JOB: Art Handler – Columbia University – NYC

Art Handler
Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
Columbia University Libraries

Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library seeks an Art Handler to join its Art Properties Department. Under the general direction of the Curator of Art Properties, the incumbent assists with collection management, routine maintenance, installation and de-installation of the University’s Art Properties collection. Additional duties include but are not limited to:

– Assisting with collection management, including but not limited to moving and installing University art collections across multiple campuses and buildings in approved locations; communicating with the Curator and Administrative Assistant on complex moves or installations working with Facilities as needed and outside contractors, as approved by Curator, to ensure overall protection and proper handling of art collections, and moving or facilitating access to art objects for research and study purposes.
– Participating in on-campus loan program, including but not limited to coordinating appointments, inspecting potential environments, and showing art from the collection, maintaining a log of all visitors to storage and all incoming and outgoing campus loans.
– Preparing and packing objects to be moved off-campus for loans, conservation, or exhibitions, and/or assisting outside contractors with preparation and crating; transporting works of art on/off-site; coordinating transportation of works as needed under the Curator’s supervision.
– Taking documentary photographs of objects for reference purposes and staff use, assisting staff in performing high-resolution photography of art objects, and participating in the maintenance of photographic archive of objects for in-house use, study, and reference purposes.
– Maintaining a safe, clean, and organized environment for art objects in storage and reporting on facilities issues (e.g. pests, temperature & humidity control, etc.) to Avery Access Services staff and Curator.
– Participating in ongoing inventory of art collections, submitting regular written reports on duties and activities to Curator.
– Conducting routine maintenance on the art collection including but not limited to basic repairs and maintenance to frames, supports, mat boards, etc., framing and un-framing works, making props and mounts for installations, maintaining all tools and machinery used for care of art objects, coordinating with vendors for work to be done off-site, visually assessing and reporting on condition of objects, identifying objects for possible conservation.
– Dusts, lightly cleans, washes, and/or waxes collection objects as needed; Schedules and coordinates routine cleaning and general maintenance of public outdoor sculpture in collaboration with the Curator, Columbia University Facilities, and external services as needed.
– Provides general support for the governing bodies of the University art collections and for the Director of Avery Library.
– Performs other duties as assigned.

Schedule: Monday — Friday, 9 am — 5 pm

Minimum Qualifications:
– High School Diploma required.
– Two years’ related experience handling and installing art objects, preferably in different media.
– Ability to hold or carry, with skill and care, works of art and cultural artifacts that at times may be heavy or unusual in shape or size.
– Ability to use and experience using tools (e.g. hammers, nails, levels, saws, knives, scissors, etc.) and machinery (e.g. dollies, handtrucks, etc.).
– Working knowledge of current issues in basic preservation.
– Intermediate proficiency with computers, including email, Internet, calendar programs, and software applications such as Word and Excel.
– Ability to use digital camera.
– Basic carpentry skills.
– Good organizational skills.
– Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
– Strong verbal and written communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications:
– Bachelor’s degree preferable.

Apply on-line at:

Art Properties oversees the Columbia University art collection. Comprised of more than 10,000 works of art reflecting all cultures and time periods in all media (paintings, photographs, works on paper, archaeological objects, decorative arts, and sculpture, including public outdoor sculpture), these works are displayed in buildings at each campus and held in storage. Works from the art collections are available for research consultation and curricular use, and may be requested as external loans for special exhibitions and for on-campus installation in selected Columbia University department and staff offices.

The Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library is one of the most comprehensive architecture and fine arts library collections in the world. Avery collects a full range of primary and secondary sources for the advanced study of architecture, historic preservation, art history, decorative arts, city planning, real estate, and archaeology.

As one of the world’s leading research universities, Columbia University in the City of New York provides outstanding opportunities to work and grow in a dynamic, multicultural, intellectual community. The Columbia University Libraries comprises a diverse and engaged staff committed to furthering the University’s teaching and research mission through innovation, collaboration, and a commitment to excellence.

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and strongly encourages individuals of all backgrounds and cultures to consider this position.


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