Job Opportunity: Manchester City Galleries and The Whitworth

The Whitworth Gallery, part of the University of Manchester, houses an internationally significant collection of modern art, textiles, watercolours, prints, drawings and sculpture. Extensively redeveloped in 2015, the Whitworth offers state-of-the-art facilities and is recognised as a leading cultural destination. Manchester Art Gallery, run by Manchester City Council, is one of country’s finest art museums. With more than 25,000 objects of fine art, decorative art and costume, it mixes works from the historic collections with the best international contemporary art.

Following the appointment of the current Director, Dr Maria Balshaw CBE, as Director of Tate, we are seeking an outstanding individual to lead the continued development of both galleries. Reporting to the Deputy President at the University of Manchester and accountable to the Deputy Chief Executive at the City Council, the successful candidate will be a well-respected artistic leader with a vision that will further the galleries’ regional, national and international reputation. S/he will be committed to making art accessible to all, and will instinctively understand and promote the galleries’ contribution to the higher education agenda and to supporting economic and social improvement.

Key Responsibilities

The Director will be responsible for leading and championing the galleries and visual arts regionally and nationally, building on the success of both galleries over the last ten years, maintaining and developing their reputation, delivering their missions and ensuring their financial sustainability.  A full candidate brief is available at

The Person

The Galleries are seeking a highly respected artistic leader with the potential to provide a vision for the galleries that will sustain their regional, national and international reputation for the future. The new Director will be a recognised leader with the stature and credibility to represent these renowned galleries to a regional, national and international audience.

He or she will combine artistic flair with innovation, good people and stakeholder management with excellent fundraising skills, and the vision to keep the galleries at the forefront of best practice in every aspect of their operations from conservation to inclusion.

He or she will be an ambitious, confident and adaptable leader, attuned to the opportunities and challenges of the next phase of the galleries’ development; an inspiring and inclusive leader of people, sustaining a working environment in which both individuals and organisations can flourish.

How to Apply

The University of Manchester has engaged Odgers Berndtson to advise on this appointment. Please submit expressions of interest at your earliest convenience, and in any event no later than close of business on Tuesday 20 June 2017.

Expressions of interest should comprise a curriculum vitae (CV), together with a brief covering letter setting out your interest in the role and details of how you match the required criteria.

Please include your contact details, current salary information, and details of three referees. All information will be treated as strictly confidential and referees will not be approached until the final stages, and then only with your express permission.

The preferred method of application is online at

Alternatively, please email your application to,

All applications will receive an automated response.

If you are unable to apply online, you can post your application to:

Cassie Howe / 61996, Odgers Berndtson, 20 Cannon Street, London, EC4M 6XD.

All candidates are also requested to complete an online Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form, which will be found at the end of the application process.

This will assist the University in monitoring selection decisions to assess whether equality of opportunity is being achieved. Information collated from the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Forms will not be visible to the Consultants handling the role, will not be used as part of the selection process, and will be treated as strictly confidential.

The timetable for the selection process is given below:

Action Date

Advertised closing date, 20 June 2017

Preliminary interviews with Odgers Berndtson, Late June / early July

Informal meetings with the Chair and other senior stakeholders, Early – mid July

Final interviews with UoM and MCC, w/c 17 July 2017

For a confidential discussion about the role, please contact:

Samantha Colt: 020 7529 6357

James Bailey Johnson: 020 7529 6312


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