Job Posting: Associate Conservator – Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (Cambridge, MA)

Grade 56 (Conservator I)
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
The Associate Conservator conducts conservation examinations and surveys, undertakes and documents preventative and interventive conservation activities, provides support to the Harvard Peabody Museum’s conservation department in exhibition, loan, acquisition, and curatorial initiatives. Reports to the Senior Conservator.
Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Performs a range of conservation examinations and treatments, including stabilizing and cleaning of organic and inorganic materials in accordance with the Code of Ethnic and Guidelines of Practice of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC).
  • Conducts collection surveys and analyzes results in consultation with the Conservator and/or Senior Conservator.
  • Completes written technical examinations including history/fabrication technology and selected material analysis in accordance with departmental standards.
  • Performs photographic documentation and updates technical reports in the Museum’s collections database.
  • Undertakes routine bi-monthly environmental monitoring activities, producing a comprehensive report on the environmental status of the Museum’s facilities and troubleshooting issues with the Conservator and Building Manager.
  • Conducts insect/pest identifications as part of the Museum’s Integrated Pest Management program; generates bi-monthly IPM reports and advises collections staff on related pest management issues.
  • Implements procedures to address preservation problems in consultation with the Senior Conservator and other collections staff.
  • Assists with and/or undertakes analytical sampling projects in accordance with Museum policy.
  • Serves as courier for museum loans as required.
  • Provides exhibition checks and technical advice on preventative conservation measures for objects in storage in collaboration with collections management staff.
  • Advises on appropriate temperature, humidity, and light levels for museum galleries and storage spaces.
  • Advises staff on appropriate storage systems for complex fragile objects and develops prototypes for storage containers and object re-housing.
  • Collaborates with staff from the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture exhibits team on object mount design for Museum exhibitions.
  • Supervises conservation interns on designated projects.
  • Supports the conservation department’s mission and responsibilities and performs other duties as required.
  • Serves as lead conservator on designated conservation projects that may require collaboration with collections, curatorial, and exhibits staff.

Position Requirements:

  • MA/MS in art conservation.
  • Minimum of three years professional conservation experience specializing in objects conservation in a museum setting.
  • Excellent knowledge of conservation principles and practices and demonstrated excellence performing conservation treatments.
  • Knowledge of cultural history, technology, and materials of three-dimensional objects as well as a good understanding of chemical and physical processes of deterioration.
  • Knowledge of analytical techniques used in conservation practice.
  • Strong background in inorganic materials preferred.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Good analytical and problem solving skills; ability to establish and achieve priorities.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills required.
  • Ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects in a highly productive lab.
  • Ability to maintain high standards under tight deadlines and follow through on repetitive tasks.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to lift 35-40 lbs.
  • Position may require long periods of standing and bending.
  • The work associated with this position is primarily performed in a conservation lab.
  • Position uses specialized conservation tools, equipment and solvents.
  • Must be aware of environmental hazards posed by substances such as solvents and mold and appropriate, safe methods of working with such substances.

Deadline: September 15, 2016. Position will be open until filled.
For additional information and to apply for this position, see