Exhibition Designer

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Employer:
San Francisco, CA, USLocation:
Thu, Nov 4 '21Posted on:

About Us:

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are comprised of two iconic sites located within San Francisco's beautiful parks—the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor Museum in Lincoln Park. As the largest public arts institution in the western United States, the Museums house a world-class collection of 151,000 artworks that span more than 5,000 years; present an ambitious schedule of more than 10 exhibitions per year; welcome 1.5 million visitors in a typical year; and are supported by 100,000 member households across the Bay Area and beyond—one of the largest art museum memberships in the United States.

Our Vision:

To redefine the Fine Arts Museums as a forum that stimulates community and visitor conversations and explorations by applying inclusive and equitable perspectives to our collections and the histories they embody, and to support our staff to realize theirpotential in an inclusive and equitable workplace.

Values we Aspire to:

Diverse, Inclusive, Equitable, Accessible, Welcoming, Engaging, Insightful, Inspiring, Reliable, Creative, Generous, Fun

About the role:

As a member of the Exhibition Design Department, the Exhibition Designer provides conceptual and technical expertise in designing museum exhibitions. Under direction, the Exhibition Designer develops and drafts floor plans, elevations, and other design drawings for temporary exhibitions and permanent gallery rotations with adherence to museum and ADA standards, considering curatorial, conservation, technical, and facilities needs.

What you’ll do:

  • Works closely with the Director of Exhibition Design to assist in developing design concepts and producing sketches, layouts, and other drawings for temporary exhibitions and permanent collection rotations.

  • Prepares organized, accurate, and legible plan, elevation, and detail/construction drawings in Vectorworks in accordance with strict deadlines. Makes adjustments and corrections to drawings during design phase as requested.

  • Prepares plans and elevations of exhibitions and rotations incorporating existing inventory of exhibition furniture including cases, movable walls, mounts, platforms, and stanchions.

  • As assigned, is present during art installation to ensure execution of design intent and to field design related questions and issues. 

  •  Maintains office pin-up board and public drive folder with up-to-date drawings of current and upcoming exhibitions.

  • Prepare and maintain archives of exhibitions including as-built drawings and records of paint colors, finishes, casework details, etc.

  • Maintain an up-to-date library of paint samples, fabric samples, and other materials.

  • Maintain comprehensive facility and exhibition gallery floor plans in with up-to-date information regarding wall configurations, emergency exits, security cameras, lighting, electrical outlets, climate sensors, reflected ceiling plans, etc.

  • Maintain an organized electronic inventory system for all exhibition furniture, including temporary walls, pedestals, cases, and vitrines.

  • Coordinate with technicians to prepare orders for exhibition related building materials, fabric, furniture, paint, etc.

  • Work closely and communicate regularly with the Curator, Conservator, Registrar, Exhibition Graphic Designer, Project Manager, Chief Preparator, and Technicians during the design planning, construction, and installation process.

  • Provides Layouts and architectural details to tour venues, artists, guest designers, and internal staff.

What you’ll bring:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. A degree in Architecture is strongly preferred.

  • M.Arch, 5-year B.Arch or international equivalent preferred 

  • Requires four years of progressively responsible exhibition design, architectural design, or interior design experience. Working experience in galleries or art museums is a plus.

  • Advanced skills in Vectorworks, Rhino, AutoCAD, and Adobe   Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign).

  • An understanding of interior and furniture construction and building and finish materials.

  • Ability to work according to strict deadlines and within established budgets.

  • Ability to communicate effectively with museum colleagues, artists, and vendors working in a team environment.

  • Must have strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to prioritize multiple tasks simultaneously.

  • Ability to effectively utilize standard office equipment and to maintain accurate, up- to-date records.

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.


COFAM is committed to advancing career opportunities for a diverse pool of qualified and capable talent, centering equity and inclusion across all aspects of our recruitment strategy.

Step 1 - Start of the pay range is $33.22 per hour.

This is a union position eligible for the Museums' benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision insurance plus a generous time off package.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, 12/01/2021

If you require an alternative method of completing this application please contact

All new COFAM employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Please contact with any questions.

Apply directly @ FAMSF


COFAM is the Corporation of Fine Arts Museums and is the privately funded non-profit corporation which supports the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, a department of the City and County of San Francisco.

COFAM is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in all phases of employment in accordance with all federal, state, and local laws. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


Please Apply directly at FAMSF:

Exhibitions Designer

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