Employment Opportunities

Exhibition Coordinator and Assistant Registrar

Posted November 28, 2020

How to Apply:
Please send a Cover Letter, Resume, and at least two References to Rebecca A. Dunham at rdunham@fourarts.org by January 15, 2021.

The Society of the Four Arts is seeking an Exhibition Coordinator and Assistant Registrar to provide curatorial support, perform registrar duties, and serve as an art handler and preparator for the Fine Arts department. The position may contribute ideas to the exhibition program and development of the collection. He/she is essential to The Four Arts’ collegiate work environment by liaising with other internal departments and with the professional art world.

Background

The Society of the Four Arts is a nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1936 with a mission to inspire and engage people through the presentation of outstanding artistic programs in music, art, drama, and literature. From November through April, The Four Arts offers hundreds of events, including concerts, art exhibitions, lectures, workshops, films, children’s programs, and more. The 10-acre, multi-building campus along the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach includes a performance hall, lecture hall, art galleries, a modern education center devoted to lifelong learning, a library, a children’s library, a sculpture garden, and botanical gardens.

Fine Arts Department 

The Fine Arts department realizes The Four Arts’ program of temporary exhibitions, including traveling exhibitions and in-house developed projects, and oversees the production of related publications, programs, and events. The department also develops and manages The Four Arts’ permanent art collection, including sculptures in the Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden. It currently consists of two positions, the Head of Fine Arts and Curator and the Exhibition Coordinator and Assistant Registrar. The Head of Fine Arts and Curator reports to the President and the Exhibition Coordinator and Assistant Registrar reports to the Head of Fine Arts & Curator. Programs, whether exhibitions or ancillary events such as lectures and tours, are coordinated with the Director of Programs.

Position Overview

Fine Arts staff oversee four galleries in a seasonal exhibition program from November through April, mounting two to four exhibitions per season. Exhibitions include retrospectives and survey projects of individual artists; historical explorations of particular art movements, types of objects, styles, or periods; contemporary visual arts; explorations of historical and contemporary architecture and design; and celebrations of collections, both institutional and private. The exhibition program is devised by the President and Head of Fine Arts and Curator in consultation with the Director of Programs. During the off-season (May through October), Fine Arts staff plan the next season’s exhibitions and work on projects related to the permanent art collection.

The permanent art collection contains 450 pieces of art, including fine arts, decorative arts, historic furniture, and sculptures in the Philip Hulitar Sculpture Garden and Four Arts’ Botanical Gardens. The President and Head of Fine Arts and Curator develop the collection, and the Fine Arts department manages and cares for the collection. The department promotes the mission of The Four Arts through curated displays of collection objects in campus buildings and the gardens (not in the galleries). The department works with the Fine Arts Committee, an advisory committee composed of Board of Trustees members who support the exhibition program, permanent art collection, and related programs and events.  

The Exhibition Coordinator and Assistant Registrar works on several projects concurrently and assists the Head of Fine Arts and Curator in the following essential duties and responsibilities:

General

  • Department activities, from the research and development stage of an exhibition or collection acquisition/deaccession through its realization
  • Liaising with artists and their representatives and arts institutions
  • Liaising with Four Arts’ internal departments, including Communications, Education, Advancement, Facilities, Box Office, Technical Services, and Finance
  • Monitoring the department budget, including obtaining estimates and processing invoices
  • Managing sub-contractors such as conservators, framers, packing and shipping companies, and sign companies
  • Copy-editing department and institutional literature 
  • Creating and managing self-guided tours in OnCell 
  • Recording Fine Arts attendance figures
  • American Alliance of Museums reaccreditation
  • Responding to public enquiries about exhibitions and collection, including exhibition proposals and artwork donations 
  • Managing ongoing project of digitization of department’s records
  • Book department programs and meetings on institutional ScheduleFusion calendar 
  • Correspondence with members of the Fine Arts Committee 

The Exhibition Coordinator and Assistant Registrar may represent the Fine Arts department when Head of Fine Arts and Curator is unavailable and carries out other tasks as assigned.

The Exhibition Coordinator and Assistant Registrar assists with the Exhibition Program as follows:

  • Helps develop exhibition layout and design, including fabrication of or procurement of installation materials, signage and didactic content, and technology needs
  • Helps supervise exhibition installations/de-installations, including packing/unpacking of artworks, and condition reporting 
  • Serves as an art handler and preparator, and helps manage sub-contracted art handlers 
  • Organizes photography of installations and objects for records and publications
  • Compiles information for labels and text panels; copy-edit interpretative materials 
  • Researches and recommends exhibition-related merchandise to sell in Four Arts’ Gift Shop
  • Attends and assists with related programs and events, including giving tours or engaging with visitors and members 
  • Compiles exhibition guest lists in collaboration with Advancement and Communications 
  • Arranges accommodation, travel, and per diems for visiting artists, couriers etc. 
  • Monitors and replenishes gallery supplies and technology needs in exhibitions and Sculpture Garden
  • Performs gallery maintenance, including dusting of platforms, pedestals, and vitrines
  • Assists with curating displays of collection objects in Four Arts building, including displays that complement exhibitions in galleries and/or music, drama, and literature programs across campus

The Exhibition Coordinator and Assistant Registrar assists with the following Registrar tasks:

  • Helps review exhibition contracts and loans agreements; liaise with internal departments to ensure contractual and loan conditions are fulfilled 
  • Compiles packing and condition reports to museum standard; keep records of conditions of collection objects and loaned works and liaise with conservators and couriers when necessary 
  • Helps organize collection and exhibition-related packing and shipping, including tracking shipping and crate lists, obtaining estimates, and liaising with shippers 
  • Monitors facility humidity and temperature set points with Metasys; archive daily readings and liaise with Facilities as needed
  • Helps maintain files and correspondence about collection and exhibitions, archive past exhibition files 
  • Helps maintain collection database Collector Systems, including data entry, uploading documentation, and generating reports
  • Assists with annual inventory of collection
  • Researches and requests copyright permissions 
  • Helps manage art storage, including organization of objects and storage furniture, pest control, and pulling artworks/integrating new acquisitions 
  • Helps oversee general care of collection and perform basic maintenance on artworks in storage or on view

Education and Experience Requirements

  • MA in Art History, Fine Arts, or Museum Studies 
  • Knowledge of the history of fine and decorative arts
  • Knowledge of current museum methodologies and best practices
  • Minimum of five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive experience in an art museum or gallery environment
  • Experience working for a non-profit arts organization is preferred 

Skills and Performance Requirements

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong research, problem-solving, and project management skills 
  • Detail-oriented with ability to multi-task, prioritize, and work under deadline
  • Tested art handling, installation, and collections care skills
  • Ability to work cooperatively as part of a team
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite,; proficiency of Adobe Creative Suite a plus
  • Proficiency with collection management software

Summary of Work Environment

  •  On-campus position working in office and meeting environments
  • In addition to regular office hours (Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm), ability to work on occasional evenings and weekends
  •  Work requires physical labor, including ability to lift and carry objects weighing up to 40 pounds unassisted 
  •  Work requires ability to climb ladders and proficiency with a wide range of tools; proficiency with power tools and carpentry experience a plus
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