Head of Preparations

Company Name: 

The Getty


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Los Angeles, CA 90049

Job Description: 


Our Mission


The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks to inspire curiosity about, and enjoyment and understanding of, the visual arts by collecting, conserving, exhibiting and interpreting works of art of outstanding quality and historical importance.


The J. Paul Getty Museum is one of four programs of the J. Paul Getty Trust. The Museum operates two facilities, the Getty Villa in Malibu, which exhibits its collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, and the Getty Center in Brentwood, which displays its collections of European art: Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, drawings to 1900, and photography to the present day (including non-European works). The Museum mounts approximately 25 temporary exhibitions a year across its two sites; maintains an annual permanent gallery improvement program, and offers wide-ranging and ambitious programming for its visitors. The Museum’s Exhibitions Division comprises four Departments: Exhibitions Coordination; Registration; Design and Preparations.


The Opportunity


The J Paul Getty Museum seeks an experienced arts professional to oversee its Preparations Department. Reporting to the Associate Director for Exhibitions, and working collaboratively with curators, conservators, designers and exhibitions specialists, the Preparations team supports the Getty’s mission by fulfilling the Museum’s requirements for the safe handling, movement, and storage of its permanent collection, including packing and crating of collection loans and special projects. It also plans and executes the installation of the Museum’s temporary exhibitions and permanent collection galleries, at both sites.


The Head of Preparation oversees a large, dedicated and experienced team of technical specialists skilled in art handling and installation; packing, crating and storage; specialist furniture fabrication and finishing; and gallery lighting and digital media hardware installation. The team comprises seventeen full-time staff at the Getty Center and four full-time staff the Getty Villa.


The ideal candidate will be a recognized professional in the field of fine art handling and logistics, with significant experience in the policies and procedures of art installation, in the commercial or public arts sector. He/she will display a sound working knowledge of display fabrication and installation, including life/safety and ADA requirements, and be familiar with technical advances in the field. As an accomplished manager practiced in overseeing large multi-skilled technical teams, he/ she will enjoy working collaboratively with a diverse set of stakeholders in complex project environments. He/she will demonstrate sound judgment, a strong sense of integrity and personal responsibility. He/ she will demonstrate the ability to address complex issues, be solution oriented, and remain calm under pressure. He/she will have excellent organizational skills and the proven ability to manage multiple assignments of different scales simultaneously, plan resources accordingly, cost projects effectively and appropriately, and deliver within procurement guidelines. Finally, the ideal candidate will have the skills to recruit, manage and develop technical staff, and demonstrate a strong commitment to quality and excellence.


  • Oversee all aspects of fine art handling at the Museum. Includes the movement and installation of all objects (Getty collection and loans-in) relating to the exhibitions program, rotating displays from the collection, and permanent gallery renewals.
  • Ensure the successful integration of art handling, fabrication and installation services in the planning and execution of all projects, working closely with staff from Museum curatorial; conservation; design; interpretative content; exhibitions coordination; registration; and Trust wide clients and stakeholders such Buildings & Facilities; Security; and Grounds, so that outputs are delivered on brief, to time and budget, and to agreed quality standards.
  • Ensure all methods of art handling, fabrication and installation are planned and executed safely to agreed standards, within the Museum premises and externally (in transit between Museum sites, to/from airport/s and other transport hubs, and to/ from local lenders’ premises).
  • Contribute to the planning of Museum and Trust wide special initiatives, providing resources, as necessary. Includes exhibition installations for the Research Institute; special conservation projects; public facing activities for Education and Public Programs; special equipment maintenance and parts manufacture for Trust Facilities and the Conservation Institute labs.
  • Administer and oversee the activities of the department. Includes financial responsibility for operating and delegated budgets, managing staff - performance planning and review, mandatory training and professional development opportunities.
  • Ensure processes are in place to maximize the effectiveness of department resources. Includes overseeing the preparation of schedules, resource planning, and financial estimates and reports.
  • Review project proposals, assess viability, and advise on options relating to the department’s outputs. Includes interpreting design and construction drawings for buildability and project requirements.
  • Direct the procurement and management of external contractors, vendors and fabricators as necessary, ensuring services are delivered on time, to budget to agreed standards.
  • Study trends in fine art handling, display fabrication and installation, including technical advances, new methodologies and products, and advise peers and senior management of their suitability.
  • Represent the Museum externally on matters related to fine art handling, display fabrication and installation.
  • Other duties, as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 5 to 7 years of supervisory and/or project/process management experience


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