Chief Registrar & Collections Manager

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Kemper Museum’s Chief Registrar and Exhibitions Manager supports the Museum’s mission and the Exhibitions, Collection, Registration, Preparator strategic initiatives. In partnership with Museum senior leadership, the Chief Registrar and Exhibitions Manager leads departmental responsibilities, initiatives, and maintains the physical and intellectual control of the Museum’s exhibition and collection records in the Museum’s custody throughout four facilities.

  • Serve as the head and principal representative of collections and registration department; establish vision and goals for the department and set priorities in coordination with Director of Curatorial Affairs.

  • Develop and maintain departmental policies and procedures.

  • Prepare and update collections management policy in coordination with the curatorial team.

  • Serve as a member of the Exhibitions and Collection Committee.

  • Prepare department budget and monitors expenditures.

  • Identify needs in office equipment or technological upgrades required for the registration department annually.

  • Participate in strategic planning initiatives as directed.

  • Contribute grant data.

Collection Management and Registration

  • Prepare materials for approval by the board of trustees.

  • Process and catalogue new acquisitions.

  • Administer and make recommendations for all incoming and outgoing loans.

  • Lead annual inventory and audit projects.

  • Employ preventative conservation methods.

  • Maintain physical object files for the permanent collection, exhibition archives, and incoming and outgoing loans.

  • Monitor health of collection and museum storage and exhibitions environments.

  • Develop and direct maintenance plans for collection objects.

  • Prioritize permanent collection conservation and framing needs, schedule treatments as needed.

  • Monitor and update collection insurance values and report to the director of finance annually.

  • Oversee appraisals and value updates of works in the collection.

  • Manage IPM program (Integrated Pest Management program).

  • Determine housing methods and materials for collection objects.

  • Arrange and oversee all aspects of object transitions.

  • Administer/Updates/Maintenance of collections management system.

  • Advise on data standards and style manual for collection and exhibition records.

  • Lead departmental digitization initiatives and supervise rights and reproductions programs.

  • Maintain facilities report for all locations.

  • Serve as courier as needed.

Exhibitions Planning and Realization

  • Serve as key member of exhibitions and publications teams.

  • Create and maintain exhibition schedules and calendars in collaboration with Curatorial and Prep teams.

  • Monitor departmental budget relating to exhibitions and advise other departments on actuals.

  • Coordinate and oversee all transit logistics for exhibitions.

  • Prepare loan agreements and advise on exhibition contracts.

  • Generate and maintain exhibition-related documentation, including condition reports, image reproduction agreements, receipts, and other forms as required.

  • Supervise securing photography and rights for exhibition publications, education, and publicity purposes.

  • Establish appropriate packing methods and materials and insurance arrangements in consultation with colleagues and lenders / organizers.

  • Oversee proper handling and installation methods and materials by preparators.

  • Train security staff on exhibition needs, opening/closing procedures, and condition concerns.

  • Communicate exhibition housekeeping procedures to facilities/security/maintenance staff.

  • Participate in docent training as needed.

  • Serve as courier and host couriers visiting Kemper Museum.

  • Arrange insurance for loans and traveling exhibitions.

  • Assist with color proofing and editing of exhibition catalogs, product, and print materials.

  • All other duties as required.

  • Adaptability: Adjusts to changing situations, learns new and different tasks, responds appropriately to suggestions for work improvement

  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and concisely and demonstrates willingness to work collaboratively with a diverse staff, artists, colleagues, dealers, private lenders, and patrons

  • Creativity: Offers innovative ideas that contribute to meeting objectives and departmental goals

  • Dependability: Maintains an acceptable attendance record, works as scheduled, gives appropriate notice for absence

  • Accuracy: Maintains a great deal of accuracy in the management and completion of job tasks and maintains clear, clean, and accessible records (manual and electronic)

  • Flexibility: Balances departmental priorities with Museum-wide goals and objectives

  • Attitude: Maintains a positive and encouraging work environment

Graduate degree preferred, with a focus on museum studies, art history, or fine art

  • Minimum of four years museum experience or equivalent experience working with an art collection

  • Strong computer skills and knowledge of Museum Collections and Digital Asset Management Software, imaging and metadata technology required

  • Proficiency in Mac OS X, Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, and PastPerfect collections management software preferred

  • Knowledge of ethical principles and professional practices governing museum registration

  • Knowledge of proper art handling techniques and preventative conservation methods

  • Experience with museum exhibition logistics

  • Excellent communication and organization skills

  • Ability to manage details with consistency and clarity

  • Ability to balance numerous projects and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment

  • Ability to work collaboratively with a diverse staff, artists, staff from other museums, galleries, and private lenders

Physical Requirements include:

  • Stand/Walk: The ability to remain on one’s feet in an upright position at a work station without moving about. The ability to move about on foot.

  • Talk: The ability to express or exchange ideas accurately, loudly, or quickly by means of the spoken word, imparting information or detailed instructions to clients, to the public, or to other workers.

  • Handle/Feel: The ability to seize, hold, grasp, turn, or otherwise work with hand or hands. The ability to perceive attributes of objects and materials such as size, shape, temperature, or texture, by touching with skin, particularly fingertips.

  • Stoop: The ability to bend the body downward and forward by bending spine at the waist; requires full use of the lower extremities and back muscles.

  • Reach with hands and arms: The ability to extend the hands and arms in any direction.

  • Lifts Weight and Exerts Force: Lifts weight up to 40 lbs or exerts force by lifting, lowering, pulling, carrying, pushing, slapping, striking, kicking, pulling, or jerking.

  • Vision: The ability to see clearly at 20 inches or less and 20 feet or more. The ability to observe an area that can be seen up and down or to the left and right while eyes remain fixed on a given point. Three-dimensional vision, the ability to judge distances and spatial relationships to see objects where and as they actually are. The ability to adjust the eye to bring an object into sharp focus. This is required when doing close work at varying distances from the eye.

How to Apply

Cover letter and Resumes can be emailed to or you may mail hard copies to:

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Diane Lambert

Human Resources Manager

4420 Warwick Blvd.

Kansas City, MO 64111

Posted on May 2