Director / Chief Curator

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DRAF is seeking an experienced Director to oversee the evolution of the organisation, comprised of a contemporary art collection of over 2,000 works and an active programme of exhibitions and performances in London and across the UK.

Following 10 years of successful exhibitions, events, performances and research programming in its London gallery spaces, DRAF is evolving and expanding. The next phase of the organisation will include a UK-wide collaborative programme, continuing London performance commissions, an increased activation of the Collection, and the preparation of a sculpture garden and gallery in Somerset. The new Director will be central to designing and realising these plans, and positioning DRAF as a unique and influential voice in the UK and international art world.

Download Job Description here


Reports to: Trustees

Responsible for: Curator (Programme), Curator (Collection), Development & Communication Manager, Collection Manager.


Main Duties:

I. Management and strategy

To oversee the reform, growth and sustainability of DRAF, drawing on substantial experience managing an arts organisation. They will work with all stakeholders to plan an ambitious but realistic strategy for the organisation’s future. This will include:

  • Overseeing the Foundation’s strategic planning and ongoing review, to synchronise different activities, ensure effective use of resources and achieve excellence across all aspects of its work.
  • Working closely with the Founders, Trustees and Advisory Board on DRAF governance, reporting clearly and regularly on all areas of the Foundation. The Director will support the Founders to develop their presence in the organisation.
  • Managing a team of four staff, developing their skills and knowledge, clearly allocating projects, responsibilities and objectives, providing constructive feedback and appraisal, facilitating productive working relationships and a culture of learning across the organisation.
  • Taking accountability for HR processes concerning the existing team, and overseeing recruitment of new staff as appropriate during expansion of the organisation.
  • Carrying financial responsibility for DRAF budgets, allocating funds and ensuring best practice.
  • Overseeing realistic, effective funding and income strategies.
  • Taking decisions on behalf of the Foundation with diligence and responsibility, including seeking specialist advice where necessary.

 II. Curatorial

To design and realise an exciting, cohesive and original curatorial strategy across disciplines, including exhibitions, commissions and performance. To set the organisation’s artistic vision, across different formats and disciplines. This will include:

  • Developing a singular, innovative, coherent curatorial identity for the next phase of DRAF, building on its ethos and strengths.
  • Reinvigorating and expanding existing platforms, including performance, collection and research.
  • Fostering a research environment that explores a broad range of ideas and practices.
  • Promoting creative and original approaches in all aspects of activity. Lead a culture of collaboration and sharing knowledge.
  • Working with internationally recognised as well as emerging artists to produce exceptional new works and performances.
  • Producing ambitious performances to the highest standard, with an understanding of the different requirements of live work.
  • Developing innovative and exciting ways to research and present works from the Collection.

III. Collection

To oversee the research, administration and conservation of a significant, varied and active collection. To draw on experience of working with large-scale collection including conservation. This will include:

  • Leading a review of the structures and systems in place for collection development and management of the David Roberts Collection.
  • Driving a culture of best practice in research, conservation and interpretation of the collection.
  • Expanding the existing loans programme to prestigious venues worldwide.
  • Overseeing the relocation of over 2,000 artworks from different sites across the UK. Taking final responsibility for the safe handling and condition of the art works.

IV. Diplomacy

To bring DRAF’s unique vision to partners, peers and audiences. To create partnerships with UK-wide stakeholders, and position DRAF in art world ecology. This will include:

  • Activating an existing network of relationships with organisations and individuals within the sector, and building new contacts.
  • Negotiating partnerships with different organisations and individuals inside and outside of the art world.
  • A solid understanding of current and forthcoming debates, trends and the environments in which different cultural institutions operate.
  • Advocating research and ideas generated at DRAF into the public sphere, both verbally and in writing, to the highest professional standard.
  • A collaborative leadership style, develop and maintaining positive relationships at all levels.
  • Working with external PR company to develop identity and positioning for DRAF Somerset, both locally and in the art world.
  • Overseeing strategies to identify and engage new audiences across the UK.


Person specification

  • Minimum 5 years experience senior management experience within a cultural organisation.
  • Minimum 10 years experience working with contemporary artists or artworks.
  • Proven ability to develop and deliver exceptional and original contemporary art programmes.
  • Experience of producing performance and live work on a large scale.
  • Experience of working with a large collection of art works.
  • Existing network of high-level contacts across different areas of the art industry.
  • Ability to engage and inspire new audiences in London and across the UK.
  • Ability to respond to different situations with diplomatic, flexible and positive solutions.
  • Experience of carrying financial and contractual responsibilities, showing good judgement in decision-making.
  • Commitment to supporting and developing colleagues and collaborators.


How to apply

Please submit a full CV, and Letter of Interest to, with the subject ‘Application – Director / Chief Curator’.

Deadline: Sun 3 Dec 2017, midnight.