Collections Manager - Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, Washington


Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC

Application deadline: Dec 10, 2018


Collections Manager in the Department of Photographs (Museum Specialist GS-1016-09) at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery


The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is devoted to telling the story of America by portraying those who shape the nation’s history, development, and culture, as well as reflecting and portraying the diversity of the American people. The museum has a collection of over 22,000 objects in all mediums, including substantial holdings in photography.


For this position in the Department of Photographs, the museum seeks candidates with knowledge of collections management principles, procedures, and methods used in the handling, storage, care, and preservation, including the attendant recordkeeping, to ensure the safety and accessibility of photographic collection objects. The incumbent would have gained said knowledge by working as a curatorial assistant, museum specialist, or collections specialist in a museum or archival collection, consisting of photographs and works of art on paper. The employee provides collections management, acquisitions management, procurement assistance, and office-related support to the curators and staff of the Department of Photographs.


The position has several major duties. First, the collections manager will coordinate collection management functions that include accession number requests, photography orders, requests for movement of objects, and the retrieval and return of artworks to storage. Second, the collections manager will process collection catalog records, including data entry; support the acquisitions process by preparing and editing acquisitions reports; use the collection database to track artworks for photography, conservation, and exhibition; and manage procurement and travel. Third, the collections manager will oversee collections storage, develop and implement collection space plans, and participate in periodic inventories. Finally, the collections manager will utilize specialized knowledge to guide and assist researchers and answer inquiries, as well as communicate with vendors, contractors, staff, researchers, and the public.


Candidates should have excellent writing and communication skills. Experience with The Museum System (TMS) is desirable. Candidates may substitute experience for advanced degrees, but an M.A in Collections Management, Art History, American Studies, Museum Studies, or a relevant related field is desirable.


Salary is GS-09 ($56,233–$73,105), with promotion potential to GS-11.


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Applications will be accepted from November 26, 2018 to December 10, 2018.


The Smithsonian embraces diversity and equal employment opportunity.