Museum Section Head II (Assoc. Dir. of Exhibits)

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Date:  May 25, 2023

Springfield, IL, US, 62704

Job Requisition ID:  26693

Agency:  Department of Natural Resources 

Posting Requisition Number:  12-00-26693
Closing Date/Time:  06/15/2023 
Salary:  $5,500 - $7,000 per month 
Job Type:  Salaried Full Time 
County:  Sangamon 
Number of Vacancies:  1 
Plan/BU:  Merit Comp (Non-Code)


****************A RESUME IS REQUIRED FOR THIS JOB POSTING****************

Please attach a DETAILED Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV) to the MY DOCUMENTS section of your application.

You WILL NOT be considered for the position if you attach a CMS100, CMS100b or any other document that is not a Resume or CV.

Position Overview

The Illinois State Museum seeks an energetic, creative, collaborative, and organized individual for its Associate Director of Exhibits position who manages the budget, planning and implementation of special exhibitions and collection-based installations at the ISM and affiliated sites.  The Associate Director of Exhibits (Museum Section Head II), under general direction of the Museum's Director of Interpretation, works largely at his/her own discretion in the project management aspects of budgeting, planning, developing, fabricating, installing, and de-installing exhibits at the Illinois State Museum and it's affiliated sites.  This position leads the Museum's exhibits planning team, whose work involves planning and developing concepts, purpose, audience, content, and format of presentations for interpretive programs featuring the diverse and dynamic history, art, science, and people of Illinois.  Guides interdisciplinary team of content experts, educators, designers, and producers in creation of content-rich, interactive and object-based exhibitions and digital gallery experiences. 


This position will creatively integrate Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) principles into future exhibit planning for enhanced visitor experience. Short-, mid-, and long-term goals will be set and regularly assessed for the development and implementation of temporary and permanent exhibitions, gallery upgrades, and peripheral experiences.


Each staff member is expected to create work that is visible to the residents of Illinois; work in a team environment across geographic locations and disciplines; perform at a level that reflects national standards and best practices of an accredited museum; follow all relevant state and federal laws; and abide by professional museum ethics.


Participates in and/or has a leadership role in state, national and/or international professional organizations; and performs at a level that brings, state, national and/or international recognition to the ISM.


Staff are encouraged to promote the activities of the Illinois State Museum Society (a not-for-profit membership organization chartered independently but recognized in the state statutes to support the research and educational programs of the Illinois state Museum).

Job Responsibilities

  1. Assess current museum exhibits and advance short-, mid-, and long-term plans for development of temporary and permanent exhibitions, gallery upgrades, and peripheral experiences.
  2. Determine resources needed for exhibit projects, review and approve requests for exhibit-related services and supplies, assist fiscal manager with procurement bid specifications; and monitor the expenditure budget.
  3. Assign and review the work of the exhibits staff and any other museum staff, volunteers, or outside contractors that assist with various aspects of exhibit projects.
  4. Complete performance evaluations for subordinate museum staff.
  5. Oversee and coordinate the fabrication and maintenance of museum exhibits (which includes construction or repair of exhibit components, and production of graphics and signage.) and assist as needed.
  6. Oversee and coordinate state-wide exhibition calendar to manage complex deadlines for the planning, design, installation, and de-installation of exhibits.
  7. Develop annual budget projections and submit to museum administration for approval; develop budgets for singular exhibit projects; provide relevant reports on exhibit implementation processes and progress; assist with seeking out external grant funding and managing funds in respective program area.
  8. Occasionally travel locally, regionally, or statewide to participate in exhibit construction, exhibit installation/deinstallation, professional development, or general operational needs of the work site; may be requested to consult, advise, or present information on exhibits and exhibit techniques to museum professionals, students, and the public.
  9. Other duties as assigned which are in the scope of work outlined above.

Minimum Qualifications

  1. A Bachelors in a relevant discipline for this position (such as, but not limited to graphic design, 3D design, spatial design, industrial design, interior design, architecture, museum studies, visual communications, art history, anthropology, history) and ten (10) years of administrative experience with exhibition programs in a museum or comparable setting -- OR -- Twenty (20) years of relevant administrative work.  (M.F.A., M.A., or M.S. is preferred)
  2. Requires a demonstrated record of attracting and/or administering program funds.
  3. Requires working knowledge and experience supervising and evaluating performance of subordinates.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Prefers elementary knowledge of museum disciplines (art, history, anthropology, and natural sciences).
  2. Prefers extensive knowledge of procedures, practices, materials, tools, and equipment used in designing and preparing museum exhibits.
  3. Prefers extensive knowledge of procedures, practices, materials, tools, and equipment used in constructing and installing museum exhibits.
  4. Prefers candidates that have held leadership roles in professional societies relevant to disciplines for this position.
  5. Prefers candidates that have demonstrated a strong record of accomplishments that contribute to national stature for disciplines relevant to this position. 
  6. Prefers working knowledge of proper handling and exhibiting methods for museum specimens or artifacts.
  7. Prefers working knowledge of project management methodology to deliver exhibits on time and within budget.

Employment Conditions

All applicants must be able to meet the following Conditions of Employment, with or without reasonable accommodation, to be considered for this position:

  1. Ability to pass background check.
  2. Possession of a valid Drivers License.
  3. Candidates will be required to submit a portfolio of work prior to the Interview stage.

Agency Statement

Charged with preserving, protecting, and promoting Illinois’ natural resources, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) employees oversee water, wildlife, wetlands and oil wells, parks, historic sites – and everything in between. Employment opportunities vary greatly, often providing employees the chance to work indoors and out in a dynamic yet relaxed environment. Working for the State of Illinois, IDNR employees receive excellent benefits, including health, vision and dental insurance; a retirement plan and deferred compensation options; state holidays and other time off; as well as pre-tax benefit programs.


The Illinois State Museum (ISM) is a division of IDNR and is a system of museums and galleries serving the people of Illinois.  The mission of ISM (accredited by the American Alliance of Museums) is to promote discovery, lifelong learning, and stewardship of the natural and cultural heritage of Illinois.  It strives to integrate its original research and diverse collections to advance knowledge and create thought-provoking exhibitions and educational programs and resources. The Illinois State Museum is committed to creating an inclusive workplace that is mindful of community stories and lived experiences.

Work Hours:  Mon-Fri 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, 1 hr. lunch (Sat/Sun off) 
Work Location: Illinois State Museum, 502 S. Spring St Springfield, IL 62706 
Agency Contact: 

IDNR Human Resources

Phone:  217-785-5387

Job Family: Arts, Design & Cultural 



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Nearest Major Market: Springfield