Employment listing for CRMA Preparator/Registrar

Registrar/Preparator. The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art seeks an outstanding and experienced Registrar/Preparator to provide vision and leadership in collection management and exhibition implementation.  The CRMA occupies a 63,000-square-foot facility, two-thirds of which is an exhibition and collection storage wing designed by Charles Moore in 1989. The CRMA’s collection numbers more than 8,000 objects, primarily 20th-century American paintings and prints, as well as smaller collections of sculpture and decorative arts, European prints, and Roman antiquities.  It is home to the largest collection of works by Grant Wood, who lived and worked in Cedar Rapids. The CRMA also owns and operates the nearby Grant Wood Studio, where Wood lived and worked from 1924 to 1935.  Part of a vibrant arts community in Iowa, the CRMA has an exciting and active exhibition schedule.  Metro Cedar Rapids (population 275,000) is adjacent to the cultural attractions of several colleges and universities, including The University of Iowa, Iowa City.  The Registrar/Preparator is a key component in the Curatorial team, helping oversee collections storage and conservation, database management, acquisitions, loans, and exhibition preparation and installation.  Highly desired qualifications include: B.A. in art history or related field, thorough knowledge of registration practices, 3-5 years of registration/preparatory experience, strong computer skills, and database experience.  See below for a detailed list of duties.  Send resume and cover letter to: Sean Ulmer, Executive Director, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, 410 Third Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401 or at sulmer@crma.org.

The Registrar/Preparator reports to the Curator and has significant responsibilities in the areas of information management, collection management, and exhibition preparation and installation.


  •   Manages all aspects of record keeping for the collection and loans (long-term and short-term), including  cataloging records, condition reporting, basic photography, various forms, and collection files
  •  Communicates with donors regarding gifts and requisite paperwork
  •  Manages all aspects of collection storage and ongoing exhibition maintenance
  •  Develops and oversees long-term collections storage plans
  •   Implements regular inventory projects
  •  Monitor gallery and storage environment via electronic data loggers and report irregularities
  •   Administers photographic rights and reproductions requests
  •  Monitors the collection with regard to conservation and preservation needs
  •   Design and construct housing for permanent collection storage and transportation
  •   Expedite object move requests and record changes of location
  •  Acts as potential courier for artwork both domestically and internationally
  •  Maintain inventory of tools, equipment, and supplies for exhibit preparation and collections maintenance; submit requests for supplies and materials as needed to supervisor


  •  Oversees packing, shipping, and deliveries of art work and traveling exhibitions
  • Prepare, install and de-install objects for exhibition including matting and framing, construction of mounts, surveying object condition and conducting minor cleaning and conservation treatments as necessary
  •  Assists in maintaining lighting in exhibition spaces, including changing lamps and transformers as needed; ensuring that lamps are properly focused; and maintaining inventory of lighting supplies
  •   Perform, on a regular basis, visual inspection and maintenance of exhibition spaces and storage areas; dust and lightly clean collection objects as needed according to standard museum best practices, vacuum galleries and clean vitrines regularly

       Other duties

  •    Prepares annual collection and exhibition reports
  •   Manages assigned projects, creates a plan and executes to completion with little oversight
  •   Manage temporary and contract art handling personnel, when necessary


        Organizational Relationships

  •   Work closely with the director, curator, facilities manager, and security staff
  •   Uses expertise to ensure optimal planning for collections with other Curatorial staff for projects and exhibitions
  •    Works closely with the Collections & Exhibitions Committee, provides reports as required
  •  Participates in coordinating exhibition and gallery installation schedule with Curator
  •  Acts as a resource for proper art handling methods, and art storage practices



  •    Acts as a team member, using expertise to design and implement solutions
  •  Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment, as well as independently
  •   Conscientious, self-motivated, resourceful, flexible, and punctual
  •  Ability to communicate effectively, remain organized, and execute details precisely under pressure
  •  Utilize job-related computer software (i.e. Microsoft Office, Office 365, Outlook, Outlook Calendar) at an effective proficiency level
  •   Familiarity with museum collection databases, ArtSystems desirable
  •  Experience in the safe operation and maintenance of a variety of hand and power tools, hydraulic lifts, and pallet jack
  •  Ability to read and follow diagrams and schematics; strong math skills



  •  Bachelor of Arts degree in Art, Art History, Studio Art, Museum Studies or a closely related program from an accredited college or university
  •   3+ years related experience within a professional arts or historical organization
  •  Demonstrated experience includes computer skills, handling, installing, and mounting a variety of 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art objects
  •  Knowledge of installation materials and techniques, knowledge of fine art packing
  • Fundamental understanding of preventative conservation as it relates to care and cleaning of objects
  •  Basic electrical and/or woodworking skills a plus

The physical requirements and work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job or may be encountered while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with a disability to perform the essential functions to the extent the CRMA may do so without undue hardship.  The term “qualified individual with a disability” means an individual who with or without reasonable accommodation can perform the essential functions of the position.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to follow and give oral and written instructions in English; stand, walk, and/or sit for extended periods of time with limited breaks; use hands to finger, handle or feel, reach with hands and arm, and reach above shoulder height.  The employee is regularly required to climb or balance, squat, kneel, and crouch.  The employee is occasionally required to detect smells and lift, drag and/or move up to 50 pounds unassisted.  The employee is required to visually or otherwise identify, observe and assess.  Special vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.  Employee is required to move about their work area, between areas in the buildings and the grounds, ascend and descend stairs.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate and generally does not require the use of hearing protection equipment.

The preceding job description indicates the general nature and essential duties and responsibilities of work performed by employees within this position.  It may not contain a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees to do this job.  Nothing in this job description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time nor does it proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.  This job description is subject to change at any time.

Salary range: $36,000-$44,000, dependent upon experience.  Benefits include health and dental benefits, term life insurance, short term and long-term disability, one week paid sick time, as well as two weeks accrued paid vacation.  There is also the opportunity to participate in the Museum’s retirement plan.

The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art is an equal opportunity employer.