Museum of Contemporary Art,

Preparator I

11 days ago
Employment type
Los Angeles
Closing date

About this organization

Established in 1979, we are the only artist-founded museum in Los Angeles. We are dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary art. We house one of the most compelling collections of contemporary art in the world, comprising roughly 7,500 objects, and have a diverse history of ground-breaking, historically-significant exhibitions.

We are committed to the collection, presentation, and interpretation of art created after 1940, in all media, and to preserving that work for future generations. We provide leadership in the field by identifying and presenting the most significant and challenging art of our time, actively supporting the creation of new work, and producing original scholarship.

With two distinct venues in Los Angeles—MOCA Grand Avenue, and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA—and Michael Heizer’s seminal artwork Double Negative (1969-70) in the Nevada desert, we engage audiences through an ambitious program of exhibitions, educational programs, and publishing.

About this job

Preparator I is an entry level position and works onsite under the supervision of the Director of Exhibition Production, the Exhibition Production Managers, and/or Senior Preparators as assigned, to receive, mount, pack and disperse all exhibitions, including loans and works in the Permanent Collection. These functions involve working closely with the Registration Department, Curatorial Department, and visiting artists and curators. Primary responsibility is the safe and careful handling of all objects placed within the Museum's care, and overall collection stewardship and maintenance. Because the scope of the MOCA's exhibition program incorporates conventional art forms as well as those which are more experimental in nature, Temporary Preparator I will have a variety of tasks and functions to perform, relating to all aspects of construction, fabrication, installation, and maintenance of exhibitions.

Roles & responsibilities

Essential Functions

• Work well as a team member and interact with a wide variety of staff and non-museum personnel.

• Safely and carefully handle all objects placed within the museum’s care, using best practices.

• Receive, release, load, and unload shipments of art as assigned. Direct crews in safe loading and unloading of trucks and movement of art.

• Work with the Senior Preparator to maintain and replenish inventory of tools, supplies and materials.

• Work in a precise and careful manner under stringent deadlines.

• Display creativity in solving technical problems and flexibility in adapting to unusual circumstances.

• Attend all mandatory safety and equipment training sessions. Comply with safety standards on all equipment use.

• Operate fork/aerial lifts.

• Help to foster a collegial and synergistic work environment, contributing to the development of department staff at all skill levels.

• Act as a team leader to Temporary Preparators in accomplishing daily departmental goals.

• Maintain work spaces, gallery spaces, and artworks on display or in the collection according to standards set by Registrars, Exhibition Production Managers, and Senior Preparators.

• Participate in the planning and installation of exhibitions; includes attending meetings with other departments, creating physical and digital maquettes of artworks, and contributing to the design and fabrication of exhibition furniture for shows as assigned.

• Work closely with other departments, particularly Operations, Facilities, and Security staff as needed to provide continued assistance to the greater museum.


Desired Skills

• Experience with Microsoft Office, Adobe CS, TMS, Sketchup and/or other relevant exhibition design software.

• Experience with various fabrication, carpentry and construction techniques, and gallery lighting.

• Experience using forklifts, aerial lifts and other motorized equipment.

• Knowledge of contemporary art.


• Minimum of two years’ experience working in museums, galleries, or professional artist studios. Contemporary art museum experience preferred.

• Excellent manual dexterity and visual acuity skills.

• Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

• Knowledge of the safe handling, care and installation of all art objects, installation hardware, and movement techniques.

• Safe use of tools and equipment including, but not limited to: ladders, pallet jacks, non-electrical hand tools and various portable and stationary power tools.

• Ability to multitask on a variety of concurrent projects.

• Ability to work nights and weekends as needed.

To apply

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