Job Listings

Collections Assistant

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Arts and Museum Administration
Harvard Art Museums


Job-Specific Responsibilities
Job Summary:

Reporting to the Assistant Director for Collections, the Collections Assistant will be responsible for a variety of tasks involved in providing a safe environment for the works of art in the Harvard Art Museums' collections. This public-facing position will also monitor classes and appointments in all of the Harvard Art Museums' facilities, engaging with visitors in a professional and courteous manner.

While this position will be required to work in both Cambridge and Somerville facilities, the primary location for this position will be the Cambridge facility.

Schedule: Monday - Friday; 10 am-6 pm

Duties and Responsibilities:

Safely execute the physical movement of artwork and complete all related documentation. The Collections Assistant will assist in making assessments concerning the safety of the artwork and take the necessary action and/or report problems to the appropriate staff. This position will be required to work in both Cambridge and Somerville facilities as assigned and perform other duties as required.
  • Ensure the safe and timely preparation of works of art by handling and moving art in the gallery's storage areas and all art viewing spaces.
  • Properly set up display furniture for appointments in all of the art viewing spaces and remove at the close of these appointments
  • Track and update art movement data in the museum database system
  • Monitor class and study appointments as assigned.
  • Provide instructions to visitors regarding the Art Study Centers guidelines and policies at the start of class and study appointments
  • Provide clear art handling instructions to visitors
  • Correct visitor behavior when necessary to protect the safety of the artwork
  • Assist with object handling during class and individual study appointments
  • Answer visitor questions regarding the artwork to the best of his/her ability using the collection information in the Museums' database
Art handling staff in the Collections Access Department will act as lead contact, on a rotating basis, for the following areas of responsibility as determined by the Assistant Director for Collections.
  • Art Movement
  • Art Viewing Appointments
  • Acquisitions
  • Collections and Storage
Basic Qualifications
Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications in order to be considered for this role:

Minimum of two years of art handling or related experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills
Bachelor's Degree strongly preferred. BFA in studio art or design or BA in art history or Museum Studies preferred; consideration will be given for equivalent related work experience.

Strong desire to work with the public. Experience working with the public in a customer service environment strongly preferred. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (written and verbal).

Installation experience preferably in an art museum or gallery. Demonstrated experience with handling and installing a variety of art objects. Experience with gallery preparation; matting and framing skills; woodworking skills; mechanical ability and shop experience preferred.

Proficiency with computer software. Familiarity with The Museum System (TMS) is preferred. Demonstrated ability to prioritize tasks and to meet competing deadlines in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment. Proven ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of individuals and groups.

Physical Requirements
Must be able to lift up to 50 lbs. Able to walk, stand, stoop, push, and pull; must be able to reach and work above the shoulders, climb ladders, lift, kneel, twist, and squat.

Additional Information
PLEASE NOTE: During the current period of Covid-19 related restrictions, this position may start as a remote position, with the transition to onsite in Cambridge when the office reopens.

We continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 and the lifting of restrictions. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with our interview process. We will be conducting interviews virtually for selected candidates until further notice.

This position may be required to work occasional evenings and/or weekends.

This position requires pre-employment reference and background screenings, including an identity check and criminal background check

Job Function

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
403086 Exhibit Assistant-Specialist


Collections Management

Time Status

Salary Grade

55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Identity

Schedule: Monday - Friday; 10 am - 6 pm

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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