Art Handler

The New York Public Library

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The Exhibitions department develops, organizes, implements, and executes all aspects relating to the presentation of exhibitions and displays at the Schwarzman Building (SASB) and the Library for the Performing Arts (LPA). Exhibitions are the most direct reflection of the breadth of NYPL’s collections and provide the only means by which the public, outside of scholars and writers, can gain access to its extraordinary holdings. By their very nature, exhibitions tell stories, serve as catalysts for ideas, and encourage new ways of thinking and learning. While providing insights into the collections, exhibitions serve to confirm NYPL’s ability to make accessible the most important intellectual, historic, literary, and artistic ideas created.


In all areas designated for the display of Library objects in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the Art Handler:

  • Installs and deinstalls exhibition objects for all exhibitions and special displays in Gottesman Hall as outlined in design layouts

  • Prepares galleries for installation—including but not limited to case movement, cleaning, painting, spackling, fabric wrapping case interiors and/or wall panels

  • Moves all necessary tools, hardware, installation materials, hydraulic lifter, work tables, blankets, case lifters, ladders, work carts, tool boxes, bins, lights, light canisters, audio-visual equipment, stanchions, pedestals, cases, bonnets, brochure holders, acrylic holders, object mounts, and fabric, pylons, etc. with regard to the installation and deinstallation of all exhibitions

  • Operates shop machinery, including hand and power tools and work carts, as necessary

  • Frames artwork, prints, photographs, documents, and ephemera in conformity with established conservation specifications

  • Performs carpentry for exhibitions and exhibition areas including demolition, wall repair, painting and fabric wrapping

  • Fabricates and constructs exhibition components including pedestals, platforms, bases, and vitrines as needed

  • Makes, mounts and places labels

  • Positions and installs graphic elements

  • Moves exhibition objects and related materials throughout the building

  • Replenishes holders of all printed materials produced for exhibitions or displays including brochures, flyers, postcards, etc.

  • Maintains an organized and clean working environment

  • Works with Installation Coordinator as necessary regarding production elements including measurements, materials, fabrication methods and lighting

  • Performs routine exhibition maintenance as needed, including daily gallery checks, exhibition lighting maintenance, case cleaning, platform and frame maintenance

  • Performs related duties as required

  • High school diploma or an equivalent degree/ certification

  • 3+ years of relevant experience working in a museum, library galleries, or art gallery

  • 3-5 years of art handling experience, preferably in a museum, library galleries, high-end gallery, or other art-service company

  • Demonstrated ability to work tactfully and effectively with staff, outside art handlers, exhibition fabricators, graphic installers, contractors, designers, curators and public at all levels in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment

  • Ability to interpret and follow detailed instructions

  • Strong initiative and work ethic with flexibility to respond to and take action in changing circumstances, often under pressure

  • Ability to work in a team environment

  • Successfully demonstrated knowledge of machinery, materials, methods, practices and safety precautions, construction, exhibition installation and deinstallation, preferably in a museum setting

  • Ability to take direction

  • Working familiarity with basic hand and power tools, power tools

  • Strong attention to detail

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Must be able to respond quickly and tactfully to last minute requests

  • Ability to operate and work from scissor lifts (up to 30’ high) scaffolding and ladders

  • Basic knowledge of electrical practice, electronics and mechanical installations

  • Demonstrated knowledge of Word, Excel, and Google Drive

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent level of education/experience preferred

  • Demonstrated knowledge of museum standards and practices

  • Demonstrated knowledge of conservation practices

  • Basic knowledge of museum lighting

  • Understanding and ability to articulate art handling best practices for moving and installation and deinstallation of objects

All team members are expected and encouraged to embody the NYPL Core Values

  • Be Helpful to patrons and colleagues

  • Be Resourceful in solving problems

  • Be Curious in all aspects of your work

Work Environment

  • Public library setting

Physical Duties

  • Physical effort is required, including bending, pushing, pulling and lifting

  • Able to lift up to 50 lbs.

  • May require travel within NYC

Starting Salary

  • USD $32,588.00/Yr.


  • 35 hours per week

Union / Non Union

  • Local 1930
How to Apply

To view the full job description and to apply, please visit our careers site:

NYPL is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Posted on August 20