Job Posting: Assistant/Associate Conservator (Part-time)/Paper Conservation Department

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world’s finest museums, seeks a part-time (three to four days per week) Assistant/Associate Conservator in the Paper Conservation Department.  This position undertakes a wide range of conservation procedures on  Western historic, modern and contemporary drawings, prints; miniatures on vellum, paper and ivory; manuscript illuminations on vellum, Islamic and Indian paintings, paintings on palm leaf (individual leaves and bound albums),  wallpaper and other materials that are under the jurisdiction of the Paper Conservation Department. Conservation procedures include treatment, examination, evaluating new acquisitions, condition checking of works entering and leaving the Museum, surveying of works in the collection, analysis and identification of materials and structure, by chemical and instrumental means, to determine condition, authenticity, and proposals for treatment and housing. In addtion, all works conserved are photographed and electronically documented, discussed with supervisor prior to treatment and initiate and assist with approved research supporting technical art history, conservation treatment, and preservation. Ancillary conservation procedures include but are not limited to laboratory management tasks undertaken with other members of the department, such as organization and maintenance of conservation supplies, equipment and chemicals according to established safety procedures, preparing chemical solutions, consolidants and adhesives for treatment, obtaining product information, testing materials for treatment, and preparation of materials for laboratory workshops.
This part-time position is scheduled to end on December 31, 2015
Primary Responsibilities and Duties:

  • The examination, analysis, documentation and treatment of  assigned works of art.
  • Carrying out condition examination of works to be loaned, or on loan, or to be acquired.
  • Assisting in the management and maintenance of the laboratory including the preparation of  chemical reagents and solutions.
  • Assisting in the housing and hinging of works of art.
  • Other related duties

Requirements and Qualifications:
Experience and Skills:
•  Demonstrated excellence in performing complex conservation treatments.
•  Excellent manual skills.
•  Ability to maintain attention to detail and to sustain focus on long term projects. High
quality work as well as efficient use of time is valued.
•  Working knowledge of chemical and material sciences.
•  Knowledge of preservation standards for archival matting and housing, for  environmental conditions.
•  Ability to use digital cameras and electronic resources in documenting treatment.
•  Ability to devise conservation strategies based on knowledge of materials, chemical
processes, and aesthetic and ethical considerations.
•  In depth knowledge of the history of paper, papermaking, artists’ materials and art
•  Ability to work effectively and constructively both independently and as part of a team,
be attentive and engaged with laboratory activities.
•  Demonstrated interest in works of art, their fabrication and history, and aesthetic criteria
in relation to individual’s conservation projects.
•  Excellent verbal communication skills, excellent written communication skills.
•  Strong organizational skills, time management skills, including the ability to establish
priorities, meet deadlines and achieve goals.
•  Ability to work cooperatively at all times with a large group of conservators and curators.
•  Willingness to accept supervision and guidance.

  • Attentiveness to conservation issues taking place in the laboratory.

Knowledge and Education:

  • A graduate degree in Conservation (a Masters or Certificate/Masters) from an accredited university, including course work in chemistry and material science.
  • Specialization in paper conservation in graduate level conservation studies, and in subsequent employment.
  • A minimum of two years post graduate internship or fellowship in paper conservation, or a minimum of five years of professional paper conservation experience, preferably in a museum conservation laboratory

Please send cover letter, resume, and salary history to with “Assistant/Associate Conservator/Paper Conservation” in the subject line. The application deadline is 7/17/15.

One thought on “Job Posting: Assistant/Associate Conservator (Part-time)/Paper Conservation Department”

  1. Hello,
    I had been working,more than 15 years with the Archaeological teams, doing Drawing and conservation.
    I studied ,2 years in Institute of Fine Art (painting and Sculptur)
    I would like to apply for Job ;Assistant/associate conservator (part time)
    This is recommend leter.
    I have been asked by Rita Sabbagh to provide a reference letter for her. I am more than happy to do that. Rita worked with the Tell Qarqur Excavation in Syria for about ten years. She worked with the botanical remains from the site and was extremely helpful to the Paleobotanists from Boston University who worked on the materials from the site. She floated the soil samples, primarily to retrieve botanical remains, and prepared the samples for shipment to the United States. Rita helped the Paleobotanists tremendously in helping with local contacts for interviews and research information.
    Rita is a talented artist and very precise in making technical drawings. She drew hundreds of pottery sherd profiles, reconstructed vessel drawings and vessel decoration for many years. She worked very hard, was very dedicated and extremely reliable. Rita worked very well with the other members of the Expedition staff. Rita is a very talented individual and has an excellent work ethic. She is to be commended in taking the challenging step of moving from Syria to the United States. I regret that since she and her husband now reside in the United States, it is too expensive for our expedition, which operates on a very limited budget, to continue to have her work with us.
    Rudolph H. Dornemann, Ph.D.
    Director of the Tell Qarqur Expedition
    Retired Executive Director of the American Schools of Oriental Research
    Retired Curator of History and Head of the History Section
    Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, WI

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