MACBA- Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona seeks a new Director

30 March 2021


The MACBA mission is to bring contemporary art to life with a particular focus on Catalan production. Through research, the generation of knowledge and dissemination, it aims to encourage enjoyment and interest in art and contemporary culture through a transformative impact and aspiration among individuals and society. The MACBA wishes to play its part in building a freer society with a sense of critique.

MACBA is managed through a Consortium currently composed of the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, the MACBA Foundation and, since 2008, the Spanish Ministry of Culture. The operating costs of the Museum are provided by the public administrations. The purpose of the MACBA Foundation is to raise funds to acquire work for the Collection, as well as supporting educational and social projects carried out by the Museum. Income is also generated through the Museum's own initiatives (visitors, sponsorship, book/souvenir shop, touring exhibitions, etc.), which have become increasingly important for balancing the annual budgets. Since MACBA opened in 1995 it has established itself as a key institution with one of the most relevant collections of contemporary art in Catalonia, based on research and critical thinking.

Today, the Museum is recognised internationally for promoting critical thinking through its exhibitions, public activities, rigorous research and educational programmes. Over the years, the Museum has gained a leading position thanks to its unique and often innovative way of working, its ability to provide a platform for argument and debate, and for forging dynamic relationships within art and cultural sector. Today’s foremost contemporary voices and movements have converged at MACBA with a tension that always finds a balance between its institutional role and its critical aim to transform society.

Under its current statutes, MACBA, as a Consortium, has the following aims:

a) To manage the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona as an institution engaged in the acquisition, preservation, study, display and educational interpretation of contemporary artworks, with a special emphasis on the work of Catalan artists or artists with links to Catalonia.

b) To expand on the collection of bibliographic and documentary material for the Study Centre to support research and dissemination of contemporary art.

c) To champion the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona as a place of engagement with contemporary art in all its various forms, as well as a place for critical thinking through its diverse programming and education and mediation programmes .

These areas of work have contributed to MACBA's international prestige, which the Museum aims to preserve and develop. The Museum has the following strategic objectives:

1. To continue the growth of the collection and ensure its accessibility. 2 25/02/2021

2. To continue the Museum’s curatorial calibre, which is critical in content, open to diverse publics, and capable of generating new narratives and discussion.

3. To achieve excellence in research and the dissemination of knowledge.

4. To rethink and improve the uses of the Museum’s spaces and services.

5. To forge strong and lasting relationships with its environs.

6. To provide communication in line with the Museum’s mission, the needs of the programme, and the public and audiences.

7. To continue the digitisation of content and reinforce the MACBA Digital Repository.

8. To make organisational improvements and devise a more stable budget.

9. To commit to best practices in social responsibility and progress in governance.

In financial terms, MACBA has an annual budget of approximately €11 million. (Its general budget for 2021 is €10,380,661.), with a staff of 100 people. (You will find more information on MACBA on the website

The Role of Director

In accordance with MACBA’s statutes, the Director of the Museum has the following functions:

1. Artistic direction of the Museum’s overall programming and supervision of the management of the collection. 2. To oversee the Museum’s services and activities.

3. To provide technical advice to the other bodies in the Consortium.

4. To propose the purchase of artworks worth up to €15,000 to the Management of the Museum, and the purchase of artworks worth more than €15,000 to the Executive Committee.

5. To design the artistic and content programme included in the contract-programme.*

6. To issue a mandatory report on the acceptance of donations and bequests.

7. To carry out all the functions that may be delegated to them by the other bodies in the Consortium.

* For details of the current contract-programme, see

Thus, the Director of MACBA must fulfil the following responsibilities:

• To direct the artistic, research and artistic heritage management of the Museum.

• To direct the Museum’s services and activities. Specifically, this will involve establishing the general strategy for the Collection, research and investigation, and defining the general lines of the programme (planning activities, programmes and exhibitions).

• To draw up proposals for new acquisitions of artworks.

• To represent the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona as an institution on formal occasions.

• To develop a good and effective relationship with the media and contemporary art sector.

• To attend meetings of the MACBA General Council and the Executive Committee, and to carry out the functions delegated by the governing bodies.

• To provide technical advice to the other bodies in the Consortium. MACBA’s Director is required to carry out their functions in coordination with MACBA’s manager, as the person in charge of administration, staff management, management of the 2 25/02/2021 financial resources (budget follow-up and accountability), of the real estate assigned to the Museum and its heritage, personal and technological assets, as well as drawing up the Consortium's contract-programme.

Candidate requirements

The Director must have a university degree and a proven track record and experience in direction and/or in relevant positions in contemporary art museums and/or facilities. These requirements are designed to ensure that MACBA maintains its prestige as an international benchmark institution, is able to pursue a policy of excellence in terms of its exhibitions, activities and academic publications, and continues to improve the Collection. The following skills will be considered an advantage:

• The ability to schedule exhibitions and activities in line with MACBA’s mission.

• The ability to ensure proper management of the Collection, the criteria for new acquisitions, scientific activity and the various programmes (exhibitions, publications, education, sponsorships, etc.) conducted by the Museum, in accordance with its objectives as set out in its current strategic plan (

• Leadership skills, advanced communication and negotiating skills, as well as planning, prioritisation and decision-making skills.

• The extent of the candidate’s knowledge of, and links to, the Catalan, Spanish and international worlds of art and culture.

