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Expert Profile


Jennifer Oberhauser





Full or Part-time

Position Type:



United States of America

Years in the field:

16 – 20 Years

Areas of Expertise

Administrative Support, Curatorial/Collections, Project Management


Museum professional with extensive experience in project management, space planning, logistics, registration and records, transport, and safety for fine art objects. Works on permanent collections, special exhibitions, and loans with major museums and galleries. Promoted to positions of increased responsibility at a major art museum as a result of demonstrated skill at managing acquisitions and inventory; collections data; insurance records; deaccessions; and auction sales records. Excels at navigating cultural and logistic challenges while maintaining the highest fine art exhibition, conservation, and archivingstandards.


Professional Experienceun

November 2019–present (concurrent)

undefinedRegistrar and Curator, Pacific Coast Conservation (Denver, CO)undefined

• Work collaboratively with a preventative conservator and architect to develop and finalize written Collection StoragePlans (CSP) for national parks in the Intermountain Region (IMR) of the National Park Service, including Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Zion National Parks.

• Research each park’s individual museum collection needs, including reviewing NPS documentation such as the park’s Foundation Document, Scope of Collection statement, yearly Collection Management Reports, and architectural plans.

• Schedule and lead site visits to the parks, including all collection repositories on- and off-site, to gather information on the collection, current storage capacity, building facilities, and future needs.

• Conduct kick-off meetings, interviews, and close-out meetings with NPS staff, including the curator, archivist, technicians, chairs of cultural and natural resources, and superintendents.

• Develop space layouts for short- and long-term storage solutions, taking into consideration object material type and rate of collection growth for each specific collection group. Works to maximize available storage space of both collection and non- collection spaces, such as research and processing areas.

• Develop strategies for safer and more efficient storage by re-imagining alternative housing and footprint compressionoptions.


November 2019–present (concurrent)

Project Manager, Exhibitions, The Art Institute of Chicago

• Organizes all aspects of planning, budgeting, and execution for several exhibitions concurrently, including domestic and international, single and multi-venue exhibitions. Initiates and provides guidance on all cross-departmental planning processes, including scope planning, content development, exhibition design, interpretive planning, and logistics.

• Utilizes Smartsheet to manage, schedule, track, and oversee each exhibition’s progress, ensuring timely completion of all milestone tasks.

• Advises curatorial teams and stakeholders on current museum protocols, procedures, and requirements for exhibitions. Develops project-specific implementation strategies for assigned exhibitions; proactively identifies challenges within project execution, and provides creative options to reach favorable solutions.

• Participates in long- and short-term strategic exhibition development and management.

• Track expenses and coordinate with stakeholders to ensure adherence to project budgets. Work with stakeholder departments to re-forecast expense projections and provide quarterly updates to Museum Finance.

• Working with curatorial data, manages all iterations of exhibition checklists.

• Initiates loan request process in consultation with the curatorial team and registrar; facilitates planning and negotiation efforts with lending partners.

• Requests and tracks image rights permissions for photographs and digital media.

• Coordinate all aspects of exhibition development, including but not limited to imaging, framing, mounting, and any preparation and/or conservation treatment.

• Review exhibition-related contracts, including touring agreements, artist agreements, indemnity and insurancedocumentation, and vendor contracts.

• Liaise with stakeholders to plan gallery turnover, including installation, maintenance, and deinstallation logistics; exhibition furniture (cases, mounts, platforms, pedestals); audiovisual and technical components; security alarms, stanchions, and cameras; lighting; and environmental, display signage, and interpretive materials.


September 2018–November 2019

Registrar, Permanent Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago

• Prepared domestic and international packing and shipping arrangements with galleries, donors, and collectors for objects being considered for the permanent collection; coordinated all gifts of artwork given from estates or as a bequest; assisted curatorial department with acquisition process for thousands of objects each year.

• Supervised The Art Institute of Chicago’s off-site art storage locations; handled the transport of objects between the museum and multiple warehouses; assisted in maintaining the physical environment of the spaces.

• Developed a plan to streamline the shipment of acquisition considerations in order to maximize multiple departments’ staff resources and limited vault space.

