Job Posting: Collections Assistant, Dallas Museum of Art

DMA Mission:

The Dallas Museum of Art is both a responsible steward of cultural heritage and a trusted advocate for the essential place of art in the lives of people locally and around the globe. The DMA is transparent, ethical, and takes informed risks. It promotes research, dialogue, and public participation, helping to reveal the insights of artists from every continent over the last 5,000 years.

Scope of Position:

The Collections Assistant will report to the Director of Collections Management and will work closely with Curators, Conservators, and other personnel in the Division of Collections and Exhibitions. The position is responsible for assisting the coordination of all aspects of loans, in-house exhibitions, storage, and documentation primarily for the Keir Collection and, as necessary, for other areas of the collection.

The Keir Collection is one of the world’s most highly regarded private holdings of Islamic art. The collection will be on long term loan to the DMA. It consists of nearly 1800 objects, ranging from manuscripts, ceramics, and metalwork to rock crystal, carpets, and textiles. The collection represents a broad survey of the traditional arts, and its contents date from as far back as the 7th to the 20th century from countries spanning from Spain to Central Asia.

The Collections Assistant will also support the increasing volume of researchers’ inquiries on the DMA collection, and help to coordinate and implement the teaching and research activities in the Museum’s Study Gallery. The position is responsible for coordinating all aspects and logistics of the DMA Study Gallery requests. The Collections Assistant will be responsible for entering any necessary information in the DMA database (TMS) and checking for possible existing conflicts regarding the availability of the objects requested.

The Collections Assistant will assist in the organization and coordination of class visits, including compiling course checklist, gathering artwork from storage for classes, explaining study room guidelines, supervising classes taking place in the study room, and returning artwork to storage when finished.

The position will also assist with collection care and storage logistics as needed.

Key Qualifications:

  • Create and maintains accurate records for the collection including electronic inventory records in TMS, objects files, and photographic records
  • Coordinate the incoming loan procedures and shipping arrangements for the Keir Collection
  • Complete Immunity from Seizure and OFAC applications for the Keir Collection and monitors application status and renewal times
  • Conduct provenance research
  • Prepare condition reports
  • Assist the Associate Registrar, Loans with all loan procedures for the Keir objects including but not limited to packing, shipping, loan agreements, insurance, and courier arrangements
  • Assist the Senior Advisor for Islamic Art with checklists, labels, and other assignments, as needed
  • Correspond with lenders, borrowers, and their agents, prepares loan agreements, and makes insurance arrangements as needed
  • Correspond with researches, students, and general public and provides information on the collections
  • Coordinate packing/shipping arrangements adhering to museum standards, special installation requirements, loan agreements, and insurance
  • Coordinate the logistics for the Keir collection in-house exhibition installations
  • Coordinate installation-related logistics with the Exhibitions Registrars, Preparators, Conservators, and Exhibitions staff
  • Document location change after each art move
  • Assist the Associate Registrar, Permanent Collection with storage maintenance and storage needs assessment
  • Coordinate installation-related logistics for the Study Gallery with the Registrars, Preparators, Conservators, Exhibitions staff and Curatorial staff
  • Coordinate access to DMA collection not on view after visit is approved by Curatorial and Collection staff
  • Maintain Viewing Room calendar
  • Assist the Director of Collections Management with special projects as assigned
  • Adhere to museum policies and support management decisions in a positive, professional manner
  • Conform to the code of ethics governing the museum and museum registrar profession set forth by the American Alliance of Museums and the Registrar’s Committee of the AAM
  • Act as courier as needed
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Education, Experience, and Certification:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Art History, Museum Studies, or related field (MA degree preferred)
  • Minimum of two years of experience in registration and art handling at a museum, archive, library, or gallery
  • Knowledge of museum standards and practices of registration, art handling, conservation, and collections storage requirements and procedures
  • Comprehensive knowledge of varied media handling, packing, transport, and storage best practice techniques
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent computer skills, proficiency in Excel
  • Knowledge of computerized collections management systems (TMS preferred)
  • Knowledge of Islamic art desirable
  • Demonstrable ability to assess priorities and work well under pressure
  • Excellent time management, problem solving and analytical skills
  • Highly organized, self-directed, and with strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work with curators, donors, vendors, other museum professionals, the public and co-workers professionally and tactfully including appearance and demeanor
  • Ability to flexibly embrace changes within this position due to departmental priorities and/or for cross-training purposes
  • Ability to carry/lift 50 lbs
  • Ability to climb ladders
  • Ability to sit or stand for long periods of time, and to lift, push, and/or pull heavy, fragile, and/or odd-shaped objects carefully and safely
  • Ability to safely employ the use of a variety of tools and equipment, and to handle oversized and/or heavy art objects
  • Ability to visually inspect artwork

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