ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The Lake Wales History Museum is looking for an energetic, passionate, and creative individual to be part of our growing small museum team. The museum was reorganized in 2015, and today is a hub of heritage experiences for the community and visitors. This position plays a critical role in the museum’s ongoing historic preservation efforts of our buildings and collections, as well as, development of our annual exhibition series.
Created in 1976, the Lake Wales History Museum is a long-standing historical museum located in Lake Wales, Florida. Long vacant and in need of historic preservation, the organization converted the 1928 Atlantic Coast Line Railroad station into the area’s historical museum. The Mediterranean-style train station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is still home to the museum today.
The museum is open Wednesday – Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM, offering self-guided tours of permanent exhibits with artifacts, images and documents in our main gallery, along with changing exhibits and train cars. Visitors learn about the natural history of the Lake Wales Ridge beginning with Florida’s native people to the development of Lake Wales’ railroad, industry and residents of the 20th century. Visitors can hear over 80 stories of Lake Wales’ pioneers and history through our audio tour. Guests may visit our newly restored 1926 Seaboard Air Line Railroad caboose, the 1916 office car and 1944 US Army locomotive engine. Three additional historic buildings are included on the property: 1) The 1920 office bungalow originally the site of the Lake Wales Women’s Club, library and chamber of commerce; 2) The 1916 Seaboard Airline Freight Station; and, 3) The 1920 originally built for Lake Wales’ founder, E.C. Stuart. Educational programming, special events and school programs are offered throughout the year.
ABOUT THE COLLECTIONS AND EXHIBITS
The Lake Wales History Museum owns and preserves an estimated 20,000 items within its collection, housed in our new Mimi Hardman Collections and Research Center. Long-term storage and inventory projects are ongoing, as the museum has recently re-homed all of the small objects, documents, photographs, and archival material to this space. The new Mimi Hardman Collections and Research Center is housed in one of the first buildings in Lake Wales, the 1916 Seaboard Airline Freight Station, which was fully rehabilitated and named in honor of Mimi Hardman, the museum’s late founder. Dedicated space inside the center now provides an area for the museum team to work on the collections. Eventually, the public will be invited to access our collections for personal and professional research.
The museum hosts a variety of originally-curated and national traveling exhibits on an annual basis which showcase local, regional, national, and multicultural history. These exhibits are curated by local and national museum professionals, and are produced in collaboration with other museums, local businesses, and cultural organizations. Exhibits utilize local partnerships, themes, and the museum’s collections of documents, objects and photographs.
The Curator of Collections & Exhibits serves as the museum’s chief steward of the permanent collection in the Mimi Hardman Collections and Research Center, creative voice for exhibitions, and the community’s connection to local history. The Curator of Collections & Exhibits reports to the Executive Director. The Curator of Collections provides daily operational maintenance of the museum’s collections according to the collections management policy for the Lake Wales History Museum; organizes collections-based changing exhibits and traveling exhibits; produces exhibit and local history-based public programming; oversees the museum’s internship program; conducts ongoing research and promote collections acquisitions about the local community; develops relationships with collections donors, local collectors, and multicultural audiences. In addition, the Curator of Collections & Exhibits may assist with daily operations including guest and volunteer services, opening and closing, events and programs, and general assistance in the preservation and management of the museum’s historic corridor.
Preferred candidates should have a passion for history, humanities and/or museum studies, and a creativity to use that passion to create interpretive experiences for the public. Applicants should be collaborative, organized, and experienced working with museum collections and exhibits; possess excellent verbal and written communication skills; have the ability to conduct scholarly research, and carry out museum best practices, policies, and procedures; have the ability and passion to work with wide variety of audiences from multicultural and social backgrounds, problem solve, and work on their own and with a team to accomplish tasks.
Bachelor’s Degree required in history or museum studies preferred, or other degree with applicable experience in history and museum management. Master’s Degree preferred. Minimum 1-3 years of experience working in a historic or cultural museum setting; Proven track record of working with museum collections, preservation and/or conservation standards; Knowledge of museum best practices in collections management, academic research methods, and exhibit design; Proficiency in the use of computer software, excellent organizational skills, highly organized and detail-oriented, good interpersonal skills, and the ability to work independently are crucial. Interest in collections management standards, trends, and emerging technologies in the museum and archive field. Ability to take initiative and knowing when to ask questions. Valid driver’s license or other official government identification.
COMPENSATION AND SCHEDULE
$40,000 - $45,000 and benefits package
Full-time, salary, exempt
Tuesday – Saturday, with night and weekend work for special events and programs
Send a cover letter and resume to Jennifer D’hollander, Executive Director at email@example.com. The position is open until filled.