Purvi Patwari/Institute Contemporary Art

25 Harbor Shore Drive
Boston, MA 02210




May 24, 2023

Position Title: Preparator
Department: Curatorial
Reports To: Chief Preparator
Position Status: Full Time, Salaried Exempt; At Will

Overview: Reporting to the Chief Preparator, the Preparator works closely with the Director of Exhibitions, Registrars, and Installers in all facets of exhibition planning and installation, working with artists to realize installation, designing and constructing exhibition furniture and elements, preparing galleries for exhibition, packing, unpacking, hanging and maintaining artwork, and providing supervision for the installation crew as needed. With oversight from the Chief Preparator, the Preparator manages the shared workshop and all technical and audio/visual equipment. Schedule may include some nights and weekend hours in conjunction with installations and care of works on view. The Preparator contributes to a culture of collaboration, community, and respect and centers the work of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Belonging in all areas of their work.

Please note:
• All ICA employees are required to reside in Massachusetts and within a reasonable commuting distance from our Seaport location as of their first day of work.
• The ICA offers the flexibility of a hybrid work week, which averages two to three days a week onsite for employees who are eligible to work remotely (subject to change, and at managers discretion). Due to the nature of the Preparator position, a consistent hybrid work week may not be possible.

Key Responsibilities:
• Participate in planning for and installation of exhibitions in galleries.
• Design, plan and maintain the technical elements in all exhibitions.
• In coordination with the Chief Preparator, manage crew training, and assist with the coordination of daily crew tasks. Ensure workplace safety protocols are adhered to by staff and crew.
• Daily assessment and maintenance of exhibition galleries and artwork.
• Manage and maintain lighting equipment and supplies.
• In collaboration with the Chief Preparator, oversee fabrication of in-house production of display furniture and elements, including custom hardware and mounts.
• Under the supervision of the Chief Preparator and registrars, pack, crate and move artwork.
• Manage and maintain the ICA workshop, tools and equipment and serve as coordinator for a multi-department shared workspace. Ensure space confirms to safety protocols and guidelines.
• Maintain inventory of technical equipment including proposals for new purchases.
• Manage preparation-related materials stored off-site.
• Perform administrative duties to include ordering supplies and processing invoices.
• Work with the Chief Preparator to remain within allocated installation budgets for hiring, supplies and other related expenses.
• Providing support for ICA art exhibitions at off-site locations as needed.


• Extensive art-handling and museum exhibition installation experience including knowledge of safety protocols and guidelines.
• Possess a broad working knowledge of art handling practice
• Carpentry and woodworking skills and proficiency with hand and power tools
• High level of proficiency with audio/visual equipment
• Must have proficiency with computer drawing, graphics, and all basic office software
• Must possess management and leadership skills to supervise workers
• Capacity to work on both individual, unsupervised projects and as a member of a crew in which teamwork is essential.
• Conscientious of producing high quality results for individual and team work.
• Must possess good communication skills
• Must be a creative thinker and problem solver
• This position requires routine handling of heavy and delicate materials and art objects.

Physical Requirements:
• Possess mobility to work in an office setting and use office equipment; move about throughout the museum, and travel offsite to different locations
• Ability to see, listen and talk for extended periods in person, over the telephone and computer, and understand printed materials; Ability to follow protocols in handling works of art with care
• Fine motor skills, keen eyesight, and an ability to stand for long periods of time
• Ability to carry and lift up to 75 lbs. to waist height and up to 30 lbs. in a range of motions overhead; work on loading docks and outdoors in a variety of environmental conditions; possess the ability to work on ladders and lifts to a height of 40 feet.

This is not necessarily an all-inclusive list of job-related responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts, requirements or working conditions. While the above is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current job, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned.

The ICA offers an excellent benefit package that includes health, dental and vision insurance, disability/life insurance, flexible spending accounts, 403(b) retirement plan, and paid time off.

Starting Salary/Compensation: $65,000 Annual
Starting compensation is based on meeting minimum qualifications.

ICA Compensation:
Each ICA position has a job grade based on the position’s evaluated job responsibilities, required education and experience, needed skills to perform the job, and professional knowledge.

The position’s grade and respective compensation range is determined by the position’s overall responsibilities, including decision making, supervisory/management requirements, resource management and budgeting duties.

Compensation is ultimately determined by the scope of the position and responsibilities, the candidate’s relevant experience, and internal equity, with starting salaries typically falling in the lower half of the compensation range.

Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter of interest to When applying, please include “Preparator” in the subject line.

The ICA is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, and is accessible by public transportation Red and Silver Line.

The ICA is dedicated to building a culturally diverse and pluralistic workforce committed to working in a multicultural environment. Qualified candidates from groups historically underrepresented in the museum professions are strongly encouraged to apply.

The ICA is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to being a diverse and inclusive workplace. We are an EOE/AA employer dedicated to fair and inclusive employment practices for all individuals.





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