Lead Preparator

The Bass Museum of Art

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The Bass, Miami Beach’s contemporary art museum, seeks a Lead Preparator to serve as an essential member of its Exhibitions team, supporting responsibilities and performing a range of duties associated with the production, installation, deinstallation, and ongoing care of contemporary art exhibitions. Reporting to the Senior Exhibitions Manager, the Lead Preparator will assist in managing contract art handling staff and serve as a key partner in supporting the development of fabrication and installation plans for the museum’s exhibitions.

The Bass organizes cutting-edge exhibitions of all media—each with its specific and diverse needs. The Lead Preparator will be a curious, enthusiastic, and adaptable team player with the ability to work well with these changing and variable conditions, taking initiative to research the techniques and equipment required for each exhibition on a case-by-case basis. The successful candidate will be proactive, resourceful, and detail-oriented, ensuring a safe and healthy work environment through up-to-date knowledge of best practice.

This is a permanent, full-time position.

  • Oversee and participate in the installation, deinstallation, lighting, packing, and/or unpacking of artwork as directed, including other art handling tasks that may be assigned.

  • Serve as a proactive partner in the development of production, fabrication, and installation/deinstallation plans for each exhibition, attending departmental meetings, anticipating challenges, and working with museum staff and/or artist representatives when applicable to navigate the needs of each exhibition.

  • Support the Senior Exhibitions Manager in supervising contract art handlers, preparators, and other installation staff, ensuring that crews perform duties in compliance with museum best practices and OSHA safety guidelines.

  • Under the direction of the Registrar/Collections Manager and Senior Exhibitions Manager, apply knowledge and experience of museum best practices for handling, packing and unpacking, condition checking, and installing artworks, including contemporary artworks with unconventional materials.

  • Support the Senior Exhibitions Manager in researching, sourcing, and ordering installation supplies and materials, contacting vendors and fabricators, soliciting estimates, and organizing equipment rentals.

  • Prepare material lists and cost lists for exhibitions, gallery construction, and other projects.

  • Support the payment process for exhibition-related expenses, including invoice and receipt reconciliation.

  • Maintain the appearance of exhibitions spaces, carrying out tasks such as dusting, painting walls, replacing lights, cleaning artwork frames and fixtures, and other tasks as needed.

  • Maintain the cleanliness and organization of the fabrication office and workshop, loading dock, and storage areas.

  • Retain a proper inventory of supplies and materials and ensure that basic installation and exhibition maintenance supplies are in stock.

  • Oversee and participate in the construction, painting, and fabrication of display fixtures, mounts, and crates, as needed.

  • Support the Senior Exhibitions Manager in overseeing exhibition priorities and timelines, regularly checking in with outside fabricators, vendors, and contractors to assess project implementation and progress, including oversight of quality, accuracy of work, and monitoring schedules and deadlines.

  • Develop drawings and/or scale models using SketchUp and/or other design tools to effectively communicate design ideas.

  • Identify opportunities for professional development.

  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of current museum practices related to art handling.

  • At least 3 to 5 years of progressively responsible experience in exhibition installation planning and coordination, preparation, construction, design, and installation in a museum or other art venue; or an equivalent combination of training and experience.

  • Skilled in art handling and familiar with installation techniques for traditional and new media.

  • Advanced knowledge of materials, fabrication techniques, and construction processes.

  • Knowledge and experience in exhibiting time-based media works.

  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite is required.

  • Experience with SketchUp, Adobe Creative Suite, and/or other CAD or design software.

  • Strong organizational skills and ability to adhere to timelines.

  • Experience with carpentry.

  • Experience with audio/visual systems.

  • Experience with welding and electrical systems is a plus.

  • Experience building crates, vitrines, and mounts is a plus.

  • Must have a valid driver’s license in good standing and possess an operational vehicle.

  • Must be able to drive a box truck; a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is not necessary.

  • Experience with forklifts, scissor lifts, rigging and other large machinery and equipment commonly used for mounting museum exhibitions.

  • Excellent communication skills and professionalism; the ability to discuss projects with a broad range of exhibition stakeholders, including museum staff, artists and/or their representatives, fabricators, technicians, contractors, and others.

  • Must have a positive attitude and strong work ethic.

  • Willingness to conduct research and learn new skills and techniques as necessary.


The Lead Preparator must meet specific physical demands, including the ability to stand, walk, bend, reach, climb, kneel, and handle and lift objects. Additionally, the role requires precise vision along with the capacity to judge distances accurately for close work involving size, shape, and texture assessment. These physical capabilities are essential for safely carrying out tasks key to the role, such as operating power tools and machinery, climbing ladders, and handling objects firmly and with precision.

How to Apply

Please submit the following materials to the hiring manager Sofia Dotta, Senior Exhibitions Manager, at sdotta@thebass.org.

  • Resume/CV

  • Cover Letter, including desired salary range.

  • Two references, one professional supervisor, the other professional peer; academic or personal references will not be considered. Provide full name, position, place of employment, phone number, and email address for each, as well as a description of how you know the individual.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, and the position may be filled prior to the close of applications.

Due to the high volume of applications received, we are unable to respond to individual inquiries. If your qualifications and experience match the needs of the current opening, potential candidates will be contacted for an interview.

This job description describes the general nature of the duties and requirements of this job. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list or to limit the supervisor’s ability to modify work assignments as appropriate.

The Bass is committed to creating a diverse environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, political affiliation, or veteran status.

Please, no phone inquiries or in-person submissions will be considered.


Posted on February 23