Staff positions

Associate Registrar

The Associate Registrar performs registration functions related to loans and exhibitions. The position facilitates overall exhibition planning, and oversees the logistics and coordination of the Smart Museum’s onsite and traveling exhibition programs. The Associate Registrar reports to the Head Registrar.

The Associate Registrar manages safe movement and storage of collections and archives related records and documentation; participates in the development of related policies and procedures and ensures compliance; manages loans and/or accessioning/ deaccessioning, including preparing and reviewing loan budgets and contracts, arranging shipping and insurance; oversees the maintenance of storage areas; and oversees collections records, which includes developing and managing collections database


  • Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in art history or closely related subject (Master’s degree and/or Museum Studies degree/certificate preferred).
  • 3+ years previous work experience in a museum registration office required. Management experience preferred.
  • Experience with domestic and international exhibition and/or loan management for a museum required.
  • Knowledge of museum standards regarding the care and handling of art and knowledge of legal and ethical issues surrounding a museum art collection required.
  • Strong computer skills and familiarity with databases required, preferably previous work experience with TMS.
  • Ability to travel and work outside regular business hours, when necessary required.
  • Ability to represent the museum in a professional manner to donors, lenders, professional colleagues, and all university constituencies.


Full-time, benefits eligible.

To apply

To apply, search for requisition 097438 and submit a cover letter, curriculum vita, and reference contact information through Review of applications begins immediately and position will stay open until filled.

Curator of Asian Art

The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago invites applications for the position of Curator of Asian Art. Curatorial rank and salary will depend on qualifications; suitable candidates would be considered for the Museum's chief curatorship. The Curator of Asian art reports to the Chief Curator or, if s/he assumes that rank, would report to the Museum's director.

The successful candidate will have primary responsibility for the direction of exhibition, acquisition, research, and publication activity in this key area of the Smart Museum's collection, and will serve as a member of the Smart Museum's outstanding and highly collaborative curatorial team. The Curator of Asian Art forms part of a dynamic curatorial team of four, participates actively in standing curatorial and cross-departmental committees, works closely with the director, and serves as a curatorial liaison to the Collections Committee of the Museum's Board of Governors, among other duties.

It is essential that the successful candidate be eager to work within the unique environment of the University of Chicago, where a commitment to rigorous debate, field-changing research, and boundary-breaking collaborations is fundamental. Applications are encouraged from those with at least three (3) years of progressively more responsible experience working in art museums, ranging from those who have recently obtained an advanced graduate degree to those with a longer record of achievement in the field.

The Asian collection, including over 800 works in all media, is strongest in the traditional, modern, and contemporary arts of East Asia and the arts of Buddhism in its historic pan-Asian context, although exhibition, acquisition, and research activity is not limited to these areas.

Teaching at the University of Chicago, particularly when relating directly to the Museum's collection, is possible and would be encouraged, but is not required. Conference participation and other contributions to the wider field are encouraged, expected, and supported by the Museum.


  • An advanced degree in Art History or a related field, preferably a Ph.D. or equivalent relevant experience required.
  • Minimum of three years relevant experience required.
  • A deep familiarity with both traditional and contemporary Asian art, with a specialization in Chinese, Korean, and/or Japanese art
  • An advanced degree in Art History or a related field, preferably a Ph.D. or equivalent relevant experience
  • A record of innovative research and exhibitions that make a significant contribution to the field
  • Dedication to the care and stewardship of the permanent collection and knowledge of conservation issues
  • Familiarity with the full range of current issues in museum practice particularly as they affect the acquisition, exhibition, and interpretation of traditional and contemporary Asian art
  • An ability to speak, read, and write in English and Chinese and/or Korean and/or Japanese
  • Superior written and oral communication skills
  • Familiarity with budget planning and management
  • A deep understanding of and sympathy for working within the environment of a great research institution
  • A substantial commitment to collaboration of all types, with museum colleagues, students, faculty, and external partners
  • Comfort in establishing positive and effective relationships with internal and external communities, including major donors and collectors, board members, artists, members of the press, art dealers, professionals at other institutions, faculty, students, and the public
  • In addition, it would be preferable if candidates also possessed: comfort and experience in budget management and knowledge of database management software


Full-time, benefits eligible.

