Museum of Contemporary Art,

Senior Preparator

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

The Senior Preparator works under the supervision of the Director of Exhibition Production and the Exhibition Production Managers to assist in the organization, management, and installation of exhibitions at MOCA and management of MOCA’s collection. Primary responsibilities include supervision of full time and temporary employees, overall management of projects as assigned, assisting with the development of annual project budgets, and working closely with curators, artists, and the full MOCA staff to plan for exhibition and collection-related projects. The Senior Preparator oversees the safe and careful handling, maintenance, and overall stewardship of all objects placed within the Museum's care. Because the scope of the MOCA's exhibition program incorporates conventional art forms as well as those which are more experimental in nature, the Senior Preparator will have a variety of tasks and functions to perform, relating to all aspects of planning, construction, fabrication, installation, and maintenance of exhibitions. This is a full-time onsite position.

Roles & responsibilities

Essential Functions

● Working closely with the Registration Department, Curatorial Department, Exhibitions Management and artists, oversee all aspects of exhibition production for assigned exhibition projects, including but not limited to attending meetings, planning and establishing a production schedule, supervising installation teams, identifying vendors, providing installation renderings, designing and fabricating exhibition furniture, and monitoring deadlines and budgets.

● Work closely with Exhibition Production Managers to identify, lead, coordinate, train, and manage all members of the Exhibition Production Department, which includes both full-time and temporary employees. This includes setting and supervising daily departmental task accomplishment by crew members.

● Represent the Exhibition Production department in the absence of the Director of Exhibition Production or Exhibition Production Manager in meetings, both internal and external to the institution.

● Develop gallery maintenance procedures with Registrars and Exhibition Production Managers. Oversee Preparators in the maintenance of all gallery spaces, workspaces, and artworks on display or in the collection.

● Using best practices, ensure standards of care and safe handling as set by the Museum are upheld by all team members.

● Oversee receiving, releasing, loading, and unloading shipments of art as assigned. Direct crews in safe loading and unloading of trucks.

● Maintain and replenish inventory of supplies and materials for packing and installation.

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

● Be able to relate to, and work with a wide variety of staff and non-museum personnel.

● Foster a collegial and synergistic environment, contributing to the development of department staff at all skill levels.

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

● Attend all mandatory safety and equipment training sessions. Comply with and uphold safety standards for all equipment use.

● Operate fork/aerial lifts.

● Participate in billing and accounting duties per exhibition or project as assigned.

● Work closely with other departments, particularly Operations, Facilities and Security to provide continued assistance to the greater museum.



● Minimum of five years’ experience in museum preparation or related field, including professional artist studio practices and galleries. Contemporary art museum experience preferred.

● Minimum one year of supervisory experience.

● Advanced knowledge of museum best practices including the safe handling, care and installation of all art objects, installation hardware, and gallery lighting.

● Advanced fabrication and construction skills; extensive experience working with hand, mechanical and power tools.

● Excellent manual dexterity and visual acuity skills.

● Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

● Ability to multitask on a variety of concurrent projects. Effectively manage details as well as the larger scope of any given project.

● Ability to work nights and weekends as needed.

● Ability to travel domestically and internationally.

Desired Skills

● Experience in multi-media and AV installation.

● Proficiency with Microsoft Office, Adobe CS, TMS, Sketchup, and or other relevant Exhibition Design Software.

● Rigging experience and relevant certification to use forklifts, personnel lifts and other motorized equipment.

● Knowledge of contemporary art.

To apply

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