Publishing Coordinator (The Art Institute of Chicago)

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Position Summary

This position plays a key administrative role in the Department of Publishing, which works with authors across the museum and around the globe to publish content on the Art Institute’s collections and exhibitions, both digitally and in print. An ideal candidate will bring a level of maturity, discretion, and self-motivation to the job and will posses exceptional communication, organizational, and time management skills, as well as an aptitude for problem solving. It is important that the candidate is comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and is adept at balancing varied and multiple responsibilities that will include accounting, photo editing, preparing contracts, and scheduling.

1. Responsible for all administrative aspects of the day-to-day business relating to ongoing Publishing and Imaging projects, working closely with departments across the museum, including the Museum Shop, Project Management, Human Resources, Accounts Payable and Receivable, Museum Finance, and Payroll, in addition to various departmental staff.

2. Schedules and assists in the planning and preparation of quarterly exhibition catalogue and collection catalogue budget meetings.

3. Assists Executive Director of Publishing in the preparation of fiscal operating budgets for the departments of Publishing and Imaging for current and future years. Works with Museum Finance to request capital funds.

4. Works closely with the department’s production team, organizing database and file systems, and creating shipping instructions for each project.

5. Works across the department to keep Basecamp projects up to date; this includes updating schedules, relevant documents, to-do lists, and project notes.

6. Assists Executive Director of Publishing in managing daily meetings and schedules. Arranges for departmental meetings as necessary, including staff meetings and meetings with museum administration.

7. Working with the Editorial Director and Director of Production, prepares contracts for external authors, freelance editors, master printers and freelance photographers. Assists Executive Director of Publishing in the preparation of publishing agreements for museum partners and foreign language editions. Manages the approval process for all contracts issued by the Publishing or Imaging department.

8. Receives and prepares all invoices for payment. Initiates multi-payment contract payments to authors, freelance editors, designers, printers, and photographers. Responsible for supplying all approvals and backup material required to process payments.

9. Manages the Publishing Department’s catalogue and scholarly journal stock, updating inventory lists as needed and ensuring the department’s archive and reference library are up to date.

10. Working with Museum Finance, reviews sales and inventory reports from AIC’s exclusive distributor, Yale University Press. Manages stock movement transactions between AIC and its distributor.

11. Tracks Museum Shop inventory and manages stock transfers. Manages the Publishing Department’s schedule for reprints of collection catalogues based on shop inventory levels.

12. Prepares and maintains the department’s detailed project schedule and distributes to administration, colleagues at Yale University Press, and other relevant parties as necessary.

13. Notifies all departments of the opportunity to purchase catalogues at a discounted price. Works with the Project Management department on exhibition copies and manages the distribution of non-AIC produced catalogues. Oversees catalogue distribution for all departments. Works with production staff to coordinate external distribution of copies to venues, collaborators, etc.

14. Assists Museum Finance with invoices for all catalogue sales to participating exhibition venues. Monitors distribution to such institutional partners.

15. Updates Publishing website.

16. Manages purchasing for the Publishing and Imaging Departments.

17. Manages department’s submission to annual book competitions, Library of Congress copyright, and CIP copyright.

18. Submits staff time and PTO.

19. Assists as needed with travel booking and expense reconciliation through Concur.


  • Bachelor’s degree in the humanities, sciences, or business required.
  • Five or more years of employment in a professional capacity as business or office manager or financial coordinator, or other comparable experience.
  • Excellent computer skills with ability to create reports in Excel.
  • Strong organizational skills as well as good language and communication skills are essential.
  • Must be comfortable with numbers and spreadsheets and familiar with standard business practices.
  • Willing to work in a highly active and productive department releasing 12 to 15 publications a year and able to maintain pleasant interpersonal relationships.
  • An interest in art history and publishing a plus.