Registrar and Collections Manager

New York, United States
Salary Not specified
Aug 21, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Vassar College

Registrar and Collections Manager

Department: Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
Duration of Position: Full year / Full time
Position Type: Administrator
Posting Date:
Posting Removal Date: Open Until Filled
Posting Number: 1001758

About Vassar College
Located in the scenic Mid-Hudson Valley, Vassar College is a highly selective, residential, coeducational liberal arts college. Vassar is strongly committed to fostering a community that reflects the values of a liberal arts education and to promoting an environment of equality, inclusion and respect for difference. Vassar College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, and applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged.

Vassar College is a smoke free/tobacco free campus.

Position Summary and Responsibilities The Registrar and Collections Manager (R/CM) is charged with functional care for the Art Center's collections, which collectively comprise one of Vassar College's most significant assets. Custodial care for the collections is thus a central function for the Art Center, and the R/CM leads both long-range planning efforts and day-to-day activities relative to the care and stewardship of the collections and for all activities related to the movement of art objects, including incoming and outgoing loan activities, the registrarial and preparatory components of the Art Center's exhibitions program, and long-term loans.

Reporting to the Director, the R/CM provides important leadership relative to collections care, including shaping and enforcing collections management policies and practices that seek to operate at the highest levels of museum standards and best practices and to safeguard the Art Center's collections and loans for future generations. Collections Management interface with all key Art Center departments as well as with museums nationally and internationally. The CM Department operates on time-sensitive and often active schedules, facilitating an ambitious program of collections activities and of temporary and permanent collections exhibitions. The R/CM must be able to lead the Department with grace under pressure, assuring the smooth and effective flow of information as well as of works of art, setting strategic priorities and assuring that deadlines are met without sacrificing quality or care.

Collections Stewardship and Strategic Planning
  • Leads long-range planning efforts and day-to-day activities relative to stewardship and care of the collections, including planning for and implementation of art storage efforts, installation and rotation of campus art, and preventative conservation strategies, and collections inventory planning and execution.
  • Participates in and/or manages special projects as required.
  • Assures that collections records, including the Art Center's collections database (TMS) are impeccably maintained.
  • Maintains catalogue archive and issuance of ISBN numbers.
  • Oversees the administration of Rights and Reproductions and digital imaging of the collection.
  • Participates in ongoing efforts such as Risk Management and Emergency Preparedness.
  • Works closely with the College's Office of Risk Management to ensure that the Art Center's collections and long-term and short-term loans of works of art are appropriately insured in the event of a catastrophic loss, including assuring compliance with best practice policies and procedures to minimize risk to the collections and coordinating any insurance claims.

Department Management
  • Leads a department of three Associate or Assistant Registrars and the Art Center's Preparator, as well as providing indirect supervision for additional staff associated with the Art Center's multi-year inventory project.
  • Creates work plans for collections care and stewardship as well as for all art-movement activities associated with the Art Center's dynamic exhibition schedule.
  • Supervises or provides oversight to contract conservators, registrars, and mount makers as needed.
  • Advocates for the department's needs and for the collections management field, both internally and externally.

Loan and Exhibitions Management
  • Oversees logistical arrangements for incoming/outgoing loans both domestic and international, and touring requirements for all special exhibitions organized or hosted by the Art Center, delegating specific responsibility for particular exhibitions from inception to completion to staff registrars and contract registrars as needed.
  • Acts directly as loans registrar for special exhibitions on an occasional basis.
  • Assures that logistical arrangements are made and customer service is provided to the highest standards.
  • Provides oversight and assures the custodial care for the exceptional long-term loans on deposit to the Art Center, to standards equal to the Art Center's diligence relative to its own collections.
  • Interfaces with lenders of long-term loans as requested by the Director.
Policies and Procedures
  • Ensures that the Art Center's policies and procedures that relate to its collections and loans to/from the Art Center are consistent with current and evolving museum best practices and the Art Center's mission.
  • Assures that the Art Center's comprehensive Collections Management Policy is up to date and is followed by all relevant Art Center staff.

  • Master's degree required, preferably in art history or a related field.
  • Seven to ten years progressively complex museum registration experience, including experience overseeing collections and registration activity, as well as exhibitions planning and development.
  • Personnel management and budget development and management experience.
  • Proficiency in and demonstrated knowledge of current registration practices and principles.
  • Knowledge of ethical standards and legal matters relating to the management of museum collections.
  • Superb attention to detail is essential, as are strategic planning skills, and the ability to both lead a team and be an effective and collaborative team member in a complex and fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
  • Ability to work effectively with colleagues, collectors, donors and others, including sophisticated communications skills.
  • Advanced experience with collections management software required; experience with The Museum System (TMS) preferred.
  • Excellent computer skills including Microsoft Outlook and Office, Excel, as well as a knowledge of, or a willingness to learn, SharePoint and Portfolio.
  • Must have impeccable standards, ethics and credibility.
  • Occasional courier duties as required.

Required Applicant Documents
Cover Letter
Contact Information for 3 References

Optional Applicant Documents

Special Instructions to Applicants
To complete your on-line application, you will be required to attach your cover letter, resume, contact information for 3 professional references. All attachments must be in PDF format. Review of applications will begin immediately. This position will remain open until filled.

For full consideration applicants should apply by:

Anticipated Start Date:
Anticipated End Date (If Applicable):

To Apply
All applicants must apply online at:

Vassar is strongly committed to fostering a community that reflects the values of a liberal arts education and to promoting an environment of equality, inclusion and respect for difference. Vassar College is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, and applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged.


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