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Technician, Collection & Loans
Technician, Collection & Loans
The Art Institute of Chicago
Post Date: 28 Apr 2022



The Art Institute of Chicago shares its singular collections with our city and the world. We collect, care for, and interpret works of art across time, cultures, geographies, and identities, centering the vision of artists and makers. We recognize that all art is made in a particular context, demanding continual, dynamic reconsideration in the present. We are a place of gathering; we foster the exchange of ideas and inspire an expansive, inclusive understanding of human creativity.  

Position Summary


All staff members are expected to embrace the museum’s commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable institution and to adhere to the museum’s shared values.

  • Our museum reflects and deepens our collective humanity; the arts are integral to an inspired and just society.
  • We respect and acknowledge each of our colleagues’ contributions and expertise across all roles within our organization.
  • We share in the responsibility to create an antiracist culture built on equity, inclusion, and justice for all, acknowledging that these efforts are intersectional and ongoing.
  • We encourage and advance a culture of hospitality, empathy, and gratitude for each visitor, supporter, and member of our staff.
  • We embrace innovation and foster change with a progressive understanding of—and obligation to reconsider—our past.
  • We sustain an open and dynamic civic platform, inviting and advancing the diverse perspectives of our city, staff, visitors, and supporters.


  • The department of Collections and Loans (C+L) oversees the management of the collection and loaned objects, defining processes that ensure compliance with the museum’s policies as well as legal obligations to borrowers, lenders, donors, and sellers.
  • In four distinct areas––collections, loans, art preparation and logistics, and collections systems––C+L implements policies that govern the day-to-day application of museum best practices regarding documentation and recordkeeping; inventory and audit procedures; collection database and metadata management; logistics and shipping; art handling and packing; storage; insurance; and risk management.
  • Through strategic and innovative applications of data and new technologies, the C+L team supports the growth of the museum and the modernization of collection care best practices.


Under the direction of Collections and Loans, this position provides art handling expertise for exhibitions and collection displays following museum best practices. Assists receiving and releasing of incoming and outgoing art shipments, packing and unpacking of permanent collection works, loaned objects, exhibitions or other artwork transferring to off site storages. Provides communication with Curatorial departments, Conservation and C+L to accomplish project-specific assignments. Keeps up to date database information and object/crate records in the museum-specific collection database as needed.


  • Art handling throughout the museum galleries, storage vaults and packing facilities, including off site art storages. Responsible for safe art handling in all installs, deinstalls, transport, packing and unpacking artwork as assigned.
  • Performs installation/de-installation of works of art and other gallery preparations for
  • exhibitions, collection displays and storage maintenance. Coordinates with curatorial
  • departments, conservation and C+L as necessary.
  • Assists receiving and releasing of incoming and outgoing shipments including
  • packing/unpacking, empty crate storage management, tracking the receipt and location of art works, crates, and recording packing notes in the museum-specific collection database as needed. Assists the transfer of art to departmental storages/vaults or exhibition spaces.
  • Learns and uses new applications of equipment, hardware, and provides aesthetic and logical
  • solutions to challenges in the areas of art handling/packing and display of works of art to
  • improve and practice safe art handling.
  • Provides expert heavy equipment operation to move artwork throughout the museum galleries and docks.
  • Maintain workspaces, tools, equipment and supplies required to perform specialized tasks.
  • Assists with collections care within the museum as needed, under the direction of the curatorial department.
  • Provides emergency response for Art-related incidents, on and off site when required.
  • Meet requirements and participate in the TSA program.
  • Participates in training programs conducted by Collections & Loans, Conservation and the Dept. of Safety. Learns and implements skills and experience to daily activity. Wears appropriate PPE as required.
  • Perform additional tasks as needed


  • 3-5 years of art handling experience in a museum, gallery or commercial art handling company required.
  • Demonstrates safe and best art handling practices and possess exceptional manual dexterity.
  • Expertise preparing display case work, support structures, mounts and housing for artworks.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and computer skills required; strong knowledge of Google Suite is a plus and ability to learn museum-specific collection database systems is required.
  • Understanding, experience or willingness to learn rigging techniques, TBM & AV installation and/or mount-making fabrication and installation a plus.
  • Be highly detail-oriented, show good judgement, demonstrate initiative and have strong organizational, and multitasking skills.
  • Excellent competence using a wide variety of hand and power tools.
  • Ability to, or willingness to learn how to operate a forklift and other heavy equipment with on site training/certification.
  • Ability to lift 60 lbs. comfortably.
  • Willingness to wear PPE as required.
  • Willingness to travel is a plus.
  • Sufficient color perception and physical coordination to perform TSA related duties.
  • High school diploma or GED required


We offer a competitive, comprehensive benefits package:

  • 5+ weeks of paid time off
  • Paid holidays (up to 14 days)
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Generous parental, caregiver, and medical leave benefits
  • Competitive retirement plan (up to 9% matching contribution)
  • Tuition remission and Tuition Exchange Program
  • Great employee discounts
  • Complimentary general admission to participating cultural institutions

See more at https://www.artic.edu/careers/employment-2


Chicago, USA

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