Job description: Registrar
Job Title: Registrar
Department: Collections Management and Exhibition Registration
Reporting to: Chief Curator
Duration: Full Time with 3 months’ probation period
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is a public not-for-profit museum dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora. It consists of nine floors and 80 different galleries, 9,500 m2 of programmable space, of which 6,500 m2 is dedicated to white cube exhibition space, all housed in a unique re-imagining of what were once grain silos at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.
1. Purpose of the Job
Reporting to the Chief Curator, the Registrar ensures that all objects in the Zeitz MOCAA permanent and loaned collection are handled, condition reported, stored, transported, and exhibited in an environment and manner conducive to the preservation of artworks. The individual will work on the development of the collection database and collection digitization so as to provide clear and effective catalogue information to the curatorial and content creation staff. As a member of the Collections Management and Exhibition Registration team, the Registrar will collaboratively alongside the Curatorial, Operations, Finance, Facilities, Security departments towards Zeitz MOCAA’s continued growth and development as world class contemporary art institution. In addition, the individual will also assist with various administrative and management functions.
2. Key responsibilities
Collections, Exhibition Registration and Installation
- Manage the installation and de-installation process of all exhibitions, including overseeing the receiving, unpacking, and packing of artworks; overseeing the hanging and placement of artwork; overseeing the carpentry of exhibition structures; overseeing spackling and painting; overseeing the handling of artworks on loan and permanent collections; overseeing the lighting of exhibitions; overseeing the matting and framing of artworks; and managing the pick-up and delivery of artwork.
- Completion of condition reporting for all incoming and outgoing artworks, including determining that no damage or deterioration to objects has occurred while in transit or while on display and appropriately reporting if any damage or deterioration has occurred.
- Processing of all incoming and outgoing loan requests in consultation with the Registrar and museum curators.
- Facilitate the creation of museum guidelines outlining acceptable object handling, transportation and storage.
- Management of a master calendar of all installation, de-installation and exhibition dates.
- Monitoring of artwork handling by the installation crews, Preparator, and Assistant Preparator during installation and de-installation.
- Courier high value or fragile objects when loaned to other institutions.
- Create object labels as required for exhibitions.
- Manage the photographic documentation of all exhibitions and artworks in Zeitz MOCAA’s Permanent Collection and collections and objects on long-term loan to the museum in consultation with the Registrar.
- Update records of Zeitz MOCAA’s Permanent Collection and all collections and objects on loan to the museum on the appropriate database.
- Facilitate and manage the museum’s artwork insurance policy, including updating the fiscal values of all objects in the collection on an annual basis so that objects are insured at current values
- Work closely with the museum curators to determine that all environmental factors, including humidity, temperature, air quality and lux levels, are kept within an acceptable range for the preservation of artwork and per museum standards. Inform Registrar if levels need to be adjusted.
- Prepare reports detailing material qualities and preservation requirements of potential acquisitions for review of the Acquisition Committee.
- Oversee the matting and framing of artworks as required.
- Oversee and coordinate with the Facilities department in the implementation of Zeitz MOCAA’s pest control programme as required.
- Monitor cleaning procedures in galleries so that artworks are not at risk of being damaged by cleaning staff and cleaning staff are protected from harm.
- Oversee the general cleaning, waxing, glazing and protection of artworks on display and in storage in consultation with the Registrar.
- Manage the copyright procedures for reproduction, including seeking sign off all artwork reproductions used in museum publications, museum marketing and the museum’s online presence, including websites and social media.
- Manage the ongoing maintenance of the archive of all digital and physical collateral related to each artist held in Zeitz MOCAA’s collections, including publicity materials, artist research, artist notes and other materials.
- Facilitate the travel arrangements of couriers, artists and curators travelling to or from Zeitz MOCAA.
- Work together with all staff members to realise a world class Professional and Patrons Preview and public openings.
- Complete all additional responsibilities as assigned or required by role.
This role focuses on the preservation and exhibition of objects in Zeitz MOCAA’s Permanent Collection and collections and objects on loan to the museum, requiring an individual with a high standard of planning, organisation, accuracy, and consistency. The selected Registrar will be required to work independently on variety of responsibilities that fulfil the mandate of the Collection Management and Exhibition Registration team and of Zeitz MOCAA. They should be a good communicator with management experience and a focused, professional manner.
Required experience and skills
- Completion of an undergraduate degree, such as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in art history, museum studies, cultural heritage studies, archaeology, visual culture, or an equivalent qualification.
- Minimum of 3 years’ experience working within a cultural context.
- Experience working with a museum database programme, such as TMS or EmbARK.
- Knowledge and application of collections management practices coupled with basic knowledge of conservation principles and techniques.
- Knowledge and experience of artwork installation methods, artwork handling, packing and storage practices related to exhibition, transportation, and the preservation of art objects.
- Strong administration and coordination skills, with a methodical approach and attention to detail.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills and ability to communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders at all levels.
- Excellent research skills.
- Ability to work independently and deliver work within the agreed timeframes.
- Effective problem-solving skills.
- Flexible working hours when installation schedule requires it.
- Strong computer skills, including the use of Microsoft Office applications, email services and the internet as well as a willingness to learn new computer skills as required.
- Passionate and knowledgeable about contemporary culture from Africa and its Diaspora.
- Knowledge of art history.
- Completion of a graduate degree, such as a Master of Arts (MA) in art history, museum studies, cultural heritage studies, archaeology, visual culture, or an equivalent qualification.