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Collections Consultant

Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) seeks proposals from museum collections professionals (e.g., conservation professionals, registrars, collections managers, collections curators) with experience in planning and providing for the protection of museum collections during major construction and/or repair projects. NRF is undertaking a multi-phase exterior restoration project at Rough Point, the summer home of heiress, philanthropist, and preservationist Doris Duke. The first phase will include a roof replacement and masonry repointing. This phase should take at least eight months to complete, beginning in the spring of 2021 and extending into the late fall of 2021 or perhaps even into 2022.

Although it is NRF’s goal to keep the collection in place and the house open for visitation throughout repair work and construction – Rough Point is open for visitation each year from late March through early January – it is paramount that the collection be safeguarded throughout the process. The chosen consultant will assist us with evaluating the potential threats to the collection from this contemplated work, monitoring conditions to ensure that the collection remains protected and secure as the work is ongoing, and recommend procedures and courses of action as necessary for the benefit of the collection, which may include covering objects, relocation of objects, and/or the temporary closure of the museum.

Specific duties:

The contractor will serve as a strategic collections advisor who will work in close consultation with the museum’s Senior Curator as well as with other members of the project team and advise on best practices and strategies to minimize or eliminate threats to the collection. Work will include:

  • Regular attendance at team meetings (either remotely or in person)
  • Frequent visits to the property to assess conditions and potential collection threats
  • Regular meetings with the Senior Curator to discuss responses to ongoing work
  • Additional meetings (remote and onsite) as needed
  • The writing of regular reports regarding the state of the collection that include recommendations for safeguarding the collection in response to the construction work

Project Team:

  • Architect: DBVW Architects, Providence, RI
  • Construction Manager: (To be determined)
  • Senior Curator: Kristen Costa
  • Director of Museums: Erik Greenberg
  • Director of Preservation: Alyssa Lozupone
  • Executive Director: Mark Thompson

Required Qualifications:

NRF seeks professionals in the collections management and conservation fields with five or more years of experience in collections care and specific experience in collections care during construction projects.

Applications to include:

  • CV and/or Resume
  • Two references (at least one of which must be from a project of similar nature or scope)
  • Hourly billing rate
  • Reimbursable rates

Interviewing will begin immediately. Position will remain open until filled.

Questions regarding the position and all applications should be directed to Mark Thompson, NRF’s Executive Director, at mthompson@newportrestoration.org.

January 19, 2021

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