Reports to: Director of Collections ManagementDepartment: Collections
Classification: Exempt, full-time
Date: December 2012
Scope of Position
This hands-on Head Preparator is responsible for supervision of all preparators to ensure all matters pertaining to safe handling of works of art in the permanent collection, on loan to the museum, or received for temporary exhibitions (packing, unpacking, mounting, installation, special av equipment, etc.). The Head Preparator coordinates communication with registrars, curators, designers, security, operations, etc. to ensure proper scheduling of all projects.
- Assigns and schedules preparators in the implementation of exhibition installations, permanent collection rotations, packing and unpacking of loans and special projects.
- Supervises preparators including performance management, performance reviews, and oversees recoding of hours worked, approving vacation, and holiday time.
- Collaborates with registrars, curators, visiting artists, museum staff on assigned projects.
- Coordinates the construction and painting of pedestals, fixtures, and other finished structures for the installation and display of works of art, in coordination with the Exhibitions/Carpentry department.
- Collaborates with exhibitions designers on the design and construction of special exhibit effects and temporary walls.
- Works with the Collections Maintenance Assistants and Exhibitions department to ensure that all gallery spaces are well maintained and presentable to the public, as well as storage spaces and Art Dock.
- Prepares installation budget components for exhibitions and permanent collection rotations, in coordination with the Director of Collections and the Associate Director of Collections.
- Develops and maintains a detailed schedule of all activity related to the preparation and installation of works of art, including exhibitions, loans, acquisitions, etc., in coordination with the Registrars, Exhibitions department and Curators.
- Processes all department documentation: collections work requests, purchase orders, invoices, schedules, calendars, vacation requests, time sheets, etc, with assistance from assigned Preparator and Administrative Assistant for Collections Department.
- Implements proper procedures for handling works of art (use of clean carts, gloves, location change sheets, tags, etc.), safety training of all equipment, including forklift, denka lift, etc.
- Maintains strict confidentiality of all DMA projects, personnel issues, shipments and art movement schedules.
- Travels as courier from time to time for loans, exhibitions, or special packing/unpacking, installation/de-installation of art.
- Assists with local pickups or deliveries using DMA art van.
- Assists with inventory, handling and documentation of collections.
- Projects a positive and professional image of the Museum, representing the division to professional colleagues and the external community.
- Participates in writing and completion of grants related to collections care as assigned/selected by museum management.
- Portrays a deep appreciation of the mission and aspirations of the DMA and the capability to articulate the DMA’s mission, values, achievements, potential, priorities to internal and external audiences.
- Handles other projects and duties as assigned by Director of Collections.
Knowledge, skills and abilities
- Five years of experience as full-time professional art handling, preferably in a museum setting with prior supervisory experience and proven management skills.
- Education equivalent to Bachelor’s degree in Art History or Fine Arts.
- Any combination of acceptable training and experience.
- Ability to prioritize projects with accuracy and detail orientation, strong organizational and management skills including handling of frequent interruptions and several issues at one time.
- Excellent speaking/understanding of the English language including art history terms, and art techniques.
- Ability to deal effectively with the public, guest artists, scholars, vendors, and staff.
- Ability and skill to safely work on ladders, with a forklift, and occasionally on a high lift or on scaffolding.
- Ability to safely use a wide variety of tools and equipment and to handle oversized and/or heavy art objects and exhibition material.
- Ability to follow instructions and work cooperatively with a team.
- Ability to interpret working drawings, develop and implement design concepts with Museum Designer and Carpenter with attention to detail.
- Ability to teach, explain and correct methods and procedures related to the handling of works of art and equipment needed to move, pack and secure said works.
- Ability to lift, push and pull, heavy, fragile, odd-shaped objects carefully.
- Microsoft Office Suite skills required.
Dallas Museum of Art - 19 months ago