Exhibitions Assistant & Preparator

Job Summary

The Exhibitions Assistant & Preparator is responsible for the preparation, installation, and de-installation of exhibitions at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. As a key member of the exhibitions team, and reporting to the Exhibitions Manager/Registrar, the Exhibitions Assistant & Preparator supports all technical aspects of the exhibition process from early planning through completion, including exhibition design development and drafting plans, coordinating, and executing gallery construction and exhibition build-out, and ensuring the safe handling and installation of artworks. This position works closely with artists on installation methods as well as the fabrication and production of new artwork commissions. Additionally, this position is responsible for the overall maintenance and upkeep of the gallery spaces, storage areas, and equipment and supply inventory. The Exhibitions Assistant & Preparator works closely with all members of the Carpenter Center staff and collaborates with stakeholders in the department of Art Film and Visual Studies, Harvard Film Archive, and Building Operations staff.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

  • Prepares, installs and de-installs artwork for exhibition according to professional museum standards.
  • Designs and constructs artwork mounts and determines safe installation methods in collaboration with the Exhibitions Manager/Registrar.
  • Plans for and installs media-based artworks and technical equipment. 
  • Receives and releases art shipments, packs/unpacks artwork, and coordinates the movement of artwork within the building.
  • Prepares galleries for exhibition, including constructing, patching, and painting walls, and overseeing contractors.
  • Collaborates with artists on the fabrication of newly commissioned artwork. 
  • Works with the exhibition team on the development and implementation of exhibition designs including drafting design plans.
  • Designs, fabricates, and installs exhibition furniture, pedestals, cases, one-of-a-kind artist driven constructions, and other display elements.
  • Installs and maintains lighting in exhibition galleries.
  • Produces and installs exhibition graphics and labels and coordinates with vendors and graphic designer as needed.
  • Supports the Exhibitions Manager/Registrar in hiring, scheduling, and overseeing contract installation staff.
  • Maintains exhibition galleries including daily artwork and equipment maintenance as needed.
  • Manages and organizes supply and equipment storage and inventory.
  • Supports building projects and operations as needed in consultation with the Exhibitions Manager/Registrar and Building Manager.
  • Works closely with the Exhibitions Manager/Registrar to create project budgets, process payments, and track expenses.
  • Assists with the setup for public programing and related events including audio/video set-up and general support.
  • Attends and participates in meetings and ongoing communications with internal and external stakeholders on a regular basis.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

Minimum of 3-years of experience as a preparator, installer, art-handler, exhibition technician, or similar position in a museum, gallery, or arts organization.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in Studio Arts, Art History, Design, Architecture, or similar field preferred or commensurate work experience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of museum best practices and standards in exhibiting, handling, and installing artworks.
  • Familiarity with exhibition design practices and a thorough knowledge of construction techniques and materials.
  • Excellent carpentry and woodworking skills, and the ability to safely use power tools and specialized equipment.
  • Experience installing media-based artwork or audio-visual equipment.
  • Working knowledge of exhibition lighting.
  • Experience with and interest in working with contemporary art and artists.
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively, conscientiously, and effectively with others in a team environment
  • Flexible and creative problem solver.
  • Ability to take initiative to work independently to manage assigned projects and deliverables.
  • Ability to work well under pressure amidst shifting priorities, managing time, staying organized, and meeting deadlines.
  • Meticulous attention to detail.
  • High level interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud, Dropbox, Basecamp, and Sketchup or AutoCAD and ability to learn new computer applications.

Physical Requirements

Must be able to lift up to 50lbs. Must be able to stand, walk, carry, stoop, kneel, twist, squat, bend and reach overhead. Comfortable with heights, climbing ladders and using scissor lift.

Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal Identity

Working Conditions

Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members who will have any on-campus presence. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: http://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine-information/. 

Additional Information

About the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
Free and open to the public, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts is the center for contemporary art and artists at Harvard University. Housed within Le Corbusier’s only building in North America, the Carpenter Center was built in 1963 to accommodate the university’s art and film studios alongside a dynamic exhibition program. Through exhibitions, public events, new commissions, publications, and residencies, the Carpenter Center is dedicated to artist-centered programing and building a vibrant educational community around contemporary art. This community is defined by an ethos of experimentation, diverse perspectives, and making connections across disciplines and fields. The Center’s projects are enriched by the educational mission of the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies, and the cultural resources of a large research university

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

All formal offers will be made by FAS Human Resources