Collections Research Specialist, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

By Diana Ascher August 13, 2020
Experienced
Los Angeles Administrative Offices – Los Angeles, CA
Contractor
$64,200.00 – $71,400.00 Salary/year
Description
About the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art
Founded by philanthropist and filmmaker George Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will inspire current and future generations through the universal art of visual storytelling. The museum will present a permanent collection and rotating exhibitions for diverse public audiences which will feature illustrations, paintings, comic art, photography, and an in-depth exploration of the arts of filmmaking (including storyboards, costumes, animation, visual effects, and more). Extensive education programming designed for all ages will explore innovative ways for visitors to engage with narrative art. Designed by renowned architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects and under construction in Los Angeles’ Exposition Park, the museum will feature new public green space, state-of-the-art cinematic theaters, a research library, numerous spaces for onsite education, restaurants, retail, and event spaces. Additional information at lucasmuseum.org.

Equal Opportunity Policy
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art embraces diversity and equal opportunity. We are committed to building a team that represents and supports a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. The Lucas Museum fosters a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment, whether based on race, national origin, gender, gender expression, religion, ethnic background, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other criterion prohibited by applicable federal, state, or local laws. We believe that diversity and inclusion among our team is critical to our success, and we seek to recruit, develop, and retain talented people from a diverse candidate pool. Applications from traditionally underrepresented communities are encouraged.

The statements in this description represent typical elements, criteria, and general work performed. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required for the job.

Position Summary (Intent and purpose of the role)

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (Lucas Museum) seeks a Collections Research Specialist to join our Curatorial & Collections division for a two (2) year limited term position. Reporting to the Deputy Director of Curatorial & Collections, the Collections Research Specialist at the Lucas Museum will assist the Curatorial and Collections Management teams by researching and cataloguing works of art in the Lucas Museum collection. The Collections Research Specialist will also focus on research and analysis involving object studies and comparison, review of style, culture, materials, and technique. This role will combine advanced research skills and methodologies with a strong background in writing to write research-based texts on works in the collection that may serve a variety of content purposes, such as object files, materials for the Learning & Engagement division, publications, and forms of gallery interpretation. 

The Collections Research Specialist will catalogue all findings utilizing The Museum System (TMS), and will also help with administrative assistance and departmental compliance with policies and tasks including the coordination and completion of forms, documents, and project budgets.  

All staff at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art lead through a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, both within the Museum and with the communities that we serve. 

This is a two (2) year contract, benefits-eligible role with an expected opening salary range of  $64,200-$71,400  per  year.  An attractive compensation package will be offered to the successful candidate(s).   

Core competencies for this role

  • Learning & Researching – Rapidly learns new tasks and quickly commits information to memory; Gathers comprehensive information to support decision making; Demonstrates a rapid understanding of newly presented information; Encourages an organizational learning approach (i.e. learns from successes and failures and seeks staff and customer feedback); Manages knowledge (collects, catalogues, and disseminates knowledge of use to the organization);  
  • Adhering to Principles & Values – Upholds ethics and values; demonstrates integrity; promotes and defends equal opportunities, builds diverse teams; encourages organizational and individual responsibility towards the organization and community we serve; 
  • Presenting & Communicating Information – Speaks clearly and fluently; expresses opinions, information and key points of argument clearly; makes presentations and undertakes public speaking with skill and confidence; responds quickly to the needs of an audience and to their reactions and feedback; projects credibility; 
  • Writing & Reporting – Writes clearly, succinctly and correctly; writes convincingly in an engaging and expressive manner; avoids the unnecessary use of jargon or complicated language; writes in a well-structured and logical way; structures information to meet the needs and understanding of the intended audience; 
  • Following Instructions & Procedures – Appropriately follows instructions from others without unnecessarily challenging authority; follows procedures and policies; keeps to schedules; arrives punctually for work and meetings; demonstrates commitment to the organization; complies with legal obligations and safety requirements of the role. 

Primary Responsibilities and Accountabilities

Collections Research and Analysis 

  • Review collection of the Lucas Museum and conduct research in consultation with the Curatorial and Collections Management teams; 
  • Update spreadsheets and databases with collections research findings; 
  • Perform object research on culture and style, place, object use and context, materials, and provenance; 
  • Interface with The Museum System (TMS) database to enter compiled research in accordance with standards and guidelines;  
  • May conduct related research to expand artist and object information for research files, including compiling maker biographical information, gathering artwork tombstone details, and developing records regarding date and place of publication (if known); 
  • Utilize strong background in writing to write research-based texts on works in the collection that may serve a variety of content purposes, such as object files, materials for the Learning & Engagement division, publications, and forms of gallery interpretation; 
  • Handle internal and external correspondence, respond to inquiries and research requests; 
  • Contribute to data-based collection and exhibition records; 
  • Maintain departmental records and files; 
  • Participate actively and positively in departmental problem-solving and brainstorming; 
  • Assist the Curatorial and Collections departments in all other areas as assigned; 
  • Special projects as designated by the Deputy Director of Curatorial & Collections, Director of Collections Management, or another designee. 
Qualifications

Education & Experience

  • A Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in Art, Art History, or a closely related field is required. A PhD is highly preferred; 
  • Knowledge of 19th and 20th-century art is highly preferred; 
  • At least three (3) years experience with research tools and methodologies, including online resources such as WorldCat, Internet Archive, Hathi Trust, and Google Books, and local libraries and library catalogs; 
  • A minimum of 24 months of museum or arts management experience;  

Skills

  • Proven records maintenance skills; 
  • Proficiency in the use of computers and Microsoft Office software; 
  • Skill in managing databases; 
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, and sound judgment; 

Knowledge 

  • Knowledge of The Museum System (TMS), including data entry in TMS to create constituent records, object records, and capture rights information; 
  • Knowledge of basic museum processes and procedures; 
  • Deep passion, alignment, and commitment to the Museum’s mission; 

Abilities 

  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; 
  • Ability to understand and follow complex, detailed instructions; 
  • Research ability sufficient to gather information about works of art or other materials; 
  • Ability to follow professional museum standards, collection care principles, and museum policies; 
  • Collaborative team player with proven ability to build relationships and work effectively and positively with Museum leadership and staff, a diverse set of external partners, and the general public; 
  • Ability to engage with a wide variety of stakeholders, including Museum colleagues, industry experts, and other external partners; 
  • Comfort with ambiguity, and an ability to envision the new and different, and a commitment to developing and working with diverse audiences; 
  • Ability to thrive in an entrepreneurial, creative, collaborative, and nimble environment. 

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