Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art: Senior Preparator, Collections
Reporting to the Lead Preparator, the Senior Preparator for Collections assists with all technical aspects of museum-quality art handling related to permanent collection installations and maintenance of art objects in the Museum buildings and on the grounds, including: receiving, shipping, packing, framing, mounting and storage. This position assists with the maintenance of gallery spaces, shop areas, and permanent collection storage areas. The Senior Preparator for Collections is responsible for managing a focus team specializing in the care and rotation of permanent collection objects, while also assisting in the installation of the Museum’s larger, special exhibitions.
Principal Responsibilities (Essential Functions)
- Under the supervision of the Lead Preparator, act as project leader for specific projects in varying disciplines of collections care, such as packing, creating safe storage solutions and matting/framing. Project management includes planning, scheduling, contractor oversight, and ordering and maintaining inventory of necessary materials.
- Under general supervision by the Lead Preparator, the Senior Preparator for Collections is responsible for the assignment and management of projects and tasks on his or her focus team.
- Work with Exhibitions, Curatorial, Registration, and Operations to manage all aspects of permanent collection rotations.
- Work with Registration to coordinate periodical photography and conservation of permanent collection objects.
- Coordinate the installation and maintenance of permanent outdoor sculpture in conjunction with the Lead Preparator and Trails & Grounds.
- Organize viewings of permanent collection objects as requested by Curatorial.
- Manage all loading and unloading of art trucks in a timely and efficient manner.
- Manage the unpacking and packing of artwork and exhibition furniture.
- Assist registrars with condition reporting incoming and outgoing artwork, objects, and artifacts.
- Under the direction of the Lead Preparator, design and fabricate safe housing for artwork, objects, and artifacts for storage and transportation purposes.
- Ensure the safe movement and handling of art objects of all media.
- Work with Exhibitions and Curatorial to implement and adjust gallery lighting.
- Manage the matting and framing of artwork for the purposes of storage and/or exhibition.
- Assist in maintaining an inventory of tools, supplies, and materials.
- Assist in maintaining organized, clean, and functional working spaces, including the Prep Studio, art storage, loading dock, and woodshop.
- Act as courier, as assigned, to accompany collection loans and supervise installation if required.
- Supervise departmental staff, independent contractors, and interns, as assigned.
- Complete all additional assigned tasks and requests for the general support of the Collections Management department and museum functions.
Education, Training, and Traits:
- B.A. in an art related field
- Knowledge of art-handling procedures for two- and three-dimensional art objects in a variety of materials, sizes and weights.
- Strong technical skills in basic construction, fabrication and installation methods; proper use and care of power and manual tools, lifts, and other pertinent equipment.
- Proficiency in the use of standard office equipment and software.
- Skilled in handling all media of art and familiar with installation techniques.
- Working knowledge of hand tools and math applications.
- Minimum of 5 years museum or gallery experience in art handling, exhibition installation, packing and storage.
- Minimum of 1 year proven supervisory and management experience.
In regard to education and experience, an equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience will satisfy the minimum requirements.
Licenses and Certifications:
- Valid Driver’s License
Skills and Abilities:
- Excellent organizational and time management skills
- Skilled and detail-oriented trouble-shooter and problem-solver
- Good verbal and written communication skills
- Advanced knowledge of art preparation techniques and practices
- Ability to manage and motivate a team during projects and on a daily basis
- Highly motivated and goal oriented
- Ability to understand and maintain the highest levels of confidentiality
Physical Demands and Work Environment:
The physical demands and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- Physical demands: In the work environment described below, position requires verbal and written conversation with others, sitting, standing, walking, bending, climbing, reaching, strenuous lifting/moving objects up to 50 pounds, and use of hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls. Position requires use of hands to safely handle and move art objects according to the most current approved museum standards. Position periodically requires standing for prolonged periods of time. Vision abilities required by the job include close vision.
- Work Environment: The majority of work will be performed in an office, workshop or museum gallery environment. The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate. Work requires periodic transport of packed art works and exhibition furniture and equipment to and from local off-site storage facilities. Position requires some independent overnight travel. Occasional evening and weekend work are required.