Summary of Position:

The Chief Preparator is an integral position within the Registration Department and the museum as a whole. The person in this role must perform skilled work related to the design, fabrication, and installation/deinstallation of museum exhibits, and assist with the care and maintenance of the museum’s permanent collection. Excellent communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and multi-tasking are essential skills necessary for this position.

The Chief Preparator reports to the Senior Registrar and also works very closely with the Registrar of Exhibitions and Loans. This position is directly involved in the handling, framing, packing, and transportation of artwork. The successful candidate will demonstrate a knowledge of and have practical experience utilizing best practices in art handling, matting and framing artwork, exhibition design and lighting, light construction, and woodshop safety.


  • Participates, as directed, in the movement of all works of art in the museum’s care, whether internally or externally. Willingness to travel as required.
  • Responsible for the production of display cases, panels, and customized mounts and frames.
  • Prepares gallery spaces and displays in advance of exhibition installations.
  • Participates in and supervises the matting and framing of artwork, handling the movement of objects, hanging and installing/deinstalling exhibitions, installing/deinstalling and maintaining outdoor sculpture, and arranging lighting in galleries.
  • Participates in the design of the gallery space and displays.
  • Directs the fabrication of crates for shipping works of art.
  • Participates and supervises preparators in the packing and crating of works of art.
  • Supervises interns, volunteers, and paid staff, as needed.
  • Performs such other duties as assigned by the Registrar that may arise in the course of the museum’s development and needs.

Minimum Requirement:  High school diploma or equivalent and five years of experience, preferably in museum exhibits; and two years in a supervisory capacity.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Previous experience working in museum or art gallery
  • Knowledge of the principles, techniques, and equipment used in designing, fabricating, and installing exhibitions.
  • Knowledge of museum-approved materials (acid-free, non-off gassing, archival, etc.)
  • Ability to communicate effectively.
  • Skill in using a variety of hand and power tools.
  • Ability to follow design instructions, specifications, and blueprints.
  • Ability to design and paint decorative and interpretive elements in exhibits, such as mounts and other display furniture.
  • Ability to design and construct shipping crates and perform intermediate-level carpentry tasks.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others.
  • Skill in handling trucks, fork lifts, lifts and other forms of moving equipment.
  • Driving skill because of the necessity to travel out of town, including overnight trips.
  • Familiarity with safe working practices, such as OSHA regulations
  • Familiarity with Product Safety Sheets
  • Familiarity with ADA regulations
Job Information
  • Gainesville, Florida, 32611, United States
  • 28520788
  • May 13, 2016
  • Chief Preprator
  • Harn Museum of Art
  • Exhibitions
  • No
  • Full-Time
  • Indefinite
  • H.S. Diploma/Equivalent
  • 5-7 Years
  • 10-25%
  • $41,000.00 – $46,000.00 (Yearly Salary)