A Brief History of the Museum

The Nichols House Museum occupies an impressive four-story town house, one of the earliest Beacon Hill structures, constructed in 1804. In 1885, Dr. Arthur Nichols purchased the house for his wife and daughters. Their eldest daughter Rose Standish Nichols, noted landscape architect, writer and suffragist, inherited the house. Miss Nichols owned and cared for the house from 1935 until her death in 1960. Since 1961 the Nichols House Museum has been open to the public as an historic house museum reflecting the domestic life of a typical family of Beacon Hill at the turn of the last century. The house is furnished with priceless possessions accumulated over several generations. The collection includes fine European and American wooden furniture from the 17th-19th centuries, ancestral portraits, Flemish tapestries, oriental rugs, European and Asian art, and works by America's foremost sculptor of the 19th century, Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

Open year-round, the Nichols House Museum welcomes a growing number of international and domestic guests. It provides an active schedule of lectures, programs, and special events for its membership and the community. The Nichols House welcomes a variety of educational groups for tours and programs. These have included after-school Girl Scout troops working on badges, students from nearby colleges and universities, design students, and adult learners who visit the museum under the aegis of the Road Scholar program.

E-Newsletters

Notes from The Nichols House
A publication of the Nichols House Museum
Click below to view one of our most recent newsletters.

Annual Reports

Nichols House Museum Annual Report
A publication of the Nichols House Museum
Click below to view our most recent Annual Report.
2013-2014 Annual Report
26 pages
Click here for PDF version
2012-2013 Annual Report
28 pages
Click here for PDF version

Staff

  • Flavia Cigliano, Executive Director
  • Ashley Jahrling Bannon, Assistant to the Director/Curatorial Specialist
  • Maureen Regan, Development Specialist
  • William H. Pear II, Historian
  • Julia Gleason, Visitor Services
  • Ashley Gray, Archival Specialist
  • Emma Welty, Textile Conservation Technician/Interpreter
  • Rebecca Selch, Interpretation and Collections Intern, Fall 2014

Job and Internship Opportunities

Nichols House Museum Executive Director

The Nichols House Museum seeks a dynamic and action-oriented Executive Director. Located on Boston’s historic Beacon Hill and loved by neighbors and international visitors alike, the Nichols House Museum preserves and interprets the 1804 townhouse that was from 1885 until 1960 the home of Rose Standish Nichols, landscape gardener, suffragist and pacifist. The house was built by Jonathan Mason and is attributed to Charles Bulfinch.

The executive directorship of the Nichols House Museum is a full-time position overseeing all functional aspects of the institution. Reporting to the Board of Governors, the successful Executive Director will be as equally skilled in stewarding/preserving the Museum’s collection and facilities as in fundraising. The Executive Director also has overall leadership responsibility for supervising the Museum’s small staff as well as its financial management, strategic planning, marketing and community relations, program management and volunteer development efforts.

Candidate Qualifications and Background

A minimum of 5 -7 years of progressive leadership experience, preferably in a museum or arts related organization, demonstrating a track record of success. We seek a flexible leader who can prioritize and also coach Museum staff, interns and volunteers to act as a core team adept at juggling multiple responsibilities. Past experiences should include successful fundraising and financial management skills as well as demonstrate the interpersonal skills necessary to work closely with a committed Board of Governors, volunteers and the community. A master's degree is preferred, but a bachelor's degree will be considered with additional experience.

Compensation

Salary and benefits will be commensurate with experience and are competitive with the American Alliance of Museums reviews.

Application Process

Please submit a cover letter and resume to info@nicholshousemuseum.org and write in the subject line “Executive Director Search” by January 9, 2015. Please note that professional and personal references will be required during the interview process.