• Coordinated with auction houses on all aspects of the sale and purchase of museum objects, from negotiating auction contracts to arranging insurance coverage and shipping logistics.

• Monitored database management with the museum’s curatorial departments to maintain the integrity of collection data, both in the collections database and on the museum’s website.

• Assisted the Director of Collections Information with database field modifications and improvements to more efficiently track each object’s progress through the collection.

• Collaborated with the museum’s business analyst to create deaccession tracking reports and sales result reports, ensuring object value integrity for auction sales.

• Member of the museum’s Time-Based Media working group.

• Successfully arranged for the deinstallation, packing and transport of major acquisitions, including a Tiffany stained glass window. Assisted curator and conservator with extraction process and worked closely with the extraction team, lead specialists, and church leaders to ensure a smooth and safe working environment for staff and transition for the artwork.

• Traveled nationally and internationally as fine art courier to and from The Art Institute of Chicago, lending museums, partners, and private collectors, overseeing shipments from door to door. Supervised unpacking of crate(s), performed condition checks and wrote condition reports, and confirmed exhibition standards met the AIC’s Borrower’s Agreement.

October 2007–September 2018

Associate Registrar, Permanent Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago

• Effectively negotiated for and obtained an additional 4,200 square feet of storage space for the Registrar’s office.

• Project manager for complex art installations, including a 19-foot, 32,000-pound granite sculpture installed in the museum’s North Garden, and the installation of a Richard Serra in the new Modern Wing, requiring museum floor reinforcement and working with the artist’s preferred rigging company.

• As Safety Committee member, promoting heightened safety awareness throughout the museum campus.

• Arranged safety training sessions for over 20 employees from the Registrar’s office, covering first-aid, fireextinguisher handling, and hazardous materials training.

• Initiated a sub-committee to design and develop institutional emergency incident art handling and protection procedures, and a process manual.

October 2003–October 2007

Assistant Registrar, Permanent Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago

• Created new object records in CITI database, and provided acquisition reports to museum curatorial departments.

• Managed all shipping and insurance for partial gift transfers between the AIC and joint owners.

• Organized and location-tracked over 650 objects transferred to the museum’s new storage facility.

• CITI database liaison, providing database training and support to staff, volunteers, and the public.

November 2001–October 2003

Departmental Assistant, Museum Registration, The Art Institute of Chicago

• Served as Museum Registration Office Manager, performing all administrative and support tasks.

• Administered the department’s receipt system to track the annual movement of thousands of objects.

• Provided support for museum staff, interns, and volunteers in their use of the Registrar’s archives.

February 2001–September 2001

Departmental Assistant, Development and Communications, The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust, Oak Park, IL

• Assisted Publications Manager with writing and editing the Trust’s scholarly publication Wright Angles.

• Worked with Institutional Advancement to research potential donors and grant opportunities.

• Developed and wrote grant proposals.

• Assisted in all aspects of membership processing: database input, email marketing to members, renewal outreach.

• Assisted in coordinating member events, including events for high-level donors.


undefinedAdditional Professional Experienceundefined

2019–Ongoing Participant, Engagement and Trust working group at The Art Institute of Chicago

2019 Participant, Art Equity Training forum, a seminar to foster equity and inclusion work for The Art Institute of Chicago

2009–Ongoing Round table Moderator, University of Chicago’s Taking the Next Step Annual Alumni Exposition

2009–2017 Invited Panelist, Illinois Leadership Seminars’ Style of a Leader Annual Conference

2015 Invited Panelist, Career Conversations: Arts and Entertainment TeenAdvisory Series, Thomas Ford Memorial Library, Western Springs, IL

2013 Featured interview, ”The Role of a Registrar,” The Art Institute of Chicago Member Magazine



University of Chicago B.A., Art History ~ Graduated with Honors


undefinedProfessional Affiliationsundefined

Association of Registrars and Collection Specialists (ARCS) Chicago Museum Exhibitors Group (CMEG)


undefinedSoftware/Database Proficiencyundefined

MS Office (Word, Excel, Drive) JIRA (Atlassian)


CITI, AIC’s collection management database

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