Career Profile: Ben Wilsker
What career background did you have before joining the Museum?
I began working in museums in 2009 as a Front of House Assistant at the Ashmolean Museum during its major redevelopment. I then moved to London to develop my skills as a museum technician, taking a role in Operations at the Foundling Museum. Following this, I worked for the Museum of London as an Audio/Visual Technician where I designed, installed, and maintained the displays and exhibitions. During my time in London, I freelanced as a fine art courier and technician working in domestic, gallery, and art fair settings.
In 2019 I returned to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, before transferring to the Museum of Natural History in 2021. My current role brings together all of the skills I’ve learned during my career as a museum technician. I really love it here!
What are your main duties at the Museum?
Building maintenance; working with the collections, displays and exhibitions; museum operations.
What are the key skills you use in your role?
My job requires me to carry out manual handling of museum collections, work at height, and liaise with contractors. Exhibition planning and installation is another key skill, as well as problem-solving because I am often required to fix building issues.
How did your career path lead to this position?
It was my role at the Ashmolean that first captured my enthusiasm for working in museums. My experience at the Foundling Museum taught me about operations and working as a technician in historic buildings with heritage collections.
What would you recommend to people who are looking to get into this area of work?
Don’t overlook roles at smaller museums as you will be involved in every aspect of what they do, and there will be constant chances to learn directly from experienced and passionate professionals.
What are some of the areas in your sector that are of special interest to you, or that you are pursuing development in?
Building and Operations management, conservation of museum collections, and exhibition design.