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Associate Director, Photography
Associate Director, Photography
The Art Institute of Chicago
Post Date: 28 Apr 2022



The Art Institute of Chicago shares its singular collections with our city and the world. We collect, care for, and interpret works of art across time, cultures, geographies, and identities, centering the vision of artists and makers. We recognize that all art is made in a particular context, demanding continual, dynamic reconsideration in the present. We are a place of gathering; we foster the exchange of ideas and inspire an expansive, inclusive understanding of human creativity.  

Position Summary


All staff members are expected to embrace the museum’s commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable institution and to adhere to the museum’s shared values.

  • Our museum reflects and deepens our collective humanity; the arts are integral to an inspired and just society.
  • We respect and acknowledge each of our colleagues’ contributions and expertise across all roles within our organization.
  • We share in the responsibility to create an antiracist culture built on equity, inclusion, and justice for all, acknowledging that these efforts are intersectional and ongoing.
  • We encourage and advance a culture of hospitality, empathy, and gratitude for each visitor, supporter, and member of our staff.
  • We embrace innovation and foster change with a progressive understanding of—and obligation to reconsider—our past.
  • We sustain an open and dynamic civic platform, inviting and advancing the diverse perspectives of our city, staff, visitors, and supporters.


As Imaging professionals, we capture and creatively contribute to the Art Institute of Chicago’s visual history. We foster an agile work environment that thrives on mindful collaboration and encourages growth—not only in our contributions to the field, but also in our capacity to better the institution, together and as individuals. Our work is centered around three key pillars:

  • Creating high-quality images that document and preserve the Art Institute’s collections, exhibitions, conservation studies, and institutional life
  • Promoting understanding about the museum and the greater cultural heritage community through specialized imaging
  • Building our expertise as creators, documentarians, and archivists through the adoption of innovative techniques and best practices


In collaboration with the Director of Imaging, the Associate Director of Photography works with Imaging staff to support the Art Institute of Chicago’s Imaging Department. With the director, helps establish department priorities; manages workload, supervising photographers, temporary photography staff, and interns. Photographs and supervises the creation of high-resolution, high-quality images of the museum’s collections, including two- and three-dimensional works of art, time-based media, exhibitions, conservation efforts, and institutional life. Responsible for the general oversight of the imaging studios and equipment management. Acts as a liaison with AIC departments to assess and support their image production needs. Works with the Director of Imaging and photography team to facilitate research projects that incorporate current and emerging best practices, tools, strategies, and standards that contribute to the body of knowledge in conservation and cultural heritage imaging.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in photography, fine arts, or other related field
  • A minimum of five to seven years of training and experience photographing collection objects in a museum imaging department, research library, archive, professional studio, or special collections library.
  • One to two years of management experience preferred, with a commitment to supporting staff as a strong manager and creating a work environment that is supportive, collaborative, collegial, and communicative.
  • Advanced and comprehensive studio, cultural heritage, portrait, exhibition, and documentary photography experience and skills.
  • Demonstrated expertise in configuring, operating, and maintaining the full range of digital capture equipment.
  • Demonstrated expertise with post production, color management, profiling, and museum software applications; Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Bridge, Capture One, and image stitching and stacking software required.
  • Knowledge of current imaging and cultural heritage technologies, standards, and best practices. (FADGI, Metamorfoze, relevant ISO standards)
  • Handles objects with a level of care appropriate to art and cultural heritage artifacts.
  • Experience with project management, supervision, mentorship, and leadership.
  • A track record of building effective partnerships and sustaining relationships in a collaborative and complex environment.
  • Experience in evaluating workflows and successfully designing or enhancing production-oriented work processes.


Chicago, USA

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