So you want my arts job: Museum Preparator

Do you have a strong stomach and keen love for natural history? Then read on to find out what it's like working with specimens and taxidermy as a Museum Preparator.

Starting out as a volunteer, and now Museum Preparator of 30 years at the Melbourne Museum in Australia, Dean Smith’s daily work could range from de-fleshing washed up whales to recording taxidermy data for researchers.

Alongside being a Senior Preparator, Smith is also the Director of Environmental Creations, which offers professional ‘museum quality’ natural history displays. His work can be seen both within and outside of museums. Together with Ewin Wood, Smith has a dedicated studio, Museum Makers catering to different projects.

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Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. She took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs and was the project manager of ArtsHub’s diverse writers initiative, Amplify Collective. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne.