Finally, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has published a job offer SEO for his new position as Provenance Research Manager. The museum announcement the role in May following increased scrutiny – and law enforcement seizures – of works from its collection of 1.5 million objects.

A few weeks before the announcement of the Met this spring, a ProPublica report presumed incomplete provenance histories for 85% of the 139 objects in the museum’s valuable Charles and Valerie Diker Native American art collection. A month earlier, a International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) revealed that more than 1,000 items in the Met’s collection were linked to accused or convicted antiquities smugglers. The new staff member will be joined by three additional provenance researchers, although the museum has yet to release those lists.

Delving into the complicated histories of the Met’s vast holdings will no doubt prove a tall order. According to the job posting, applicants must have 10 years of experience in provenance research and a master’s or doctoral degree in an area of ​​art history “relevant to this work” or a “related field. “, like the right. Additional prerequisites are broad: the new recruit must understand how the art market influences the field, be familiar with resources such as archives, and have an established network of contacts. The candidate must also have “significant experience” with collecting practices, whether working in a museum or another type of organization. The new staff member will earn between $140,000 and $160,000.

The Met has not disclosed an expected start date, but once hired, the Provenance Research Manager will coordinate all investigations into objects that may have a Nazi-era provenance or constitute cultural property. . They will begin their work with the Department of Ancient Americas; The Met is currently renovate this section of the museum as part of a larger initiative to create new galleries for the African Art, Early American Art, and Oceanic Art departments.

The new recruit, who will report directly to Met Director Max Hollein, will also serve as a figurehead, attend lectures and seminars, “lead the communication” of provenance information on the museum’s website and influence ” outward-looking provenance efforts” from the Met. », like conferences. The staff member will also be involved in training curators and collections managers on the ‘care and appraisal’ of cultural property.

While this year’s reports of ProPublica and the ICIJ has drawn further attention to the murky histories of some of the Met’s artwork, repatriations and seizures of items from the museum have been going on for years. In 2022, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office grasped five ancient Egyptian objects, a 6th century Hindu statueAnd 21 ancient Greek and Roman artifacts. This spring, the Met announcement he would repatriate 15 objects to India: these works were linked to the notorious smuggler Subhash Kapoor, who smuggled more than 143 million dollars worth of art before being sentenced to 10 years in prison last year.

“The Provenance Research Manager will lead efforts in the Met’s collecting areas, building on decades of research and the ongoing work of Met provenance curators, scholars and researchers,” said Hollien said. Hyperallergic in a report. “Art museums such as The Met steward important World Heritage resources, and we are committed to undertaking this work so that The Met can continue to be a leader in the field for our current generation and many more to come. come.”

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