Associate Art Handler for Acquisitions and Rotations (Classified; Non-exempt)

The VMFA Registration department invites applications for the role of Associate Art Handler for Acquisitions and Rotations. The Art Handling team provides critical support to the acquisition, preservation, and presentation of all art in the care, custody and control of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is a state-supported, privately endowed educational institution created for the benefit of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art, to encourage the study of the arts, and thus to enrich the lives of all. As one of the world’s finest museums and one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the United States, the VMFA is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission.

This salaried, non-exempt position offers Commonwealth of Virginia employee benefits such as 12 paid holidays, health benefits and more. VMFA staff also enjoy agency benefits like free admission to special exhibitions, previews of special exhibitions, employee pricing for select museum programs and classes, and discounts at Amuse Restaurant, Best Café, and VMFA Shop.

Essential duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Serve as primary Art Handling liaison to Registrars, Conservators and Curators for new acquisitions; coordinate receipt, unpacking, housing and storage, and local transport of incoming artwork.
  • Provide project management support to Senior Art Handler for the Permanent Collection for preparation and execution of gallery rotations. Assist or lead rotations to install and de-install artwork in the permanent collection galleries, providing direction to other Art Handlers as needed; participate in scheduling meetings and stage artwork for installation.
  • Participate in preparation, installation, and de-installation of special exhibitions. Act as Lead Art Handler for selected exhibitions.
  • Complete crating and packing projects for artwork to support Outgoing Loans and traveling Exhibitions programs.
  • Transport art within the museum, pack and transport artwork regionally outside the museum, and act as courier.
  • Participate in maintenance of collections storage rooms, storage organization and improvement projects.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Significant knowledge of conservation-appropriate handling, packing and storage practices, art installation methods, and design and engineering techniques related to the preservation, exhibition, and transportation of art objects.
  • Working knowledge and some application of collections management practices; conservation principles, techniques and materials; security-related practices and procedures; and some knowledge of art history.
  • Proficiency in the use of databases, project management software, spreadsheets and word processing.
  • Ability to fabricate appropriate housing for artwork, and skill in the operation of hand and power fabrication tools and other material handling equipment.
  • Experience with lifts and other material handling equipment.
  • Effective communication skills, both oral and written, and experience working as a member of a team as well as independently.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills.
  • Good judgment, flexibility and willingness to adapt to shifting priorities and deadlines.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in an accredited field.
  • Documented success as a professional Art Handler in a museum or gallery environment with a minimum of three years’ experience.

Special Requirements:

Selected candidates must pass a criminal history background check.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Please submit three (3) references. Provide full name, phone number and email address. References may be attached in a separate document in the “other” field in the portal; or they may be included with the resume or cover letter.

Professional references are preferred. Other reference types will also receive consideration. References should be able to attest to your knowledge, skills, and abilities, especially qualifications relevant to the position for which you are applying.

Interested individuals must submit an online application. This position is open until filled, however, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply before 11:59 p.m. on November 11, 2022.

Please contact the HR office at if you need assistance.

VMFA is an EEO/AA and Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Certified Employer. Diverse and inclusive hiring practices are at the heart of what we do at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  Read more.

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