Cunningham Curatorial Assistant for the Collection

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Openings : 1,
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Job Description :

Job Summary

The Harvard Art Museums presents an exciting opportunity to join the curatorial team in the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art. Working with the eclectic and dynamic collection of 20th- and 21st-century art, the Curatorial Assistant for the Collection conducts cataloging in the collections database (TMS) and maintains active curatorial object files. The Curatorial Assistant performs original research on collection objects, including in part provenance, material technique, material condition, exhibition history, and artist biography. Supports the Assistant Curator of the Collection in ensuring the full range of museum standards for the presentation and documentation of collection information is met and that the collection and its documentation are fully accessible to faculty, students, and the public.

Position Description

Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Under the supervision of the Assistant Curator of the Collection, prepares and organizes collection gallery installations (CGIs) through cataloguing, TMS data entry, planning, and shepherding through internal processes, liaising with curatorial, collections management, conservation, and others, ensuring that all deadlines are met. Assists in preparing and organizing permanent collection gallery changes.
  • Supports and coordinates collections-based exhibitions, as needed, including the preparation of checklists, cataloguing of the artworks (including, but not limited to, data entry, alt text, and coordination of photography), program planning, budget tracking, record keeping, and implementation team meeting planning.
  • Supports the acquisition process for the division through research, cataloguing, documentation, and paperwork preparations.
  • Supports the review of incoming loan requests through object and catalog research assists in the documentation and cataloguing of artworks for outbound loans.
  • Coordinates the bimonthly transit list, liaises with colleagues, tracks transit justifications, submits list to collections management by deadline.
  • Coordinates photography of collection artworks, including for new acquisitions, incoming image requests, and obtains images and permissions from artists or galleries when possible. Submits images to the Digital Imaging and Visual Resources department. Approves external image requests and verifies collection images in TMS.
  • Applying high levels of customer service, discretion, and diplomacy, corresponds with museum donors, collections committee members, gallery owners, and artists, among others. Maintains strict confidentiality as required.
  • Coordinates Art Study Center visits and lists for curators and occasionally for outside scholars. Assists with facilitating the collections for use through classes, including occasional teaching with the collection for both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Trains new staff in collections database software. Departmental contact for collections database related questions. Conducts TMS cleanup projects.
  • Assists with the coordination of divisional programming such as study days and outside scholar visits.
  • Responds to internal and external collections inquiries, prepares object checklists and database reports.
  • Builds and maintains constructive working relationships with museum colleagues and others both within and outside of the university community.
  • Performs other related duties and special projects as required.
  • Assists in major museum-wide initiatives, including collaborations with Institutional Advancement or Conservation, among others.

Basic Qualifications

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications to be considered for this role:

Bachelor’s degree in a related field. Minimum of two years of related experience, including experience working in a museum, archive, special collection, or cultural properties institution.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Background in modern art history, information science, or museum and library studies strongly preferred. Art-historical research skills a plus. Demonstrated project management skills very helpful. Familiarity with studio processes and artistic techniques a plus. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Excellent problem-solving skills, self-directed and motivated. Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail. Demonstrated ability to build and maintain collaborative and effective working relationships. Demonstrated ability to manage and resolve conflicting priorities while maintaining a service approach. Proficient at MS Office, especially Word and Excel experience working with TMS a strong asset. Knowledge of at least one relevant non-English language preferred. Must be able to function well both independently and as part of a team.

Physical Requirements

This position is primarily conducted in an office setting. Must be able to lift and carry objects weighing up to 15 pounds. Travel to other local Harvard Art Museums sites may be required.

Additional Information

Please note: Some evening and weekend work may be required.

Harvard University supports a hybrid workplace model which will actively support some remote work. Specific days and schedules for on-site work and remote work will be discussed during the interview process. Please note hybrid workers must reside in a state where Harvard is registered to do business (CT, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA, VT, and WA).

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up to date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Work Format Details

This is a hybrid position that is based in Massachusetts. Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. All remote work must be performed within one of the Harvard Registered Payroll States, which currently includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Washington, and California (CA for exempt positions only). Certain visa types and funding sources may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.

About Us

Ever since their founding, the Harvard Art Museums—the Fogg Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum and Arthur M. Sackler Museum—have been dedicated to advancing and supporting learning at Harvard University, in the local community, and around the world. Displayed in galleries that mix not only media but schools of art, the collection at Harvard is celebrated and interrogated within a larger story of artistic expression and historical and contemporary issues. The diverse collection is among the largest in the United States. Through research, teaching, professional training, and public education the museums strive to advance the understanding and appreciation of art.

The museums value staff diversity and are committed to building a culturally diverse community. We encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.


We invite you to visit Harvards Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA – MA – Cambridge

Job Code

403082 Curatorial Assistant III

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


Salary Grade



Curatorial Div. of Modern and Contemporary Art


55 – Hvd Union Cler &amp Tech Workers

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity


Full time. Monday through Friday. 35 hours per week.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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Last Date For Apply: 2024-06-13 00:00:00 Job Type : FULL_TIME, Employment Type : FULL_TIMEApply Here