The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879, is a world-renowned art museum housing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. An encyclopedic museum, the Art Institute collects, preserves, and interprets works in every medium from all cultures and historical periods. With a collection of approximately 300,000 art works and artifacts, the museum has particularly strong holdings in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, contemporary art, early 20th century European painting and sculpture, Japanese prints, and photography. The museum’s 2009 addition, the Modern Wing, features the latest in green museum technology and 264,000 square feet dedicated to modern and contemporary art, photography, architecture and design, and new museum education facilities. In addition to displaying its permanent collection, the Art Institute mounts more than 30 special exhibitions per year and features lectures, gallery tours, and special performances on a daily basis
This key staff member will lead a renewed imaging department at the Art Institute of Chicago that will be responsible for imaging activities museum-wide, working to ensure increased management of and accessibility to visual assets that capture our collections, installations, conservation efforts, and history. Enthusiastic, engaged, and passionate, they will collaborate with departments across the museum to understand and respond to their needs, developing a cultural-heritage imaging program that incorporates project management, photography, production, digital asset management, and image licensing.
The Director of Imaging provides expertise in the areas of digital capture hardware and software, metadata, digital asset management, and digitization techniques and workflows. Ensures that all imaging workflows are functioning optimally and promotes consistency in media production and workflow schemes, leading to the effective and timely creation of high-quality digital content and its availability throughout the organization and around the world.
Facilitates the success of multiple projects within the department and fosters positive engagement within the team, across the museum’s eleven curatorial departments, and beyond. The Director of Imaging will represent the Art Institute’s stewardship of its digital image assets internally and externally, enhancing the museum’s reputation in the field.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
Provides vision, focus, leadership, advocacy, and support for image creation, archiving, conservation, and publication within the museum.
Manages an efficient and effective department through strategic planning, assessment, reporting, and skillful stewarding of time, space, supplies, and budget.
Leads, supervises, and mentors a team of imaging technicians in all phases of photography, digital asset management, metadata creation, and repository ingest.
Effectively encourages and empowers team members to make independent decisions, holding them accountable. Manages with respect, empathy, and self-awareness. Leads the department by example, establishing workload and procedures, delegating responsibility, providing guidance and direction, monitoring and evaluating performance, coaching and counseling.
Builds, develops, and maintains technical imaging capacity within the department.
Optimizes, develops, documents, and oversees digitization workflows throughout the department. Develops department standards and documents them. Follows technical standards and best practices for adhering to these standards. Familiar with current and emerging international standards (FADGI, ISO, Metamorfoze, etc.) and devoted to adhering to them.
Develops new competencies among staff and expands institutional knowledge of current and emerging best practices, tools, strategies, and standards.
Develops policies and specifications related to the preservation and digitization of the museum’s image archives.
Promotes engagement with and contributions to national conversations relating to preservation and digitization.
Presents and publishes in appropriate venues in order to raise own and museum’s profile.
Contributes to planning and leadership within the Curatorial Affairs working group and the museum and other cross-departmental working groups.
Bachelor’s degree; ALA-accredited master’s degree, a master's degree with specialization in archives, a master's degree in photography, art history, museum studies, or adjacent discipline preferred.
Three to six years’ management experience, including progressively responsible leadership experience resulting in outstanding leadership capabilities.
Experience working in a museum imaging department, research library, archive, or special collections library strongly preferred.
A track record of building effective partnerships and sustaining relationships in a collaborative, complex environment comprising multiple and diverse stakeholders.
Experience in managing complex, time-sensitive projects, evaluating workflows, and successfully designing or enhancing production-oriented work processes.
Demonstrated expertise in configuring, operating, and maintaining the full range of digital capture equipment.
Demonstrated expertise in technical imaging (IR, multispectral, photogrammetry, etc.).
Demonstrated expertise with post-production, color management, and profiling software applications.
Thorough knowledge of current and emerging standards and best practices for conversion of museum collections and archival materials into digital formats.
Ability to identify, analyze, and solve problems affecting production.
Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to explain complex technical issues and processes to nontechnical audiences.
The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace.
About Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago collects, preserves, and interprets works of art of the highest quality, representing the world’s diverse artistic traditions, for the inspiration and education of the public and in accordance with our profession’s highest ethical standards and practices.