What it means to be a preparator

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When most of us go to a museum to see an exhibition, we are seeing the culmination of the hard work of a team of professionals including the preparator. The preparator works closely with the curator to carry out their vision. Part of their work is helping to decide where and how a painting or object should be displayed, measuring that out, and hanging the item. Laura Best is the Exhibitions Manager and preparator for the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and shares with us how she started her career,what she loves about it, and her most unusual projects.

Best explains that the path most preparato’s take is being an artist themselves. Best herself has a degree in Art from Arizona State University. Although she started off as an artist, she thinks being a preparator is what she was meant to do. It’s a lot of hard work that requires planning and problem solving. Despite the hard work it requires, Best enjoys doing it.

“Being the preparator is the best job in any museum. The best thing about being a preparator for a contemporary art museum is that I work with living artists.”

The day to day life varies, Best can spend a day cleaning and then the next demolishing a wall.

Laura Best

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