Creativity is not an extra, elective aspect of life; it is fundamental. We draw on creativity in a myriad of contexts, from basic problem-solving to the formation and expression of personal identity. The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) provides creative stimulus, striving to create experiences that transform people’s lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes, and knowledge of themselves and the wider world.
Located in the coastal city of Salem, Massachusetts, 15 miles north of Boston, the museum’s origins date to 1799, making PEM the oldest continuously operating museum in the United States. While rooted in this venerable history, the Peabody Essex has developed a dynamic and entrepreneurial approach—becoming one of the fastest growing art museums in the country—and now stands among the 20 largest art museums in North America. PEM has an international reputation for the breadth and excellence of its collection; the art historical scholarship of its curatorial staff; the quality of its exhibitions, publications, and media; and for innovation in interpretation, public programs, and education.
PEM does more than bring art into a room—they continuously ask what makes that art relevant in today’s world. With this approach, the museum has earned the highest visitor satisfaction ratings among 75 major museums in the US. Its leadership aims to preserve and grow PEM’s reputation as a cutting-edge visionary in the art and museum community, employing the museum as a vehicle to stimulate exploration, discovering art, culture, and other forms of expression that shape the way people think about the world.
At a critical moment in the museum’s landmark $650 million Advancement Campaign, PEM seeks a creative and entrepreneurial Major Gift Officer to join their philanthropy team. Remarkable not only for its scale, this campaign is the first in American art museum history to dedicate more money to endowment funding than to bricks and mortar. The campaign is also funding a comprehensive renovation and expansion project featuring a 40,000-square-foot new wing of galleries and a 112,000-square-foot Collection Center for artwork storage, care, and conservation. This forward-thinking business strategy provides increased long-term financial stability along with increased capability to innovate, a hallmark of the museum’s approach.
PEM’s next Major Gift Officer will enter an environment that is deeply passionate about arts, culture, ideas, and community, and will be surrounded by the remarkable talent that the museum draws. This person will be a key leader in the philanthropy team, carrying a personal portfolio of prospects capable of making gifts to the museum in the six- and seven-figure range. Partnering closely with the Chief Philanthropy Officer, the Director of Major Gifts, and colleagues across the department and the museum, the Major Gift Officer will play an important role in crafting and executing major gift strategy, as well as monitoring progress and results. The ideal candidate will have at least ten years of fundraising experience; a proven track record of establishing meaningful donor relationships that yield major gifts; and the personal energy, enthusiasm, and drive to achieve ambitious institutional goals.
Jack Gorman is leading this search with Kennedy Arroyo and Sarah Hecklau.