Founded in 1887, the Penn Museum has always been one of the world’s great archaeology and anthropology research museums, and the largest university museum in the United States. With roughly one million objects in our care, the Penn Museum encapsulates and illustrates the human story: who we are and where we came from. As a dynamic research institution with many ongoing research projects, the Museum is a vibrant and engaging place of continual discovery, with the mandate of research, teaching, collections stewardship, and public engagement—the four “pillars” of what we do.
Under the supervision of the Head of Production, the Lead Mountmaker is responsible for the design, documentation, fabrication and installation of display and travel mounts for objects in the Penn Museum collection. A key member of core exhibition teams, the person in this position collaborates regularly with exhibition designers, curators, conservators, collections keepers, and other members of core exhibition teams, and collaborates with registrars for loans and traveling exhibitions to design and fabricate the mounts for loan objects. The Lead Mountmaker closely follows Penn Museum conservation standards for design and build, and seeks design approval from assigned conservators, curators, registrars, and designers for all object mounts. The position manages the mountmaking studio, maintains its inventory, and works with a variety of materials, including various metals, wood, and acrylic using hand tools and standard stationary shop equipment. The person in this position must have experience working with a wide range of objects and artifacts similar to those in the Museum’s diverse collections and be familiar with the highest standards of object handling and exhibition creation. The Lead Mountmaker manages mountmaking personnel including freelance contractors, temporary employees, and outside vendors as needed. In addition to the creation of object mounts, the person in this position works with the Preparation Department to install and deinstall exhibitions and objects for conservation and research purposes. This is a two-year term position, with renewal subject to funding and departmental needs.
Qualifications: Vocational or technical school required, Bachelor’s Degree in fine arts or design or technical certification from a Museum Technology program, preferred, plus 2-3 years of related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience; demonstrated experience in mountmaking for museum objects. Demonstrated experience with object handling, collection handling, or directly related experience, ability to work both independently and within a team environment is required, as the position requires a considerable degree of judgment in solving unique problems in the preparation of artifact and specimen mounts and in the installation of all gallery elements. Good communication skills are essential. Ability to read design drawings, construction documentation and specifications, is necessary. Knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel, the Adobe Suite, Filemaker Pro, and collections database software are required, with experience in working with the Adobe Suite, Vectorworks, Sketch Up, or AutoCad programs deemed a plus. The use of hand tools requiring dexterity and accuracy is essential. Must be able to lift 25 to 50 lbs and climb ladders. The position may be required to work overtime with short notice. Please submit resume, cover letter, and current portfolio.
Posted August 2, 2017