Provenance Research Fellow

Posted: 11/17/2023


The Denver Art Museum seeks a dynamic and creative individual to join the Provenance Research Department to further develop skills in advanced provenance research and curatorial practice. In collaboration with curatorial departments, the position will conduct provenance research and prepare documentation on selected areas of the Museum’s encyclopedic collection with a focus on collections with incomplete ownership histories and those impacted by legal and ethical considerations. Fellow will develop provenance research content and outreach for museum-related programming and the website. Expected end-of-term outcomes include, but are not limited to, development of advanced research methodologies, how to identify and fulfill public-facing education needs, a deeper understanding of the legal parameters related to repatriation guidelines and restitution claim processes across multiple collecting areas, and provenance best-practices specific to institutions with encyclopedic collections.

This position is term limited to 2 years. The position reports to the Senior Provenance Researcher.
Under the supervision of the head of the department: 


  • Conduct detailed provenance research, documentation, and develop public provenance statements for selected areas of the Museum’s encyclopedic collections. Focus primarily will be on collections with incomplete ownership histories and those impacted by legal and ethical considerations including works with Nazi-era ownership gaps; antiquities and archaeological material; colonial era considerations, NAGPRA, and objects of cultural significance.
  • Fact-check, research, and document ownership history using all available primary and secondary sources including but not limited to the artwork, museum records, owner documentation, export/import documentation, collector/dealer and auction history records and databases, archaeological field notes, genealogical and archival materials, catalogues raisonné, exhibition catalogues, prior publications, and related scholar communications.
  • Conduct provenance research as directed for potential gifts, proposed purchases, incoming loans, outgoing loans, research requests, and proposed deaccessions.
  • Develop histories for collection-based donors, collectors, and dealers.
  • Assist, facilitate, and document visits and consultations if directed related to viewing collections, potential claims, or repatriations by country of origin, tribal or related governmental representatives.
  • Deliver public presentations and provide support for programming and outreach about provenance research and collecting practices. Fellow will be required to post case studies/blogs, prepare and give lecture(s), conduct tour(s), assist with workshops to the public, docents, educators and students and other groups and draft spotlight texts relating to provenance history for selected works.
  • Provide training for staff, interns, and others as directed on provenance research methodology and related museum policy and guidelines regarding same.
  • Develop and maintain professional affiliation in scholarly organizations, professional societies, and relevant committees.
  • A travel stipend is provided for archives research and professional development opportunities upon approval.
  • Maintain active networks of provenance-related contacts and attend seminars and conferences focused on provenance issues as approved.
  • Travel may be required to archives and libraries for resources that are not on-line.
  • May coordinate interns or volunteers.
  • In alignment with EDI initiatives, apply usage of the Racial Equity Lens in day-to-day operations and yearly goal setting to support Racial Equity Roadmap initiatives. 
  • Promote and implement institutional EDI initiatives.
QUALIFICATIONS (Education, Experience, Skills, etc.): 

  • M.A. (minimum) in art history, archaeology, history, museum studies or related.
  • 1+ years of proven, demonstrated, and dedicated experience with provenance research, methodology and advanced documentation and archival practices.
  • Prior work experience in an art museum setting and preferred knowledge and familiarity with cultures, periods, artists, and art historical perspectives represented in the collections of the Denver Art Museum. 

  • Familiarity with legal and ethical guidelines pertaining to the museum profession and cultural patrimony issues.
  • Experience preferred working and handling encyclopedic museum collections and varied art media.
  • Experience with the full range of legal documentation pertaining to museum collections.
  • Familiarity with collections management systems (ARGUS preferred)
  • Excellent administrative, analytical, research, and communication and written skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Good problem-solving abilities, attention to detail, and a self-starter
  • Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language preferred
  • Sitting, working with hands
  • Office, file room, art storage, and library settings
  • Climbing ladders to access files and lifting up to 50 lbs.

Pay: The hiring hourly range for the position is $26.00-$32.40 based on experience.

Benefits: A comprehensive medical/dental/vision plan, that can be extended to domestic partner, spouse, and children. DAM 100% paid Life Insurance, and Short/Long Term Disability. Generous sick and vacation paid time off and one personal day. Ten paid holidays. 403(b) Retirement Plan with immediate eligibility to contribute and those who meet the requirements will qualify for the 3% non-elective contribution and 2% match program. A free RTD Eco Pass. Free Telehealth and Employee Assistance Program. Access to Headspace. Two weeks Paid Parental Leave. This position is based at the Denver Art Museum, which only has pay to park options, all employees are eligible to receive a free RTD Eco Pass.
NOTE:  The DAM prioritizes adaptability and a human-centered work environment. We are happy to consider accommodations to the position. This job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, or qualifications associated with the job. We know there is no such thing as a “perfect" candidate - Nor do we look for the right "fit" with us, we look for the add! We believe in cultivating an environment where there is diversity of perspectives, in hopes that we can all thrive in an inclusive environment.

As an institution, we believe the Denver Art Museum is both a platform for and an amplifier of the voices of people of all races. We acknowledge that Black lives matter and communities of color – Latinx, Indigenous, Black, and others – have been underrepresented in art museums over decades, both internally and externally. We are committed to elevating all voices, artworks and perspectives and strive to support racial equity inside and out.
We prohibit discrimination against any person or organization based on age, race, sex, color, creed, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, political service or affiliation, genetic information, or disability, as well as any other status protected by federal, state or local law.
We strive to provide a professional and positive work environment for our employees. The Museum expressly prohibits any form of employee harassment on the basis of age, race, sex, color, creed, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity, gender expression, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, political service or affiliation, genetic information, disability or any other applicable status protected by federal, state or local law.  Actions based on these or any legally protected characteristic will not be tolerated.
We encourage the freedom of gender expression and/or gender presentation.  As an institution, we do not create barriers that may prevent any employee from expressing behaviors, mannerisms, interests, and appearances that represent their authentic personality or culture. Qualified candidates are expected to exemplify the DAM’s internal values, which include being dynamic, respectful, inclusive, creative, and curious.  The ability to maintain effective and positive working relationships with visitors, employees, volunteers, representatives of public and private entities, policy making bodies, and contractors is critical to the success of this position.

The Museum believes vaccination is an important measure to protect the health and safety of everyone from significant illness due to COVID-19 infection. As a condition of employment, employees must present proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on their first day of employment or receive an exemption or other reasonable accommodation due to circumstances protected under federal or state law that prevent the employee from being vaccinated. Employees are also mandated to receive a booster within 6 months of being fully vaccinated.