Art Collection Assistant (Tonic Arts Collection Management project)

Closing date 6 February 2022

Founded in 1826, The Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture (RSA) is an independently-funded organisation which supports the creation, understanding and enjoyment of contemporary art across Scotland.

The RSA runs a year-round programme of exhibitions, artist opportunities and related educational talks and events which support artists at all stages of their careers. The Academy’s distinguished history is reflected in its extensive collections and archives, recognised by the Scottish Government as being of national significance.

Led by eminent artists and architects, the RSA embodies a wealth of professional experience in Fine Art and Architecture with many of its Members taking a leading role in higher education and in many of Scotland’s leading cultural institutions.

In recent years, every aspect of the RSA has been interrogated to ensure that the Academy remains relevant to the needs of today’s artists and architects. Importantly, the Academy continues to evolve, electing new Members, exhibiting new work, and supporting and promoting excellence in contemporary Scottish art and architecture.

Post: Art Collection Assistant (Tonic Arts Collection Management project)
Reports to: RSA Art Consultant/ Tonic Arts Collections Manager
Role: Fixed term to March 2023. Based within the RSA offices and on site at NHS Lothian.
Hours: Part time. (3 days/19.5 hours)


Tonic Arts part of Edinburgh Lothian Health Foundation (ELHF)

The RSA has been contracted, since 2016, to manage the NHS Lothian (NHSL) Art Collection, on behalf of Tonic Arts Comprising over 3,500 artworks located across more than 40 sites the focus is on improving the quality, diversity and hang of the artworks and ensuring the collection is accessible to all staff and patients. The contract includes delivering a maintenance and repair programme, responding to staff artwork requests, implementing a priority re-hang programme, managing gifts and donations, reviewing and updating the collection database, auditing and photographing artworks and recommending new acquisitions.

Art Collection Assistant Duties

  • Respond to NHSL artwork requests – working with the RSA Art Consultant/Tonic Arts Collection Manager to prioritize list of requests, and maintaining an updated list of requests and their status
  • Carry out site visits for staff artwork requests, following up with a proposal of works for the point of contact
  • Maintain the Tonic Arts collection database (Access) – updating entries to reflect acquisitions, change of location of existing works, conservation work, etc. Currently in the process of reviewing and recommending a replacement database.
  • Organise the photo-documentation of artworks, working with a professional photographer to set up artwork photo shoots and sometimes in-situ documentation of work in hospitals
  • Organise collection works in storage
  • Maintain lists of available works, works that need conservation/framing, and works that need documentation
  • Assist RSA Art Consultant/ Tonic Arts Collection Manager with reporting to the ELHF Arts Advisory  Group quarterly meetings
  • Arrange for the transport and installation for works at various NHSL locations – liaising with NHS building service contacts at each location
  • Assist with install of artworks on site
  • Arrange for the framing/reframing of artworks
  • Maintain Tonic Arts presence on the ArtUK website by updating our page with all new works and ensuring current entries are correct
  • Assist RSA Art Consultant/ Tonic Arts Collection Manager with artwork purchase recommendations: adding quality, variety and diversity to the collection.
  • Process invoices and payments to artists
  • Handle paperwork for artwork gifts, donations and loans
  • Carry out condition reports on collection works and loaned artworks
  • Undertake an annual collection audit review

Skills and abilities

  • Experience in implementing best practices for collection management
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills.
  • A keen eye for detail and to ensure high standards whilst working under pressure
  • Ability to work across teams and departments in a collaborative manner
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent time management and organisation skills with the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and to work to deadlines
  • The ability to be a proactive self-starter and to use initiative to resolve problems and create solutions to improve results
  • Excellent IT skills – must have proficiency in Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite
  • Experience in artwork installation.

Full job description can be found here

Applications: a CV and cover letter detailing candidates suitability for the role should be sent to [email protected] by 6pm on Sunday 6th February

Interviews: we aim to hold interviews with candidates on Monday 14th February 2023 and candidates should be available for interview on that day.

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