Researcher, Catalogue Raisonné

A full-time position based in our NYC office, the Researcher is the point person for all queries and submissions directed to the Catalogue Raisonné. The Researcher is also responsible for tracking and updating information about current exhibitions, publications, and auctions that include work by Joan Mitchell.

Job Location

Joan Mitchell Catalogue Raisonné
New York, NY


Full-time, Non-exempt

Reports To

Executive Director, Joan Mitchell Foundation

Hiring Salary Range

$66,000- 87,000

Position Summary

The Joan Mitchell Catalogue Raisonné project is presently researching Joan Mitchell’s paintings in preparation of a catalogue raisonné. This will be a scholarly publication documenting the artist’s entire painted oeuvre, including entries for each painting with complete descriptive information and detailed histories of ownership, exhibitions, and literature. Started in 2015, the project is currently in the research phase.

The Researcher is the point person for all queries and submissions directed to the Catalogue Raisonné. The Researcher is also responsible for tracking and updating information about current exhibitions, publications, and auctions that include at least one painted work by Joan Mitchell. This Researcher is New York based and works with an adjacent Paris based researcher. The researcher is expected to work in office, where the project’s hard-copy files are located, a minimum of two to three days per week. This is a full-time position with comprehensive benefits.

Key Responsibilities Will Include

  • Correspondence and administration: Act as point person for all queries and submissions to the Catalogue Raisonné, including inquiries from auction houses and galleries. Monitor email account and phone lines and respond to all correspondence and calls in a timely and courteous manner. Accept and process submission forms, adding relevant information to the research database. Maintain hard-copy files for all paintings and collectors; update painting files with incoming documentation and research, and carefully track all correspondence with collectors, auction houses, galleries, and exhibition organizers.
  • Painting examination, photography, and image management: As appropriate, schedule appointments to view and examine paintings in New York-area auction houses and galleries. Complete examination forms and enter this information into the research database. When needed, coordinate new photography of paintings in New York area, hire and manage contract staff, including photographers and art handlers. Evaluate new images for color accuracy and coordinate in-person color corrections when possible. When color corrections are needed, mark up proofs and collaborate with color retouchers to improve accuracy of images. Maintain digital archive of images, reviewing existing photography to determine whether it meets the catalogue raisonné’s standards for reproduction, and identifying where new recto or verso photography is needed.
  • Exhibition tracking: Obtain checklists, correspondence, and other relevant exhibition-related documentation from museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions. Maintain hard-copy files of exhibition materials and transfer findings into project database. Provide regular updates to Legacy and Communications Departments regarding current and upcoming exhibitions (including at least one painting by Mitchell) to ensure the Joan Mitchell CV and Exhibitions pages on the Foundation’s website stay up-to-date.
  • Bibliographic research: Work with Associate Archivist to stay informed of any new publications that contain reference to Mitchell’s paintings. Create bibliographic records in research database for all relevant publications, with entries for illustrations and references for individual paintings. Maintain hard-copy files of bibliographic materials and save digital versions to the server, when applicable. Review all bibliographic materials for discussion and/or illustration of specific Mitchell paintings, and transfer research findings into database.

This role will grow to a national scope once the researcher is oriented and has become well versed in Mitchell’s work. At that time, the role may involve travel to examine paintings and to conduct archival research.

Qualifications, Knowledge, Skill Required

  • Minimum Master’s degree in art history or related field
  • Several years of significant, scholarly, post-graduate research experience
  • Experience researching a single artist’s body of work, exhibition history, and bibliography, preferably within the context of a major exhibition or catalogue raisonné project
  • Familiarity with current catalogue raisonné best practices
  • Expertise with FileMaker Pro or similar research databases
  • Familiarity with auction house and gallery records
  • Ability to work independently with close attention to detail
  • Strong organizational skills and meticulous approach to record keeping and research
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Professional and friendly demeanor
  • Alignment with the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s organizational values


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.

Current Covid-19 protocol and policies will be shared with final candidates. We are hoping to hire for an early 2023 start, and will be flexible with the right candidate if looking for part-time.

How to Apply

Submit resumé and a separate cover letter inclusive of salary requirements to [email protected].

About Joan Mitchell Catalogue Raisonné

The Joan Mitchell Catalogue Raisonné project was established in 2015 in order to research Joan Mitchell’s paintings and to result in the eventual publication of a catalogue raisonné. This long-term research project will result in a scholarly, multi-volume book documenting all of the artist’s painted work.