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Collections Manager/Associate Curator. Montana Museum of Art and Culture

University of Montana
Missoula, Montana, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Feb 14, 2024

Job Details

Application instructions are located at the bottom of the page. Please apply directly through the University of Montana's career portal UM Jobs at for positions at the University of Montana – Missoula, University of Montana Western (Dillon), and Helena College . Do not apply through or use easy apply through * .

The University of Montana invites applications for Collections Manager/Associate Curator for the Montana Museum of Art and Culture . The Collections Manager will be the primary employee charged with proper care and safety of the MMAC’s Permanent Collection and maintaining documentation of the collection. They will work with staff, interns, student employees and volunteers to ensure that the Permanent Collection is properly stored, documented and displayed. An important role is establishing and achieving goals to improve the care and preservation of, and access to, the museum collection.

Major duties include, but aren’t limited to:
  • Managing documentation of the Permanent Collection, including cataloging, inventories and other records such as the collections management databases and research files.
  • Generating condition reports, inventories, loan agreements and deeds of gift.
  • Ensuring proper care and preservation of the Permanent Collection by managing the museum storage rooms, environmental conditions data and analysis, curatorial housekeeping and planning for conservation project.
  • Contributing to exhibition planning and installation, including producing wall labels and some educational materials.
  • Making recommendations on acquisitions, deaccessions, loans and all other issues related to the management, care and development of the Permanent Collection.
  • Ensuring the safekeeping of the Permanent Collection by assessing risk and planning for mitigation.
  • Monitoring environmental conditions in all storage facilities, galleries and exhibition spaces, ensuring that art handling, storage and exhibition methods adhere to current museum standards.
  • Plans installations, deinstallations and other preparations for exhibitions in the museum galleries and other locations.
  • Supervises expert handling, hanging, framing/matting and photographing of art.
  • Follows developments in art history and museum studies so expertise and knowledge remain current.
  • Represents the museum and university by serving on committees and boards as designated by the director.
  • Cultivates and meets with patrons, lenders, colleagues and other constituents.
  • May serve as the Instructor of Record for one class per year (adjunct faculty).
The employee in this position will help hire, train, supervise and evaluate Gallery Attendants and curatorial and educational interns, as well as supervises curatorial contract personnel and other independent contractors in all aspects of collections management and development, installations and deinstallations of exhibitions. They will also work with staff to oversee Docents and volunteers on curatorial and educational projects.

The University of Montana is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity in all areas. In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of qualified people who would assist the University in demonstrating its five priorities for action : Place student success at the center of all we do; drive excellence and innovation in teaching, learning, and research; embody the principle of “mission first, people always"; partner with place; and proudly tell the UM story.

Position Details
  • Position is full-time with a variable work schedule, 1.0 FTE, Letter of Appointment and includes a comprehensive and competitive benefits package including Insurance package, mandatory retirement plan, partial tuition waiver, and wellness program.
  • Salary for this position is $52,000 per year commensurate with qualifications.
Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree in art history, history, museum studies, or a closely related field and 3 years of professional experience managing art and artifact collections, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Thorough knowledge of collections management standards and best practices.
  • Demonstrated experience managing the care, preservation and documentation of museum collections, especially in museum registration, collections management software, object handling and housing, loan procedures and exhibition installation.
  • Excellent project management skills.
  • The ability to perform moderate physical activity, such as carrying art, climbing ladders, lifting, kneeling and standing or walking for extended periods of time.
  • Being organized and detail-oriented.
  • Ability to work independently and take initiative.
  • Ability to be an effective writer and public speaker.
  • Eagerness to contribute to the museum’s work.
  • Considerable knowledge of research methods, identification and execution of findings.
  • Knowledge of collections management, exhibition development and current museum practices.
  • Ability to build effective relationships through individual interaction, teamwork and committees on campus and in the community.
  • Work schedule is nontraditional, sometimes requiring evening and weekend hours and limited travel.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Master’s degree in art history, history, museum studies, or a closely related field.
  • Familiarity with a diverse collection of art and cultural objects.
  • Experience working with and supervising students and volunteers.

About UM and the Museum of Art and Culture

The University of Montana is a flagship, research-intensive R1 institution with approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is located in Missoula, a culturally vibrant community of about 75,000, surrounded by mountains and three rivers converge. Abundant recreational opportunities in surrounding state and national forests and nearby Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park complement a thriving intellectual atmosphere.

The Montana Museum of Art and Culture (MMAC) acquires and preserves art that expresses the spirit of the American West and its relationship to the world. As a university and state museum, the MMAC presents exhibitions and educational programs that explore local, regional, and global themes.

The Montana Museum of Art and Culture is:
  • A celebrated fine arts and cultural museum and a model for university museums around the world.
  • A bridge between University of Montana students, faculty and staff and the greater community.
  • A place for learning and reflection where significant works of art and compelling ideas come together.
  • A steward of the state’s artistic legacy for generations to come, employing the highest professional standards to develop and preserve its Permanent Collection and make it accessible to all free of charge.
  • A champion for a diverse, inclusive, democratic and pluralistic society.
To learn more about the University of Montana, please visit the links below.
Criminal Background Investigation is required prior to Offer of Employment.
In accordance with University policy, finalists for this position will be subject to criminal background investigations.
ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran's Preference.
Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request. As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law.
References *References not listed on the application materials may be contacted; notice may be provided to the applicant.
Testing Individual hiring departments at UM may elect to administer pre-employment tests, which are relevant to essential job functions.

E mployment Eligibility. All New Employees must be eligible and show employment eligibility verification by the first date of employment at UM, as legally required (e.g., Form I-9).

Must be eligible to work in the United State upon hire.

How to Apply

Application Deadline: Thursday, February 29, 2024 by 11:59 PM (Mountain Time)

Complete applications received by this date will be guaranteed consideration. To receive full consideration, candidates are required to submit all of the following materials.

Please submit the following application materials** via the UM Jobs portal and by clicking "New Resume/CV" button. Please do not apply through*.
  • Letter of Interest – addressing the stated required skills for the position
  • Detailed resume listing education and describing work experience
  • Three (3) professional references - Names and contact information
* Applying through or easy apply through may result in submission of an incomplete application. Applications may be removed from full consideration if they are not complete with materials listed above under the "How to Apply" section. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure complete application materials are submitted and received by the date listed above.

** Please note: only five (5) attachments are allowed per application. Please combine documents accordingly.

Job Location Missoula, Montana, United States
Position Type Full-Time/Regular


University of Montana.

At UM, we approach everything with creativity because that’s what this evolving world needs. We are stewards of this place, its history and our future. We are driving forward together, affecting change that is right for our place and people. We know of no better place than Montana and its university to make a lasting impact on the common good.

As Montana’s flagship university, we set a high bar for academic studies, creative accomplishments and scientific exploration which benefit our students, our community and the world at large.

The University draws a diverse, global population to Missoula – our home and the state’s second-largest city with about 80,000 residents – and helps cultivate an educated, engaged and vibrant community. Our students receive a world-class education in a broad range of subjects that include the arts, sciences, trades, graduate and postdoctoral study and professional training.

Our main campus, nestled in the heart of western Montana’s stunning natural landscape, spans 56 acres at the base of Mount Sentinel and along the Clark Fork River, and includes the park-like Oval at the center of campus, more than 60 architecturally unique buildings and a 25,200-seat football stadium. UM's 180-acre South Campus offers student housing, a golf course, soccer fields and an outdoor track facility. Missoula College occupies two sites, one just across the river from the main campus, and one on the southwest side of Missoula.

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