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Posted: Thursday, July 1st 2021
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Job Title:     Collection Online Early Career Research Fellow (Mythological Subjects)
Organisation:     Watts Gallery Trust
Salary:     £24,000 p.a.
Type:     Full-Time Position
 Contract: 6 Months
Location:     Guildford, England
Closing Date:     Friday, August 6th, 2021
Job Ref No:    
Job Description:
Furthering our founding ambition to promote the study of the leading nineteenth-century artist George Frederic Watts (1817-1904), Watts Gallery Trust (WGT) is part-way through a two-year Collection Online project. Watts Gallery Trust, a registered charity, is seeking to recruit an emerging early-career researcher (within eight years of the award of a doctorate or with equivalent professional experience) for a six-month research project.

This role presents an exceptional opportunity for the post-holder to develop their academic profile while gaining significant experience of a gallery environment and to work directly with an important collection of British art.

This is the third of four six-month research posts exploring the following thematic areas of G F Watts’s oeuvre: Portraiture; Historical and Biblical Subjects; Mythological Subjects; Symbolism. Collectively, this new research will make a substantial contribution to existing scholarship on this influential artist.

Working across Watts Gallery Trust’s collections, the ECR Fellow will conduct research into mythological themes within G F Watts’s work in order to develop and write new content for the Collection Online.

The ECR Fellow will sit within the Curatorial department. They will also have the opportunity to work with departments across the organisation to gain broader experience of audience engagement.

This project is generously funded by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Marc Fitch Fund, the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust and the Tavolozza Foundation.

The Watts Gallery Early Career Research Fellow (Mythological Subjects) will have the opportunity to conduct extensive research into a key area of the collection while gaining substantial experience of a museum environment.

This will include:

• Research this key thematic area (Mythological Subjects) working across Watts Gallery Trust’s collections, exploring crucial links between works across the paintings, sculpture, works on paper and photography collections.
• Supported by the Curatorial department, develop an understanding of the latest approaches to writing accessible interpretation.
• Write collection records for the online collection including accessible object summaries and fully-referenced catalogue entries.
• Work with the Curatorial and Marketing departments to programme a series of live-streamed gallery talks, blogs, Smartify audio tour features and social media interventions to share the latest research with broad audiences.
• Work with the de Laszlo Paintings Conservator to conduct condition assessments and develop an in-depth knowledge of G F Watts’s material practice.
• Work with departments across the organisation to ensure research and collection content is effectively communicated within the organisation.
• Deliver volunteer collection training sessions.
• Carry out other related work as required by the Collections Manager and Head of Collections, Exhibitions and Research.


Watts Gallery Trust is an independent charity established in 1904 to manage the legacy of George Frederic Watts OM RA, one of the leading artists of the nineteenth century. Today, Watts Gallery Trust is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation that oversees Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village. Consisting of Limnerslease, the former home of artists G F Watts and Mary Seton Watts, the Grade I listed Watts Cemetery Chapel, designed by Mary Watts, the Pottery Building that formerly housed the Compton Potters Arts Guild, and Watts Gallery established in 1904 as the UK’s first single artist museum, the Artists’ Village is a leading regional visitor attraction. The Trust delivers an ambitious and far-reaching engagement and learning programme in prisons, in the local community and onsite, working to deliver our founders’ Art for All ethos with some of the most vulnerable in society. It also manages the Artist’s Studio Museum Network of 157 artist’s studio museums across Europe, and the thriving Watts Gallery - Artists’ Village, located in Compton, outside Guildford across 18 acres of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Required Skills:
Knowledge & Experience

• Specialist knowledge of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century British art.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
• Excellent IT skills, including Word, Excel, database and email applications.
• Excellent organisational and planning skills, coupled with the ability to work calmly under pressure and to tight deadlines.
• Familiarity with Collections Management Systems.

• Doctoral degree in a relevant field (such as History of Art or History) or equivalent experience.

Key Competencies
• Effective verbal and written communicator.
• Highly competent IT user (MS Office).
• Adaptable and flexible.
• Collaborative with strong team-working and interpersonal skills.
• Organisational and planning skills.
• Highly proactive and self-motivated.
• Strong interest in nineteenth-century British art.
Application Instructions:
To apply, please download the application form and equality and diversity monitoring form from our website ( and send to Emma Coburn, Collections Manager, via by 12pm on 6 August 2021. In your application, please also include where you saw the role advertised or found out about the position.

First interviews will take place online on Tuesday 17 August. Second interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place on site at Watts Gallery on Tuesday 24 August. Candidates need to be able to commence post by 1 November 2021 at the latest.

Watts Gallery Trust is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all staff and welcomes applications from all individuals for advertised jobs that match their skills and interests. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. We particularly encourage applications from Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates, and from disabled candidates, as these groups are underrepresented within the Arts field and at Watts Gallery Trust.
Contact Name:     Emma Coburn, ACR
Contact Tel:    
Contact Fax:    
Contact Email:
Address:     Watts Gallery, Down Lane, Compton, Guildford, Surrey.