Title: Preparator
Reports to: Chief Registrar
Status: Full time


The Birmingham Museum of Art seeks a Preparator to join a staff composed of two other preparators and a Lead Preparator. We are seeking a colleague who places great value on collegiality and collaboration.

The Preparator works closely with the Lead Preparator and registrars. The Preparator is responsible for tasks related to exhibition preparation, including installation and de-installation, packing and unpacking, and crating and uncrating works of art. They perform all duties using accepted museum standards and practices, such as matting and framing, building, painting, and moving museum display furniture and objects, and installing art in all media. The Preparator works with individual curators to design and fabricate custom mounts for display or storage. They also assist with environmental monitoring, maintenance and organization of storage, as well as basic collection and gallery care and cleaning.

The Preparator should have at least one year of experience in a museum preparation department or related field. A college degree is not necessary, although a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience is preferred.


Essential Functions:

  • Prepare, install, and deinstall objects for the exhibition, including matting and framing, construction of mounts, surveying object condition, and conducting minor cleaning as necessary
  • Manage assigned projects by creating a plan and executing it to completion with little oversight
  • Perform weekly visual inspection and maintenance of exhibition spaces and storage areas, dust and lightly clean collection objects as needed according to standard museum best practices
  • Maintain lighting in exhibition spaces, including changing lamps and transformers as needed, ensuring that lamps adhere to proper footcandles, and maintaining inventory of lighting supplies
  • Adhere to proper art handling procedures
  • Assist in the periodic and annual inventory of the collections, as needed
  • Monitor gallery and storage environment via electronic data loggers and report irregularities
  • Prepare casework for display that may include carpentry, painting, and fabric wrapping
  • Operate tools associated with woodworking, mount making, electrical, light construction, and audio-visual displays, and understand operating etiquette and best practices
  • Maintain inventory of tools, equipment, and supplies for exhibit preparation and collections maintenance, and submit requests for supplies and materials as needed
  • Maintain the organization and cleanliness of all work areas, including the Preparation work areas, art storage, longhouse, woodshop, pedestal/crate storage, and off-site storage
  • Adhere to safe workplace practices in proper procedures for utilizing paint, solvents, and power tools
  • Work with registrars on packing and unpacking art, storage vault projects, and collection surveys
  • Produce storage through knowledge of various archival materials
  • Transport art locally and regionally by museum truck as well as non-art items to offsite storage
  • Assist with packing, unpacking, installing, and deinstalling artwork at off-site residential, business, and institutional locations
  • Work directly with artists on site-specific installations
  • Produce in-house object labels
  • Install and maintain outdoor sculpture in conjunction with the Chief Registrar and Conservator
  • Assist the Chief Registrar in the care of the Permanent Collection, both on display and in storage
  • Maintain permanent art storage by assigning and tracking locations of artwork in the TMS database, preparing archival housings as needed for long-term preservation
  • Assist with inventory and update TMS locations for objects moved
  • Assist in preparing the physical review of objects under consideration for the COC meetings
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of current museum practices relating to collections care and installation
  • Periodically attend related professional conferences and/or workshops on and off-site to keep aware of advancements in the field
  • Attend institutional meetings
  • Serve as courier as needed
  • Other duties as assigned


About the Museum

Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art is deeply invested in education and engagement and serves as a resource for communities locally, nationally, and internationally. It houses one of the finest collections in the Southeast of the United States. More than 27,000 objects displayed and housed within the Museum represent a rich panorama of cultures, including those from Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa, including work by both Pre-Columbian and Native North American artists. Highlights include the Museum’s collection of the arts of Asia, Vietnamese ceramics, the Kress collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the late 13th century to the 1750s, and the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Wedgwood, the largest outside of England.



Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience and includes an excellent benefits package.


To apply

Please apply via email with a letter of interest; curriculum vitae; and names, addresses, and phone numbers of three reference

No phone calls, please


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