Assistant Museum Preparator: Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

TITLE:                Assistant Museum Preparator                                                            

REPORTS TO:     Collections Manager, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

SUMMARY OF POSITION:  Works closely with the Education department, and is primarily responsible for the physical retrieval, preparation, display and return of objects from the Art Museum and Skinner Museum collections used in support of the Museum’s “Teaching with Art” program.  Non-exempt 12-month benefited position with a 7.5 hour workday (9-5 schedule with ½ hour lunch break).  This position is grant-funded and is renewed annually.

Administrative Duties:

  • Assist with essential administrative tasks such as creating and printing location reports/lists from class groups created in Mimsy Collections Database; track object movement and assist with location reconciliation based on data from lists.
  • Accommodate student research visits by tracking requests, retrieving and returning objects; monitor as necessary.
  • Participate in weekly planning meetings of Education and Collections staff.
  • If requested, consult with Education staff on object selection based on areas of expertise and/or knowledge of the collection.

Object Handling Duties:

  • Safely execute the movement of objects from both the Art Museum and Skinner Museum.
  • Ensure the safe and timely preparation of objects by creating temporary archival folder for paper-based objects, through archival matting and hinging procedures and fabricating housings for 3-D objects. Consults with Senior Museum Preparator as necessary.
  • Assist with object stability/fragility assessments for class and student viewings, and work with Collections or Education staff for review and resolution.
  • Fabricate object viewing methods, such as object trays or acrylic easels. Manage and order supplies used for classes and maintain Carson Teaching Gallery.
  • Physically assist with the furniture setup for all curricular activities involving objects, including the second floor classrooms of the Art Building. May be asked to consult with Education staff and faculty for complex set-ups.
  • Act as Security Guard for classes during non-public hours (Mondays, weekday mornings before 11am, evenings). If required to guard during an evening class, regular hours will be adjusted.
  • Participates in demonstrations of art handling and preparation for interns and Museum studies classes.

Exhibition Duties:

  • Assist with class-generated exhibitions to include: tracking objects via database reports; preparation of objects for display based on accepted standards; collaborate with Museum staff as well as faculty and student participants during installation and label generation.
  • Assists Senior Museum Preparator with exhibition preparation and installations/rotations taking place during the January and Spring breaks as well as the summer months.


  • Bachelor’s degree (preferably BFA, Art History, History) and two years of object handling or related experience.
  • Some familiarity with computerized database systems.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines with attention to detail.
  • Strong teamwork, interpersonal and communication skills, but also self-motivated and able to work independently. Aptitude for spatial relationships and ability to work from drawings and checklists.
  • Must have a valid MA driver’s license.

Physical Demands / Working Conditions:

  • Performance of essential functions requires regular physical mobility, manual dexterity, and good vision.
  • Medium to heavy work requiring lifting and carrying up to 50 lbs.
  • Work environment requires dedicated computer screen time and occasional exposure to dust.

Special Instructions for Applicants:

Apply online by application deadline.  Application materials must include 1) a cover letter summarizing interests and qualifications, 2) a complete resume or curriculum vitae, and 3) contact information for 3 professional references.

Review of applications will begin April 26, 2019 with the expectation of the position beginning on July 1, 2019.

To apply, please visit: Assistant Museum Peparator, Mount Holyoke College

About Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

The Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (MHCAM) is defined by its innovative program of teaching with art and material culture. The number of faculty and students deeply engaging with original works of art continues to grow each year. Last year 122 different courses held 200 class sessions at MHCAM, comprising a total of 3,206 student visits. As a part of that unprecedented activity, 84 faculty members from 34 different disciplines taught not only with the art on view in the galleries but also with 1,400 objects pulled from storage.

The permanent collection at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum comprises objects from five continents and across thousands of years of history. Particular strengths within the Museum’s 24,000 holdings are ancient Mediterranean art and artifacts, paintings, sculpture, and decorative art from Europe and the United States, and modern and global contemporary art. Categories of significant depth include photography, glass, ceramics, prints and drawings, and numismatics. The 7,000 objects in the Joseph Allen Skinner museum include an eclectic mix of minerals and fossils, early lighting, rare books and documents, furniture, maritime objects, artifacts from Oceanic cultures, firearms, glass and ceramics, tools and farm implements, 19th-century souvenirs, Native American objects,

For more information about Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, please visit:

For more information about Mount Holyoke College, please visit:

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