Head of Provenance Research – Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY

Link to Apply: https://metmuseum.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/metmuseumcareers/job/Head-of-Provenance-Research_JR-42645

About the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online.

Since its founding in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. We are committed to fostering a collaborative and respectful work environment with a staff as diverse as the audiences we engage. Our staff members are art lovers who are passionate about working toward a common goal: creating the most dynamic and inspiring art museum in the world.

At The Met, every staff member – from security officers to researchers to scientists and beyond – lives by our core values of respect, inclusivity, collaboration, excellence, and integrity. 

Respect: Engage one another with collegiality, empathy, and kindness, always.

Inclusivity: Ensure that all are and feel welcome and valued.

Collaboration: Reach across boundaries to exchange ideas and work together toward our shared mission.

Excellence: Lead the cultural world in quality and expertise—and inspire curiosity and creativity.

Integrity: Hold ourselves to the highest moral standards, admit when we fall short, and then evolve. 


The Head of Provenance Research will coordinate efforts at provenance research throughout the curatorial departments of the Museum in close collaboration with the Deputy Director for Collections and Administration and the Counsel’s Office.  You will work with the curators and provenance researchers embedded within the appropriate departments to confirm that proper research is undertaken on all objects currently in the collection or entering through acquisition that can be considered Cultural Property or should be examined for their Nazi-era provenance.  You will play a vital role internally, coordinating between all departments throughout the Museum engaged in issues of Cultural Property, and will also be a voice for the Museum on these issues externally.  In addition, you will undertake research on provenance for specific departments when necessary. 


  • Coordinate all museum provenance research on objects potentially scrutinized as Cultural Property or questioned for their Nazi era provenance
  • Investigate claims of Cultural Property working with curators, conservators, and scientists on provenance research and analysis
  • Evaluate proposed acquisitions on risk of Cultural Property claims
  • Act as a leading voice on all past and future issues of provenance research at the Museum and externally
  • Influence the direction of the Museum’s outward-looking provenance efforts including communications, convenings and lectures
  • Participate in provenance research conferences and seminars, engaging with an active network of provenance-related contacts
  • Lead provenance research efforts in specific departments when needed, beginning with work on The Met’s collections from the Ancient Americas
  • Influence the direction of training sessions for curatorial and collections management staff on the care and evaluation of Cultural Property.
  • Drive communication efforts to share new provenance information with the public on The Met’s website


  • MA or PhD in an art historical field relevant to this work; or a degree in a related field such as Law
  • 10 years of experience in provenance research procedures, guidelines, and resources
  • Familiarity with art market influences of the last 100 years and related to area of subject matter expertise
  • Knowledge of external sources of provenance information, such as archives (both in the U.S. and other countries), including those that are not publicly available
  • Significant experience improving collecting practices within museums or related organizations
  • Proven communications skills navigating highly complex and sensitive topics
  • Established network of contacts in the field of provenance research
  • A demonstrated interest in The Met as a collecting institution committed to the highest standards of collecting practices


  • Pay Range : $140,000 – $160,000 /  Annually
  • The advertised pay scale reflects the good faith minimum and maximum salary range for this role. The advertised pay scale is not a promise of a particular wage for any specific employee. The specific compensation offered to a candidate may be dependent on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, the candidate’s experience, education, special licensing or qualifications, and other factors.

Location Requirements

At time of employment, employees are expected to be located within commuting distance of the Museum. “Commuting distance” means that they are located in one of following states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania (the “Tri-state and PA” areas), and be able to commute to and from the Museum in a single day.

Benefits Offerings

The Museum provides competitive compensation, and generous benefits and perks for all eligible employees. Note: Benefits Offering may differ based on Employee Status.

  • Medical, dental, vision and life insurance
  • 403(b) basic retirement plan and optional matching retirement plan with an outstanding employer match
  • Considerable paid time off, including annual leave, sick leave, and 13 Museum holidays
  • Long-term disability coverage
  • Flexible Spending Accounts & Health Savings Account (pre-tax income for eligible health care expenses)
  • Commuter benefits (pre-tax income for parking or mass transit expenses)
  • Free financial-planning services
  • Financial assistance for relevant coursework, seminars, and training programs
  • 25% discount for staff in Museum shops
  • A subsidized staff cafeteria
  • Access to the Museums Council pass, which grants free admission to various museums and cultural institutions

Research shows that women and people from underrepresented groups often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that someone meets 100% of the qualifications for a role. If much of this job description describes you, then please apply for this role.

The Met is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, The Met will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If reasonable accommodation is needed in this process, please contact benefits@metmuseum.org.  

The Metropolitan Museum of Art provides equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, alienage or citizenship status, marital status or domestic partner status, genetic information, genetic predisposition or carrier status, gender identity, HIV status, military status and any other category protected by law in all employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, lay-off and termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment.

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