Assistant Registrar for Collections – Loeb Art Center, Vassar College

Paid:  Salaried/ Hourly

Position Status:  FT/FY or PT

Reports to:  Head Registrar                                                                FTE: 1.0   52 Wks./Yr.

Overview of position:

One of six members of the collections and exhibitions management team charged with the functional care of 22,000+ works of art and associated intellectual data.  The Art Center’s collection spans all media ranging in date from antiquity to contemporary.  The team is also responsible for the installation/deinstallation of exhibitions (both permanent collection works and loans) as well as the documentation of all transactions and movement of objects according to professional museum standards.

The Assistant Registrar aids in the preservation, documentation and care of the museum’s collection, processes new acquisitions, and supports curricular object-based study in the museum.  The Assistant Registrar also assists with maintaining accurate up-to-date information in the Art Center’s collections management database (TMS), and is responsible for making all objects accessible and for providing proper accounting practices.

Position responsibilities:

Manages all aspects of incoming new acquisitions (gifts, bequests, purchases, approvals) including processing invoices, legal documents and tax forms, composing donor letters, arranging shipping, condition reporting, numbering, leading quarterly meetings, and generating annual reports.

Collaborates with Curator of Academic Programs and Preparator to oversee Project Gallery (exhibition space for object-based study) displays, including scheduling, preparation, and installation.

Liaises with faculty and students on classroom requests and independent projects; coordinates classroom viewings of artworks and occasionally proctors classes.

Point person to pull and re-house works of art for a variety of purposes (class use, examination, research) and tracks object movements in TMS; produces object packages and reports as needed; works with database administrator to maintain integrity of data as currently established

Manages department shipping calendar and releases/receives all non-exhibition-related shipments

Conducts inventory of 22,000 objects on a systematic basis (each full inventory is currently a three-year project), as well as quarterly location spot-checks to include all classifications of works of art within a single year

Spearheads storage housing and organization projects under the supervision of the Head Registrar

Supervises and mentors 2+ student employees per semester and consults with Head Registrar to assign meaningful projects

Maintains and orders departmental supplies

Provides support to other collections team members as needed, including assistance with exhibition changeovers, rights and reproduction requests, condition reporting, and occasional courier duties

Performs other duties as assigned

Required skills and experience:

Minimum 3-5 years of professional post-graduate registration and/or collections management experience working with an art museum collection or gallery

Knowledge of art handling best practices and art and artifact collections care in a museum environment

Prior experience organizing domestic shipping

Working knowledge of collections management databases—TMS experience preferred

A high degree of organization and self-motivation, including ability to take initiative, anticipate actions needed, and exercise independent judgment

Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate clearly and professionally in verbal and written forms

Comfortable working on multiple projects at any one time

Ability to work under pressure independently and in a collaborative team environment

Ability to work with/mentor part-time work-study students from diverse backgrounds

Ability to handle art storage boxes and objects up to 30 lbs.; ability to climb ladders and lift materials above head


BA in art history/BFA required; MA in art history, museum studies or related field preferred

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