Head of Conservation, The Asian Art Museum (San Francisco)

The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California—one of the
largest museums in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian
art and culture—is seeking an experienced conservator with strong
managerial, leadership, and communication skills to supervise and
coordinate the staff and operations of the Conservation Laboratory for
its world-renowned collection.
Reporting to the Director of Museum Services, the Head of
Conservation directs and manages the staff and activities of the
Conservation department; supervises and performs highly skilled
conservation work, including examination, research, treatment,
documentation, and preparation for exhibition of Asian art objects.
S/he manages all administrative duties related to the operations of the
department, and serves as the museum’s chief spokesperson on
conservation issues.
The Head of Conservation determines standards and procedures for
the care of Asian artworks within the museum, in exhibitions, and on
loan; devises restoration and preservation methods and techniques;
consults with curators, scientists, and external conservators; liaises
with outside specialists such as painting mounters and framers; and
provides information on conservation matters to museum staff,
colleagues and the public.
The ideal candidate will have a significant record of professional
accomplishments that may also include publishing and research.
Bringing energy and vision, the candidate will be able to anticipate the
future needs of the institution and to design effective systems for
meeting the museum’s obligations with regard to the care and
preservation of the collection.
Issued 04-01-14

  • Master’s Degree in Art Conservation from a recognized college or university, or a Master of Arts;
  • Degree in Art History with a Certificate in Conservation from a recognized Conservation Training Program;
  • Eight (8) years of verifiable museum conservation experience, beyond the degree or certificate, with the techniques, materials, and equipment used in the conservation of Asian art objects; or an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience; experience must include at least two (2) years of supervision;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of: the technology, materials, and equipment used in the conservation of works of Asian art; procedures relating to the examination and the preventative and corrective treatment of art objects; the environmental and handling requirements for storage, exhibition, and travel of art objects;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of advanced conservation equipment including polarized light microscopy, x-ray fluorescence, x-radiography and short-wave infrared imaging and digital imaging;
  • Ability to: examine and determine the condition and conservation needs of works of art; plan, direct, and implement research strategies to determine the date, authenticity, and fabrication of Asian art objects; work collaboratively with Curatorial staff in research project;
  • Ability to provide sound advice and recommendations regarding the design of facilities to ensure the proper display, storage, and treatment of works of art;
  • Ability to: organize and manage complex projects; analyze complicated administrative problems, evaluate alternative solutions and adopt effective courses of action; develop and manage budgets;
  • Ability to: supervise, direct, motivate, and evaluate staff, interns, and volunteers; establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with museum staff, visitors, volunteers, donors, and representatives of other museums;
  • Strong leadership, interpersonal, planning, and organizational skills; excellent written and oral communication skills; effective presentation, negotiation, problem solving, conflict resolution skills.

Generous compensation and benefits package
Apply online at bitly.com/1hxmstA or
Send a letter of interest and resume ASAP to:
HUMAN RESOURCES, Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
FAX: 415.861.2359
The Asian Art Museum embraces diversity in its mission, programs, and staff.