The gallery attendant at a museum is responsible for protecting items in the museum collection. An attendant also assists museum visitors and helps the museum director or curator in maintaining exhibits.
A gallery attendant is responsible for interacting with the public on behalf of the museum. They may check membership cards, tickets and passes. The attendant supervises visitors while they are viewing exhibits, shares information, gives directions and ensures that all visitors leave at closing. Most important, a gallery attendant greets visitors and represents the museum to the general public.
A gallery attendant often performs the front-of-the house functions of a museum. They may be responsible for opening and closing the doors, setting security systems and ensuring that ticket personnel are on duty. Gallery attendants also examine the exhibits and collection periodically and report needed repairs or maintenance. Gallery attendants may assist with installation of exhibits.
A gallery attendant must have an appreciation for art, history or science, depending upon the type of museum. They must work well with the public, be friendly and authoritative with the ability to communicate clearly. The work requires good attention to detail, and the ability to stay alert for long periods of time in a very quiet environment. A gallery attendant may have to stand for long periods of time. The work is primarily indoors, although some gallery attendants may travel for school programs or to escort special exhibits.
Generally, the position of gallery attendant requires a high school diploma or G.E.D. Some community colleges offer courses in museum management, which would be applicable to a job as a gallery attendant. Most museums provide on-the-job training.
The position of gallery attendant is often staffed by museum volunteers. It is a good job for students and the semi-retired, as the hours can be flexible.
- Photo Credit Modern Art Museum interior image by piotrmarkiewicz from Fotolia.com
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