Collections Research Specialist (Native American Art): Art Museum, Princeton University

The Princeton University Art Museum is seeking a Collection Research Specialist in Native American Art, a one-year term position to research and catalogue works of art in the Princeton University’s collection of Native American Art to create future opportunities for scholarship and teaching. The Collections Research Specialist will conduct a broad review of the collection, primarily focusing on the materials from the Northwest Coast of North America, and complete deep object research, including object studies and comparison, provenance research, condition reporting, and review of style, culture, materials, and technique. The Collections Research Specialist will catalogue all findings in the Museum’s collections information system, which provides data for publication on the Museum’s website.


Reporting to Curator of the Art of the Ancient Americas, the Specialist will work closely with Museum curatorial, education, and information and technology staff, with consultation faculty who may make use of these collections for teaching. Prioritization of research efforts will be determined with input from Museum colleagues, the Museum Director, and, potentially, a small working group of faculty. The Specialist will also help identify and engage subject area experts to work at Princeton and remotely in order to complete research on discrete objects within the collection.

·       Review collection of over 600+ works of Northwest Coast art, potentially expanded to consider other areas of Native American Art, in consultation with curatorial and education staff and prioritize areas of the collection for both primary and in-depth research.

·       Perform object research on culture and style, place, object use and context, materials, and provenance.

·       Enter compiled research as new or revised data in The Museum System (TMS) in adherence with established standards and guidelines. Organize, compile, and digitize source documents as needed.

·       Coordinate work of visiting subject area experts, based on needs of the collection and strengths in the field.


·       A doctorate in art history, anthropology, or another relevant discipline with a specialization in Native American Art—especially from the Northwest Coast—is preferred; a master’s degree with clear evidence of advanced research skills and object handling experience is required.

·       Two to four years demonstrated experience in object-based study of Native American art is required, preferably in a museum setting.

·       Research or published writing that establishes expertise in Native American Art is required.

·       Collection management experience and art handling skills are preferred.

·       Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills are required.

·       A high degree of organization, self-motivation, and great attention to detail are critical.

·       Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff members and visiting experts are necessary.

·       The final candidate for this one year term position will be required to successfully pass a background check.

With collecting origins dating to the 1750s, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the finest art museums in the country. Formally established in 1882, its collections feature nearly 100,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary art and spanning the globe. Its collections of Chinese painting, the art of the ancient Americas, and photography are widely regarded as being among the world’s richest. A private institution serving the public good, the Museum is committed to serving the University, local and regional communities, and beyond through a dynamic program of temporary exhibitions, new scholarship, and innovative programming. By collaborating with experts across many disciplines, fostering sustained study of original works of art, and uniting scholarship with broad accessibility, the Museum contributes to the development of critical thinking and visual literacy at Princeton University and enhances the civic fabric of our nation.

To learn more about the Princeton University Art Museum, please visit

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Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.  

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