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Art Handling and Installation

Art Handling and Installation

Chelsea College of Arts
Taught by
Gabriel Birch, Susan Jacobs


Join Art Handling and Installation and we'll take you through the dos and don'ts of packing, moving and installing art, and get you crating works yourself. You will leave the course with the confidence and skills to hang a small exhibition.

You'll prepare several paintings for hanging and, crucially, learn how to avoid damaging frames and canvases. You will be shown how to use a range of hanging systems, be guided through the maths of spacing and measuring up, familiarise yourself with filling in forms including loan agreements and condition and facilities reports.

Expect to handle, hang and install using a variety of tools and fixing methods.

Topics Covered

  • The role of technician across areas of the art world
  • Safe handling of 2D artworks
  • Fixings, tools, wall conditions and appropriate hanging methods
  • Removing 2D artworks from wall and de-installation process
  • Condition Reports, Packing, and Handling
  • Handling large 2-D works
  • Handling 3-D Work

Course Outcomes
You'll know how to avoid causing damage to canvases and be aware of the correct procedures for packing, moving and installing art works.

Who Should Attend
Those working in museums and galleries, including front-of-house staff who are often asked to help with art handling and installation. It'll also appeal to artists and students exploring an area of interest.

Course Level

Courses are typically taught by one or more of the tutors listed below.

Tutor Description

Gabriel Birch is an interdisciplinary Artist, Lecturer and Gallery Technician. He has 15 years experience working for prestigious institutions and galleries including Tate (Art Handling and Sculpture Conservation departments) Tramps London and Hauser & Wirth.

His current role involves working internationally to install large-scale exhibitions for the Barbican. He also has extensive experience working as a Lecturer and Technician at London Art Schools such as City and Guilds, the RCA and UAL. Gabriel has an MA in Sculpture from the RCA and lives and works in London.

Susan Jacobs is a professional gallery technician, tutor, and visual artist. She currently works with the Barbican International Enterprises Art Handling team, installing large-scale exhibitions which tour all over the world, as well as for several private galleries in London including Timothy Taylor Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery. 

Susan worked for over a decade at The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and with the University of Melbourne Art Collection in Australia, where she was trained in best practice methods for collection care and preventative conservation across works on paper,  paintings, textiles, objects and antiquities collections. 

She has 8 years experience as a tutor in Fine Art in Melbourne Universities and has also worked as a scenic artist in a theme park in China. Susan has exhibited in major exhibitions including the 12th Asia Pacific Triennial and the 32nd Sáo Paulo Bienal. She is fascinated by strange materials and loves living in London.


Please bring the following materials with you on the first day:

  • Notepad and pen 

  • Medium phillips screwdriver

  • Tape measure

  • Pencils

  • Two pieces of 2D or 3D artwork (drawing, photograph, sculpture etc)

Please note that most materials needed for the short courses are available at the Chelsea College of Arts' Art Shop. Please contact the Art Shop directly for opening hours and availability.

Available dates