Director of the collections at the Humboldt Forum

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Humboldt Forum


From 2019 onward, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (SMB-PK) will present their outstanding non-European collections of the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art in the Humboldt Forum. Jointly with the Humboldt University Berlin and the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin, the SMB-PK will establish an interdisciplinary platform for collections and exhibitions at the Humboldt Forum, which will be headed by a general administrator (Intendant). That platform will be concerned with the cultures of the world, past and present, as well as with current issues of global relevance. For this innovative and internationally significant museum project we are seeking a Director of the collections at the Humboldt Forum for the duration of five years with the option of extension from January 1, 2018 onward. Remuneration will be in line with the norms for such a position.

The director will be responsible for the new displays of the collections of the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art in the Humboldt Forum. She / he will play a major part in developing and realizing a sophisticated and innovative programme of small-scale and major temporary exhibitions. For that purpose, the director will work in close cooperation with the general administrator (Intendant), and in dialogue with the other institutions in the Humboldt Forum. In that context, collaboration with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – particularly on the Museum Island – as well as with other national and international cultural institutions will offer many opportunities to identify and develop themes of common interest.

Particular importance is attached to traditional museum work –presentation, education and communication, research, documentation, conservation, and collecting. The holder of the position will first take over management of the Ethnological Museum, and subsequently also of the Museum of Asian Art of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Complementary to the new installation of the collections in the Humboldt Forum, a research campus for European and non-European cultures will be established at the museum’s current location in Dahlem. The director will play a major part in establishing the profile and further development of this research campus.

Required Skills

To fill this position, we are seeking a candidate with strong leadership qualities. She/he will be a university graduate with particular expertise in the field of material culture and object studies, as well as in non-European cultural and art histories.

The changing displays of the collections in the Humboldt Forum will require innovative ideas and flexible approaches to exhibition design. Another key skill is enthusiasm for communicating the contents of the collections to a wider public, in order to attract new groups of visitors through an attractive and diverse exhibition and events programme.

A track record of experience in curatorial museum work is an indispensable requirement for this position, as is the candidate’s ability to engage in interdisciplinary work beyond her/his own field of specialization. The candidate must be knowledgeable and experienced in modern museum and research management; she/he is also expected to take an interdisciplinary approach to current global cultural issues. It is taken for granted that she/he will be well established in national and international networks.

A persuasive and cooperative style of leadership is indispensable for the successful merging of the collections in the Humboldt Forum. The holder of the position will have experience in leading and managing change, and in building effective teams.

The candidate is expected to have experience in planning and delivering major museum projects, or comparable schemes.

Good command of the German and English languages, or the willingness to learn the German language, is essential.

The Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz welcomes applications by people of all nationalities. Being an interdisciplinary institution of culture and research, the SPK provides family-friendly work conditions, and guarantees equal treatment of women and men. Severely handicapped applicants are given special consideration in case of equal qualification.

Please send comprehensive application documents under specification of the reference number SMB-EM-6-2017 to:

Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Der Präsident, Sachgebiet I 1 b, Von-der-Heydt-Straße 16-18, 10785 Berlin.

Deadline for applications is 28 July 2017.

Please do not submit applications in electronic form.

Applications can only be returned to the senders if they have enclosed a prepaid envelope.

If you have questions with regard to the job description, please contact:

  • Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Prof. Dr. Hermann Parzinger   (phone +49 – 30 – 266 41 1400)
  • Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss, Ms Lavinia Frey    (phone  +49 – 30 – 265 950 500)

If you have questions with regard to the application procedure, please contact:

Ms Sabine Holschneider, head of the staff department (Personalabteilung) (phone +49 – 30 – 266 41 500)

Achtung! Bitte senden Sie Ihre Bewerbungen direkt an die Einrichtung, die die Stelle ausschreibt, und nicht an den Deutschen Museumsbund. Wenn in der Ausschreibung keine E-Mail-Adresse angeben ist, sind Online-Bewerbungen nicht erwünscht. Vielen Dank!

Bewerbungsende: 28.07.2017