Museum Preparator – Williams College

The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) provides dynamic art experiences to incite new thinking about art, museums, and the world—and it does so from within the nation’s top-ranked liberal arts college. A vibrant center for the arts at Williams, the Museum embodies the liberal arts’ ability to catalyze both creative and critical thinking.

WCMA is seeking a skilled and enthusiastic member of the art preparation team. The preparator assists in all aspects of object care for special exhibitions and maintenance of the permanent collection. The preparator will be familiar with and adhere to current professional standards of collection management and archival care of all art objects both on display and in storage. They will be familiar with all aspects of gallery installation including matting and framing, light carpentry, display fabrication, mountmaking, and lighting. The preparator must also be familiar with all current technology used in exhibitions including those required for video, film, and sound installations. The preparator will maintain clean, efficient, and organized storage areas and workspaces. Proactive participation in professional development, day-to-day initiative, and creative problem solving are essential to this position, as well as a knowledge of current best practices in art handling, collections care, conservation, and installation.

Williams is committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its staff. The successful candidate will excel at working in a community that is broadly diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion. Applicants should highlight relevant experience working with and supporting a broadly diverse employee community.

Primary duties and responsibilities

Install and deinstall exhibitions;
Organize museum collection spaces and determine archival housing solutions for individual works;
Prepare two-dimensional work for safe exhibition, storage, and travel: matting, framing, hinging, and packing;
Prepare gallery spaces for exhibitions: light carpentry; fabrication of display furniture; spackling and painting walls;
Light galleries in consultation with curators and registrar;
Produce and install exhibition vinyl, didactic panels, and object labels;
Pack and unpack artwork from the permanent collection and on loan from other institutions;
Monitor galleries regularly to replace light bulbs and torn labels, touch-up scuffed walls, and dust/clean vitrines.

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and between 2-5 years of professional experience in a gallery or museum
Experience with handling artwork in a museum setting and a strong working knowledge of current best practices for safe handling and archival materials
Awareness of conservation issues and experience with the aesthetics of exhibition design
Ability to do physical work including carpentry, interior painting, lifting more than 50 lbs. standing for extended periods of time, moving objects, and working at heights
Experience with digital technology and lighting, familiarity with a range of audio-visual equipment and appropriate methods of installation
Flexibility, creativity, and willingness to strategize to bring the concepts of curators and artists to fruition
The preparator reports to the Chief Preparator and works closely with the registrars and curators as well as with artists, faculty and other administration of the museum and college.

This is a full time (40 hours/week), year-round, regular appointment.

For optimal consideration please submit an application by September 1, 2019. Review of resumes will continue until the position is filled.

About Williams College
Williams College is a coeducational liberal arts institution located in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts with easy access to the culturally rich cities of Albany, Boston, and New York City. The college is committed to building and supporting a diverse population of approximately 2000 students, and to fostering an inclusive faculty, staff, and curriculum. Williams has built its reputation on outstanding teaching and scholarship and on the academic excellence of its students.
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