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.