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Preparator – Museum Collections and Exhibitions

Job Summary:


Reporting to the Museum Supervisory Registrar, the Preparator – Museum Collections and Exhibitions is responsible for the overall safe and efficient internal movement, housing, and installation of collections and loan objects as well as maintaining professional museum standards of care and maintenance of permanent collections and exhibition areas through systematic and routine cleaning, monitoring condition of works in storage and on exhibition, performing annual inventories of collections, and assisting with maintaining lighting in exhibitions areas and in the Mansion. Works as part of a team in Collections Management, as well as closely with staff from other departments and outside contractors. Oversees outside contract art handlers on special projects with permanent collection and exhibitions.


Key Job Elements:



  • Design and construct housing for permanent collection storage and transportation.
  • Uses expertise to ensure optimal planning for collections with other Collections Department staff for projects, Mansion Rotations, Exhibitions
  • Manages assigned projects, creates a plan and executes to completion with little oversight.
  • Prepare, install and de-install objects for exhibition including matting and framing, construction of mounts, surveying object condition and conducting minor cleaning and conservation treatments as necessary.
  • Perform, on a daily basis, visual inspection and maintenance of exhibition spaces and storage areas; dust and lightly clean collection objects as needed according to standard museum best practices.
  • Acts as resource for proper art handling methods, and art storage practices.
  • Assists in maintaining lighting in exhibition spaces, including changing lamps and transformers as needed; ensuring that lamps are properly focused; and maintaining inventory of lighting supplies.
  • Expedite object move requests and record changes of location.
  • Assist in the periodic and annual inventory of the collections.
  • Monitor gallery and storage environment via electronic data loggers and report irregularities.
  • Acts as courier for artwork both domestically and internationally
  • Maintain inventory of tools, equipment, and supplies for exhibit preparation and collections maintenance; submit requests for supplies and materials as needed to supervisor


Organizational Relationships

  • Reports to Museum Supervisory Registrar
  • Manage temporary and contract art handling personnel, delegating work assignments
  • Work closely with the collections team, curators, exhibition designer, facilities, horticulture and security staff.
  • Interacts with Volunteers.






  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Art, Art History, Studio Art, Museum Studies or a closely related program from an accredited college or university
  • 5+ years related experience within a professional arts or historical organization.
  • Demonstrated experience includes handling, installing, and mounting a variety of 2-dimenstional and 3-dimensional art objects. 
  • Knowledge of installation materials and techniques, knowledge of fine art packing.
  • Fundamental understanding of preventative conservation as it relates to care and cleaning of objects in a historic house.
  • Basic electrical and/or woodworking skills a plus.





  • Acts as a consultant, using expertise to design and implement solutions.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Conscientious, self-motivated, resourceful, flexible and punctual.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, remain organized and execute details precisely under pressure
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment, or independently
  • Strong computer skills including familiarity with museum collection database program, ie: TMS
  • Experience in the safe operation and maintenance of a variety of hand and power tools, hydraulic lifts, fork and scissor lifts
  • Access and employ job related computer software (i.e. Microsoft Office, Office 365, Outlook, Outlook Calendar) at an effective proficiency level.
  • Ability to read and follow diagrams and schematics.


Work Environment:


The physical requirements and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job or may be encountered while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with a disability to perform the essential functions to the extent the Company may do so without undue hardship.  The term “qualified individual with a disability” means an individual who with or without reasonable accommodation can perform the essential functions of the position.   


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to follow and give oral and written instructions; stand, walk, and/or sit for extended periods of time with limited breaks; use hands to finger, handle or feel, reach with hands and arm, and reach above shoulder height.  The employee is regularly required to climb or balance, squat, kneel, and crouch.  The employee is occasionally required to detect smells and lift, drag and/or move up to 50 pounds unassisted. The employee is required to visually or otherwise identify, observe and assess.   Special vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.  Employee is required to move about their work area, between buildings and the campus grounds, ascend and descend stairs and steep terrain.     While performing the duties of this job the employee is subject outdoor weather conditions and temperatures which at times can be extreme.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate and general does not require the use of hearing protection equipment.    


The preceding job description indicates the general nature and essential duties and responsibilities of work performed by employees within this classification. It may not contain a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees to do this job. Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time nor does it proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.  This job description is subject to change at any time.

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