Job Listing


The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, St. Petersburg




The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art is a new institution currently under construction with a projected opening date in spring 2018.  The 87,000 SF facility will house the significant collection of Western and wildlife art collected by Tom and Mary James over the past 35 years. The facility will include 30,000 SF of gallery space, a 4,000 SF special exhibitions gallery, a 141‐seat auditorium, a 6,000 SF special events rental space, a double height lobby with water feature, store, café, education classrooms, over 200 covered parking spaces, on‐site collection storage, administration offices, and back of house service facilities. Planned programming includes special exhibitions in a variety of genres, artist talks and demonstrations, art classes, lectures, performances, docent‐led tours, and a variety of activities for children and families. 


  • The Preparator is responsible for all technical aspects of museum‐quality art handling related to exhibitions and permanent collection installations and maintenance of art objects in the Museum buildings and on the grounds, including: receiving, shipping, packing, framing, mounting, and storage
  • Working closely with the Curatorial department, the Preparator is a key team member for implementing the Museum’s schedule of special exhibitions and permanent collection rotations.
  • The Preparator may also work with Facilities Manager to assist with building related activities and repairs


  • Plan and manage the installation/de‐installation of exhibitions, rotations, and individual artworks, coordinating schedules and details with the Curatorial team
  • Assist the Curatorial team with the completion of the layout, drawings, elevations and models needed for each project
  • Oversee performance of the physical preparation of artwork, including matting, framing, casework preparation, and object mount‐making
  • Responsible for the production of display cases, customized mounts and frames, and didactic materials
  • Move art objects, including their mounts, lifts, pedestals, vitrines, etc. within the Museum building under the direction of the curator for the purpose of gallery installations, packing and shipping, photography, and other events as assigned
  • Develop familiarity with the collection in order to record the specialized handling or installation needs for various works of art
  • Assist Registrar in keeping accurate locations of individual works as well as existing crates and other packing containers
  • The position oversees gallery lighting systems, oversees the production and installation of exhibition graphics, signage, and labels
  • Oversee the maintenance and operation of all work areas, including the Prep Studio, art storage, loading dock, woodshop, and pedestal/crate storage
  • Retain proper inventory of supplies and materials
  • Develop and administer the Preparation budget, assist in developing special project budgets, and prepare cost and material estimates for new installations
  • Responsible for obtaining estimates, preparing bit packets, budget recommendations for the construction and demo of installation, painting walls and exhibition furniture
  • Expected to be called upon to assist with regular care and maintenance of the permanent collection and in times of emergency
  • Performs such other duties as assigned by the Curatorial Staff that may arise in the course of the Museum’s development and needs. 


  • Detail oriented
  • Able to prioritize a range of responsibilities and time‐sensitive requests  Attention to detail is essential
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills to clearly provide information and direction to staff, contractors, and vendors 
  • Advanced knowledge of art preparation techniques and construction processes
  • Knowledge of museum‐approved materials (acid free, non‐off gassing, archival, etc.)
  • Ability to design and construct shipping crates and perform intermediate‐level carpentry tasks
  • Experience in applying creative solutions to construction and display challenges
  • Ability and skill to safely employ the use of a variety of tools, aerial platform lift, palette jack, forklift, ladders, scaffolding and other heavy equipment and to handle oversized and heavy art objects and exhibition material
  • Experience working with complex museum lighting systems, including technical expertise and implementation of exhibition lighting plans
  • Experience working with art storage methods and knowledge of museum standards for storage of art objects
  • Proficiency in the use of standard office equipment and software.


  • High school diploma or equivalent  Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Minimum of 5 years museum/gallery experience in art handling, exhibition installation, packing and storage
  • An equivalent combination of relevant education and/or experience will satisfy the minimum requirements
  • Valid Driver’s License


  • Full Time


  • Office, Museum gallery, and workshop environment
  • Non‐standard hours (generally within 8:00am‐6:00pm, Monday‐Friday)
  • Extended nights and weekends probable
  • Position requires sitting, standing, walking, bending, climbing, reaching, and strenuous lifting/moving objects up to 50 lbs.

Emily Kapes, Curator‐in‐Charge

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