10 1/2 Beacon ST.
Reporting to the Special Collections Registrar, the Collections and Exhibitions Technician performs a range of duties related to the exhibition and care of the Boston Athenæum’s rich and varied special collections. In consultation with the registrar, curatorial, and conservation colleagues, this position assists with the installation and display of special collections in both long-term installations and rotating temporary exhibitions encompassing paintings, sculpture, the decorative arts, prints, photographs, and rare books. The position is also responsible for the proper storage, maintenance, and monitoring of special collections, with an emphasis on paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts. This position requires prior knowledge of art handling best practices and health and safety standards.
- As directed, effectively performs various skilled tasks pertaining to the fabrication of displays, mounts, and housing for special collections objects utilizing knowledge of construction methods, use of adhesives and fasteners, and safe use of manual and power tools.
- Works closely with special collections, conservation, and facilities staff. Attends regular meetings with special collections department, exhibition team, and others as needed.
- Works with contracted preparators, handlers, and others to safely complete object moves and exhibition installation.
- Installs and de-installs exhibitions. Includes physically handling artwork, loading and unloading trucks, hanging signage, and lighting. May require the use of ladders, dollies, lifts, and related equipment. Packs, unpacks, and crates works according to professional museum standards.
- Maintains current knowledge of changing industry standards.
- Prepares the exhibition gallery for new exhibitions, including cleaning, moving pedestals, mounting, matting and framing, hanging framed artwork, and building pedestals, shelving, and mounts.
- Assists in preparation of galleries and installation of pedestals, Plexiglas, platforms, graphics, and exhibition labels.
- Participates in the safe transport of art objects throughout the building. Prepares custom housing as needed for storage and display of special collections objects.
- Helps maintain safe, clean, and well-organized storage and prep areas, and adequate supplies for packing, storing, and exhibition prep; researches and assists with implementation of efficient storage and display methods. Maintains an inventory of materials, tools, and equipment. Tracks supply orders for exhibition materials.
- Assists Registrar by locating/returning objects to storage; assisting with collection inventories; reporting changes/damage to artwork.
- Conducts regularly scheduled inspections of permanent installations, exhibition spaces, and storage areas. Participates in ongoing and preventative maintenance care.
- Maintains appropriate collection documentation as required.
- Works closely with curatorial, library, and conservation staff, as well as interns and volunteers, to ensure the physical safety of the collection.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
QUALIFICATIONS & REQUIREMENTS
- Submit to and pass background check, including criminal history, personal references, employment verifications and Registry of Motor Vehicles (if applicable).
- Bachelor’s degree required, Museums Studies, Art, or Art History as a major or focus preferred.
- Minimum of three years experience in art handling, exhibition preparation, and/or collections care in a museum or special collections setting.
- Basic carpentry skills required.
- Strong working knowledge of installation methods (mounting, matting, framing) required; woodworking and/or metalworking skills preferred. Experience using heavy equipment a plus.
- Must be able to lift at least 50 pounds.
- Demonstrated knowledge of current professional museum standards and best practices for installation and packing/crating, including occupational hazards and safety precautions.
- Position requires use and care of manual and power tools, lifts, and other pertinent equipment.
- Some knowledge of and experience with computerized database systems, preferably a collections management system such as TMS (The Museum System).
- Ability to exercise good judgment, confidentiality, and discretion.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Proven attention to detail and conscientiousness.
- Excellent time management skills and the ability to prioritize work.
- Must be able to work independently and collaboratively in a highly professional environment.
- Commitment to fostering a workplace culture of teamwork, diversity, and inclusion.
The Boston Athenæum is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage individuals of diverse backgrounds to apply and are committed to hiring individuals who value a diverse and inclusive work environment.
ABOUT THE BOSTON ATHENAEUM
Founded in 1807 as “a fountain, at which all, who choose, may gratify their thirst for knowledge,” the Boston Athenæum has evolved into a beloved subscription library, specializing in history, biography, literature, and art. 5,000 Households maintain active memberships in the Athenæum, and enjoy a range of services from individualized reference assistance to superb children’s programming, from discussion groups to curated selections of digital and print resources. Tourists and scholars from around the world consult the quarter-million rare items in the collection, which includes George Washington’s personal library; an important collection of early American portraits; rich holdings related to the Civil War and documenting New England’s built environment; and the Athenæum’s own historical archives, attesting to the institution’s role in American arts and letters. Each year, the Athenæum offers hundreds of cultural programs— including lectures, concerts, performances, exhibitions, and tastings—within its exquisite National Historic Landmark structure, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.
Minimum Education Required