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Registrar for Exhibitions


OVERVIEW:         Incumbent supports the Office of the Registrar, which is responsible for maintaining records on all works of art owned by or entrusted to the care of the Seattle Art Museum; and for the location, safety, movement, and transport of these works of art, thus minimizing risks to the works of art and to SAM.  The primary purpose of this position is to coordinate the collection and dispersal of temporary exhibitions.

FLSA STATUS:     Exempt      

REPORTS TO: Director of Museum Services and Chief Registrar


  1. Executes loan agreements for loans to exhibitions and loans to the collection, contacts lenders and is responsible for arranging the necessary logistics of wall-to-wall movement from and to each lender’s premises for the objects borrowed. 
  2. Personal and extensive contacts outside the museum are made with shippers and contractors in arranging for the movement of works of art; customs officials in clearing foreign shipments; individual lenders regarding specific arrangements for shipment of their object, and officials of other museums regarding requirements for the loan of their holdings.
  3. Prepares all incoming and outgoing documentation for each object including receipts to lenders, shipping and packing lists, CITES certificates and U.S. Customs documents for foreign shipments.
  4. Coordinates the work of art handlers and preparators in the unpacking, packing, installation, and movement of each loan object.  Supervises unpacking of loans, checks and records their condition, and annotates packing methods. Develops work schedules to meet deadlines.  Works closely with Conservation and Design and Installation.
  5. Develops exhibition budgets for future exhibitions.  Analyzes historic cost data to assist with these cost projections. Reviews and ensures that exhibition budgets are met and/or justified.  Monitors budgets for all expenditures in conjunction with exhibitions, including courier per diem and travel.  Processes invoices and codes them appropriately. 
  6. Prepares applications for U.S. Government Indemnity for assigned exhibitions as required.
  7. Reviews exhibition contracts, and ensures that various contract stipulations dealing with packing and shipping are met.
  8. Provides technical specifications for outside contractors for the construction of shipping crates and other outside services and assures that all work has been performed to standards and coordinates all work necessary to prepare objects for shipment.
  9. Ensures accurate records for art collections in particular collection management system (TMS) location records.
  10. Acts as representative of SAM in accompanying objects to and from the museum and other sites.
  11. Assists the Chief Registrar with the annual inventory of SAM collections and objects on long-term loan.
  12. Maintains a general knowledge of all procedures utilized by the Office of the Registrar’ and responds to questions from the general public or refers queries to the appropriate departments.
  13. Represents the Museum with a high level of integrity and professionalism, and adheres to Museum policies and supports management decisions in a positive, professional manner.
  14. Undertakes special projects as assigned.


  1. Understanding of and familiarity with the various means of accomplishing local, national, and international transportation, including an understanding of how different modes of shipping will affect various objects and materials.
  2. Knowledge of U. S. Customs regulations and international shipping regulations; including export licenses, bonding, and security.
  3. Thorough and current knowledge of museum registration techniques and practices, including basic knowledge of art history to verify and identify objects received, packing materials and methods, conservation, and fine arts insurance. Familiarity with conservation issues, terminology, and condition reports.
  4. The incumbent must possess good organizational, strong verbal and written communication skills.  The incumbent must be organized and able to prioritize job duties; skilled at trouble shooting and problem solving; and be flexible and able to deal with multiple, last-minute deadlines. Ability to work with close attention to detail.
  5. Familiarity with basic accounting principles and budgeting procedures.
  6. Proficiency in the use of computers for collection management, scheduling and communication purposes is required.  Knowledge of TMS preferred.
  7. Familiarity with foreign languages (French, German, Italian or Spanish) to interpret international correspondence, invoices and documents pertaining to shipments and to assist couriers is useful.
  8. Ability to work with donors, the public and co-workers collaboratively, professionally and tactfully.
  9. Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts, Art History or Museum Studies, or equivalent related experience.
  10. Five (5) years of experience in museum registration, including supervisory experience.
  11. Ability to adhere to Museum policies and to support management decisions in a positive, professional manner.


he Seattle Art Museum will consider reasonable accommodations for those applicants with disabilities who may need a reasonable accommodation to perform the essential functions/duties.    Please contact the Human Resources Department for additional information.

Seattle Art Museum is committed to diversity and inclusion.  Qualified individuals who bring diverse perspectives to the workplace are especially encouraged to apply.

TO APPLY:   Please visit for specific instructions on how to submit SAM employment application, cover letter and resume.

Deadline: May 25, 2018


SAM connects art to life.

Through art, the Seattle Art Museum fosters creativity and builds community.  As a leading visual art institution in three unique locations, SAM shares its global collections, powerful exhibitions and dynamic programs to engage, educate and inspire.

Core Values


We bring art into people’s lives and help them understand its unique power to inspire creative thinking, which is crucial to understanding and solving our world’s complex problems.


We build and create collections, exhibitions, and public programs of the highest quality and excellence.


We are responsive to cultural communities and experiences, and we think critically about the role art plays in empowering social justice and structural change to promote equity in our society.  We are dedicated to racial equity in all that we do.


We engage our audiences through dialogue that is mutually beneficial, inclusive and enlightening in a spirit of mutual respect.


We invite and respect many viewpoints and experiences, as we strive to develop and sustain a diverse staff, board, and audience, and showcase art from the world’s diverse cultures.


We work to lower economic and physical barriers as well as barriers to understanding, so that art is accessible to everyone. We recognize the importance of excellent customer service in making art accessible to all.


We are transparent and careful stewards of resources, including collections, staff, volunteers, facilities, investments and institutional records.



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