Employment Opportunity at the National Music Museum
Museum Photographer / Collections Assistant
Position: The Museum Photographer / Collections Assistant will be the primary staff member charged with all aspects of the photography of the National Music Museum's collection of more than 15,000 musical instruments, related artifacts, and archives. Incumbent will have knowledge of all aspects of the digital photography of objects, as well as object handling, processing digital images, embedding metadata into individual image files, and creating derivative image files. Incumbent will have knowledge of basic curatorial and conservation issues relating to museum collections, including the safe handling of musical instruments.
- Photograph a wide variety of types of musical instruments for documentation, research, print and electronic publications following museum standards.
- Make judgments about proper object and art handing, lighting, and safe handling of equipment.
- Produce digital image files with various types of digital cameras.
- Produce digital image files from original negatives, slides, and color transparencies that are already in the museum's collection.
- Process digital image files following museum standards for color management, file naming, metadata tagging, and network storage. Produce derivative image files from master image files. Manage digital files and metadata on the museum's network and TMS collections management database.
- Work closely with museum staff to manage photography workflow and object movement.
- In collaboration with museum staff, set and meet project goals and deadlines. Record and interpret digital imaging statistics for reports and reviews.
- Assist with selection and maintenance of digital imaging equipment.
- Scan and/or supervise scanning of photographs into computers for editing, storage, and electronic transmission.
- Take photos of the museum facility, as well as special events, for use in promotional materials.
- Supervise photo shoots (including magazine, television, newspaper, etc.) at museum.
- Order printing and additional photo services from local vendors, as required.
- Retrieve and re-shelve objects, art work, and archival items.
- Have knowledge of basic curatorial and conservation issues relating to museum collections including safe handling and current best practices for disaster preparedness.
- Assist curators, collection manager, conservators, librarians, and archivists to implement best practices in museum collections handling, transport between buildings, photography, and storage.
- Assist with moving of instruments for use in public programming and recordings.
- May be assigned responsibilities for designated areas of the collections including researching, providing reference assistance to staff and the public, and/or assistance with the installation of exhibits, depending upon experience.
- Assist curatorial and collections management staff in the transport, installation, inspection, maintenance, and de-installation of artifacts for exhibitions and loans.
- May be called upon occasionally to act as courier for delivery and/or return of loans.
- Maintain organization of digital photography of musical instruments and related objects.
- Manage and fulfill requests for photographic reproductions/publications (including contracts with outside photographers).
- Manage digital photography backup and retrieval system.
- Assist with retrieval of objects and other materials in response to research requests and research appointments.
- Assist staff with supervision of visiting researchers.
- Assist with supervision and training of volunteers, interns, work-study students, and graduate students.
- Maintain confidentiality regarding all sensitive museum information.
- Other duties as assigned may include (depending upon experience and need), but are not limited to assisting with tours; production of custom-made plexi-glass stands for object display; participation in continued development/maintenance of multi-media tour; development of graphic artwork in a variety of media to support publication requirements; shoot videos and assist with editing for various marketing projects.
- BA degree in photography or related field, or commensurate years of experience.
- Previous experience working in a museum or gallery setting would be beneficial.
- Proficiency with Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Adobe Bridge CS5.
- Proficiency with Adobe Illustrator and related Adobe software would be beneficial.
- Expertise using digital cameras and processing raw image files.
- Ability to work primarily in a flexible studio environment with artificial lighting, including hot lights, on-camera flashes, off-camera flashes, free-standing lights, and a seamless backdrop.
- Ability to work with a Nikon D7000 digital camera with a Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-105mm 1:3.5-5.6G 67mm lens.
- Knowledge and experience using museum industry standards for handling objects (musical instruments, in particular), works of art, and archival items, preferred.
- Experience in color judgment and image quality control.
- Experience using Windows 7.
- Proficiency with MS Office software (Word, Excel, Outlook, Access, PowerPoint).
- Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
- Willingness to follow required procedures for the safe handling of musical instruments.
- Ability to solve problems, work under pressure, and prioritize work to meet competing deadlines.
- Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, have excellent organizational skills, be able to pay attention to a high level of detail with minimal supervision, and demonstrate a positive and flexible attitude.
- Some physical activity such as climbing ladders, lifting, and kneeling is required for this position.
Salary: Full-time position (with occasional evening and weekend hours) funded by the Board of Trustees of National Music Museum, Inc. Salary: $35,000 plus benefits.
Benefits: NMM, Inc. offers a benefits package including medical coverage; paid holidays; retirement plan option; and both vacation accrual and sick day allowance.
Application Procedure: Application should include a cover letter, resume, unofficial copy of graduate school or college transcript(s), names and phone numbers of three professional references. A CD must be submitted that includes 5 -10 jpegs of images that reflect the candidate's ability to work in a studio environment with artificial lighting. The CD must be readable on a PC computer where the widest dimension is no larger than 1800 pixels at 150 ppi. Please submit only color photographs. Any examples of work shot in studio settings, including portraits and still lifes, as well musical instruments and other three-dimensional material objects, are acceptable.
Submit application by email to Margaret.Banks@usd.edu and send CD by regular mail to:
Dr. Margaret Downie Banks, Interim Director
National Music Museum
University of South Dakota
414 E. Clark Street
Vermilion SD 57069
Application deadline: Review of applications will begin August 28, 2012. Search will continue until position is filled.