Art Handler

Company: Terry Dowd Inc. 2233 S. Throop St, Chicago, IL 60608
Branch: Operations
Department: Transportation / Registration
Position reports to: Transportation Manager / Registration Manager
Compensation: Hourly (+ benefits post probationary period)
Status: Full Time, non exempt

Since 1978, Terry Dowd Inc. has been handling fine art, artifacts, and antiques; objects that are high in value, fragile and irreplaceable. TDI, is perhaps best known among museums for its superior packing and crating services and its innovative adaptation of commercially available materials that meet conservation standards. Our crating methods have been informed by the research of the Canadian Conservation Institute, and in turn our standards have served as a guide for many institutions. Our clients, including many of the most prestigious museums, private collectors and corporations in the world, regularly contract us for the collection, crating,
storage and transport of individual loans or entire exhibits.

Art Handlers work either within the TDI facilities or in the field in both individually and as a team to provide services including packing/unpacking, installing, condition reporting, crating, and moving/handling of fine art and high value property.


• Safely handle art using best practices and adherence to TDI standards for (including but not limited to):

  • o pick-ups and deliveries: understand how to properly load/unload a truck and keep artwork secure and stable during transport; ensure artwork is stored safely in the TDI facility.
  • o Packing/unpacking/crating: using proper archival materials and those appropriate to the medium/surface/condition and fragility of the item,
  • o installation of objects ranging from paintings and sculptures of all sizes, to mixed media works of all descriptions, in settings ranging from corporate, to residential, to institutional with the ability to select the proper hardware and exercise aesthetic judgment as needed.

• Safely and responsibly drive trucks carrying property of high value.
• Interact positively and communicate diplomatically with a typically educated, professional, and often opinionated customer base and colleagues/vendors.
• Prepare condition reports with high attention to detail and photograph property as needed.
• Complete critical paperwork such as inventories and bills of lading with accuracy and attention to detail.
• Work both individually and as part of a team to accomplish projects.
• Assist in maintaining the orderliness and security of the Terry Dowd facility and equipment.
• Other projects as assigned.


• Strong initiative and work ethic with flexibility to respond to and take action in changing circumstances, often under pressure.
• Diplomatic demeanor; ability to work in a team format with sensitivity to a variety of personalities or independently with equal productivity.
• Willing to take on challenges/difficult circumstances; maintains a positive attitude.
• Professional attitude. Able to address conflicts and stressful situations in a professional manner.

2-5 years art handling experience required; preferably in a museum/institution, high-end gallery, or other art-service company.
Experience driving 12-16 foot box trucks strongly preferred; must have a valid driver’s license; must have a clean driving record; must be willing to drive or to learn; C-class license preferred but not required.
• Understanding and ability to articulate art handling best practices for packing/crating, transportation/shipping, and installation.
• Basic familiarity with art, art history, and terminology.
• Customer service experience and experience in a fast paced environment.
• Experience working in a warehouse/fine art facility or institution strongly preferred.
• Working familiarity with basic hand tools, power tools, and equipment.
• Knowledge of TSA CCSP preferred.

• High attention to detail and strong organizational abilities.
• Excellent communication and comprehensions skills; able to interpret detailed instructions.

• Familiarity with basic digital cameras and power/hand tools.

• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent level of education/experience preferred.

• Must be able to lift 80+ lbs.
• Must be able to stand for extended periods of time.
• Schedule frequently requires early start time (7:00—8:00 AM); some weekend and evening scheduling necessary.