Assistant Preparator

Published on the 19th Mar 2019 / closing date 29 March 2019

Job Title: Assistant Preparator 
Department: Collection Management and Exhibition Registration 
Reporting to: Registrar 
Duration: Full time with 3 months’ probation 

Background 
Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) is a public not-for-profit museum dedicated to contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora. It consists of nine floors and 80 different galleries, 9,500 m2 of programmable space, of which 6,500 m2 is dedicated to white cube exhibition space, all housed in a unique re-imagining of what were once grain silos at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront. 

Purpose of the job 
Working closely with the Registrar and Collections Management and Exhibition team, the Assistant Preparator is responsible for the handling, installation, preparation, and packing of all artworks that are exhibited or stored by the museum. 

 Key responsibilities: 

  • Install artworks in the museum’s galleries for the permanent collection display, special exhibitions, the sculpture garden, and projects in the museum’s six centres. 
  • Move art objects within the museum building for the purposes of gallery installations, packing and shipping, photography, conservation, special events, and other purposes as required.
  • Assist with the building of exhibition furniture and exhibition design objects as necessary.
  • Assist with local and national collections and deliveries of art objects on behalf of Zeitz MOCAA.
  • Unpack incoming loans and acquisitions and pack outgoing loans.
  • Work with third-party framing company to frame and unframe two-dimensional works.
  • Assist with the building of a museum storage system, including shelving, drawers, picture racking, object tracking, storage mounts, and storage housing for objects in the permanent collection or on long-term loan to the museum.
  • Assist the Preparator to ensure that artworks are placed in their correct location in artwork storage and this location is reported to the Registrar or Assistant Registrar.
  • Maintain collections storage areas to ensure the safety of the art, including cleaning and regular inspection.
  • Assist the Registrar and Preparator with the specialized handling or installation needs of various works of art.
  • Assist in the continued development and refinement of current installation procedures.
  • Keep workspaces well organized, well supplied, and inform Registrar or Assistant Registrar of any equipment that needs to be procured.
  • Make local supply purchases and equipment rentals as needed.
  • Develop familiarity with the permanent collection and artworks on long term loan to the museum.
  • Complete other tasks as necessary.

Person specification 
This role focuses on the handling of artworks and the building of exhibition furniture and designs, requiring an individual with a high standard of accuracy and consistency. The Assistant Preparator will be required to work successfully under pressure. 

Required experience and skills 

  • Completion of a Grade 12 education. 
  • Minimum 2 years work experience in similar environment. 
  • Experience in art handling and preparation for a museum, gallery, university, art mover, or similar institution, or equivalent experience. 
  • Basic knowledge of art installation methods and techniques, whilst ensuring the safety and integrity of the work of handling and storage practices related to the exhibition, transportation, and the preservation of art. 
  • Knowledge and experience of operating hand and power fabrication tools and manipulating materials such as wood, chipboard, and plastic and painting interiors. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively and work well with external service providers. 
  • Attention to detail. 
  • Ability to work independently and deliver work on time. 
  • Effective problem-solving skills. 
  • Basic computer skills, including the use of Microsoft Office applications, email services and the internet as well as a willingness to learn new computer skills as required. 
  • Flexible working hours when installation schedule requires it. 

Desirable 

  • Basic knowledge of collections management practices and experience in their application. 
  • Passionate about contemporary art and design from Africa and its Diaspora. 

As a cutting edge equal opportunity institution, Zeitz MOCAA celebrates diversity in all its forms including gender, race, creed, and orientation.

To apply, please email a letter of motivation, CV, and two references to careers@zeitzmocaa.museum. Closing date 29 March 2019.