For the complete job description, please refer to

Reporting to the Deputy Director for Art & Programs, the Exhibition Manager manages the staff and operations of the museumís Preparation department; supervises the design, fabrication, construction, and installation of exhibitions, the preparation of gallery space for exhibitions, and the preparation of objects to be exhibited. The incumbent leads a team of preparators, including an exhibition designer. S/he works closely with curators, artists, conservators, registrars, and other museum staff in order to produce and coordinate exhibitions and install artworks in the collection galleries. The nature of the work requires strong technical abilities and excellent management and communication skills.

Essential Functions
  1. Plans, prioritizes, and schedules work of the Preparation department; assesses resource needs and determines adjustments as required; hires regular and temporary staff; directs, supervises, and evaluates their work.
  2. Confers with supervisor, curators, artists, other museum departments, and staff from other institutions, in planning for the design and construction of temporary and permanent exhibits; supervises exhibition designer; leads exhibition planning teams; in consultation with other team members, determines detailed production schedules, estimating time and cost involved, and general procedures.
  3. Takes the lead in planning and managing the installation of exhibitions, rotations, and individual works of art, coordinating schedules and details with colleagues in the Registration and Conservation departments with regard to art movement and handling, and mount making; Hires contractors and integrates their work, coordinating with Facilities and Engineering departments, as needed.
  4. Supervises preparators in the preparation of artwork and the installation and de-installation of exhibitions and permanent collection rotations; manages the fabrication and installation of exhibits; exhibition graphics, signage, and labels; wall construction and painting; lighting; display fixtures and mounts; (and earthquake mitigation) insuring the highest quality within available resources.
  5. Develops and administers the departmental budget, and assists in the development of exhibition and special project budgets.
  6. Ensures adherence to safe workplace practices and procedures in the operations of the Preparation department and its workshop and in the handling of art.

Minimum Qualifications

  1. Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; AND
  2. Five (5) years' of progressively responsible experience in exhibition planning and coordination, preparation, construction, design, and installation in a museum setting, including at least two (2) years of supervisory and management experience; or an equivalent combination of training and experience. Experience must include demonstrated successful experience in the management of major projects.
Desirable Qualifications:
  • Ability to collaborate with staff and outside vendors and partners including fabricators, preparators/art handlers, curators, graphic designers, professional colleagues, and supporters
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with museum staff, representatives from other arts institutions, consultants, artists, and vendors
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, multi-task, and meet deadlines
  • Ability to draft, negotiate, and manage contracts and other legal agreements
  • Ability to ensure adherence to the museumís brand in all activities
  • Facility with word processing, Excel, and email
  • Strong budget and project management skills; exceptional organizational skills
  • Proven supervisory and leadership skills; a solutions-oriented, diplomatic problem solver and true team player
  • Outstanding interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills
  • Experience with carpentry, knowledge of materials, processes, equipment, and safety
  • Experience with art handling, knowledge of best practices
  • Proficiency with design software such as InDesign, CAD, SketchUp, etc.

How to Apply

Submit the employment application for the City and County of San Francisco and a detailed resume describing your experience and education, and a cover letter explaining your interest in the position, to Human Resources, Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA 94102.

Alternatively, applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are being accepted through an online process. Please attach to the on-line application a detailed resume and a cover letter to include a list of any desirable qualifications you possess as described in this announcement.

Visit to begin the application process by registering an account.

Click and select the 3525 Chief Preparator (PBT-3525-057615) job announcement.
Click on "Apply" and read and acknowledge the information.
Click on "I am a new user" if you have not previously registered, or on "I have registered previously".
Follow instructions given on the screen.

Interested applicants are encouraged to FILE IMMEDIATELY. Receipt of applications will be cut off, suspended or closed when there are a sufficient number of qualified applicants, but not before 5:00 pm, Friday, May 6, 2011.

Selection Procedure

Application Screening: (Qualifying): Applications will be screened for relevant qualifying experience. Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement in the selection process. Desirable qualifications may be assessed in order to determine candidateís qualifications for the position.

Supplemental Questionnaire (Weight: 100%)
Qualified candidates will be provided a supplemental questionnaire upon notification of their qualified status. The supplemental questionnaire will be used to evaluate and rank qualified candidates in their relative knowledge, skills, and abilities in job-related areas. Additional information on the examination process may be provided on the supplemental questionnaire. Failure to submit the supplemental questionnaire by the date requested may result in disqualification from the examination process.

For More Information on the Museum

Please visit our website at:

*The Asian Art Museum, a premier San Francisco institution, is one of the largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art. The museum's magnificent and priceless collection of more than 17,000 objects, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, bronzes, jades and textiles, exemplifying the artistic accomplishments of countries and cultures throughout Asia. *

The Asian Art Museum is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to maintaining a diverse workforce.