Please go to the Dallas Museum of Art website and follow instructions to submit your job application for the following position:
Head Preparator

Reports to: Director of Collections Management

Department: Collections
Classification: Exempt, full-time
Date: December 2012

Job Summary

This hands-on Head Preparator is responsible for supervision of all preparators to ensure all matters pertaining to safe handling of works of art in the permanent collection, on loan to the museum, or received for temporary exhibitions (packing, unpacking, mounting, installation, special av equipment, etc.). The Head Preparator coordinates communication with registrars, curators, designers, security, operations, etc. to ensure proper scheduling of all projects.

Essential Functions

Assigns, schedules and supervises preparators in the implementation of exhibition installations, permanent collection rotations, packing and unpacking of loans and special projects. Collaborates with registrars, curators, visiting artists, museum staff on assigned projects.
Coordinates the construction and painting of pedestals, fixtures, and other finished structures for the installation and display of works of art, in coordination with the Exhibitions/Carpentry department. Collaborates with exhibitions designers on the design and construction of special exhibit effects and temporary walls.
Works with the Collections Maintenance Assistants and Exhibitions department to ensure that all gallery spaces are well maintained and presentable to the public, as well as storage spaces and Art Dock.
Prepares installation budget components for exhibitions and permanent collection rotations, in coordination with the Director of Collections and the Associate Director of Collections.

  • Develops and maintains a detailed schedule of all activity related to the preparation and installation of works of art, including exhibitions, loans, acquisitions, etc., in coordination with the Registrars, Exhibitions department and Curators.
  • Processes all department documentation: collections work requests, purchase orders, invoices, schedules, calendars, vacation requests, time sheets, etc, with assistance from assigned Preparator and Administrative Assistant for Collections Department.
  • Implements proper procedures for handling works of art (use of clean carts, gloves, location change sheets, tags, etc.), safety training of all equipment, including forklift, denka lift, etc.
  • Maintains strict confidentiality of all DMA projects, personnel issues,

shipments and art movement schedules.

  • May be required to travel as courier for loans, exhibitions, or to travel for special packing/unpacking, installation/de-installation of art.
  • Assist with local pickups or deliveries using DMA art van.
  • Assist with inventory, handling and documentation of collections.
  • Projects a positive and professional image of the Museum, representing the division to professional colleagues and the external community.
  • Participates in writing and completion of grants related to collections care as assigned/selected by museum management.
  • A deep appreciation of the mission and aspirations of the DMA and the capability to articulate the DMAís mission, values, achievements, potential, priorities to internal and external audiences.
  • Other projects and duties as assigned by Director of Collections.

Knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Five years of experience as full-time professional art handling, preferably in a museum setting with prior supervisory experience and proven management skills.
  • Education equivalent to Bachelorís degree in Art History or Fine Arts.
  • Any combination of acceptable training and experience.
  • Accurate and detailed ability to prioritize projects, strong organizational and management skills including handling of frequent interruptions and several issues at one time.
  • Excellent speaking/understanding of the English language including art history terms, and art techniques.
  • Ability to deal effectively with the public, guest artists, scholars, vendors, and staff.
  • Ability and skill to safely work on ladders, with a forklift, and occasionally on a high lift or on scaffolding.
  • Ability to safely use a wide variety of tools and equipment and to handle oversized and/or heavy art objects and exhibition material.
  • Ability to follow instructions and work cooperatively with a team.
  • Attention to detail, ability to interpret working drawings, develop and implement design concepts with Museum Designer and Carpenter.
  • Ability to teach, explain and correct methods and procedures related to the handling of works of art and equipment needed to move, pack and secure said works.
  • Ability to lift, push and pull, heavy, fragile, odd-shaped objects carefully.
  • Microsoft Office Suite skills required.


Director of Collections

Office: 214-922-1267 | Fax: 214-969-5913

Dallas Museum of Art | 1717 N. Harwood St. | Dallas TX 75201