San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Reviews | Glassdoor

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Reviews

Updated December 6, 2017
38 reviews

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3.4
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Neal Benezra
12 Ratings

38 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Decent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits and vacation time

    Cons

    Union environment can be constraining


  2. "Exhibitions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great team of highly skilled professionals.

    Cons

    Low pay and low moral

    Advice to Management

    Take better care of your employees

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Learn as Much as You Can, then Get OUT!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Development Coordinator
    Former Employee - Development Coordinator
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    My coworkers and manager at the museum were great! I learned a lot about my field. Even people in entry level positions have Masters degrees, so there are lots of people who can teach you things. Taking random breaks to view a new gallery was always nice. We had fun parties, and pop-up happy hours.

    Cons

    You won't make any money. Union wages are so low, and upper management doesn't care. People don't make enough to pay Bay Area rents. Many full time staff have supplemental incomes to make ends meet. In July, HR boasted that 35 people were promoted in 2017. But that begs the question, why did so many people leave in the first place. Mos of those promotions came because many union staff members left, and Frontline employees were promoted into those roles. HR isn't bothered by union staff leaving, because there is a large pool of frontline employees ti step up and fill those roles.

    Advice to Management

    Great parties with wine and beer, do not compensate for the fact that union staff is underpaid, and under valued. There would be far less turnover if people could earn a decent wage.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Administrative Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art full-time

    Pros

    Engaging, Wonderful People, Great exhibitions

    Cons

    Payment was low, hard to support living in the Bay area


  5. Helpful (5)

    "While many of the staff are high achievers working toward a strong exhibition program, the workplace is toxic."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art full-time

    Pros

    The clever, high achieving staff and exhibition programs. Not only is there due diligence throughout the day-to-day, but the staff also looks out for one another.

    Cons

    While many of the staff are high achievers working toward a strong exhibition program, the workplace is toxic - largely stemming from longstanding leadership, diversity issues, and structural issues related to the organizational chart.

    There is an active presence of both covert and direct forms of racial, cultural, and economic prejudice and unethical compensation structures. The museum mirrors the racial, cultural, and economic disparities existing outside of its walls. Because the compensation is so low for so many support staff, the museum becomes largely staffed by those with varying forms of historical privilege who can afford to work there - which inadvertently reaffirms dominating historical narratives and hegemonic power structures.

    Lastly, the Human Resources office directors and managers further many of the ethical and systemic issues in their service of leadership and the conventions noted above.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Diverse, engaging place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I have been working at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art part-time

    Pros

    Access to amazing art and unique opportunities to experience art in SF. Diverse, supportive staff- a real sense of camaraderie.

    Cons

    None that I can think of! This is really a wonderful place to work.


  7. Helpful (6)

    "Poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free membership but that's about it.

    Cons

    High turnover! Working at SFMOMA is most people's dream job, however, a lot of the staff have left because of poor leadership, low morale, and lack of opportunity for job growth. This has been addressed to HR many times and they have no plans to fix this!

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great art world community"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Access to world class art and interesting colleagues.

    Cons

    Challenges in seeing internal growth.

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Response

    Jul 28, 2017 – Staffing Manager

    Internal growth and promotions take time. SFMOMA promoted 35 employees in FY17!


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Adjunct Educator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Off-site Gallery Representative
    Current Employee - Off-site Gallery Representative
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The greatest people to work with are in the Education department.
    Love the ever-changing museum environment and learning on the job.
    Working with young students can be very rewarding and uplifting.

    Cons

    The pay covers my costs of commuting and parking. If you can take public transit to work, that's a real plus.
    Those same young students can be squirmy and hard to connect with. But the art project usually draws them in.
    On many days you are cleaning, running errands, washing dishes...just like home.

    Advice to Management

    Just passing the 1 year anniversary of the new building, it is hard to see why there isn't higher job satisfaction and better morale among the staff. With all of the talent and intelligence under one roof, it is hard to imagine that there wouldn't be even more promoting from within.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "A non-profit trying to work like a for profit"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate
    Former Employee - Associate
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Art and creative co-workers.

    Cons

    - The hiring system at SFMOMA is outdated, and strange. HR consistently burns bridges with runner up new employees by never getting back to them (even after interviews), the budget suddenly shifts and vital positions are suddenly "put on hold indefinitely." Union employees (majority of the museum) are not allowed to be included in the process of hiring new members in their team--- new coworkers just show up and you have to make it work. All together it's just embarrassing and has been like that for years.

    - The budget seems to always be in flux. With the addition of 7 new floor's of galleries and heavy increase to Development members, the operating budget is basically the same. Almost every department has empty desks but are forced to adapt to get work done.

    - A majority of the upper management either heavily lean on their assistants to make things happen or straight up refuse to update systems out of laziness. Trying to integrate a project management tool in every department has been a ridiculous challenge - and still hasn't happened. It's been a year.

    -The director of the museum seems to only care about curating art. Which is fine. But, I can't help but think that if they were a strong leader we wouldn't experience the heavy turnover that happens here.

    -The pay is not good. Union staff haven't received a significant (cost of living goes up each year but it's not noticeable) raise since closure. Many people leave because of this- they're given an extreme amount of new work to do but are still payed at the amount before the museum closed. Also- it's not difficult to see the amount of money each staff person receives--- the pay discrepancy is insane through upper management and honestly, it's probably the largest in the Bay Area.

    -The museum has a really thoughtful mission statement for employees, but it's not really real. Take transparency for example --- every department wants to hear the status of community free days and no one knows anything. It often feels the like HR is not open to feedback (not to mention they share things said in private, publicly) they don't even have a suggestions box.

    Advice to Management

    Amazing people leave the museum all the time- stop pretending that's it's not an issue.


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