The candidate’s ability to represent the Museum in the broadest possible range of fields and to build and develop both internal and external relationship networks is also essential. Based on these considerations, candidates will be subject to the following specific assessment criteria:

a) Professional excellence assessed on the basis of their professional training and experience in direction and/or relevant positions in contemporary art museums and/or facilities. In particular, extensive experience in curating exhibitions will be valued.

b) In particular, knowledge of, and relationships with, the national and international contemporary art worlds, and access, within the above fields, to the people responsible for the facilities with which it is proposed that MACBA should collaborate.

c) All scientific works (publications, etc.), distinctions in the field of culture and contemporary art (such as awards) or recognitions and distinctions in the field of culture and contemporary art.

Likewise, the following skills will also be taken into consideration:

1. Leadership and decision-making skills: The ability to implement and review strategies, policies and programmes enabling the team to achieve the missions and objectives entrusted to it.

2. Strategic vision: The ability to analyse the organisation’s weaknesses, strengths and opportunities, as well as any threats to it, in order to prioritise long-term goals and coordinate them in such as way they can be achieved. 2 25/02/2021

3. Interpersonal relationships and communication: The ability to interact beneficially with others by clearly expressing their ideas, listening to others and creating a positive relational climate.

4. Negotiating skills: The ability to achieve collaborations, agreements and commitments to the satisfaction of all concerned parties, taking advantage of all possible opportunities for networking with other institutions.

5. Planning and organisation: The ability to organise their own work, set goals and guidelines, plan and design programmes, organise the working process, measure its results and monitor the degree of progress. Psychometric tests and personal interviews may be carried out in order to assess the skill profiles of individual candidates.

Candidates are required to have sufficient knowledge of one of the two official languages of Catalonia to properly conduct their duties, and are further expected to have acquired the skills to be able to communicate in the other official language after a year, which they will be required to demonstrate. A high standard of English is also required, and knowledge of other languages will be considered an advantage.

Candidates must have Spanish nationality or that of an EU member state. Otherwise, the offer of the position will be conditional on being granted legal residence in Spain.

The successful candidate must not have been dismissed from a job in public administration as a result of disciplinary proceedings or be under any kind of court-ordered disqualification from holding public office or position. Nationals of other countries must not be disqualified (or be in an equivalent situation) or have been the subject of a disciplinary sanction (or equivalent) that prevents them, under the same terms, from holding office in the public service of their countries of origin.

Applications and the selection process

Candidates wishing to take part in the selection process must submit their CV, as well as documentary evidence of the above-mentioned qualifications and a written summary of no more than ten pages in length outlining their plan for the next few years, which must include:

1) The candidate’s view on the Museum’s mission as a public service.

2) Their policies on the conservation and dissemination of the Museum’s collection and heritage, their research, documentation and archive project, and their policy on new acquisitions.

3) A programme of temporary exhibitions and activities that complements and provides new perspectives on the MACBA Collection and the contemporary art world.

4) Their education and mediation programme.

5) Their local, national and international networking collaboration project. These documents must be submitted, in either of the official languages (Catalan or Spanish), or in English, to the email address, by 7 May 2021.

During an initial merit-assessment phase, applications will be analysed by a committee of experts composed of the following:

1. Joan Subirats, Deputy Mayor, Barcelona City Council

2. Elsa Ibar, Director-General of Cultural Heritage, Government of Catalonia

3. Ainhoa Grandes, President of the MACBA Foundation

4. María Dolores Jiménez-Blanco Carrillo de Albornoz, Director-General of Fine Arts, Spanish Ministry of Culture

5. Chris Dercon, CEO Association of French National Museums-Grand Palais and a member of the MACBA Advisory Committee

6. João Fernandes, Artistic Director of the Instituto Moreira Salles Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

7. Ann-Sofi Noring, Ex Co-Director, Chief Curator of Moderna Museet, Vice-Chancellor of the Royal Academy and Chairman of the Swedish Arts Grants Committee.

8. Meritxell Colina Mas, a staff representative with the right to speak but without vote

The committee of experts will be assisted by a secretary, who will have the right to speak but without vote. This role will be fulfilled by the Secretary of the Consortium.

Furthermore, this committee reserves the right to consult with specialist advisers for all or some of the criteria as it deems appropriate. Those advisers will attend committee meetings with the right to speak but without vote.

During the second phase, the same committee will hold any interviews it may deem appropriate and will propose (giving reasons) three candidates such that the Executive Committee can assess them and propose the chosen candidate to the General Council, which will in turn appoint the person who is to be the Director of MACBA.

For the purposes of communications and other matters, the Assessment Committee will be based in MACBA’s Human Resources Department (Plaça dels Àngels, 1, 08001 Barcelona).

Each committee member will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Rules on Hiring and Conflicts of Interest

The successful candidate will sign a senior management agreement for a term of five years with the possibility of renewal. Such renewal will require the General Council’s express agreement. The candidate’s employment relationship will be governed by the terms of the contract and the applicable legislation. The stipulated salary is €100,000 gross per year.

Signing the employment contract with MACBA entails an obligation to observe and comply with its code of ethics.


MACBA guarantees full confidentiality regarding the participation of candidates in this selection process, as well as in relation to any of their personal data and professional information, and states that knowledge of the unsuccessful candidates’ participation will remain strictly limited to the Assessment Committee, and that only the successful candidate’s name will be made public.

Interested parties may obtain more information by visiting the Museum’s website: Likewise, candidates may access more information about how the Museum operates by sending a request to: