Part-time Paintings Conservator (Job 4.20)

The Collections and Information Access Center manages the diverse collection holdings of OMCA, provides professional conservation, registration, and information access services, and coordinates with other Centers to contribute to the visitor experience and public engagement.  The staff engage in collection management, collections environment and risk management, conservation, registration, information access, intellectual property management, and preparation of collection resources for various arenas of public access.
The Paintings Conservator is responsible for the treatment of paintings in the collection, and advising on proper environmental conditions for their protection in storage, on exhibition, or on loan.  Incumbent performs skilled conservation work on collections within their specialization including research, examination, documentation, treatment, and preventative maintenance.
The following reflects OMCA’s definition of essential functions for this position, but does not restrict the tasks that may be assigned.  OMCA may assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this position at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons.
Institutional Responsibilities

  • Support the Museum’s mission, values, vision, and core commitment to the visitor experience, community engagement, and institutional relevancy for the future;
  • Contribute to and support the OMCA strategic plan, annual priorities, and institutional initiatives such as diversity advancement;
  • Exercise leadership, the highest level of integrity, and professionalism in all aspects of work on behalf of OMCA and service to the public;
  • Contribute creative ideas and propose solutions to support a proactive work environment;
  • Contribute to a positive organizational culture based on mutual respect, a spirit of collegiality, cooperation, and openness to many perspectives;
  • Work within guidelines for the prudent management of the OMCA annual budget and finances;
  • Adhere to personnel policies and practices;
  • Participate in a culture of ongoing learning, collaboration, innovation, creativity, and community engagement;
  • Participate on and/or lead project teams as assigned; and,
  • Participate in conversations and education about museum practices, standards, and trends that contribute to a 21st century museum in service to the public.


  • Ensure that institutional standards for handling and care of Museum objects meet or exceed the standards of the American Association for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC);
  • Perform conservation, restoration, and stabilization treatments on a wide variety of Museum objects within an area of specialization and training;
  • Analyze and implement preventative conservation measures and appropriate environmental conditions for the collections;
  • Analyze and document the condition of Museum objects to establish baseline for monitoring condition, for reports or insurance claims, and for treatment proposals and reports;
  • Review incoming and outgoing loans for stability and conservation requirements, and work with Registrars to monitor collection objects through the period of the loan to ensure continued stability; and,
  • Perform photo documentation of objects to establish baseline for monitoring condition of objects


  • Assist in development and maintenance of the conservation laboratory;
  • Maintain adequate equipment and supplies;
  • Lead and evaluate the work of staff, interns, and volunteers;
  • Direct the work of contract employees;
  • Assist in performing administrative activities, including project planning and implementation;
  • Prepare and monitor a budget;
  • Assist in preparation of grant applications for conservation funding;
  • Help direct and monitor grants awarded; and,
  • Maintain safety procedures for the work site and identify potential safety hazards.

Professional Development

  • Responsible for staying current with professional philosophies, procedures, and practices in the conservation field through membership in professional organizations, reading professional literature, and attendance at meetings, workshops, and seminars;
  • Research materials and fabrication of Museum objects;
  • Research and develop improved methods of conservation;
  • Keep current with developments in the field;
  • Perform research in areas which are relevant to the needs of the collection, including exhibitions materials and deterioration mechanisms of art, artifacts, and archival materials in the collection; and,
  • Consult and advise Museum staff, professionals, artists, collectors, and the public on proper care of collections, which may include handling, exhibiting, storing, and disaster mitigation.

Knowledge of:

  • Paintings conservation methods, materials, and techniques;
  • Accepted procedures of handling, storing, exhibiting, and preserving paintings collections;
  • Academic fields of study related to conservation and preservation;
  • Conservation terminology, ethical standards, and practices;
  • Personal computers and software programs and their application to conservation;
  • Chemistry and technology relating to the manufacture, degradation, and stabilization of cultural materials;
  • Project planning and implementation;
  • Project budget monitoring;
  • Proposal writing and funding applications;
  • Exhibit design and construction related to the preservation and conservation of objects;
  • Digital photography and traditional photographic techniques;
  • English, fluent in both spoken and written form.

Ability to:

  • Adhere to the Code of Ethics of the American Institute of Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works;
  • Write clear, effective proposals, treatment reports, condition reports, and other museum correspondences;
  • Speak effectively before museum staff, professionals, and the general public;
  • Provide lead direction and assign work to staff, volunteers, interns, and contract employees;
  • Plan and implement special projects;
  • Examine, analyze, document, and interpret the condition of museum objects and agents of deterioration;
  • Perform conservation and restoration treatments on objects with great manual dexterity and precision;
  • Perform scientific tests and analysis on an object’s condition;
  • Establish and maintain effective work relations with those contacted in the performance of required duties; and,
  • Supervise staff and volunteers and to organize departmental work to meet multiple deadlines.

A combination of experience and education that demonstrates possession of the necessary knowledge and abilities for this position is required as noted:

  • Five years of professional work experience in the field of paintings conservation or a related field or equivalent;
  • Master’s degree in art conservation from a recognized University program preferred.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently required to do the following:

  • Stand, sit, and walk for extended periods of time;
  • Crouch, bend, and reach;
  • Lift objects weighing up to 35 lbs.;
  • Coordinate multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Collect, interpret, and/or analyze complex data and information;
  • Utilize visual acuity to operate equipment, read technical information, and/or use a keyboard; and,
  • Utilize hand and finger dexterity.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently exposed to the following:

  • Outdoor weather conditions – hot and cold seasonal conditions;
  • Noise, such as groups of people working in enclosed areas;
  • Hazardous materials, solvents, and other chemicals;
  • Cold temperatures associated with refrigerated areas;
  • Dust and odors; and,
  • Typical office environment.

Download an employment application from Please submit the completed application, resume, and cover letter with three references. Applications can be sent by email. Include job number and title in the subject line.
Or mail to:
Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak Street, Oakland, CA 94607
Please no inquiries