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Deputy Director (Collections Development)
Deputy Director (Collections Development)
National Gallery Singapore
Post Date: 15 Jan 2022


About Us

National Gallery Singapore is a leading visual arts institution which oversees the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian modern art. Situated at the birthplace of modern Singapore, in the heart of the Civic District, the Gallery is housed in two national monuments – City Hall and former Supreme Court – that have been beautifully restored and transformed into this exciting 64,000 square metre venue. Reflecting Singapore’s unique heritage and geographical location, the Gallery aims to be a progressive museum that creates dialogues between the art of Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world to foster and inspire a creative and inclusive society. This is reflected in our collaborative research, education, long-term and special exhibitions, and innovative programming. The Gallery also works with international museums such as Centre Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay, Tate Britain, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (MOMAT) and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), to jointly present Southeast Asian art in the global context, positioning Singapore as a key node in the global visual arts scene.

In 2020, the Gallery was the only museum in Southeast Asia that received a ranking in The Art Newspaper’s annual global survey of attendance at art museums, taking 20th place. It was the first museum in Asia to receive the Children in Museums Award by the European Museum Academy and Hands On! International Association of Children in Museums in 2018. The Gallery also won the awards for “Best Theme Attraction” at TTG Travel Awards 2017, “Best Attraction Experience”, “Breakthrough Contribution to Tourism” and “Best Customer Service (Attractions)” at the prestigious Singapore Tourism Awards in 2016 for its role in adding to the vibrancy of Singapore’s tourism landscape.

We offer job opportunities in our dynamic organisation. Working at the Gallery enhances and cultivates your love for the arts, and offers you a chance to be part of the Gallery’s vision.

Job Description

National Gallery Singapore is seeking a dynamic and resourceful candidate with significant experience in institutional collecting, cultivating and stewarding prospective and existing artwork donors to contribute towards the development of the Gallery’s collection.  Reporting to the Director (Curatorial & Collections), the candidate will oversee the Collections Development unit which manages the acquisition of artworks through donation and purchase as part of a continual effort to build and enrich Singapore’s National Collection for which the Gallery is a key collecting and presenting institutional agent.  The candidate will work closely with colleagues across divisions, particularly Curatorial, Research & Exhibitions and Partnership Development, to draw strategic directions for the collection, build trusting and long-term relationships with collectors and prospective donors, and ensure good governance in artwork acquisitions process, to achieve the vision of the Gallery of having the world’s largest and most significant collection of modern and contemporary art from Singapore and Southeast Asia, and being a progressive art museum that fosters and inspires a thoughtful, creative and inclusive society.

The candidate will be highly self-motivated.  While following the National Collection policies and guidelines set in place by the National Heritage Board, s/he will create and oversee the implementation of a strategic approach to collections development, drive efforts in materialising the key acquisitions via purchase, and build and manage a portfolio of prospective donors to cultivate artwork gifts and steer donor relations. S/He will work closely with the relevant teams in identifying, cultivating and stewarding prospective donors to align their philanthropic motivation with key initiatives of the Gallery in the areas of collection, exhibition, and curatorial research.


The ideal candidate will: 

  • Collaborate with the Senior Management to create a strategic plan for identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major artwork gift and purchase prospects.
  • Oversee the Collections Development unit of Curatorial & Collections department to ensure both the strategic collections building and governance in artwork acquisitions are met without comprising each other.
  • Engage, cultivate and solicit major gifts and purchases from a prospective donors and sellers with outstanding collections of art; initiating and strengthening relationships with these parties.
  • Customise approaches for different prospective donors that best aligns their philanthropic interests with the Gallery’s collection development strategy.
  • Responsible for managing both the acquisitions and Collections Development unit’s budgets and prepare regular reporting and budget requests.
  • Develop and manage timelines for various acquisition activities to ensure strategic plans and critical processes are carried out in a timely manner.
  • Oversee the administration of a donor mailing list and database which respects the privacy and confidentiality of donor information.
  • Develop policies and efficient procedures taking in account the specific institutional framework in Singapore as well the cultural and historical context in the region.
  • Monitor trends in the community, region and international context and adapt collection development strategies as necessary.
  • Work collaboratively with donors and prospects through all stages of development (identify, research, qualify, cultivate, solicit, steward). This may include the following:
    • Serve as a primary contact point for prospective artwork donors and sellers.
    • Write articulate and compelling proposals to attract prospective donors to give artworks to the National Collection.
    • Engage prospective donors through meaningful activities to deepen their relationship with the Gallery’s curators, programmers, educators, artists and the collector community amongst others.
    • Prepare briefing materials, donor correspondence, and other donor communications to support donor discussions; reinforcing relationships and ensure donor awareness of their support.
    • Productively utilise available platforms such as donor events, special exhibition viewings, artist talks and symposia to engage prospective donors with the philanthropic causes at the Gallery.
    • Work closely with the Curatorial, Research & Exhibitions and Partnership Development teams to be up-to-date on the fulfilment of received gifts.


  • At least 15 years of work experience in engaging art collectors in Southeast Asia.
  • Strategic mindset with proven ability to cultivate artwork donors and manage complex expectations that align with the Gallery’s collection development strategy.
  • High energy, outgoing and positive with ability to work both collaboratively and independently.
  • Goal-oriented focus with a commitment towards achieving results.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills in a group and individual setting.
  • Experience in and knowledge of art collector relations, specifically securing large donations, is an advantage.
  • Strong knowledge of Singapore and Southeast Asian art is essential. A strong working knowledge of the regional art collecting landscape is desirable.
  • Excellent writing, analytical, and research skills are essential.
  • Candidate must have a high level of computer literacy, including experience using online collection databases as well as other sources to locate philanthropic information.

Closing On 25 Jan 2022



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