Chief Preparator – Jule Collins Smith Museum, Auburn University

Requisition Number    S1547P

Home Org Name         JCSM Operations Budget

Division Name             Jule Collins Smith Museum

Position Title               Chief Preparator

Job Class Code           AB13

Appointment Status    Full-time

Limited Term               No

Job Summary

Reporting to the Director of Curatorial Affairs of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, the Chief Preparator is responsible for the overall safe, efficient, and highly specialized internal movement, housing, and installation of the university art collection and loaned objects, all to expand art’s impact and grow and enrich the relationship of the museum with its communities, the region, and the state.

Maintains professional museum standards of care and maintenance of collections and all exhibition and other curatorial areas. Serves as a key member of the curatorial unit team, whose work supports the implementation of the Museum’s vision of a highly-creative, outward-facing, visitor-centered institution in service to the university, the region and the nation that welcomes everyone to explore, experience, and engage with the visual arts.

At Auburn, our work changes lives. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a premier public institution, Auburn University is dedicated to shaping the future of the people of Alabama, the nation, and the world through forward-thinking education, life-enhancing research, scholarship and selfless service. Auburn is nationally recognized for its commitment to academic excellence, community outreach, positive work environment, student engagement, and thriving community.

Auburn University was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the state of Alabama’s best employers, with employees staying an average of ten years. Employees enjoy competitive benefits that include top-notch health insurance, generous retirement plans, tuition assistance for employees and dependents, flexible spending accounts and more!

Learn more about Auburn’s impact, generous employee benefits, and thriving community by visiting

Auburn University is committed to a diverse and inclusive campus environment. Visit to learn more about our commitment to expanding equity and inclusion for all.

Essential Functions    

Prepares gallery spaces in advance of exhibition installations. Leads hanging, installing, and deinstalling exhibitions; in collaboration with the Director of Operations, installs, deinstalls, and maintains outdoor sculpture; and arranges and designs lighting in galleries, ensuring strict adherence to required light levels.

Directs and oversees, and/or collaborates with Director of Curatorial Affairs to install art into display and storage units both on site and at off site locations. Designs, builds, or retrofits crates and packages for safe shipping; packs and unpacks outgoing and incoming art shipments; and transports works of art locally and regionally.

Designs, oversees, and/or undertakes the fabrication and production of archival quality art display cases, art storage solutions, customized mounting systems, specialized and alternative hanging systems unique to museums, conservation mats and frames.

Under the direction of the Director of Curatorial Affairs, supervises and/or participates in the safe, efficient, and highly-specialized movement of all works of art in the museum’s care, whether part of the collection or on loan, including packing, unpacking, crating, and decorating works of art for travel.

Oversees and maintains safe working conditions during gallery turnover and of the carpentry and fabrication workshop. Manages and procures departmental supply inventories. Oversees and trains assistants in proper use of tools and materials. Assists the Director of Curatorial Affairs, art and graphic design colleagues, and vendors in exhibition design concepts and solutions as needed.

Performs such other duties as assigned by the Director of Curatorial Affairs that may arise in the course of the museum’s development and needs.

Minimum Education and Experience

Education Level          Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution

Field of Study              Art Education, Art History, Museum Studies, Public Humanities, Cultural Studies, Library Studies or relevant field

Years of Experience   4

Area of Experience     Art handling, fabrication and carpentry related to exhibitions and installations, and handling a private, museum, or special collection within an arts or culture environment for diverse community audiences. Must have at least 2 years of supervising, leading, or mentoring employees.

Minimum Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of art materials, art techniques, art history, best museum professional standards and practices, and experienced in the proper handling of art objects. Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite, and 2D/3D design applications. Knowledge of carpentry skills and painting.

Minimum License and Certifications

Valid driver’s license or the ability to a obtain a valid driver’s license.

Desired Qualifications

Must be proactive, organized, collegial, and eager to work as part of a team.

Posting Detail Information

Salary Grade      33

Salary Range     $48,033 – $65,500

Job Category      Arts/Museum

Working Hours if Non- Traditional:

some evenings or weekends depending on install/de-install schedule

City position is located in:    Auburn

State position is located:      Alabama

List any hazardous conditions or physical demands required by this position:

Regularly involves lifting, bending or other physical exertion. Often exposed to one or more elements such as heat, cold, noise, dust, dirt, chemicals, etc., with one often to the point of being objectionable. Injuries may require professional treatment.

Posting Date      04/06/2022

EEO Statement  Auburn University is committed to an inclusive and diverse campus environment. Women, underrepresented groups, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY IS AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER. It is our policy to provide equal employment opportunities for all individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other classification protected by applicable law.

Special Instructions to Applicants: Responsibilities also include installation hours outside of business hours, including evenings/weekends as necessary.

Quick Link for Internal Postings:

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents


Cover Letter

Optional Documents

Letter of Recommendation

Curriculum Vitae

Media File



Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

* Do you have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution in Art Education, Art History, Museum Studies, Public Humanities, Cultural Studies, Library Studies, or relevant field?

Yes No

* How many years of experience do you possess in art handling, fabrication and carpentry related to exhibitions and installations, and handling a private, museum, or special collection within an arts or culture environment for diverse community audiences?

(Open Ended Question)

* In which of your position(s) did you obtain this type experience? (Open Ended Question)

* How many years of experience do you possess supervising, leading, or mentoring employees? (Open Ended Question)

* Do you have a valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain one prior to selection?

Yes No

Categories: Job Postings