Preparator/Exhibition Specialist – Oklahoma State University Museum of Art


Position Number: AS9953


Reporting to the Associate Director/Chief Registrar, the Preparator/Exhibition Specialist is responsible for creatively designing and installing the visual and physical environments of the OSU Museum of Art’s galleries. This includes the safe handling, moving, and installation of collections and loan objects as well as maintaining professional museum standards of care in exhibition areas. The position implements all aspects of exhibition installation while working as part of a team. In addition, this position manages the workshop and delivery areas as well as building maintenance in cooperation with OSU Facilities Management.


  • Prepares and maintains gallery spaces at the highest level of quality.
  • Develops design ideas for exhibitions, installations, and object- and media-based displays in consultation with the Associate Director, other key museum staff, and external contractors, as appropriate.
  • Collaborates with the museum team in the development of exhibition-related signage and print pieces, including text panels, posters, outdoor banners, brochures, and other publications.
  • Designs and builds display furniture including pedestals, mounts, cases, temporary walls, and specialized units required for exhibitions. Keeps inventory of exhibition display components. Must use personal protective equipment as required.
  • Executes all aspects of exhibition fabrication, installation, and de-installation including painting and preparing exhibition furniture and gallery walls; matting and framing artwork; mount-making; packing and unpacking artwork; installing and de-installing 2D and 3D objects; mounting and cutting exhibition labels, text panels, and signage; and adjusting lighting.
  • Maintains gallery lighting including changing lamps and transformers as needed; ensuring that lamps are properly focused; and maintains inventory of lighting supplies.
  • Assists in the receipt, dispersal, packing, crate handling, transporting, and storage of artworks by adhering to the best practices for art handling.
  • Aids in managing exhibition and installation calendar.
  • Travels as courier, upon request, for loans, exhibitions, or special packing/unpacking, installation/de-installation of art.


  • Manages general maintenance for museum building and property including but not limited to HVAC, plumbing, grounds, and lighting.
  • Oversees official work order requests through OSU Facilities Management in response to issues found within the museum facilities.
  • Performs monthly maintenance walkthrough of building, internally and externally.
  • Maintains organized and safe workshop and dock areas as well as manages inventory control of equipment and related supplies.
  • Works safely and promotes a safe work environment.


  • Works with interns, student workers, and contracted labor as it relates to exhibitions, fabrications, and art handling.
  • Participates in training and workshops to maintain and develop skills.
  • Works independently and cooperatively with all staff members to execute a successful exhibition and the smooth running of the facility.
  • Manages assigned projects, creates a plan, and executes to completion with little oversight.
  • Projects a positive and professional image of the museum to external colleagues and community.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Knowledge of art handling, packing, and storage techniques. Nature of work requires good dexterity and special care in the handling of irreplaceable and valuable art objects.
  • Aptitude for and willingness to train and advance skills while on the job.
  • Ability to perform physical work associated with preparation of exhibitions. Ability to lift and carry objects weighing up to 50 lbs. and use ladders and scissor lifts comfortably.
  • Basic understanding of electrical and woodworking skills including experience in the safe operation and maintenance of a variety of hand and power tools.
  • Possess core project management skills involving basic communication and organizational practices.
  • Ability to efficiently manage priorities and deadlines all while adhering to museum standards for care.
  • Must be result-driven, highly organized, and detail oriented.
  • Ability to work from drawings and checklists.
  • Ability to drive large vehicles such as a cargo van. Driver’s license required.
  • Proficiency with design software such as Sketch Up, Microsoft Office software, and Adobe Creative suite.  


  • Associate degree
  • Two (2) years of experience in a museum or gallery setting or equivalent combination of education and experience.


  • Bachelor’s degree in art, Art History, Studio Art, Museum Studies, or a closely related program.
  • Advanced knowledge of design software.
  • Experience with graphic design.

About Oklahoma State University & the OSU Museum of Art

OSU is a modern land-grant system of interdisciplinary programs that prepares students for success. Through leadership and service, OSU is preparing students for a bright future and building a brighter world for all. As Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research, and outreach. OSU has more than 35,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 24,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated more than 240,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation, and the world.

Oklahoma State University Museum of Art’s mission is to advance creativity, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement through exhibitions and programs. The Museum contributes to the academic research and teaching of Oklahoma State University and is committed to serving learners from communities across Oklahoma and beyond. Housed in a repurposed 1933 post office located off campus, the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art opened its doors in this location in January 2014. With primary holdings in modern and contemporary American art, the Museum’s inherited collections have grown from 3,000 to 5,000 objects. We are the only art museum within the 135 mile stretch between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Our annual attendance ranges between 6,000 and 7,600 visitors and admission is free.

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