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Full-time ,
submitted by
Human Resources

Assistant Director of Exhibitions


For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top four graduate fine arts programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, and LeRoy Neiman.

Position Summary

Works closely with the Director of Exhibition Operations and the Senior Exhibition Manager to oversee the implementation of exhibition programming at Sullivan Galleries and other off-campus exhibition venues. Oversees the layout, resource planning, installation and gallery programs for annual Fall and Spring Undergraduate Exhibitions. Oversees and coordinates the day-to-day management and staffing of all other assigned exhibitions and programs, liaising effectively with appropriate SAIC and AIC departments. The ADEC will be the registrar for the Department of Exhibitions, acting as lead, or supervising the assigned registrarial lead, on exhibitions, as well as leading on all day-to-day departmental registrarial functions. Supervises and trains assigned staff in registrarial and administrative practices.

Primary Responsibilities:

Oversees and implements registrarial procedures and policies for the Department of Exhibitions, including coordination of:

  • Contract and loan agreements
  • Shipping and packing
  • Preventative conservation
  • Storage of art and related materials
  • Insurance and claims
  • Archiving of all exhibitions and programs materials

Works closely with fellow staff to ensure implementation of best art handling procedures, and maintenance and safety of work on display.

Serves as departmental lead on annual Fall and Spring Undergraduate Exhibitions, working with the Director of Exhibition Operations, the Exhibition Manager floor lead and supervising the Graduate Curatorial Assistants towards the planning and implementation of these two large-scale student thesis shows. The ADEC liaisons with the Undergraduate Division, SAIC faculty/staff and student participants throughout the year to ensure the efficient organization, installation and maintenance of the exhibitions.

Serves as department lead for exhibitions each academic year as assigned by the Director of Exhibition Operations. Works with Graduate Curatorial Assistants and artists to coordinate exhibition. Duties include: budget management and resource planning, installation planning, communication between exhibitors/presenters, and the development of appropriate documentation for archive, as assigned by the Director of Exhibition Operations.

Oversees and coordinates the day-to-day supervision of Site Managers, Graduate Curatorial Assistants, student staff, and free-lance gallery technicians, as assigned by the Director of Exhibition Operations. Works with exhibition managers and department directors to assure that all venues provide a professional level practicum experience for students, and to participate substantively and proactively in the training, education and mentoring of Graduate Curatorial Assistants and student staff, including designing and updating training manuals for these constituents.

Oversees the review of proposals for the Faculty Senate Exhibition and Exhibition Studies Committee; leads proposal workshops and the application process, communicates with applicants, maintains archive of applications, coordinates committee meetings and keeps minutes from committee meetings.

Purchases materials and supplies required by gallery and processes invoices related to purchases in a timely manner.

Designs and maintains systems for the efficient production and standardization of gallery labels, and oversees production of labels through the Service Bureau, as well as leading on production of signage and pricelists for exhibitions, as assigned.

Serves as a departmental spokesperson on a daily basis.

Designs systems for, collects, holds and maintains the digital departmental archives, and works with the fellow staff to maintain, collect and store the paper copy departmental archives.

Performs other duties as assigned by the Director of Exhibition Operations.


BA/BS/BFA required, advanced degree in Art History, Museum Studies or related field preferred. Two years minimum experience in museum, gallery, cultural center or similar organization. Strong organizational, communication and research skills are necessary, with the ability to prioritize workload and handle many tasks simultaneously. Proficiency in computer software and administrative practices. Must be able to work a flexible schedule, including occasional evenings, weekends and holidays. Teaching experience and a demonstrated commitment to hands-on mentoring of students highly desirable.

The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago