Paper Preparator

New York, NY
Full Time
Whitney Museum
Mid Level

The Preparator, Works on Paper, is responsible for preparing collection and exhibition works on paper for exhibitions, loans and storage. This includes matting and framing as well as making mounts for books, manuscripts, posters and other exhibition materials comprised of paper. Clear communication and professional collaboration with various departments is essential in this role, notably with the Conservation and Curatorial departments. The Preparator oversees the safe handling of works being prepared or framed and, at times, oversees the installations of those works in gallery spaces. The paper preparator also maintains the highest standards required to handle the inherent fragility of these works, consult on their housing or mounting, and is expected to keep up to date with industry techniques in preservation.

The individual will be a problem solver and creative thinker, while always maintaining a high degree of care and professionalism. The Preparator will work closely with curatorial in advising on best practices in the display of works on paper. In the storage and housing of works on paper, work requires a strict adherence to the preservation guidelines for the collection and accessibility.


  • Mat and frame works for exhibition and loans
  • Maintain the housing of the collection, updating and modifying methods as needed
  • Maintain the mat room and all housed equipment along with the Sondra Gilman Study Centre
  • Ensure accuracy and time sensitivity of data base locations
  • Work closely with the Conservation team in exchanging methods and ideas
  • Travel as a courier and a representative to see that works are safely transported, handled and installed and expect to resume those duties when travel itself resumes
  • Assist with the display and handling of works in the Study Centre for researchers and museum staff
  • Assist in the pulling and setting out of artwork for examination, consultation and review in the Study Centre
  • Manage and oversee any temporary staff hired so that set tasks are accomplished to a degree of professionalism

  • BA or BFA required
  • Artist/printmaker or experience in conservation studies required
  • 5+ years of experience matting and framing at the museum level or equivalent preferred
  • Historical knowledge of how works on paper have been presented in the 20th-21st century
  • A good sense of aesthetic and design to advise on presentation needs
  • Ability to work on tight deadlines - weekend and evening hours may be necessary during large projects

Compensation & Benefits
  • Salary range is $70,000 - $80,000 per annum and commensurate with experience
  • Medical, Dental, Vision, 403(B) elections
  • Generous Paid Time off benefits
  • Commuter benefits - parking and mass transit
  • Admission to world-renowned museums across the city and nationally
  • Pet insurance and discounted membership for Citibike
  • This position will be covered under UAW Local 2110

The advertised pay scale reflects the good faith minimum and maximum salary range for this role. The advertised pay scale is not a promise of a particular wage for any specific employee. The specific compensation offered to a candidate may be dependent on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, the candidate’s experience, education, special licensing or qualifications, and other factors.

Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend to only apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Whether you’re new to arts and culture administration, returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or take the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar. Please use your cover letter to tell us about your interest in the arts and culture space and what you hope to bring to this role.

About the Whitney:
The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. From her vision arose the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has been championing the most innovative art of the United States for 86 years. The core of the Whitney’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit American art of our time and serve a wide variety of audiences in celebration of the complexity and diversity of art and culture in the United States. Through this mission and a steadfast commitment to artists themselves, the Whitney has long been a powerful force in support of modern and contemporary art and continues to help define what is innovative and influential in American art today.

EEO Statement:
The Whitney Museum of American Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Museum does not discriminate because of age, sex, religion, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage or citizenship, disability, marital status, partnership status, veteran status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, or any other factor prohibited by law. The Museum hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled. The Museum encourages all qualified candidates to apply for vacant positions at all levels. This description shall not be construed as a contract of any sort for a specific period of employment.


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