Collections Assistant

Date Posted
Close Date
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA 19130
Job Type

Philadelphia Museum of Art

We Are Committed to an Inclusive Workplace

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, we actively seek to employ a diverse group of people who embody our organizational values. We welcome and encourage individuals of all backgrounds to apply, especially those from marginalized and underrepresented groups in the museum field, who are inspired by our shared purpose and enjoy working collaboratively with others.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status.

How You Will Contribute

The Collections Assistant reports to and assists the Coordinator of Collections in the management, care, utilization, and development of the museum’s collection of over 162,000 works on paper. Under the supervision of the Coordinator of Collections, and in close consultation with curators and other staff in the department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, the Collections Assistant supports acquisitions and deaccessions, exhibitions, loans, object movement, cataloguing, and physical and digital object records. The Collections Assistant maintains a working knowledge of PDP storage and actively contributes to advancing the physical storage and housing of the collection.

As a member of the museum’s curatorial staff, the Collections Assistant is expected to participate in aspects of the work of the museum to enable it to fulfill its mission and to maintain the highest standards of scholarship, connoisseurship, and professional practices in the field.

Specifically, you will:

  • Assist with the management of the department’s collection, including tracking, documenting, and securing all works on paper.

  • Help maintain a comprehensive administrative overview of all collection-related tasks, including facilitating acquisitions, deaccessions, exhibitions, loans, object movement, housing and storage, and record keeping.

  • Assist with incoming gifts and purchase considerations and accessioning and deaccessioning processes, including creating paper and digital object files, completing condition reports, creating shipment paperwork, and producing core catalog records for potential acquisitions.

  • Provide support for exhibitions as needed, including working in the exhibition module of TMS, maintaining files with exhibition checklists and loan letters, and supporting curators with grant applications and other exhibition administration.

  • Support curators, conservators, and registrars, and work with collections specialists from other curatorial departments, in the coordination and tracking of external and in-house loans, from the initial loan request to facilitating conservation examinations, framing, and loan treatments, providing object-specific information to lenders, completing outgoing and incoming condition reports, and coordinating the movement of objects through museum facilities.

  • Coordinate object moves to and from galleries, storage areas, and conservation, create expects and change of location paperwork, notify museum stakeholders of gallery changes, and update TMS object locations when moves are complete.

  • In TMS, record light exposure for all displayed works, both in museum galleries and on loan to other institutions.

  • Help to advance the production, accuracy, and detail of digital cataloguing records and other materials related to objects in the collection. Work with TMS and consult with the division of Digital Resources and Content Strategy when necessary, maintain cataloguing standards within the department and update database records in preparation for web publishing.

  • Assist with various administrative duties as needed.

  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Coordinator of Collections and the Department Head.

Your background and experience include:

  • Broad knowledge of museum or library practices in the related fields of collections management, registration, administration of loans, art/special collections handling, conservation, and/or exhibitions planning.

  • Prior experience in the field.

  • Excellent organizational and time management skills, attention to detail, and strong written and oral communication skills.

  • Ability to work with databases, namely TMS and Excel, and other computing tools.

  • Ability to keep track of and manage workflow.

  • Ability to prioritize tasks and meet multiple deadlines.

  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully with others—museum staff, volunteers, and diverse public constituencies—to achieve institutional objectives.

  • Following appropriate training, ability to handle and lift art and move boxes and folders of varying dimensions and weights.

Position and Compensation Details

  • The salary for this position is $40,000.

  • This position is full-time, non-exempt, and 35 hours per week.

  • This position reports to the Coordinator of Collections.

  • This position is part of the AFSCME Local 397 bargaining unit.

Physical requirements:

  • Able to remain stationary for extended periods of time, to utilize computers and other office equipment required of this job, to perform physically administrative duties in a typical interior office environment, gallery, or exhibit space, and to access most public and staff areas of the museum campus

  • Able to regularly set up, adjust, and operate a computer/keyboard and other office equipment used to generate work/transmit data

  • Able to move items up to 10 pounds

  • COVID-19 vaccination required.

  • Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

Institutional Requirements:

  • Upholds the professional standards of the field, always acts in a manner that is consistent with the best interests of the museum, and protects and enhances its reputation and standing within the community of museums.

  • Adheres to the museum’s code of ethics and Employee Handbook and avoids any real or perceived conflicts of interest.

  • Shows respect for co-workers and visitors and an understanding of and appreciation for the diversity of the museum’s staff, volunteers, and audiences.

  • Maintains confidentiality.

  • Adheres to all museum protocols, procedures, rules, and policies.

Application Timeline

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We encourage candidates to apply early as the position will close once we have a robust applicant pool or a candidate has been selected.

What We Offer

Our employees are at the center of the museum. As an employee, you will have access to numerous museum perks including, but not limited to:

  • Free general admission to the museum for you and your immediate family

  • Discounted guest tickets for admission

  • Discounts on gift memberships

  • Special staff tours and presentations from our curatorial and conservation teams

  • Discounts at the museum restaurant, museum cafés, and museum retail and online stores

We offer a comprehensive benefits package for employees* including:

  • Medical, dental, and vision benefits

  • Fully paid short-term disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, and life insurance

  • Health savings or flexible spending account program

  • Retirement savings program with museum match

  • Paid vacation, personal days, sick days, and holidays

*Eligibility for certain benefits is based on a variety of factors including the employee’s regular schedule and tenure.

How to Apply

Please apply using the link below: 

Get Involved