Appointment of Director, Agnes Etherington Art Centre


Queen’s University
Appointment of Director, Agnes Etherington Art Centre

Queen’s University, and Agnes Etherington Art Centre, are situated on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory.

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University is now seeking a new Director who will articulate a bold and dynamic vision that leverages the Agnes’ impressive strengths, collections, and successes through an exciting stage of transformational growth.

The Agnes is a research‐intensive art museum located on the historic campus of Queen’s University, Canada. As a space of display, innovation and ideas, the Agnes promotes experiential learning, collaboration, and multi- and interdisciplinary inquiry, while serving diverse audiences across Canada, the world, and within the city of Kingston. The Agnes brings together the artistic traditions of the past and the cutting edge innovations of the present through year-round programs of exhibitions and outreach activities, while leading major research initiatives, including with national and international partners.

With nine exhibition galleries, the André Biéler Studio to facilitate research creation and art education, and assorted public spaces, including the period rooms of the historic Etherington House, the Agnes is home to a range of diverse collections numbering over 17,000 works. Collection strengths include international contemporary art, Canadian historical and modern art, Indigenous art and global ethnographical collections, and the Canadian Historical Dress collection. The Bader Collection, focused on Rembrandt and his school, encompasses more than 200 paintings, including four paintings by Rembrandt. The Bader Collection is among the most important university collections of sixteenth and seventeenth art in North America, and central to the Agnes’ mandate.

Reporting to the Deputy Provost and working closely with internal and external stakeholders, the new Director will be responsible for driving the next stage of growth for the Agnes. Thanks to a major financial commitment from a private source, this includes a new facility worthy of the Agnes collections, which will extend the art museum’s contributions to its communities and the global reach and presence of the Agnes’ programs.

The Director will work proactively to engage diverse communities in order to help advance the university’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusivity, as well as support university-wide strategic planning goals as found in the Strategic Framework, Strategic Research Plan, Comprehensive International Plan, and other key documents. Through the Agnes’ active publishing program, artist’s residencies, and digital initiatives, and by seeking new partnerships and resources outside the University, the Director will strengthen the Agnes’ educational and academic mission. The Director will work collaboratively with varied undergraduate and graduate academic units, including but not limited to the Department of Art History and Art Conservation, Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies, Cultural Studies, as well as other units on campus such as Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, and many student-led groups.

A forward-looking Director with a successful track record of leadership and management at an arts institution is sought to articulate a compelling overall artistic and operational vision for the Agnes, including the strategic growth and care of collections and archives, curatorial, research, and program strategies, advancement planning, and outreach activities to strengthen the gallery’s long-term sustainability and international profile.

A successful Director is able to not only encourage teamwork, but also promote and encourage individual initiative and actions that further the Agnes’ mission to be an accessible space of encounter with visual art, artists, and diverse communities. As the voice and advocate for the Agnes, the Director will interact with faculty and administrators across the university and play a highly visible ambassadorial role to represent the positive profile and reputation of the gallery in Kingston, across Canada, and internationally. The Director must have an active fundraising and entrepreneurial spirit, to secure donor relations and pursue public and private grants. With a sophisticated awareness of current and emerging art museum practices, and demonstrated capacity for innovation, the Director will shape and implement a vision that furthers the mission and mandate of the Agnes, as well as fulfilling the central priorities and academic mission of Queen’s University through meaningful campus-wide and public engagement. They will serve as a thought-leader within and beyond the University, with a sophisticated knowledge of visual art, its histories and critical discourse, as well as an awareness of current art museum trends and issues. The new Director will be an effective communicator, team-builder, and decision-maker, with a demonstrated capacity for collaboration, change leadership, and budgetary management.

Diversity within the Queen’s community is critical to the University’s excellence, its educational and academic enrichment, and its cultural and social strength. We are proactively seeking, and strongly encouraging, applications from those individuals who would contribute to the further diversification of our university including, but not limited to: women; visible minorities; Indigenous peoples; persons with disabilities; and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority.

Queen’s is partnering with the executive search firm Perrett Laver in this appointment process. For further information and details on how to apply, please download the Appointment Details via the Perrett Laver website by visiting and quoting reference 4346. Applications should consist of a cover letter and curriculum vitae. The closing date for applications is noon Eastern Time on Friday, November 29, 2019 and the Committee will begin considering candidates in mid-December.

The University will provide support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant’s accessibility needs. If you require accommodation during the interview process.

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