November 20, 2016

Lead Preparator, Oriental Institute Museum

About: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago is a research organization and museum devoted to the study of the ancient Near East. Founded in 1919 by James Henry Breasted with the financial support of John D. Rockefeller Jr., it is an internationally recognized pioneer in the archaeology, philology and history of the ancient Near Eastern civilizations. The research objective of the Oriental Institute is to integrate archaeological, textual, and art historical data to understand the development and functioning of the ancient civilizations of the Near East from the earliest Holocene through the Medieval period. The Institute achieves this by conducting archaeological excavations, artifact analyses, development of new research methodologies, the stewardship of systematic museum collections, philological studies, historical research and the development of dictionaries of ancient languages. The Oriental Institute Museum, open to the public is a world renowned showcase for the history, art, and archaeology of the ancient Near East.  

Job Summary: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago is an internationally recognized research center for studying the archaeological and textual record of the ancient Near East. A primary unit within the Institute is its Museum, which houses over 300,000 objects from across the Near East. We seek applicants for the position of Lead Preparator, who reports to the Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions. The Lead Preparator constructs, installs, and maintains the Oriental Institute Museum exhibits, including lighting and general gallery cleaning. The Lead Preparator also assists with collections management tasks, such as moving large objects in storage and photography. The Lead Preparator manages both part-time and full-time staff, delegating work and supervising the performance of the Prep Shop team. Duties include, but are not limited to, --Prepare, handle, move, and install museum objects for exhibition; --Install and maintain gallery lighting; change lamps, install new lighting, maintain proper light levels, and order lighting supplies and equipment;--Coordinate cleaning and maintenance of galleries;--Supervise contractors on general gallery maintenance; --Oversee maintenance and safety standards of Prep Shop; --Coordinate with other Museum staff on collections management and exhibition-related tasks;--Order supplies and equipment, including procuring bids for materials and supplies; --Assist with collections management. 

Education: Bachelor's degree in Art History, Studio Art, or related field is required. Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite. Knowledge of the EMu collection management system is preferred.

Experience: Minimum of 5 years of museum exhibition experience, including handling and installing objects, mount making, technical drawing, exhibit lighting, rough/finish carpentry, and exhibition design. The ideal candidate has a demonstrated history of staff and project management, including the ability to lead a team. The Lead Preparator also orders and tracks materials, and maintains and supervises a multipurpose shop including OSHA compliance and general safety. 

Ability to coordinate the work of others required.
Knowledge relevant to museum collections required.
Knowledge of museum standards regarding the care and handling of collections required.
Attention to detail required.
Organizational skills required.
Creativity required.
Verbal and written communication skills required.
Interpersonal skills required.
Ability to maintain confidentiality required.
Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities, and meet deadlines required.
Ability to work independently and as part of a team required.
Knowledge of computers and relevant software required.
Budget management skills preferred.
Knowledge of database management software preferred.