Digital Art History Lead

Post Date:
May 18, 2021

 

Full-time

Exempt.

Background

Opened to the public in 1935, The Frick Collection is a world-renowned art museum consisting of more than 1,500 works of art from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries displayed in the intimate surroundings of the former home of Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Clay Frick. It is considered one of the world's most perfect museums and the residence is one of New York City’s few remaining Gilded Age mansions. The Frick welcomes nearly 300,000 visitors a year to its tranquil mansion on the Upper East Side, encouraging visitors to closely observe, reflect, and engage with its esteemed collection.

The Frick Art Reference Library (FARL), founded by Helen Clay Frick in 1920 and open to the public in 1922, is an internationally recognized research library that serves as one of the world's most complete resources for the study of Western art. It has been at the cutting-edge of art-history technology since its foundation, pioneering onsite photography of works of art, web archiving of art-rich websites, computer vision and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning; all in support of The Frick Collection’s mission of serving as a “center for research and to stimulate scholarship in the history of art.”

The Frick has moved into its temporary home in the former Whitney Museum Breuer building at 75th Street and Madison Avenue, Frick Madison, while renovations are undertaken to the newer parts of the building at 1 East 70th Street. We opened to the public at Frick Madison in early spring and have experienced a surge in membership. We are searching for an enthusiastic partner to support our team and our ever expanding and diverse group of members. We will be providing training on best practices for protecting oneself and the public during a pandemic while always providing the highest quality customer service.

More about FARL and the Digital Art History Lab

The Digital Art History Lab (a virtual entity) began in October 2014. In 2017, it was tasked by the Kress and Getty Foundations to produce the Art history in digital dimensions report. An update of this report can be found in ‘Digital dimensions revisited’, by Stephen Bury, in Art Libraries Journal, 46/2 (2021).

The DAHL has been involved with pop-up presentations on digital art history at MOMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the IFA; projects such as ARIES (ARt Image Exploration Space) with the Tandon School of Engineering, NYU; artificial intelligence/machine learning projects with Stanford University Department of Statistics, Cornell University Department of Operations Research and Information Engineering; and the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering; collaboration with university art history departments interested in digital art history e.g. Hunter College, CUNY; programming – workshops and lectures for art historians and the general public, and collaborative programming in a biennial series on computer vision.

The current strategy is to digitally exploit the digital content of the Library – 1.2 photographic records of works of art, 8.5 Tb of web archives, c. ½ M books and various subject databases (history of collecting,

Spanish artists, 17th C art inventories compiled by Professor John Michael Montias, etc.) – to answer art historical questions; training and working with art historians; and collaborating with university engineering departments and other technology partners.

In July 2020 the Library was re-organized into four clusters – Access, Content, Preservation/Digitization and Archives/Records Management – and lead positions were created to work across the Clusters: the title of Digital Art History Lead reflects this responsibility.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Associate Chief Librarian, Content. The Digital Art History Lead will develop and deliver the digital art history strategy for the Frick Art Reference Library and maintain its high international reputation in this area.

Primary responsibilities include: audit and evaluate DAH activities of the Frick Art Reference Library; in consultation with internal and external stakeholders, the Lead will define the strategy and work plan of the Library in the area of digital art history; lead and co-ordinate the Frick Art Reference Library’s Digital Art History activities across the four Clusters

The Lead will assess and create programming in support of the digital art history of collecting and provenance research. The Lead will liaise with external partners for existing and future collaborative projects, including university engineering departments, university art history departments (in liaison with TFC Education), technology companies; supervise the Digital Art History Fellows and interns; DAHL through social media and publication. Collaborate with External Affairs/Fund Raising in support of DAHL activities.

Requirements 

Education: postgraduate qualification in Art History or a related subject (preferably PhD) or postgraduate library qualification.

Successful candidates will have been to have been closely involved in at least one digital art history project and have knowledge of the digital art history landscape. They will have basic technical skills e.g. Excel, blog post or Wikipedia entry writing, coding, Python, OpenRefine, Gephi, a basic knowledge of statistics and good knowledge of a language other than English. Excellent communication skills, both written and oral are essential for success in this role. We are searching for a person committed to diversity and exploring digital art history to advance this and to reach wider audiences and for someone who works well individually and in a team.

Benefits in Employment with the Frick Collection

Full-time employees are eligible to participate in-group life, health, and dental insurance plans. Employees contribute to the cost of their health insurance based on income level and type of coverage selected. Employer seeded health savings accounts. Other benefits include Short and Long Term Disability insurance, employee contributed tax deferred annuity, flexible spending plans for health, dependent care and commuting costs, generous defined benefit pension plan with participation after one year of service/vesting after five years of service, 14 paid holidays, accrual of 12 vacation days the first year of employment. All employees may access free or discounted admission to most of New York’s finest museums. The Frick provides employees with a discount on Museum Shop purchases.

The Frick offers a beautiful and pleasant work setting and excellent opportunity to appreciate some of the world’s finest works of art. 

Compensation

Salary is commensurate to experience, the range the exempt salary for this position is $62,000 - $66,000 annually. 

Application Process

Please send resume and cover letter with salary requirements to:

Associate Chief Librarian, Content
jobs@frick.org (include “DAHL Lead” in subject line of email)

Mailing address for application: 
Frick Madison
30 East 75th Street
New York, NY 10021

No phone calls please. Inquiries without cover letter and salary requirements will not be considered.

Equal Employment Opportunity has been, and will continue to be, a fundamental principal at The Collection, where employment is based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, alienage or citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, military status, creed, genetic predisposition or carrier status or any other protected characteristic as established by law. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.This description shall not be construed as a contract of any sort for a specific period of employment.