The Princeton University Art Museum seeks a Curator of Provenance to lead provenance research and documentation efforts and ensure broad access to collecting histories. Reporting to the Chief Curator and working closely with the Director, Associate Director for Collections and Exhibitions, Manager of Art Information, and the Curatorial Department, the Curator of Provenance will lead the Museum’s work in provenance documentation, establishing methodologies, undertaking and supporting research, and coordinating research with curators. This is a full-time, three-year term position with the possibility of extension.
Researching and sharing collecting histories is critical to the Museum’s mission. The origins of Princeton’s collections date nearly to the University’s foundation, making Princeton one of the oldest collecting institutions in the United States. Today, the Museum’s collections number over 115,000 objects, ranging from ancient to contemporary art and spanning the globe. As the Museum prepares for a dramatically reconceived new building scheduled to open in 2025, transparency about collecting histories will be a fundamental aspect of the visitor experience in the galleries and online.
The Curator of Provenance will collaborate with curators, registrars, and outside experts to establish research priorities and research the collections-both works already in the collections and also prospective gifts and purchases, incoming loans, and proposed returns. They will work closely with colleagues in the Museum’s Art Information and Education Departments to shape the presentation of this information, ensuring accessibility. Working within a teaching museum, they will contribute to classroom discussions about legal and ethical issues in collecting and serve as a voice on campus for conversations about cultural property. More broadly, the Curator of Provenance will reinforce a culture of provenance research and publication, ensuring the Museum’s adherence to best practices for the ethical and operational considerations of cultural property.
The successful candidate will have at least four years of experience gathering and organizing provenance information in a collaborative environment, familiarity with cultural property laws and cultural heritage legislation, expert knowledge of provenance research resources, and a commitment to ethical collecting. Advanced knowledge of research methodologies and collections management databases is required, along with experience setting standards for presenting provenance information. Meaningful experience collaborating with a network of experts in the field is essential, as is a familiarity with processes of transfer, return, and repatriation. MA in art history or a related field preferred. The Art Museum curatorial salary range for a full curator is $100,000-$130,000.