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Exhibition Coordinator

Piece together all the details that make up a successful museum exhibit.

What does an Exhibition Coordinator do?

An avid art collector might purchase expensive pieces, mount them on the walls, and leave them in exactly the same place for decades. If a museum followed this example, however, it would quickly go out of business. That’s why museums rotate displays, enticing viewers to drop by and spend their money.

Pulling together a show like this often requires the work of many people. An Exhibition Coordinator makes sure the whole process goes smoothly.

As an Exhibition Coordinator, you review proposals from Guest Curators and Artists who want to hold shows in your museum. Sometimes, these people provide all of the artwork needed for the show. Other times, the proposal contains big gaps that you must fill. When this happens, you call other Exhibition Coordinators and ask to borrow pieces from their collections.

Next, you develop a schedule for the exhibition, determining how long it will take to install, how long it should run, and when it should be held. Then, you figure out how much it will cost to put the whole thing together. When all your plans are finalized, you run them through the Executive Director for approval.

As the show is installed, you hover in the background, making sure everything is going according to plan. You see to it that each piece is placed in just the right spot, is lighted properly, and is facing the right direction. If you work in modern art, you might need to consult the Artist from time to time, just to make sure you’re showing the artwork properly.

When the show opens, you keep track of the number of viewers you have, how long they stay, and how many come back again. This research helps you plan future shows, as you’ll know just the sorts of things your viewers like to see.