Head Preparator

The Head Preparator working under the supervision of the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs (DDCA) and Chief Curator (CC) is responsible for the installation and maintenance of all art in the museum building(s) and Sculpture Park, to include, special exhibitions, traveling shows, educational galleries/installations, and other projects as assigned. Additionally, the Head Preparator is responsible for the permanent collection, including its care, transport, framing, installation, and other tasks as requested by the DDCA/CC and Registrar, whether said projects occur inside or outside the museum building or campus. The Head Preparator oversees the work of the Associate Preparator and contract installers.
The Head Preparator and Associate Preparator work closely together and with the Curators, Registrar, Educators, artists, contractors and others as required to organize, plan, and execute exhibitions, artist installations, and educational projects. The Head Preparator holds overall responsibility for ensuring that all projects under her/his oversight are completed to a professional standard, in a safe manner, on-time, and on-budget.
Specific Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Collaborates with Curator(s) for assigned projects in planning, layout and logistics.
  • Collaborates with Educator(s) for assigned projects in planning and installation of Education components.
  • Supports artists in the planning, fabrication, and installation of complex, site-specific or project-based works. Maintains clear and open dialogue with artists on projects, provides creative problem-solving in order to assist artists in realizing their vision/goals, and works collaboratively and adaptively ensuring the artist receives the necessary support and counsel from the institution at all times.
  • Develops written construction and installation budgets for all assigned projects. Informs DDCA/CC and Registrar of any cost overruns prior to their occurrence.
  • Works with the Registrar to establish a construction and installation schedule for all projects and clearly communicates this schedule, and subsequent adjustments, to all parties involved.
  • Sources and schedules contractors for all projects. Ensures contractors work safely and follow all deCordova policies and procedures.
  • Prioritizes own and contractor(s) workflow to ensure smooth and efficient installations and the timely completion of all assigned projects. Informs the DDCA/CC and Registrar when additional resources are required to complete tasks in a timely or professional manner.
  • Fabricates all necessary components for assigned projects: platforms, bases, pads, pedestals partitions, walls and vitrines.
  • Installs exhibition related graphics, or arranges for contract installation as appropriate.
  • Ensures installation related materials and tools are ordered for projects and maintained.
  • Designs and implements gallery and sculpture park lighting as required.
  • Fabricates and installs park/sculpture/exhibition labels and/or didactics as appropriate.
  • Drives museum truck for the pickup and delivery of artwork.
  • Oversees the rigging and installation of large scale outdoor sculpture.
  • Prepares works of art for travel, including building crates when necessary.
  • Mats and frames permanent collection artwork for museum exhibitions or loan.
  • In conjunction with Curator(s) and Registrar, establishes and maintains a regular schedule of maintenance and cleaning for outdoor sculptures. Ensures said work is done professionally and in a manner consistent with conservation goals.
  • Coordinates with Director of Buildings & Grounds as required (e.g., mulching, grass replanting, etc.) to ensure high-quality presentation of Sculpture Park works.
  • Works with the Registrar, Curator(s) and Director to improve the quality of exhibition design, project installations and professional standards.
  • Other duties as assigned.

The salary for this position is commensurate with experience. DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum offers an excellent fringe benefits package to include health and dental insurance, flexible spending plan, 403(b) retirement plan and paid time off.


  • B.A. or B.F.A. and five years related experience.
  • Manual skills and knowledge of trades.
  • Previous project management and team management experience
  • Previous experience with overseeing the rigging and installation of large scale outdoor sculpture.
  • Knowledge of museum standards for handling and installing works of art.
  • Knowledge of archival framing and matting techniques.
  • Effective planning, communication, and coordinating of installations with the registrar, curators, artists and tradesmen.
  • Ability to solicit, evaluate, and engage high-quality outside contractors and firms for projects and communicate museum requirements and standards effectively.
  • Knowledge of standard safety procedures.
  • Organization as well as flexibility, and ability to be self-directed in prioritizing tasks and work.
  • Ability to lift 75 pounds and access deCordova’s thirty acres of hilly outdoor terrain and indoor facilities.
  • Excellent communications, interpersonal skills and team work required.
How To Apply:
Interested individuals should send a cover letter , salary requirement and resume January 6, 2016 to: hr@decordova.org.

When applying by email, include “Head Preparator” in subject line of email. Applications may be mailed to: deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Attn: Human Resources, 51 Sandy Pond Road, Lincoln, MA 01773. Please, no phone calls.

Apply by:
January 06, 2016