Chief Preparator

Aspen Art Museum

The Aspen Art Museum seeks a motivated professional for the position of Chief Preparator. Reporting to the Director of Exhibitions, the Chief Preparator leads all aspects of exhibition preparation and installation for the museum’s dynamic program of contemporary art exhibitions and artists’ projects. This hands-on role works closely with curators, artists, and fabrication teams to realize ambitious installations on schedule and within budget. As project manager, the Chief Preparator plans exhibit logistics, directs preparators and contractors, procures equipment / materials, and ensures safe working conditions.

The Chief Preparator can expect a variable schedule of approximately 24 to 40 hours per week, based on the museum’s active exhibition calendar. While core hours are Monday-Friday, weekend and evening work is frequently required during installs/deinstalls which take place 3 times per year.


Collaborate with Curatorial department to research, conceive, and actualize curatorial and artistic endeavors aligned with exhibition timelines.

Closely partner with artists to strategize, fabricate and mount artworks, customized installations and supplementary materials.

Define work orders and govern daily preparatory personnel, crew, and external contractors to satisfy institutional deadlines, budgets, and priorities.

Manage technical elements of builds and audio/visual arrangements encompassing planning, fabrication, procurement of supplies/gear/programs, deployment, and direction of third party suppliers.

Manage all gallery lighting systems, fixtures and hardware in collaboration with Facilities Department.

Collaborates closely with the Head of Exhibitions in the recruitment, training, scheduling, guidance and delivering constructive feedback to install crew.

Help shape and steer exhibition budgets alongside Head of Exhibitions and Executive Leadership.

Work with Registrar staff on receipt, packing, art-handling, and crating of all artwork loans.

Accountable for routine exhibition maintenance over the duration of all shows.

Ability to establish and maintain effective, tactful, and courteous working relationships with fellow employees, artists, and the general public.

In tandem with Head of Exhibitions, synchronize exhibition operations with Facilities, Security, and other Museum divisions and calendars.

Maintain production facility, art storage locations both on and off-site, A/V inventory, and alongside other back of house spaces.

Other duties as directed within the scope of the Chief Preparator’s job responsibilities.


Bachelor’s degree in Art, Design, or a related field and at least 5 years of experience managing an exhibition crew working on museum-quality art and AV installations is required. 

Art handling experience in a museum or gallery setting.

Experience with a variety of hand and power tools, measuring devices, levels, and carpentry skills preferred.

Valid driver’s license and acceptable driving record required to drive the truck to move artwork.

Demonstrate initiative, leadership, and innovative problem solving skills. 

Qualified candidates must demonstrate proficiency in fabrication / production / workshop skills and safety, including hand and power tools.

Candidates with experience assembling and operating rigging equipment, and welding or metal work experience will have an advantage in the review process.

Familiarity with relevant regulations, codes, and standards relating to egress and accessibility.

Capable of excelling in a high-paced, deadline-driven work environment with professional demeanor at all times.

Experience with SketchUp and Rhino, and the ability to work easily with multiple teams across the Museum. 

Must be able to move or assist in moving heavy objects (must be able to lift up to 50 pounds) and operate a pallet jack, scissor lift, and forklift (certification available). 

How to Apply

All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of Aspen Art Museum and the responsibilities presented herein, as well as your specific qualifications for the Chief Preparator role. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the successful candidate has been selected. All inquiries will be held in confidence. Aspen Art Museum is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. 

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Posted on January 31