British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Job: Head of Collections and Exhibitions, Bradford

The National Media Museum’s diverse collections encompass some of the most significant and historically important cultural, scientific and aesthetic material in the world. As Head of Collections and Exhibitions for the National Media Museum, you will play a prominent role in creating an internationally acclaimed programme of exhibitions and events, supported by collections of genuine significance to our cultural history. Substantial senior management experience in a large cultural organisation is essential with a proven track record of delivering world-class exhibitions of varying sizes, budgets and complexity and of managing the development of significant museum collections.

Central to your success will be your ability to build strong working relationships within the museum, understanding our strategic priorities and shaping a robust, imaginative and visitor-focused future plan. This is very much an opportunity to inspire rejuvenation at every level, exploring opportunities to improve how we operate in core areas: how we care for and develop collections, how we improve visitor access, learning and engagement, how we enhance the content of our exhibitions and our research programme. You will have a specific responsibility for bringing together the curatorial and exhibitions teams, uniting skill sets to create a rich public programme that will build new audiences and increase access to the collections.

Award winning, visionary and truly unique, The National Media Museum primarily embraces photography, film and television. Part of the Science Museum Group family of museums, it aims to engage, inspire and educate through comprehensive collections, innovative education programmes and a powerful yet sensitive approach to contemporary issues.

The Science Museum Group is devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media. Consisting of the Science Museum (, Museum of Science and Industry ( (Manchester), National Media Museum (, National Railway Museum ( (York), and National Railway Museum ( (Shildon) we have five million visitors each year, making us the most significant group of museums of science and innovation worldwide.

Level: Management
Contract: Permanent
Hours: Full Time
Salary: £41,605

Purpose of the Job

To work with the Head of Museum to deliver a rejuvenated National Media Museum, with improved care and access to the collections and an internationally significant programme of exhibitions and events. The post-holder has specific responsibility for bringing together the curatorial and exhibitions teams to deliver care of the collections of the standard of a national museum and a rich public programme that will build new audiences and improve opportunities for learning and engagement

Key Deliverables/Accountabilities

1.                  To deliver the collections information and content required for a rejuvenated NationalMediaMuseum with effective programming, excellent access to the collections and a robust, fundable future plan

2.                  Responsible for the delivery of innovative, audience focused exhibitions and programmes for the NationalMediaMuseum and for Media Space (working with colleagues in the ScienceMuseum)

3.                  Responsible for developing and delivering the successful matrix management of all cultural outputs in the NationalMediaMuseum

4.                  To define and deliver a programme of cultural change that modernises working practices in the Collections and Exhibitions teams in line with the standards and expectations of a national museum in the Science Museum Group, to ensure the delivery of high quality outputs

5.                  Responsible for managing relationships across departments in the Museum and ensuring appropriate collaborative working to deliver the required outputs and increase visitor figures

6.                  Work with the Head of Museum to deliver a robust, imaginative and visitor focused future plan for the collections, programme and estate of theNationalMediaMuseum, and support the development of sponsorship proposals

7.                  Responsible for developing and delivering (with others) the content for the Museum’s future plan

8.                  To represent the NationalMediaMuseum and Science Museum Group (SMG) externally where appropriate, e.g. on professional groups and in dealings with stakeholders (such as DCMS) and partners (such as the Royal Photographic Society, the Getty Institute) ensuring positive relationships and enhancement of the museum reputation

9.                  Define and deliver a strategy to build, enhance and refine the National Media Collections to ensure they are of international significance, including acquisition and disposal against agreed strategy, policy and business activity

10.              Define and deliver improved public and scholarly access to the Museum’s collections, appropriate research outputs and an increase in awareness of the significance of the Museum’s collections nationally and internationally

11.              Define and deliver excellent standards of research-driven exhibitions to the Media Space exhibition programme in London and Bradford

12.              Work with the Head of Collections at the ScienceMuseum to ensure the appropriate development of all collections and collecting policies in line with Science Museum Group standards, ensure the application of all SMG collection and documentation standards

13.              Take care of your personal health and safety and that of others and report any health and safety concerns.  Ensure proactive compliance with Science Museum Group H&S Policies, including risk assessments and implementing safe systems of work


Working Relationships and Contacts

  • Head of NationalMediaMuseum – all cultural products, cultural change programme, local and national relationships, future plan for the Museum
  • Deputy Director Science Museum – relationship between NationalMediaMuseum, Media Space
  • Senior Manager of Exhibitions – direct report
  • Curators of: Photography, Photographic Technologies, Broadcast and Film – direct reports
  • Regular contact with staff at all levels across the NationalMediaMuseum and Science Museum Group, including collating information and ensuring effective communication
  • Regular contact with external stakeholders e.g. DCMS, government departments, senior academics, major sponsors and supporters – effective, timely liaison to ensure the reputation of the Museum is maintained and enhanced by high quality, effective information flow
  • Regular contact with peer organisations and partners