Executive Director Job Requirements

The efforts of the museum’s six standing committees are fully supported by the Executive Director. These committees include: Collections, Fundraising/Development, Finance, Buildings & Grounds, Governance and Investment. In cooperation with the Board of Governors and longstanding and knowledgeable committees, the Executive Director is responsible for the following:

Museum Management

The Nichols House Museum’s building or structure, furnishings and grounds are all “one” collection necessitating the Executive Director work closely with multiple committees to preserve and interpret its unique history. The management of the Nichols House Museum requires:

• Maintaining (and exceeding) professional museum standards and practices as defined by the American Alliance of Museums, including continued pursuit of accreditation for the Nichols House Museum with the AAM

• Recommending policy for and undertaking the care and conservation of the permanent and temporary collections

• Recommending policy for the preservation of the historic building and its infrastructure and undertaking all short and long term maintenance of the structure and grounds

• Implementing all conservation and preservation planning, including continuous facility maintenance

• Developing short and long term strategic goals and objectives for the financial management and stability of the institution

• Leading with the Finance Committee and for approval by the Board of Governors the annual operating budget and planning activities as well as the annual audit

• Hiring, directing and evaluating all personnel

• Training and directing the work of all interns, volunteers and docents

Fundraising & Development, including Programs

The development function, of particular importance to all aspects of the Nichols House Museum, is a principal responsibility of the Executive Director and in close collaboration with the Development Committee. Development functions are critical contributors to the operating budget and conservation/preservation projects of the museum. These functions include grant writing, membership, patrons’ program, annual appeal, fundraisers, special programs, and an on-going lecture series. The success of these programs hinges on the Executive Director’s leadership and his/her full engagement in the community. The success of the Fundraising and Development function requires the Executive Director actively work to:

• Sustain and grow all fundraising events with the Development Committee

• Expand the Patrons’ Program and develop all special Patron programming and events

• Take responsibility for and secure all grant proposals to local, state and federal agencies, and private foundations required for the functioning of the institution

• Enhance and implement all aspects of educational programming

• Continue with the Lecture Committee the existing lecture series and expand it

• Execute on marketing and public relations campaigns for the institution in print, digital media and social media as well as consider other digital opportunities for the Museum.

Community Relations

The variety and quality of the Museum’s volunteers and its reputation as the “jewel” of Beacon Hill necessitates the Executive Director actively work with and initiate outreach with the community.

• Engaging with all constituents of the immediate community

• Working closely with and actively engaging volunteers

• Representing the Board of Governors and the institution as a whole to the community

Internships

The Nichols House Museum offers unpaid spring, summer, and fall internship positions to undergraduate and graduate students studying American history, library science, education, museum studies, and related fields. Internships offer valuable, wide-ranging museum experience to students looking to explore the museum field. Interns will assist museum staff with: public tours, collections management, archival research, special events, and additional projects that can be tailored to the intern's specific interests. Internships can be taken for course credit. For spring internships, please apply by December 1; summer internships, by April 1; and for fall internships by August 15.

To apply, please send resume and cover letter to:

Flavia Cigliano
Executive Director
Nichols House Museum
55 Mount Vernon Street
Boston, MA 02108
info@nicholshousemuseum.org

The Julie Linsdell and Georgia Linsdell Enders Research Internship
The Nichols House Museum, located on Boston’s historic Beacon Hill, is pleased to offer the Julie Linsdell and Georgia Linsdell Enders Research Internship. The position is open to a current graduate student, recent graduate, or PhD candidate interested in pursuing a career in history, art history, museums, or related fields. The Linsdell Intern will complete a research project of their choice based on one of the following general themes relating to the Nichols House Museum: domestic life on Beacon Hill in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; decorative arts in Boston; Progressive Era social reform, activism, and the role of the New Woman; art and the artistic network, specifically the Cornish Art Colony; or Boston history during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The intern will work with staff of the Nichols House Museum and at area archives to undertake and complete the research project. At the conclusion of the internship, a final research paper must be completed for use by museum staff, and a presentation of research findings to the Nichols House Museum Board of Governors, staff, and invited guests is required. This 175 hour, 6-8 week position comes with a stipend of $2,500, and begins and ends during the summer of 2014 at mutually agreed upon dates. Complete applications are due by April 4, 2014 to Flavia Cigliano at info@nicholshousemuseum.org and must include a résumé, two references, and a letter outlining your interest in the internship as well as your proposed research topic.