Collection Manager

Responsible for managing the Foundation's artwork collection, the Collection Manager will oversee the storage, documentation, conservation, and appraisal of all objects in the collection, as well as coordinating access to the collection for scholars and curators, and overseeing all aspects of loans and consignments (domestic and international).

Job Location

Joan Mitchell Foundation
New York, NY


Full-time, Exempt

Reports To

Director of Archives and Research

Hiring Salary Range

$63,000 - $78,000

Position Summary

The Collection Manager is responsible for managing the Foundation's artwork collection. They oversee the storage, documentation, conservation, and appraisal of all objects in the collection, as well as coordinating access to the collection for scholars and curators, and overseeing all aspects of loans and consignments (domestic and international). The Collection Manager creates and implements policies and procedures to ensure proper care and stewardship of the collection (which includes paintings, works on paper, and prints). In addition, the Collection Manager is responsible for day-to-day registrar responsibilities. The position is based in New York City with responsibilities for working in office and at the Foundation’s storage facility.

Key Responsibilities Will Include

The Collection Manager is responsible for the following areas of oversight:

  • Inventory Management: Maintain accurate and up-to-date visual and written documentation of each artwork in the Foundation's collection management database and its hard-copy object files. Maintain accurate and current inventory of the collection and all object locations. Participate in annual audit and facilitate periodic spot checks.
  • Storage: Monitor art storage and exhibition spaces for temperature/humidity, environmental hazards, safety, cleanliness, and ongoing maintenance concerns. Ensure that objects are housed in accordance with professional standards, consulting with a conservator when needed. Participate in planning for long-term care and storage of the collection, overseeing any potential relocation to new storage facility.
  • Conservation: Monitor the condition of each object in the collection and arrange conservation treatment when necessary. Assess objects and create condition reports for work requested for loan or consignment. Maintain conservation reports and monitor conservation treatments, prioritizing treatments as needed. Work with conservators to create individualized exhibition guidelines for each object in the collection. Maintain written and visual condition reports for objects prior to loan or consignment, and upon return.
  • Handling and Transportation: Arrange for the safe handling, crating, transportation, framing, and installation of objects from the collection. Coordinate all shipping arrangements, including courier transit, ground transit, hotel accommodations, and per diems. When appropriate, act as domestic and international courier for artworks on loan or consignment. Schedule and oversee artwork viewings for scholars and curators.
  • Appraisals and Insurance: In concert with the Foundation’s Executive Director and Legacy Committee, ensure that the collection is properly valued. Coordinate obtaining updated insurance valuations when needed and update recorded values accordingly, keeping the Foundation's insurance broker apprised of changes. Work with insurance broker to ensure that the collection is properly protected, reviewing and approving policy coverage as needed. Review potential borrowers' and consignees' facility reports and insurance policies to confirm their full compliance with Foundation standards as defined by the Foundation's attorneys and insurance agent, negotiating terms as needed.
  • Loans and Consignments: Facilitate and process loans and consignments, negotiating terms as needed. Review facility reports and schedules provided by potential borrowers/consignees and engage the Foundation's attorneys and insurance agent in preparation of loan/consignment agreements. Enlist and schedule the services of art handlers, framers, crate fabricators, and shippers as needed. Ensure that all contracts are adhered to at all times, including monitoring climate readings. Maintain accurate exhibition and loan files, containing all legal agreements, checklists, floor plans, exhibition budgets, and relevant correspondence.
  • Sales: Work with the Foundation's Executive Director to track and implement sales strategy. Monitor the sale of artworks from the collection through the Foundation's sales agent(s). Ensure that sales are properly approved and necessary paperwork is received. Maintain records of invoices and payment advisements, and enter sales information in database.
  • Budget Oversight: Work with the Deputy Director of Finance & Administration to maintain an annual budget accommodating all costs related to collection care and exhibition expenses.
  • Oversight of Conservation Fellows, interns, and art handlers: Supervise on-site work of Conservation Fellows and interns, providing mentorship and support as needed. Collaborate with Director of Archives & Research on planning and implementation of collection-focused research projects. Schedule and supervise art handlers.

Qualifications, Knowledge, Skill Required

  • Bachelor's Degree in Art History, Fine Arts, or Museum Studies, or equivalent work experience.
  • Minimum five years practical experience in museum or private collection registration and collection management, with a thorough knowledge of best practices in object storage, conservation, insurance, handling, and documentation, including condition reports
  • Experience overseeing national and international art transport, and strong working knowledge of best practices in art handling, packing, and shipping
  • Experience creating and implementing policies related to collection care and stewardship
  • Extensive experience with collection management software, preferably FileMaker Pro
  • Prior experience rehousing or moving a collection is particularly valued
  • Detail-oriented and organized, with ability to manage multiple long-term projects simultaneously
  • High level of personal and professional integrity; trustworthiness with a strong work ethic
  • Commitment to the Joan Mitchel Foundation's mission, vision, purpose, and core values
  • Ability to communicate clearly and with professionalism within the Foundation's team and externally
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a collaborative team
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite

Covid-19 protocol and policies will be shared with final candidates. If hired, prospective individual must be able to furnish proof of vaccination status or reasonable accommodation request prior to the first day of work as per current NYC vaccine protocol.


The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the individual(s) assigned to this position. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills required. Management reserves the right to modify, add, or remove duties and to assign other duties as necessary. In addition, reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this position.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to [email protected] with the Subject Line: JMF - [Position Title].

About Joan Mitchell Foundation

The Joan Mitchell Foundation cultivates the study and appreciation of artist Joan Mitchell’s life and work, while fulfilling her wish to provide resources and opportunities for visual artists. Through its work, the Foundation affirms and amplifies artists’ essential contributions to society.