Line Management and Budget Responsibility

Directly line manages:            up to 6

Indirectly line manages:          up to 20

Contractors/freelancers:         up to 10

Budget Holder of up to £1,000,000


Candidate Profile


  • Substantial experience in a senior management role of a large cultural organisation (preferably a museum) with strong understanding of the complexities, politics and strategic priorities
  • A proven record of leading the creation and delivery of successful innovative exhibitions and programmes of varying sizes, budgets and complexity
  • A proven record of working with museum collections to deliver public access to the collections and enable scholarly research
  • A proven record of delivering cultural change in a museum environment
  • A proven record of successful matrix management to deliver complex cultural products
  • A demonstrable understanding of delivering audience focused products to high standards
  • A demonstrable understanding of 3D and 2D design and their successful application to exhibitions, galleries, print and new media
  • Experience of representing an organisation nationally and internationally, using appropriate presentation techniques to ensure clear, accurate delivery of information internally and externally
  • Proven track record of liaising with a wide range of colleagues, building and maintaining effective working relationships including with senior managers and external stakeholders
  • Proven track record of working successfully with fund raising and development to ensure that programmes are funded
  • Experience of establishing relationships and working collaboratively with national and international organisations desirable
  • Experience of planning and prioritising work to ensure it is delivered to a high quality and on time, drawing on an appropriate range of systems and techniques


Skills, Knowledge and Relevant Qualifications

  • Strong knowledge of the history, current practice and cultural significance of the subject areas of the NationalMediaMuseum
  • Strong knowledge of museum collections, programmes and governance, or experience of a related sector
  • Strong knowledge of audience planning and development in the cultural sector
  • Educated to degree level or equivalent level of attainment
  • Proven ability to manage budgets of up to £3,000,000 in the delivery of cultural products
  • Proven ability to work effectively on more than one project simultaneously, managing different programmes to achieve high quality results
  • Proven ability to obtain, analyse and use information for effective reporting and decision-making
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with others internal and external to the organisation, influencing to ensure appropriate commitment to the desired objectives
  • Ability to deal with diversity, ambiguity and multi-tasking
  • Strong communication, reporting, facilitation, negotiating and influencing skills
  • High standard of written and spoken business English – concise, accurate, appropriate to purpose
  • Strong working knowledge of standard ICT application, including MS word, Outlook, Excel. Ideally knowledge of internet/intranet systems, databases and project management systems



  • Team Working: actively participates sensitively and flexibly as a team member
  • Achieving Results: takes initiative and ownership to deliver results within time, quality and cost expectations. Able to work to tight deadlines, often in pressured environments. Ability to manage projects effectively and efficiently, maintaining excellent standards and effective communication. Copes well with ambiguity, competing priorities and enjoys change. Motivated, self-starter, able to work to clear outcome targets
  • Problem Solving & Creativity: discusses problems appropriately, exploring viable options to resolve issues. Positive, proactive, unfazed by challenges and quick to look for new ways to problem solve
  • Customer Service: proactively responds to customer’s needs
  • Inspiring: regularly meets with team members to clearly communicate direction for team and alignment with the organisation. Enthusiastic and committed to delivering innovative projects that place the Museum at the forefront of the field
  • Developing: Supports teams by coaching, mentoring and leading as appropriate, ensuring professional and personal development. Encourages creativity and supports innovation
  • Thinking: makes sound decisions based on effective analysis and exploration of options. Prepared to challenge current thinking, look for opportunity for new approaches and take measured risks
  • Leadership: Ability to communicate a vision, identify strategies required to achieve the vision and translate the vision into specific targets and tasks. Confident in decision making and able to manage resistance effectively


Scope for Impact

The post holder is a key driver in ensuring the delivery of a high quality programme and increased access to the collections, improving perceptions of the museum and significantly enhancing the understanding of the museum as a professional, effective organisation nationally and internationally.

The post holder will be central to scoping and delivering cultural change across the Exhibition and Collections teams, implementing significant change in ways of working and in the attitude and behaviour of staff, adopting a matrix approach to managing outcomes.

The post holder will be instrumental in developing a new model of combining research, curatorship and communication to deliver outcomes that build new audiences and improve opportunities for learning and engagement.

The post holder is key to in establishing effective collaborative relationships across the Science Museum Group and more widely with local stakeholders and international partners, including relationships with external designers, consultants/project managers and internal stakeholders to ensure a high standard of exhibition delivery that enhances the Museum’s reputation.

Apply: click here 

Views: 248

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of British photographic history to add comments!

Join British photographic history

© 2020   Created by Michael Pritchard.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service