Museum Specialist (Art)

District of Columbia, D.C
Jun 08, 2021
Jun 11, 2021
Full Time


This position is located in The Smithsonian American Art Museum, (SAAM). This position, located in the Curatorial Office, implements, coordinates, and oversees administrative operations related to acquisitions and the larger museum art collections.

Learn more about this agency


  • Oversees organization and maintenance of all curatorial files and records, both paper and digital, pertaining to the permanent collection, including object, pending acquisitions, promised gift and bequest documentation, deaccessioning, collectors and works-on-the-market files.
  • Manages and executes arrangements for proposed acquisitions including initiating and planning curatorial review meetings, monitoring the progress of the review process, preparing documentation required by acquisition procedures, and coordinating with other departments and Chief Curator and Deputy Chief Curator.
  • Provides Chief Curator and Deputy Chief Curator with background research on proposed acquisitions such as auction records and artists' biographies.
  • Assembles research information about works in permanent collection. Conducts basic research to determine vital statistics on artists and objects like life dates and dates of execution for full and complete records of collection objects.
  • Prioritizes, coordinates, and prepares requests for conservation, matting, framing, pedestals and photography pertaining to new acquisitions, ongoing maintenance of the collection, loan requests, replacement of works in permanent collection galleries, exhibitions and major and minor gallery installations.
  • Serves as Department's liaison in intra-museum discussions about database-related collections management and manages and coordinates curatorial aspects of open-source access, digital humanities initiatives, and other innovative technologies associated with expanding access to the museum's collections.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Pass Pre-employment Background Investigation
  • May need to complete a Probationary Period
  • Maintain a Bank Account for Direct Deposit/Electronic Transfer

Qualification requirements must be met within 30 days of the job announcement closing date.

For information on qualification requirements, see Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at


Experience: You qualify for this position if you have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-7 level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system. For this position Specialized experience is defined as adhering to museum policies and procedures relating to collections management and acquisitions; research experience in American art history; creating, managing, and maintaining accurate and timely records; and adhering to the principles and practices of information management and archives in both paper-based and electronic records environments..

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

Or Education: Two full academic years of progressively higher level graduate education or master's or equivalent graduate degree related to the position

Or a Combination: Education and experience may be combined to meet the basic qualifications. For a full explanation of this option please see the Qualification Standards .

Special Instructions for Foreign Education: If you are qualifying by education and/or you have education completed in a foreign college/university described above, it is your responsibility to provide transcripts and proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study. For instructions on where to fax these documents, see the "Required Documents" section of this announcement.


Additional information

Flexible Spending Accounts -
Health Insurance -
Leave -
Life Insurance -
Long Term Care Insurance -
Retirement Program -

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:
  • Knowledge of art history.
  • Knowledge of museum curatorial practices related to museum collection database management, exhibitions and publications.
  • Ability to organize information and processes.
  • Knowledge of museum curatorial practices related to collection management practices.
  • Knowledge of research resources and techniques.
  • Skill in written communication.

Important Note:

Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience. Your resume should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

Trust determination process

Required Documents

Your application package should include the following documents:

    • Your application package should include the following documents:
        • Resume - Your resume can be uploaded and attached to your application or created using the USA Jobs on-line resume builder. If you want to receive full credit for relevant experience your resume MUST containthe job title (including the occupational series and grade if it is Federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours worked per week, and salary.
          • USAJOBS has guidance on how to ensure that you submit a complete resume: If you have not written a Federal resume before, you may watch this Resume Writing Tutorial video on the USAJOBS YouTube channel , or read through a helpful Resume Writing FAQ article on the USAJOBS Help Site to learn what details you should, and should not, include in your resume. If any of the above information is not included in your resume we may not be able to fully credit you for your experience.
    • Proof of prior federal service such as the latest SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action
    • Unofficial school transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or if you are using education to qualify. If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment.
    • Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign
    • study, if applicable.
    • A recent performance evaluation
    • Proof of Veteran's Preference - DD214 (Member 4 Copy) if you are requesting a special appointment authority, such as VRA or VEOA
    • Proof of severe disability if you are requesting special placement consideration
    • Proof of eligibility for a military spouse appointment, such as a permanent change station military order
    • Proof of eligibility for any other special appointing authority not specifically mentioned here.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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