Collections Associate

Requisition # 2023-18031
Date Posted 3 months ago(1/19/2024 9:04 PM)
Art Museum
Arts and Museum Administration
Job Type


About the Museum:

With a collecting history that extends back to 1755, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the leading university art museums in the country, with collections that have grown to include more than 115,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary art and spanning the globe. Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the Art Museum also serves as a gateway to the University for visitors worldwide. As the Museum prepares for a dramatically reconceived new building scheduled to open in early 2025, the Art Museum presents six exhibitions in its two downtown venues (Art on Hulfish and Art@Bainbridge) and is touring three collections exhibitions nationally and internationally.  When the new building opens, the Art Museum will initiate their new exhibitions program with nine annual exhibitions onsite and on tour.


To learn more about the Princeton University Art Museum, visit


The Princeton University Art Museum welcomes applications for a Collections Associate to join the collections team that supports the active teaching program within the Museum’s study rooms and galleries. The team responds to the increasing level of curricular activity as requested by many diverse University departments as well as fulfills requests by independent scholars to study the Museum collections. The successful candidate will be a member of the Registrar’s Office and will work under the supervision of the Collections Access Supervisor alongside one other Collections Associate.  This is a regular, full-time position that requires availability to maintain a flexible work schedule and may require some evening hours as needed.


The primary responsibility of the Collections Associate is to fulfill assignments as appointed by the Collections Access Supervisor related to preparing and moving artwork for teaching. The Collections Associate will frequently move artwork in and out of storage to set up and break down displays of artwork in the Museum classrooms. They will monitor classes and researchers in the Museum study rooms as well as track all object movement in the Museum’s collection management database, (The Museum System™, TMS).


Additional responsibilities:

  • Understand and respond to scheduled assignments, anticipating the constraints of space, time, and other factors.
  • Accurately track classroom checklists in TMS.
  • Set up artwork for classes, scholars’ visits, and other collection appointments or inquiries.
  • Monitor classes and appointments while in session.
  • Assist in the preparation and maintenance of collections in the classrooms, storage rooms, and cold storage rooms.
  • Assignments may include caring for collection objects for storage and/or display in the classrooms, such as fabrication of archival storage containers and storage mounts, or interleaving of stored prints, drawings, and photographs.
  • Assist with arranging movement/transportation of art among various campus locations.
  • Conduct monthly spot-check inventories.
  • Assist with collection projects such as object numbering, rehousing, inventory, and organizing artwork within the storage room.


This position requires experience in handling fine art. The Collections Associate is expected to move confidently among a sizable range of media and to properly analyze the physical requirements and the inherent risks associated with object handling.  They must possess an ability to plan and organize within a changing work environment while adhering to the time-sensitive nature of scheduled work. 


Additional requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Art History, Museum Studies, Art Conservation, or Studio Arts is preferred; as an alternative to a BA/BS, equivalent personal or professional experiences, training, or education will be considered.
  • Minimum of two years experience working with an art museum collection.
  • Flexibility with work schedule and ability to occasionally work after 5 PM.
  • Demonstrated experience handling paintings, sculpture, works on paper, textiles, and decorative arts, art installation skills a plus.
  • Interest in the arts such as knowledge of artists’ methods, materials, and techniques, as well as a general knowledge of art history.
  • Excellent communication and customer service skills, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills.
  • Professional ability to convey study room guidelines and oversee students, faculty, and guests during appointments.
  • Ability to meet specific physical requirements, such as:
    • stand or walk up to 2 hours at one time for 8 hours per day
    • sit for less than 2 hours at one time
    • lift or carry up to 75 pounds occasionally (less than 33% of the workday)
    • lift up to 75 pounds to waist height and up to 30 pounds in a range of motions from floor to overhead
    • frequently use hands for simple grasping or pushing or pulling (34 – 66% of the workday)
    • occasionally squat, kneel, climb, reach overhead, lift overhead, knee stand, push or pull with forces up to 100 pounds (less than 33% of the workday)
    • frequently bend (34 – 66% of the workday)
    • possess ability to work at heights, full range of body motions and physical agility, and ability to maintain balance
  • Basic computer skills essential, familiarity with The Museum System™ (TMS) collections management software preferred.
  • A high degree of organization and self-motivation, including the ability to take initiative, anticipate actions needed, and exercise independent judgment.
  • Excellent communication and customer service skills, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills.
  • Professional ability to convey study room guidelines and oversee students, faculty, and guests during appointments.
  • Ability to work under pressure and in a collaborative team environment.
  • Comfortable working on multiple projects at any one time.
  • Interest in the arts such as knowledge of artists’ methods, materials, and techniques, as well as a general knowledge of art history.

The Museum continually pursues and holds itself accountable to the values of a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible environment for students, staff, volunteers, partners, users, and visitors. At Princeton, individuals with a diverse array of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences find unique opportunities to advance their interests and careers while working with peers and the broader Princeton community.


Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Standard Weekly Hours


Eligible for Overtime


Benefits Eligible


Probationary Period

90 days

Essential Services Personnel (see policy for detail)


Physical Capacity Exam Required


Valid Driver’s License Required




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