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Collections Manager / Associate Preparator - Muskegon Museum of Art

16 Apr 2024 12:07 PM | Kelli Hepler

The Muskegon Museum of Art (MMA) seeks a full-time Collections Manager/Associate Preparator with proven experience in museum collections management with current knowledge of museum standards and practices as recommended by American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

The Collections Manager / Associate Preparator is lead staff member responsible for proper care and handling of the fine art collection. This position reports to the Senior Curator / Director of Collections and Exhibitions.

The Muskegon Museum of Art (MMA) is one of the premier cultural institutions in West Michigan with a strong presence in the Midwest and a renowned permanent collection. The MMA has an aggressive changing exhibition schedule of between 10-15 exhibitions annually along with dynamic community programming. The Collections Manager / Associate Preparator is a key member of a highly creative and motivated museum team.

This is a transitionary moment for the Muskegon Museum of Art, which is currently under construction of a 26,000 sf museum expansion adding 4 new galleries, classrooms, museum store, and support space including a new 3,000 sf collection storage facility. The museum expansion is scheduled to open to the public in January of 2025.


Collections Manager - 

- The Collections Manager will oversee the transition to a new collections database of over 5,000 permanent collection pieces and will maintain the same including hard copy files, and ledgers as well as photographing and documenting objects. 

- Is lead in charge of overall safety, security, and movement of permanent collection and loaned objects. Maintains gallery checklists and coordinates with security personnel to assure proper oversight of the galleries and facility. 

- Maintains storage of the permanent collection and loans. Tracks the movement of all artwork and updates locations in database. 

- Coordinates and documents all long and short-term loans to/from the museum, including working with lenders. Works with outside vendors to arrange for transportation of incoming/outgoing shipping, both domestically and internationally, filing condition reports, and maintaining and reviewing facilities report.

- Maintains records of all loans and past, current, and future exhibitions.

- Works with the Preparator to arrange for and ensure the proper crating of objects for travel from the permanent collection, loans, and exhibitions.

- Serves on the staff exhibition development team.

- Tracks the condition of permanent collection objects and coordinates conservation efforts with the Director of Collections and Exhibitions and Preparator. Works with outside conservators when required. 

- With the Executive Director and Senior Curator / Director of Collections and Exhibitions, assists in developing and implementing policies/procedures for governing the permanent collection, emergency planning, security procedures, and other museum functions as needed.

- Works with appraisers to maintain current values for the Permanent Collection and the insurance company to ensure protection of the collection and all loans and exhibitions.

- Monitors the environmental conditions of the museum facility.

- Serves as primary contact for rights and reproductions, copyright, and Fair Use issues.

- Attends and takes Collections Committee minutes.

- Oversees auction and sales activity for non-accessioned and deaccessioned objects and cataloging of said items.

Associate Preparator -

- Assists Senior Curator / Director of Collections and Exhibitions and Preparator in exhibition planning, design, and logistics.

- Assists with art movement, exhibition installation, and exhibition lighting.  Assists with framing, matting, and mounting of art for display.

- Assists with basic conservation.

Other -

- Strong organizational skills.

- Competency with computer word processing, databases, and other business/office/museum software programs.

- An aptitude for creative thinking, flexibility, and sensitivity to diverse constituencies.

- Excellent written and verbal communication competencies.

- Participation in and presence at museum events including programs and fundraising events.

- A proven ability to work within a team setting and interact with museum guests, volunteers, and donors is essential.

- Must be able to climb a 12’ ladder and reach both arms above the head, able to lift and carry a minimum of 40 lbs. without assistance, and have a basic familiarity with hand tools.

- Other duties as assigned. Some evenings and weekends.

EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS - A successful candidate will hold a Bachelors’ Degree in a related field and have a minimum of two years prior museum/gallery experience in Collections Manger (registerial) and/or curatorial departments. Must be willing to relocate to the Greater Muskegon area.

SALARY: $45,000 - $49,000 and comprehensive benefits package. This is a full-time position. Send cover letter and resume by May 6, 2024 to 

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