Collection Registrar

Portland Museum of Art

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The Portland Museum of Art (PMA) is searching for a Collections Registrar. The Portland Museum of Art is the cultural heart of Portland, Maine. The PMA boasts significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine—highlighting the rich artistic tradition of the state and its artists. This position is responsible for care, management and use of the PMA’s collection and loaned works of art, in accordance with best practice standards, in support of the PMA’s mission.


Oversees collection care to maintain the highest level of for stewardship of the PMA collection and its presentation, storage and safety within the PMA and loaned locations. Plans and oversees collections management and projects for the permanent collection, exhibitions, and loaned works of art, including care, conservation, storage, deaccessioning, handling, inventory, movement (including shipping, security needs and customs procedures), database management, and location controls.

Develops and implements processes and stays current on new and emerging topics and issues, ensuring that the PMA’s registration processes adhere to best practices and professional standards, and that all work is of professional caliber and is consistent with current practices and technologies in collections stewardship.

Negotiates and secures fine art insurance for the collection, loaned works of art, and exhibitions, including management of coverage and processing of claims, and oversees on-going risk assessment and risk management strategies. Leads institutional planning as well as the development and implementation of museum-wide policies and procedures that promote the safe and thoughtful presentation of art within PMA and its buildings.

Participates in cross-departmental risk management processes, including service on the PMA’s Risk Management and Events Review committees, to minimize risk and ensure security of the PMA’s collection, visitors and the physical plant. Serves as a leading advocate within the institution for safety and risk mitigation in all areas of collection care and movement, including providing initial and ongoing staff training in art handling in accordance with best practices.

Oversees all registration aspects for the storage and handling of art, including records management, inventory control, policy and budget formulation, staff supervision, risk management, and long-range planning.

Oversees coordination, documentation, accessioning and condition reporting of art objects entering PMA, either on loan or for acquisition, in accordance with established practices.

Collaborates with department and division staff to provide planning and oversight for the ongoing program of collection conservation and maintenance in accordance with best practices of collection stewardship. Assists in the development and implementation of museum-wide policies and procedures for the campus care, interpretative plans, and collection maintenance, according to best practices.

Develops tracking and evaluation systems to measure and evaluate efficient and effective use of resources toward accomplishment of established goals.

Couriers works of art as needed according to best practice and established protocols.

Provides oversight of the use of images by the PMA’s staff for social media and publications and ensures compliance with copyright laws and other legal issues pertaining to the management of the collection, acquisitions, loans, documentation, publication and reproduction.

Serves as internal staff liaison for all collection matters and participates in Board and various committee meetings as needed, including the Collection Committee. Represents the PMA in professional and community circles to enhance the understanding of the PMA, its collections and its mission.

Fosters relationships and builds philanthropy with patrons at the PMA, as defined by displaying behavior that welcomes all individuals contacted during work.

Supports the PMA’s strategic goal to advance a culture of inclusivity and diversity.

Performs special projects and other related duties as required, directed, or as the situation dictates.

Complies with all Portland Museum of Art safety rules and procedures.

Regular attendance at the workplace is required.


Bachelor’s Degree in Art History or a related field with three to five years of Museum registration experience, including at least 3 years art handling.

Master’s Degree in Museum Studies or Art History preferred.

Ability to multi-task, organize work, and meet deadlines with careful attention to detail in a fast-paced, collaborative environment. Demonstrated project management experience.

In-depth and up-to-date knowledge of museum registration methods and best practice in museum collections care.

Up-to-date knowledge of copyright laws and other legal issues related to museum operations.

Ability to strategically organize, process, and maintain records; identify inefficient/ineffective processes; and implement improvements.

Proven written and oral communication skills, including ability to adhere to PMA brand charter and style guide, and ability to communicate effectively with constituents in person, over the phone and via email.

Ability to operate computers and assigned software including Microsoft Office and collections database systems.

Ability to establish, maintain, and foster positive and harmonious working relationships with coworkers and a variety of individuals contacted in the course of work.

Physical ability for handling, lifting, and installing works of art.

Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion.

Ability to pass a criminal background check.

Valid State of Maine Class C Driver’s License.

Ability to travel nationally and internationally.


The majority of work is performed in a museum setting or in a normal office environment not subject to extremes of noise, temperature, odor, etc. Frequently required to stand, bend, crouch, climb, and lift and move heavy objects. Operates computer, printer, photocopier, other office equipment, camera, hygrothermographs, ladders, hand tools, power tools, and PMA-owned or leased vehicles. Work requires extended computer use involving repetitive small muscle tasks along with regular travel by van, truck, and plane. Evening and weekend work required including at events. Regional, national and international travel required.

How to Apply

The PMA’s Application for Employment is available at:

Please email cover letter, résumé, and completed application to HR Director at:

Applications will be accepted electronically only and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until filled.

Posted on July 11