To apply

To apply, search for requisition 096106 and submit a cover letter, curriculum vita, and reference contact information through

Docent Program

Docent Program


The docent program at the Smart Museum of Art seeks to train new docents (gallery educators) beginning winter 2015. As a trainee docent you would participate in a paid training course exploring educational strategies for use in the Museum’s galleries. After completing the training course you would serve as public ambassadors for the Smart Museum by leading tours and facilitating art-making activities for a variety of audiences including K-12, university, and adult community groups.

This position is available to University of Chicago students (undergraduates preferred) as well as Odyssey Project alumni.

Information Session

The Smart Museum, in collaboration with the Odyssey Project, will host information sessions at the Museum on Thursday, January 29. Interested individuals should attend either the morning session at 9–10:30 am OR the evening session at 6–7:30 pm. The purpose of each information session will be to discuss the position with Education staff. Refreshments will be provided.

How to Apply

In order to apply, one must attend the January 29 information session and then fill out an online application that will be posted at and Information regarding the application process will be shared at the sessions on January 29.

Tentative Project Schedule and Time Commitment

  • January 29, 2015: Information Session (Approximately 90 minutes; attend either the 9:00am OR 6:00pm session, but not both)
  • February 13, 2015: Applications Due
  • February 20, 2015: Applicants notified of hiring
  • February 28, 2015: Training, 10 am–3 pm
  • March 2015: Docents will observe tours led by experienced docents (two 60-90 minute tours)
  • March 14, 2015: Training, 10 am–3 pm
  • March 28, 2015: Training, 10 am–3 pm
  • April 2015: Post-training check-in
  • April–May 2015: New docents will co-lead tours. Each docent would be expected to lead between 2–4 tours, each requiring approximately 2 hours of preparation (approximately 6–12 hours total).

University of Chicago student positions

The following jobs and internships are only available to University of Chicago students.


University of Chicago students gain direct experience in museum work through year- and summer-long internships in a variety of areas, including our curatorial, registration, education, marketing, and business offices. Qualifications vary by department; all positions are paid and require approximately 10–19 hours of work each week.


Café Attendants are an integral part of the hospitality team at the Smart Museum and ensure that our patrons have a welcoming, positive experience in the Smart Café. Café attendants are responsible for serving coffee and prepared foods to patrons of the Smart Museum, as well as selling gift shop merchandise. We are looking for friendly, personable students who would enjoy working in a museum setting. Work schedules are flexible quarterly to fit around a student’s class schedule.


University of Chicago student. Strong interpersonal and customer service skills required. Interest in visual art encouraged. Previous food service or retail experience preferred, but not required. Work study eligible.


Starting immediately with year-round employment, approximately 8–15 hours per week.

Pay rate

Starts at $8.25/hour plus tips.

To apply

To apply, please fill out an application at the Museum’s information desk. Applications are always accepted. If you have questions, contact Kate Kelly, Café and Gift Shop Manager.

Gallery Attendants

The Smart Museum of Art’s Gallery Attendants are responsible for maintaining security within the Smart Museum gallery and lobby areas during public hours. Within this role, the Gallery Attendant acts as a public representative of the Museum and the University by greeting patrons and providing information as needed. Work schedules are flexible quarterly and can be designed to fit around a student’s class schedule. Docents who wish to receive additional working hours at the Museum are strongly encouraged to apply and will receive a premium hourly rate.


University of Chicago student. Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills. Interest in visual art encouraged. Ability to stand for long periods of time. Work-study encouraged, but not required.


Starting immediately with year-round employment, approximately 8–15 hours per week.

Pay rate

$9.00/hour; higher if a multi-session docent cross-training program is completed

To apply

To apply, please fill out an application at the Museum’s information desk. Applications are always accepted.

No phone inquiries please.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer.

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