Art Institute Of Chicago Careers

Job Details

Hiring Organization The Art Institute of Chicago
Post Name Collection Assistant
Qualification A high school diploma is required, and some college coursework is preferred. An equivalent amount of training, education, and experience will be considered.
Industry Private
Employment Type Part Time
Work Hours 4 Hours
Salary USD 16 To USD 20 Per Hour
Location ChicagoIllinoisUnited States 60603


For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top four graduate fine arts programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities.

SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, and LeRoy Neiman.

Position Summary


The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago, will undertake a year-long National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Foundations Grant to plan for the future processing of six notable Chicago gallery archives: ARC, Artemisia, Rhona Hoffman, Donald Young, Randolph Street Gallery, and Threewalls.

Through this process, the institution will pursue two main outcomes: 1) creating a processing plan for the collections, supported by preservation and content assessments for each, and 2) piloting a public-facing Chicago Gallery Project website, created with the expertise of Chicago curators, archive staff, and artists.

This site will enhance the discoverability of the School’s and Museum’s gallery collections and similar content held by other institutions. The assessment process centers on the systematic aggregation of quantitative and qualitative data about various collection characteristics, including extent and contents, condition, accessibility (physical and intellectual), and research value.

This data will provide a better understanding of preservation needs and will help inform important future decisions regarding collection management, processing priorities, and digitization. Assessment data will be collected using survey forms and/or a database.

Reporting to the grant Project Leads—Director of the Art Institute of Chicago Archives and the Media Collections Librarian at the Flaxman Library—the NEH Collections Assistant participates in the assessment of these archival collections for content and condition, and will contribute to the collections processing plan. This is a 10-month, part-time position, for 18 hours per week.


Collection and preservation assessment: Box-level assessment of most collection content; select item-level assessment of audio, video, media, and 3D objects; select item-level assessment of all formats using sampling methodology; select object counting. Assessment will include evaluation of physical condition as well as informational, evidential, and artifactual value.

Content analysis for each collection will determine the degree of original order and potential organizational schemes; identification of core documentation; location of personally identifiable information or other sensitive materials; identification of select objects for digitization.

Preservation analysis will identify immediate potential hazards and general conservation needs of collections, including the determination of types and amount of supplies needed for rehousing; identification of objects needing conservation treatment, or reformatting. Compilation and collation of data for assessment reports and processing plant.

Supports the Project Leads: Project schedule reviews will occur on an approximately monthly basis, comparing actual work completed to the project’s original timeline. Provides assessment data samples for review to Project Leads. Assists Project Leads with other grant-related work as needed.


  • Capacity with physical labor is required. Able to lift 40 pounds and tolerance to dust and molds.
  • Periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer; must be able to remain in a stationary position 50% of the time.
  • Often moves about inside the office, stacks, and across various museums, and spaces to access storage areas, move collections, and other related tasks.
  • Often operates a computer and other office productivity machineries, such as a copy machine and printer.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, the ability to adjust focus, and the ability to sustain prolonged visual concentration.


  • A high school diploma is required, and some college coursework is preferred. An equivalent amount of training, education, and experience will be considered.
  • The ability to perform detail-oriented work independently, with supervision, and as part of a team, and the ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing is required.
  • Experience and/or coursework in one or more of the following areas: Libraries, Archives, Special Collections, Museums, Art History, Arts Administration, or other work related to collections management is strongly preferred.
  • Familiarity with fundamental archival principles and standard practices is preferred.
  • Facility with using computers, and willingness to learn how to use Airtable, Google suite, or other necessary software.
  • Interest in art/art history—particularly Chicago and Midwest history, art, design, and architecture—is preferred.


We offer a competitive, comprehensive benefits package:

  • Generous paid time off
  • Paid holidays (up to 14 days)
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Generous parental, caregiver, and medical leave benefits
  • Competitive retirement plan (up to 9% matching contribution)
  • Tuition remission and Tuition Exchange Program
  • Great employee discounts
  • Complimentary general admission to participating cultural institutions

Want to stay abreast of the latest job openings at the Art Institute and the School of the Art Institute? Sign up for our Employment Opportunities E-announcements.

Application Time Out Warning

The Art Institute of Chicago requires all applicants to complete an online application to be considered for employment.  60 minutes are allotted for applicants to complete the employment application.

The application will automatically time out after 60 minutes. If you are unable to submit the completed application at this time, please choose the “Save for Later” option to avoid losing the information you have entered so far.

Closing Statement

Vaccination Expectation

Becoming vaccinated against COVID-19 is the most important contribution we as individuals can make to ensure our own safety and the safety of our museum and school community.

All employees must complete attestation and provide proof of their vaccination status or request a medical or religious exemption within the first week of employment. The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace.

Apply Now

Leave a Comment