The art of the perfect fit

Chief Preparator, Art Gallery

Posted: 08.12.2021
Contract Type: Full-time
Job Type: Permanent
Pay: Dependent on experience
Location: New York USA
Tenure: Permanent
Job description:

A modern and contemporary art gallery in New York is currently seeking a full-time Chief Preparator, who will lead and supervise a team in the execution of all exhibition installations/de-installations, client viewings, and art fair presentations, while effectively maintaining on-site and off-site inventory holdings. The gallery operates at the highest level of excellence, and this experienced preparator will oversee the following duties that include but are not limited to:

Daily responsibilities:

  • Coordinates and maintains a strong team of full-time employees and part-time freelancers for daily practices and long-term projects, assigning daily tasks and monitoring workflow
  • Proactively plans, schedules and manages part-time freelancers
  • Regularly (re)examines working methods and systems. Recommends and implements changes, remaining up-to-date on institutional safety and industry standards
  • Maintains and organizes inventory of equipment and supplies; coordinates timely purchases of required departmental supplies
  • Works in tandem with in-house staff photographer to coordinate and facilitate all photography needs
  • Executes daily maintenance of the physical space, ensuring that the public space, private viewing rooms, and offices are presentation ready at all times
  • Responsible for maintaining and directing lighting throughout the gallery
  • Facilitates local deliveries and client home installations
  • Performs other duties as assigned


  • Working with colleagues to coordinate all phases of planning and implementation, oversees and participates in the installation/ de-installation of all exhibitions at the gallery, client homes, and art fairs
  • For presentations, reviews all artwork in advance to determine appropriate installation gear, crates, mechanical supports, vitrines, pedestals, hardware, or other needs; coordinates the fabrication or purchase of these items as needed
  • Supervises the occasional construction of temporary display walls and exhibition furniture, installation of all media equipment, lighting of exhibitions, and installation of graphics, including signage and labels


  • Prepares and organizes for upcoming presentations and other gallery events by retaining a detailed calendar and to-do list
  • Coordinates with Senior Staff to execute presentations and installations in a timely manner
  • Provide in-the-moment fast-paced support for daily private client presentation, including quickly rotating works on view while clients are present

Inventory Management

  • Responsible for updating location information of artwork in the database
  • Executes delivery of artwork to conservators, framers and warehouse
  • Responsible for the safety and proper storage of all artwork

Art Fairs

  • Supervises and executes pack out for art fairs with overall supervision from the Associate Director
  • Participates in the installation/de-installation of art fairs with some expectation of travel

Warehouse and Storage Spaces

  • Assists the Registrar and Warehouse Manager with off-site inventory management
  • Responsible for the upkeep and management of local storage units


  • BA, MA, or MFA in studio art, art history, architecture, design, or related field required
  • Minimum of 5-7 years of experience in exhibition planning, preparation and/or management in a commercial gallery
  • Thorough knowledge of Museum standards for packing, crating, handling, installing, and housing art
  • Thorough knowledge of and hands-on experience with display, lighting, and media
  • Framing knowledge or experience is preferable
  • Physical abilities to perform the essential functions of the job, including working at elevated heights
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; aptitude for quick learning, problem solving and teamwork, as well as informed on contemporary issues and artistic concerns