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Art Handler (Museums & Galleries)

The role of an art handler is to unpack, move, handle and install the artwork that goes on display in museums and galleries. Art handlers work with a variety of people including artists, registrars, security staff, curators and exhibition organisers. They work with a wide range of artworks from paintings and sculptures to multi-media installations. 

Art handlers may work with restoration and conservation staff to consider the best way to move an artwork. They have to transport it, keep it safe and prevent it from getting damaged. Other specialist areas where an art handler may have to make judgements or provide expertise include: ensuring that appropriate standards of care for objects are being carried out in a storage area; making sure that works of art are stored in clean, well-maintained areas in a controlled environment; ensuring items are logged correctly into a collections management system (this work may be done in liaison with curatorial staff); work with security staff to help prevent crime during the handling process.

What skills do you need to become an art handler?

  • Be good at making things

  • Be physically fit to lift, move and install heavy artworks

  • Be good at problem solving

  • Have an interest in art

  • Be able to work both independently and as part of a team

  • It can be useful to hold a clean driving licence and first aid qualifications

  • Have good communication and interpersonal skills. 

You should also have a genuine interest in working in a museum or gallery. 

Where next? 

Look up other roles in the visual arts including:

Art Technician (University)

Art Technician (Museums & Galleries)

Contemporary Artist