Hate Your Job? Gardner Museum Seeks Director

The Gardner Museum.

Sure, it’s a long weekend right now, but when you start to feel that impending sense of dread typically reserved for Sunday night creeping in as early as Saturday afternoon, you know it’s time to look for a new job.

Luckily for you, Anne Hawley, director of Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, has announced that she plans to leave the office she’s occupied for 25 years.

Hawley, 71, is credited with transforming the museum from a beloved but somewhat stale institution into one that is nationally recognized for its strong historical and contemporary exhibitions, as well as its educational outreach program. Hawley took over the post in 1989, just months before the infamous (and still unsolved) art heist that saw two robbers disguised as police offers make off with 13 works, including a Vermeer, a Rembrandt, and a Manet.

She told the New York Times: “It’s just the right time for me to step aside when I feel that everything is fantastic and I’m at the top of my game.” With no desire to run another museum, Hawley is excited to “be able to focus on projects and to study and just to have time.”

But more on what this means for you, future museum director. If selected, you’ll preside over an unparalleled collection started by one of the foremost female patrons of the art world, who was also a friend to John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, and Henry James.

According to a press release, the board of trustees has already formed a committee to conduct an international search for the new director, who will be the museum’s fifth. Board member Barbara Hostetter, who served as president of the board for ten years, will chair the search committee.

While the committee hasn’t released any information on the specific qualifications they’re looking for (come to think of it, they don’t normally post this kind of thing on Monster.com, do they?), the museum’s website encourages those seeking employment to send a resume and cover letter to [email protected]. We imagine that exemplary candidates will have Indiana Jones-like skills that include the ability to track down troves of stolen paintings.

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