Associate Registrar, Collections

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Art (SFMOMA)

The Associate Registrar, Collections has a central role in advancing registration methods, policies, and procedures for the museum’s collections and exhibition programs, in ways that are aligned with the museum’s strategic priorities and the goals of the Registration department and the Collections, Exhibitions and Design (CED) division. They are responsible for successfully planning, managing, and documenting registration activities for assigned projects related to the museum’s accessions/deaccessions, collections care, outgoing/incoming loans, rotations and exhibitions programs, including the Fisher Collection. The Associate Registrar, Collections has the breadth of experience and expertise to manage assigned registration activities for the fullest range of modern and contemporary artwork types and exhibition complexities, including temporary exhibitions.

The position is an opportunity to establish leadership skills in advancing the museum’s dynamic collecting, loans out, and exhibition programs.

Reporting to the Registrar, Collections the Associate Registrar, Collections is the lead registrar on assigned projects and works collaboratively with colleagues in CED, Curatorial, Facilities, Operations, Security, Visitor Experience, and other museum departments in realizing integrated collections stewardship, collaborative collections research, and engaging and inspiring public programming. The Associate Registrar, Collections works with and represents the museum’s interests to members of the arts communities, such as artists, studios, fabricators, estates, donors, vendors, galleries, and other museums.


Team Participation

  • Encourage and contribute to an inclusive, rewarding, and inspiring workplace, where innovation, discovery, and constant learning cultivate a deep sense of belonging and shared responsibility within the Registration team.

  • Share in fostering a culture of safety, inclusivity, and equity.

  • Work in a healthy and flexible style, and models empathy and understanding.

  • Participate in nurturing collaboration and partnership across teams with fluid communication and respect for diverse expertise essential to an art museum.

  • Demonstrate a commitment to the museum’s strategic focus of making programming that engages visitors and inspires individuals to return and recommend the museum to their family and friends.

  • Represent the museum at the local, national, and international levels.

  • Participate in professional networks, workshops, and programs to stay current with relevant practices, methods, and technologies, as well adding new skills to share with the department.

Accessions and Deaccessions

  • Oversee arrangements for acquisitions to the collection.

  • Coordinate safe packing, shipping, handling of artworks.

  • Communicate with lenders, donors, packers, vendors, forwarding agents and shippers.

  • Examine artworks and produce condition reports, documenting the condition and characteristics of artworks, so that changes in condition can be well managed.

  • Coordinate matting and framing of artworks.

  • Oversee preparation and installation/deinstallation of works for Accessions Committee meetings.

  • Arrange for return of works not accessioned.

  • Coordinate examinations and treatments with Conservation.

  • Work with Collections Management to facilitate storage of accessioned objects.

  • Participate in producing and/or reviewing co-ownership, purchase, and other art agreements.

  • Manage museum’s adherence to agreed-upon terms related to registration activities in co-ownership, purchase, and other art agreements.

  • Manage numbering systems for accessioned works, their accessories, and certificates of authenticity.

  • Oversee arrangements for deaccessions from the collection.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Art History, Museum Studies, or closely related field.

  • Minimum 4 year’s extensive registration experience in an art museum or similar institution, with collections and exhibitions experience required.

  • Experience and expertise in current and innovative registration methods and practices, relevant to modern and contemporary art and knowledge of museum legal and ethical issues.

  • Must have significant experience with packing, crating, and shipping artworks at the local, national, and international levels.

  • Strong critical thinking skills

  • Ability to assess and make independent decisions about competing priorities.

  • Ability to manage multiple projects while establishing and meeting deadlines.

  • Excellent organizational skills and proficiency in project management software, such as Asana.

  • Strong initiative and follow-through skills, and an ability to operate under pressure of time and multiple demands

  • Ability to work independently, as well as in partnership with colleagues.

  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with museum colleagues, volunteers, and interns, and effectively represent the museum to outside professionals, lenders, donors, and members of the artistic community.

  • Creative and flexible problem-solving skills.

  • Sound judgment and strong professional presence.

  • Working knowledge of twentieth century art history.

  • Familiarity with basic conservation concepts, procedures, and terms.

  • Proficiency with Microsoft applications (Outlook, Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).

  • Expertise with collections management systems and experience with digital asset management systems.

  • Proficiency with Asana or other project management software.

  • Ability and willingness to maintain a high level of accuracy and attention to detail.

  • Ability to communicate effectively in person, in video conferencing, on the telephone, and in writing to artists, galleries, donors, borrowers, trustees, colleagues, and the public is essential.

  • Ability to work effectively on a wide variety of projects concurrently, with concern for the tasks assigned and the goals of the Registration Department.

  • Successful candidates will have a strong commitment to access and sustainability, will collaborate well, and will demonstrate timeliness and effectiveness in a complex environment.

  • Demonstrated commitment to principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and sustainability in the arts sector.

How to Apply

To learn more about this position and to apply, please click on the provided link.

Posted on November 13