Open Positions \\ Exhibition Design Department

Lead Exhibition Designer

The Peabody Essex Museum, one of the nation’s most dynamic art museums with a global perspective, is seeking a highly talented Designer in a full-time two year position to join our Exhibition Design Department.

The Museum offers 22,000 square feet of exhibition galleries and 55,000 square feet of collection galleries. An expansion/renovation project opening in 2019 will feature 40,000 square feet of new galleries and public spaces, and a 112,000 square foot offsite collection center. The museum is also developing 15 new installations of PEM’s global collection to be implemented by 2022.

We define PEM’s exhibitions and collection installations as experiences—compelling environments and moments of engagement that communicate and generate ideas, emotions, connections, and memories as transformative opportunities. Our emphasis on innovative experience, interpretation, and design strategies reflect our commitment to drawing on multiple fields of inquiry, including neuroscience, the behavioral sciences, and evaluation studies.

The Exhibition Design Department’s work encompasses changing exhibitions (6-8 shows annually at 2,500-12,000 square feet each), collection-inspired installations, public space interventions, and creative wayfinding. Reporting to the Director of Exhibition Design, the successful design candidate will work collaboratively within the Department and as part of interdisciplinary teams to conceptualize, design and implement assigned projects.

We are seeking a motivated individual who possesses a dynamic aesthetic and mix of creative talents—exhibition (3D) and graphic design, interiors and space planning, experiential and performance design (dance, music and/or theatre). The candidate should be well versed in the integration of creative lighting, multi-media and interactive technologies, immersion, and theatrical effects. We are looking for someone who is eager to explore opportunities to re-imagine the museum experience and create an emotional and personal connection for a varied audience.

Work history should demonstrate effective communication and presentation skills and an ability to actively engage with other disciplines to create unique visitor experiences. The successful candidate must be able to lead the design process from concept thru on-floor implementation and assist in the management of project budgets and workflow. The position requires working on simultaneous projects of varying scales, establishing respectful interaction across museum departments, and an openness to incorporate input and revisions during internal departmental and project team reviews.

The position requires a minimum of seven years experience in a fast-paced design environment, preferably in a museum or office/studio, and a hands-on knowledge of fabrication materials, techniques, and specialties including mount making, object handling and museum conservation practices. 

Candidates must have a BA from a design-related institution or a relevant combination of education and experience and be technically savvy, with a proven knowledge of design software programs on the Mac platform—VectorWorks, Renderworks, SketchUp, Adode CC, and Microsoft Office software. 

Applicants should submit a cover letter with salary requirements and summary of qualifications for this position, detailed resume, and a portfolio of five relevant projects by email to with attachments or by regular mail to Employee Experience, Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, Salem, MA 01970-3783.