Career Profile of Art Gallery Registrar

art gallery
Art Gallery Registrar at work. Getty Images.

Job Description of Art Gallery Registrar

An Art Gallery Registrar works full-time in an art gallery, tracking the gallery’s inventory, and dealing with international shipping and customs procedures for the gallery’s works of art.

Education Needed to Be an Art Gallery Registrar

To work in an art gallery in an administrative capacity usually requires a Bachelor's degree as that type of education provides one with the basic skills of communication and business management.

Duties Required to Be an Art Gallery Registrar

An Art Gallery Registrar’s main duties include managing international transportation and customs procedures as artworks will be shipped to temporary exhibitions such as overseas art fairs.

Being knowledgeable in international fine art shipping and domestic and international customs procedures is necessary for this position.

Preparing works for gallery exhibitions and art fairs and dealing with collectors are other job duties.

An Art Gallery Registrar manages the gallery’s inventory, writes condition reports, follows up on the location of works, and communicates with shippers, art handlers, suppliers, storage handlers and customs officers.

Maintaining the art gallery’s computer database to track location and sales information is important. Managing the calendar and gallery schedule for viewings, meetings, shipping, and exhibition installation and deinstallation are common duties for this position.

Skills Required to Be an Art Gallery Registrar

An Art Gallery Registrar has had previous experience working in art shipping, or in an art gallery or auction house. Skills include the ability to multi-task, and knowledge of computer software such as a database for a gallery, and how to manage the paperwork to ship works overseas.

Career Opportunities for an Art Gallery Registrar

There are various career opportunities available for art gallery staff. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, overall employment opportunities for arts professionals such as those working in art galleries and museums is “projected to grow 11 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations.” 

How to Be Hired as an Art Gallery Registrar

Image plays an important role in the business of operating an art gallery, as a gallery entices potential collectors to buy artwork. Presenting yourself professionally and in a similar manner to the gallery staff will help you to be seriously considered for the position of an Art Gallery Registrar. Visiting the art gallery beforehand can help you understand how to present yourself when applying for a job.

Qualified applicants usually submit their cover letters and resumes to the gallery for consideration. To learn more about how to write a winning job resume and how to ace a job interview, please see Job Search.

Further Info on Art Gallery Careers

Fine Art offers many articles on careers in the various visual arts professions. Here are a few related to operating or being employed in an art gallery:

Further Resources

Visiting art galleries in person is a good way to make yourself familiar with the gallery owner and the type of work the gallery represents. Using online resources can also help you find a job in an art gallery.

The following weblinks are for online employment listings for art related jobs such as working in an art gallery or museum. Please note that these job listings have temporal deadlines, and that the data is constantly changing.

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