Art handlers and preparators are first and foremost responsible for ensuring the safety of artifacts and works of art. For works traveling out of a gallery or museum, art handlers must carefully pack objects in crates with appropriate materials to protect them from damage while in transit. Some objects may require custom boxes or custom crates that art handlers and preparators might construct on site. Similarly, when objects come into a gallery or museum, art handlers must carefully unpack the objects, paying close attention to how they were originally packed and arranged in their container. Art handlers and preparators also load and unload crates from trucks. When loading crates and packages inside an art transportation truck, art handlers and preparators must be sure to secure the crates and packages to the walls and floor of the truck storage area to prevent any type of movement during transit. Art handlers may also act as a courier, accompanying the object during its transport and being present during its unpacking at the destination. Sometimes art handlers and preparators are responsible for preparing packing and shipping paperwork.
Another key role of art handlers and preparators is preparing objects for display in galleries. This may include sending objects out for conservation, framing and mounting objects, and labeling objects. Art handlers and preparators may also be responsible for working with the exhibition team to prepare the gallery spaces for the objects. They are also the individuals who physically install and deinstall the art work and artifacts in the galleries.
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