolulu and includes one of the city’s iconic, historic buildings. Under the leadership of Halona Westbrook-Norton, HoMA has embarked on an ambitious new vision for its future, to transform the Museum and its larger campus, which includes the newly renovated Honolulu Museum of Art School, into an even more vital place of historic, interdisciplinary, educational, and contemporary cultural exploration for the people of the state of Hawai’i and visitors from around the world.

Background and Mission of the Honolulu Museum of Art (HoMA)
Founded in 1927 as the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Honolulu Museum of Art was reborn in 2011 when the Contemporary Museum gifted its assets and collection to the Honolulu Academy of Arts and the two merged to form the present-day museum. HoMA’s larger campus encompasses a prominent, multi-faceted art school, an independent art-house theatre, a café and a museum store. Its internationally renowned collection of more than 55,000 works of art spanning over 5,000 years represents a wide breadth of cultures and eras around the world, from the ancient past to the present day.
As the state’s only encylopedic art museum, HoMA has one of the largest single collections of Asian and Pan-Pacific art in the country, including an unrivaled collection by artists of Hawai’i. The collection also contains significant holdings in European and American paintings, sculpture and decorative arts; 19th- and 20th-century art; an extensive collection of works on paper, textiles, decorative arts; and traditional works from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Other highlights include the Samuel H. Kress Collection of Italian Renaissance paintings and the James A. Michener Collection of Japanese ukiyo-e prints. Contemporary art from around the world has an established and growing presence in the Museum’s permanent collection.
With an operating budget of $15 million and a staff of over 150, HoMA’s mission is to be “a home for art and education that exists for the benefit of the entire community, presented in a setting that promotes beauty, harmony, learning, self-awareness, and connection.” At this pivotal time in its history, and as it approaches its centennial in 2027, HoMA is prioritizing inclusivity and accessibility as it ushers in an exciting new chapter that embodies and embraces the significant socio-political and cultural shifts affecting our communities and our world.
Opportunities of the Position
In this newly conceived position, the Director of Collections will occupy an essential and influential role in charting HoMA’s strategic future. Fundamental to this role is the responsibility for the comprehensive care, preservation, and risk management of HoMA’s sizeable collections. That said, future-forward thought partnership to advance HoMA’s accessibility and engagement goals and utilize the collections in new, dynamic, and collaborative ways will also be an important part of this appointment. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer and working most closely with the Director of Curatorial Affairs, the Director of Collections will be responsible not only for the day-to-day management of the Collections Department, but also for creating greater accessibility, understanding, visibility and recognition of HoMA’s world-class holdings throughout the Museum and the wider community, working both locally and across the islands of Hawai’i.
The Director of Collections holds a top senior position alongside the Director of Curatorial Affairs who oversees three curators in the areas of Modern and Contemporary Art, Asian Art, and Textiles and Hawaiian Historic Art. This position also works collaboratively with the Director of Learning and Engagement, the Director of Campus Operations, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Advancement Officer, the Chief Communications Officer, the Director of Human Resources, and, of course, the CEO/Executive Director. The Director of Collections’ direct reports include the Registrar and the Librarian, who manages the Robert Allerton Art Library, a public resource and treasure trove with great potential. Anticipated in the future of this position is the potential to expand oversight of aspects of the Exhibitions Department as the strategic plan evolves.
Modeling a highly team-oriented and culturally perceptive leadership style, the Director of Collections will be an essential asset to the leadership team as it strives to collectively unite the Museum’s larger vision with the realization of its strategic goals. The ideal candidate will have the ability to nurture a spirit of belonging and shared decision making, steeped in an empathetic understanding and appreciation for the spirit of Aloha.

• $120,000 – $140,000 per annum (commensurate with experience).
• The position is based in Honolulu, HI.
• HoMA’s benefits package is comprehensive, including generous allowances for personal and holiday leave, in addition to excellent medical benefits.


The Director of Collections will be expected to:
• Collaborate with HoMA’s leadership team to define, refine, and implement Collections Department goals and a multi-year exhibitions schedule to align with short and long-term strategic plans.
• Provide administrative leadership for the department, including overseeing and developing policies, procedures, and best practices for collections as well as exhibitions, to ensure a high level of safety and preservation of the Museum’s collections.
• Work in close partnership with the Director of Curatorial Affairs to strategize and advance the visibility and accessibility of HoMA’s collections in museum programming across all departments, including marketing and communications.
• Develop and manage the annual collections budget, as well as long-term project budgets, and provide guidance in the management of exhibition budgets.
• Oversee the deaccessioning, ongoing digitization, and risk-management of the collections, including the facilitation of repatriation claims and negotiation of loan contracts as well as the Museum’s fine art insurance policies, ensuring the security of the collection and appropriate due diligence to professional standards and laws.
• Mentor and support the Registrar, Librarian, and associated staff and preparators, directly advising in the areas of preparation, installation, registration, cataloging, conservation, and storage management functions, working with TMS, the collections management system for the Museum.
• Promote the active involvement and visibility of the Library and Archive in exhibitions and programming initiatives.
• Actively partner with the development staff and other senior staff to advance funding initiatives and requests involving collections.
• Cultivate relationships with collectors, donors, artists, and other key stakeholders, including national curators, artists, and exhibition partners.
• Oversee major special undertakings, which may include AAM re-accreditation, capital projects, and emergency management planning.
• Approach leadership with a spirit of humility, active listening, and genuine care, while also maintaining an energetic and inspiring presence, serving as a leading role model and compelling public advocate for the Museum.

Education and Experience
• B.A. in Museum Administration, Art History, History, or related field and at least 5 years of collections management experience in a leadership role at an art museum.
• Experience developing departmental strategic plans and overseeing long-term collection and exhibition-related projects.
• Broad knowledge of best practices and professional museum standards for collections management, including policies and procedures, object display and storage, as well as database management.
• Strong organizational, communication, and team-building skills. Comfortable with delegating tasks and evaluating performance.
• Proficiency with collections management systems, preferably TMS, with knowledge of current trends in collections management technology.
• Knowledge of preservation and conservation issues and techniques and a strong familiarity with databases, online catalogues, and digitization.
• Demonstrated skills as an agile, creative, and pragmatic problem solver, both realistic and optimistic, with a natural ability to develop successful partnerships and collaborations.
• Comfort and flexibility with both strategic and detail-oriented approaches, demonstrating initiative and the ability to creatively solve issues.
• Persuasive and relatable communication and presentation skills, attuned to the culturally mixed regional audiences and communities of the state of Hawai‘i.
• A degree of personal understanding, history, or connection to Hawai‘i and/or the Pacific Islands.






Experience Level

Experienced (Non-Manager)


Visual Art

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