The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are seeking an Exhibition Designer. The Exhibition Designer develops design concepts and executes detailed plans for the display of loaned art and permanent collection exhibitions and rotations by assignment, adhering to museum standards, considering ADA requirements, and considering facility and conservation concerns.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Works closely with the Director of Exhibitions and Curators to develop and design concepts and plans for temporary exhibitions and permanent collection rotations.
  2. Prepares accurate drawings-to-scale in AutoCAD and other programs as required (i.e. Adobe Photoshop), including scaled images of objects accurately illustrating elevations for each exhibition in accordance with scheduled deadlines.
  3. Manages support position and ensures that departmental practices remain in accordance with design industry standards; employs leading design programs and stays current with technological advancements.
  4. Works closely and communicates regularly with the Chief Preparator and builders during the design planning (including the preparation of 3-D-models-to-scale), construction, and installation process.
  5. Maintains comprehensive facility floor plans in AutoCAD with up-to-date information regarding wall configurations, emergency exits, security cameras, lighting, electrical outlets, climate sensors, etc. for reviewing layouts with key staff early in design development.
  6. Develops working knowledge of existing inventory of exhibition furniture including cases, pylons, moveable walls, mounts, platforms, stanchions, etc. that can be re-used whenever possible to minimize budgetary and environmental impacts.
  7. Provides detailed drawings-to-scale of exhibition furniture, architectural details, risers, platforms, mounts, fabric, etc. to conservation standards.
  8. Maintains up-to-date library of paint samples, fabric samples, architectural details, etc.
  9. Bids, schedules, and manages the professional painting of galleries.
  10. Updates final exhibition layouts after installation for staff use.
  11. Works with both Metric and Imperial measurements to create plans for different exhibition partners.
  12. Is responsible for ensuring contracted lender display requirements are fulfilled.
  13. Works closely with the Exhibitions department to develop and stay within schedule and approved budgets.
  14. Provides layouts and architectural details to tour venues, artists, and guest designers, as requested. When necessary, manages relationship with contracted outside designers.
  15. Attends regular Exhibitions meetings to discuss layout and installation concerns.

Job Requirements

Minimum Qualifications: 

Education:  Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in architecture or design.

Work Experience: Five years of progressively responsible exhibition design experience in an art museum creating preliminary and final working drawings.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of architectural terms, symbols, details, and design practices and applications.
  • Expert and advanced skills in AutoCAD and the Adobe Creative Suite: Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign, as well as SketchUp.
  • Ability to effectively utilize software applications such as Microsoft Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel) and FileMaker Pro.
  • Knowledge of standard office equipment and the ability to maintain accurate, up-to-date records.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with Museum colleagues, artists, and vendors working in a team environment.
  • Ability to travel, take initiative, work independently, and be flexible with changing priorities.
  • Strong organizational skills, strong attention to detail, and the ability to prioritize multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Ability to envision and execute creative design skills.