The Getty

  • Head, Collecting and Provenance

    Posted Date
    3 months ago(3 months ago)
    Requisition Number
    Regular Full-Time
    Position Status
    Getty Center
    GRI - 0454-Collecting and Provenance
    Targeted Hiring Range
    $86,845.20 - $112,908.64 Annually
    Commensurate with experience and internal equity
  • Job Summary

    Provenance Art Historian: Head of Project for the Study of Collecting and Provenance and Provenance Index Database


    The Provenance Art Historian heads an extensive, international research initiative and the development and maintenance of a major database at the Getty Research Institute.


    The Provenance Index database is a pioneering and long-term digital humanities enterprise entailing cooperation of partners in many countries. It has been created at the Getty over the course of more than three decades, and it includes millions of records concerning the ownership and transfer of works of art over five centuries. This data is derived from sales catalogues, inventories, dealers’ archives and other primary source materials. A unique resource for information on the art market, art collecting, and display of art, the freely available Provenance Index has millions of online visitors annually, is actively inputting new information, and is currently undergoing reconstruction of its data architecture to transform into a system of linked open data.


    The Provenance Art Historian is responsible for overseeing the development and maintenance of the newly remodeled database and for setting the direction of its growth and its trajectories of research.


    The PAH supervises the permanent staff of the PSCP as well as interns and metadata specialists and editors who may work on special research projects of limited duration which may be funded by grants. The PAH is responsible for working with GRI leadership to formulate and implement a collection development policy to determine policies and directions such as which partners to work with, which data sets to link to or input, which new research projects to undertake, which ongoing projects to continue or close; what kinds of new tools should be developed for the PI. In addition to being an accomplished and published art historian, the PAH must be knowledgeable and able to undertake data-driven research, including technical skills such as command of statistical analysis, visualization of data, and other forms of analysis of data. The PAH represents the GRI and the PSCP internationally at conferences and similar events, and should be able to present and discuss relevant issues in at least one, but preferably more than one language beyond English. Reading knowledge of at least three foreign languages is essential. The PAH should be skilled in formulating and administering budgets. The PAH is expected to conceive, organize, and implement research projects involving cooperation with external institutions internationally which may be funded by grants. The PAH should have and maintain an active program of scholarly publishing in the form of books, articles, and online publication.


    The PAH is required to communicate effectively with the PSCP team. The PAH should work successfully in partnership with colleagues in other departments, such as systems and software developers. The PAH should have experience in team-oriented cooperative research which is essential for the Provenance Index research programs. The PAH should have extensive international contacts with whom to cooperate and test new directions of research opened as a result of remodeling in linked open data.

    Major Job Responsibilities

    • Leads a department; participates in strategic and program planning; establish goals and priorities; develop, document, and implement policy; develop staff competencies; collaborate on projects with external organizations; ensure that institutional policies are consistently applied
    • Manages the daily operations of a functional team and undertake administrative duties related to recruitment, human relations, staff evaluation, finance, reporting, purchasing, and approvals
    • Maintains close collaboration with GRI leadership and information system units
    • Supervise staff and manage projects, assign and review work, design and implement workflows
    • Establish upper-level metadata policies and editorial rules in consultation with supervisor when appropriate
    • Identify, analyze, and resolve issues that have both internal and external ramifications
    • Develops, promotes, and implements new and evolving standards and best practices designed to create open, sustainable, interoperable, and trustworthy metadata
    • Serves and collaborates on internal and external teams, committees, working groups, and other Getty entities
    • Researches, analyzes, plans, coordinates, and/or manages projects
    • Trains and supervises professional staff and others; revises the work of others
    • Plans, coordinates, and/or executes outreach activities
    • Research, write, present, and publish about work activities, collections, and/or professional issues
    • Serves as a resource to others in areas of specialization
    • Contributes to discussion and review of national and international rules and standards
    • Has extensive external communication and lead external committees and/or international working groups
    • Organizes research projects in relation to database projects to foster new and innovative ways of using new data. Plans and organizes workshops, symposia, and lectures
    • Develops new collaborative projects with international partner institutions. Makes strategic decisions for expanding the data pool and which institutions to work with
    • Co-edits book publications in relation to research projects and new data
    • Prepares grant applications and administers grant –funded projects
    • May make decisions regarding storage and preservation of collection materials
    • May design user testing tools and evaluate results



    • Graduate degree in Art History or a related discipline
    • May require a PhD. In Art History with relevant specialty
    • Minimum 7 years of professional experience and a requisite amount of related supervisory experience
    • Requires expert level subject knowledge, foreign languages, and/or technical expertise

    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

    • Expert knowledge of established standards and best practices relevant to specific duties
    • Expert-level facility with systems required to perform work duties. These may include systems designed for collection management, digital materials management and transformation, digital forensics, digital repository management, digital asset management, thesaurus construction, data management, digital asset management, communications, resource discovery, and social media
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
    • Ability to work in team-based and collaborative environments
    • Advanced supervisory and project management skills
    • Ability to conceptualize work product within broader GRI goals and objectives
    • Advanced knowledge of new developments in the profession, particularly in born-digital resource management
    • Knowledge of research processes and evolving forms of scholarly communication and publication