Preparator: LSU Museum of Art, Louisiana State University

LSU Museum of Art


Job Description:

The LSU Museum of Art Preparator is an integral part of the Curatorial team. The preparator is responsible for art handling, transport, packing, unpacking; exhibition preparation, installation, maintenance, and de-installation; collections assistance  in terms of care, documentation, and storage; and maintenance and management of collection and exhibition support areas and supply inventories, such as storage, loading dock and art preparation room, tools, hardware, and lighting. Supervised by the Curator, the preparatory has some duties assigned by the Assistant Director for Collections Management, and works closely with the Assistant Registrar.


Job Duties:

Art Handling – 25%

Handles art, following all safety standards, museum policies and procedures, and professional best practices

Mats and frames collection and loaned objects as needed; maintains frame inventory

Packs, unpacks, and transports exhibitions, incoming and outgoing loans, and gifts

Assists with organization of and implements the transportation and delivery of objects, including local and long-distance driving, and loading and unloading of shipments

Handles and transports the permanent collection and loans art for photography, conservation, curatorial research, public education programs, and appraisals

Exhibitions – 40%

Assists in the planning, preparation, installation, lighting, and de-installation of museum exhibitions

Prepares the exhibition galleries for exhibitions, including painting gallery walls and casework; moving and installing temporary walls, cases, and pedestals; and installing art according to accepted museum standards and best practices.

Designs and builds appropriate display and storage units for collection objects, and works with contractors as needed

Monitors the ongoing condition and appearance of exhibition installations; changes lights in galleries as needed

Schedule and completes duties as required by individual exhibitions in conjunction with curator

Permanent Collections Care – 15%

Maintains the cleanliness and order of the permanent collection storage and installation workshop areas and care supplies under supervision of Assistant Director for Collections Management

Photographs objects from the art collection

Assists with the maintenance, documentation, and storage of the permanent collection

Curatorial Support Duties – 15%

Assists curator with installation budgeting, and tracks installation and art handling related expenditures according to museum procedures

Maintains the collection and installation tools, equipment, and hardware in proper working order, maintains and organizes work areas including loading dock and prep rooms

Carefully maintains display inventory including frames, glazing, pedestals, platforms, and acrylic

Assists with set up and breakdown for curatorial programs and museum events as needed.Other duties as assigned by Executive Director, Curator, or Assistant Director for Collections Management

Supervisory Duties – 5%

Supervises, trains and schedules interns, students, volunteers, and on-call preparators, as directed by the curator and  assistant director for collections management, in techniques appropriate to art handling and exhibition installation

Hires and supervises contracted labor


Required Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in art history, visual arts, or related field.

Ability to coordinate multiple complex projects simultaneously and meet deadlines.

Strong communication, planning and organization, time management, and problem solving skills.

Practical working knowledge of two or more trade skills such as: carpentry, painting techniques, framing, lighting, graphic design.

Proven knowledge of the proper use of power tools.

Ability to pay rigorous attention to detail and accuracy.

Ability to prepare cost estimates and make sound purchasing decisions.

Ability to work well both as part of a team and under own direction.

Ability to communicate effectively with staff, trades people, suppliers, and volunteers.


Additional Qualifications Desired:

Prior experience in art handling in a museum setting.

Knowledge of museum standards and best practices related to object handling, art storage and display methods.

Experience in photography, exhibition design, gallery lighting, matting, framing, mount building, and installation hardware.

Proficient in use of Microsoft Office programs.


Special Requirements:

Current driver’s license and the ability to drive a 15-passenger van or small truck locally and long distances.

Ability to consistently lift up to 75 pounds.

Ability to climb ladders and scaffolding and work on high lift.

Willingness to work unscheduled night and weekend hours if needed.

To apply:

Categories: Job Postings