Curatorial Assistant (Regular/Part-time)
Reports To: Curator of Photography
Employment Status: Permanent/Part-time (30 hours) with benefits
This position supports the activities of the Curator of Photography and the Associate Curator of Photography. This position will provide clerical, administrative and research support for the curators, as well as assist in all activities related to the development of these departments. These activities include building, documenting, interpreting, and exhibiting the permanent collections in addition to special exhibitions.
The High’s Photography Department, with a collection of over 7,500 works, is one of the nation’s leading programs of its type, having realized an important series of exhibitions, publications, and programs. In addition to key strengths reflective of the American South and the Civil Rights Movement, the collection is international in scope. Works by artists including Anna Atkins, Eugène Atget, Imogen Cunningham, Walker Evans, Berenice Abbott, Harry Callahan, Diane Arbus, Seydou Keita, Dawoud Bey, Thomas Struth, and Mickalene Thomas are featured within holdings that cover the history of photography. The Museum recently completed a major reinstallation of its collections in 2018 which dramatically expanded the galleries dedicated to exhibiting photographs. The Photography Department maintains a robust acquisitions program along with an active schedule of both collection-based and major special exhibitions, many of which have the potential to tour nationally and internationally.
• Monday – Friday, with occasional weekend activity as job requires
• 30 Hours per week between the hours of 9am – 5pm with occasional evenings as job requires
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following:
• Perform general administrative tasks including composing/typing correspondence, building and maintaining departmental files and patron databases, Outlook contacts, answering telephone, organizing mail, and other duties as required.
• Maintain a neat, clearly structured, well-organized office (including both electronic and paper files of digital images and departmental library).
• Closely track availability of acquisition, exhibition, and endowed funds through orderly maintenance of department budget records and reports.
• Promptly process and track invoices for payment, check requests, and reimbursements.
• Manage the curators’ schedule, make travel arrangements, and act as communication bridge when curators are out-of-the-office.
• Assist in writing membership newsletter texts.
• Work with Patron Service Coordinator to organize Friends of Photography events; maintain close communication with members of Friends through regular mailings and email updates.
• Assist curators with exhibition and publication development, implementation, and coordination.
• Update fact sheets, prepare and update checklists, produce and edit label copy, circulate exhibition proposals, facilitate loan requests, and assist with installation and condition reports.
• Check galleries as needed.
• Maintain log of exhibition proposals received and correspondence with organizing institutions.
• Check galleries as needed.
• Assist in writing justifications for new acquisitions.
• Update object records using The Museum System and notify registrars when label information has been updated.
• Coordinate gallery changes, movement of permanent collection, and rotations.
• Proofread all copy and credit lines for materials related to public release of digital material including all technology and print-based applications.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Education and Experience:
• Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university in art history, museum studies, business, or related area preferred.
• Experience in art museum or gallery with specific knowledge of photography desirable.
• Familiarity with collections management best practices and collection management systems preferred.
• Experience using basic art history reference books.
• Experience in bookkeeping preferred.
Skills and Abilities:
• Ability to work independently, efficiently, and accurately with little supervision.
• Strong organizational skills and detail oriented.
• Strong communication skills, both verbal and written.
• Highly proficient with MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook (email/scheduling) and similar programs. Training on The Museum System (TMS) will be provided.
• Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues, as part of a team.
• Ability to interact professionally with the public and patrons.
• Reading and speaking knowledge of a foreign language desirable though not required.
• Knowledge of basic research methodology.
• Ability to solve practical problems and prioritize needs in a variety of situations, both simple and complex, where standardization is limited and immediate decisions are necessary.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS/WORK ENVIRONMENT:
The work environment and physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
• Some standing, walking, bending, frequent use of hands, stooping and light lifting (at least 10 pounds) is needed.
• The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.