Museum Preparator and Exhibition Designer

Museum Preparator and Exhibition Designer

Stanford University

Job Number:

Museum Preparator and Exhibition Designer, Anderson Collection at Stanford University
50% FTE
1 year fixed term, with option to extend an additional year

In 2014, the Anderson Collection at Stanford University, designed by Ennead Architects, opened next to the Cantor Arts Center. The Anderson Collection is a world-class collection of 121 modern and contemporary American paintings and sculpture generously gifted by Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson and Mary Patricia Anderson Pence. The collection has grown to include additional artworks from other donors. Each work is exemplary of its movement, including Bay Area Figuration, Abstract Expressionism, and Light and Space Minimalism. The museum features temporary exhibitions as well as rotations of the permanent collection, and is a place of creative engagement, community programming, and active learning that explores the connections between art and life.

Under the supervision of the Senior Registrar of the Anderson Collection, the preparator works with museum staff and contract art handlers in the preparation, installation, storage, packing, and general handling of art objects in the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Preparator performs a wide variety of duties in support of museum operations and in collaboration with colleagues at Stanford and beyond.

Core Duties:
  • Serves as Lead Preparator on assigned exhibitions including active participation in the design, coordination, and implementation of exhibitions using a high level of organization, communication, and time management skills.
  • Performs daily, weekly, and monthly exhibition checks and maintenance.
  • Prepares installation budgets for assigned exhibitions in consultation with the Senior Registrar.
  • Designs installation layouts in coordination with Director using a scale model and Adobe Illustrator, Google Sketch-up, or similar program.
  • Coordinates the production and installation of exhibition signage: labels, panels, and vinyl.
  • Works in galleries as part of the installation team for exhibitions and rotations.
  • Installs works of art using safe and secure handling procedures and security techniques.
  • Prepares galleries for exhibitions, including moving and leveling pylons and cases, spackling, painting, and carpentry.
  • Installs digital media and multimedia and electronics (film, computer, audio video).
  • Performs gallery lighting design, with knowledge of LED lighting, re-lamping and exposure settings specific to object requirements.
  • Packs and transports art objects to and from lenders and donors. Assists with receiving exhibition shipments; unpacking and repacking.
  • Helps maintain tools, equipment, shop spaces and art storage. Researches and orders equipment and supplies as needed.
  • Designs and fabricates custom mounts, exhibition furniture, and custom storage housing for long-term storage at Anderson Collection.
  • Other exhibition, storage, facility, office, and event duties as requested.
  • Occasional evening, weekend, and additional hours will be required.
    Education & Experience:
  • Minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible experience or equivalent combination of training and experience in art handling, preferably in a museum setting. B.A. Degree preferred.

    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
  • Demonstrated proficiency of handling valuable works of art in a wide variety of media including but not limited to paintings, bronze, ceramic, glass, metals, mixed media, plastics, works on paper.
  • Demonstrated experience working with contemporary art and new media.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in installation of exhibitions and layout design, implementation of gallery layouts and lighting design.
  • Ability to move or assist in moving heavy objects (must be able to lift 50 lbs). Ability to operate scissor lifts, forklifts, pallet jacks, etc.
  • Demonstrated proficiency of practices and methods in mount making including earthquake mitigation and the various materials safe for use with art objects such as woods, fabrics, plastics, metals, mechanical fasteners, paints and adhesives. Demonstrated ability to apply this knowledge with initiative and judgment, concern for detail, accuracy, and neat execution of work.
  • Demonstrated skills and knowledge of shop equipment and ability to effectively perform various skilled and semi-skilled tasks, including woodworking, brazing, use of adhesives and fasteners, construction methods, and use of stationary and portable power tools. Experience framing and sheetrocking a plus.
  • Knowledge of safety procedures related to the handling of chemical solvents, adhesives, solutions, tools and machines.
  • Demonstrated skills and knowledge of safe and archival storage materials and techniques for loaned and museum collection objects.
  • Ability to plan, prioritize and implement projects and a demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects under deadline.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a team and work collegially with contract preparators, staff, designers, guest curators, vendors, and the general public.
  • Proficiency with design programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Google Sketch-up highly desirable and familiarity with computer applications in a multi-platform environment including Microsoft Word and Excel;
  • Effective oral and written communication skills.

    Certificates and Licenses:
  • Must possess and maintain a valid California Class C Non-commercial Driver's License.

    Physical Requirements:
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a California Non-commercial Class C Driver's License and drive night and day.
  • Constantly stand/walk, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds.
  • Occasionally sit, climb (ladders, scaffolds, or other), reach/work above shoulders, twist/bend/stoop/squat, light/fine grasping (files, tools), grasp forcefully, perform desk-based computer tasks, use a telephone, sort/file paperwork or parts, scrub/sweep/mop/mix, operate foot and/or hand controls, lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh 11 to 40 pounds.
  • Rarely kneel/crawl.
  • Ability to move or assist in moving heavy objects (must be able to lift 50 lbs.).
  • Ability to operate scissor lift, pump lift cart and pallet jack.

    Working Conditions:
  • May be required to work overtime, evenings and weekends, including holidays.
  • May be exposed to lead, paint, and/or acetone.
  • May work at heights up to 25 feet.
  • May be exposed to noise greater than 80db TWA.
  • May use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as appropriate.

    Work Standards:
  • When conducting university business, must comply with the California Vehicle Code and Stanford University driving requirements.
  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide,

    Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

    Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.

    Job: Museum

    Location: Arts
    Schedule: Part-time
    Classification Level:

    To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:

    Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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