Paintings Conservator (London, UK) – PASSED DEADLINE


  • Reference: TG1875
  • Band: 3L
  • Department: Conservation
  • Contract: Permanent
  • Hours: Full-time
  • Reporting to: Conservation Manager, Paintings Frames & Workshop
  • Location: Millbank and Southwark, London

Tate aims to be the most artistically adventurous and culturally inclusive global art museum. We deliver this aim through activities in our four galleries across the UK (Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives, Tate Britain and Tate Modern), our digital platforms and collaborations with our national and international partners.  At the heart of Tate is our collection of art, which includes British art from the 16th century to the present day, and international modern art from 1900 to the present day.

Tate is a British institution with an international outlook.  Tate is recognised as one of the leading art organisations in the world, welcoming over 7 million visitors a year to its renowned programs of exhibitions, displays and learning. Tate holds the national collection of British art from 1500 and the national collection of international modern and contemporary art from 1900, including works of art, library and archival material.

At the heart of Tate is the collection, currently numbering over 70,000 works spanning five centuries and providing a magnificent resource for all four Tate galleries as well as for galleries and museums regionally, nationally and internationally.  The collection is shared with as wide an audience as possible and is constantly being developed and added to, consolidating it historically and tracking contemporary art as it evolves.

Collection Care
Collection Care’s mission is to manage, preserve and enable access to Tate’s collections in both physical and digital format. The division carries out Tate’s legal responsibilities for the care of its collections, for the benefit of the public, now and in the future. Its operations embrace the management and care of Tate’s art, archive and library collections and the facilitation of Tate’s programs of acquisitions, exhibitions, displays, loans and international touring. Collection Care comprises three departments: Collection Management, Conservation and Library, Archive & Collections Access. It manages storage facilities and provides access to art works held in storage, by appointment, and to the Library, Archive and Prints & Drawings collections through its Reading Rooms’ services at Tate Britain.

The Conservation department brings excellence and innovation to the care of Tate’s collections, preventing damage and deterioration and ensuring that the objects in its care are available for future generations to enjoy. The department provides specialist conservation services to support the program across Tate and the long-term care of the collection.  The areas include: Paintings, Frames and Workshop; Sculpture and Installation; Paper and Photographs; Time-based Media; Conservation Science and Preventive Conservation.

You can find further information about Tate on our website:

Purpose of the Job
To provide support and expertise for Tate’s Acquisitions Program, as well as work flexibly across other programs as required. To care for and treat paintings along with contributing to the development of strategies, procedures and workflows for the preservation of the works of art in Tate’s collection.


Technical Examination, Research, Treatment and Documentation of Paintings

  • Assess and analyse the structure and condition of works of art, using a full range of specialist techniques.
  • Apply conservation procedures to formulate treatments ensuring high standards of preservation and presentation; use innovative solutions to solve complex problems.
  • Undertake preparation, treatment and document for paintings in Tate’s collection and care.
  • Carry out and present investigations into artists’ techniques, production methods and conservation.
  • Create and update records for Tate’s collection management system (TMS) and Conservation Records.

 Collections Care and Preventive Conservation Activity

  • Liaise with both Conservation and Art Handling Technicians to ensure works are safely packed and installed. Create case specifications and design specialist storage.
  • Active involvement in the design, development and implementation of long term collection care procedures, including packing, transport, storage, display and installation.
  • Undertake preventive conservation such as environmental monitoring, integrated pest management and events management.
  • Support studio activity and implement Heath & Safety measures.

 Support for Tate’s Programs

  • Participate in Tate’s Acquisitions programs and support other program teams as required; provide advice and recommendations on all aspects of care and use of the collection.
  • Provide accurate time and cost estimates for your activities.
  • Co-ordinate projects and organise/deliver conservation input on time and within budget.
  • Provide display specifications and recommendations for safe transport, handling, installation and display of works of art for Tate sites and acquisitions programs, advising staff as required.
  • Undertake courier activity, oversee transport and installation of art works at Tate and non-Tate sites.
  • Undertake condition checks, preparation, treatment and associated activity in support of programs.
  • Devise maintenance schedules for works on display; monitor and undertake maintenance duties.

Management, Supervision and Training

  • Supervise junior and PR staff.
  • Act as a mentor to junior staff and support the development of professional expertise within the Conservation department.
  • Contribute to programs of training and development for Tate staff, interns, and others.
  • Supervise agreed project teams; plan and supervise the work.
  • Support the Conservation management team to review, improve and implement procedures and policies.

Public and Professional Activities

  • Keep up-to-date on current thinking and best practice within Paintings Conservation through Continuing Professional Development.
  • Share knowledge and expertise within the Conservation department.
  • Liaise with external colleagues to ensure Tate is at the forefront of setting international standards for the conservation profession and collections care.
  • Contribute to raising the national and international profile of conservation at Tate.
  • Support learning activities and initiatives; contribute to lectures, tours and publications.



  • Professional qualification in Paintings Conservation or equivalent experience.
  • Experience assessing condition and preparing paintings for exhibitions, display, acquisitions and loans, providing accurate time and cost estimates and appropriate documentation.
  • Proven experience documenting and conserving a wide range of paintings to a high standard, an understanding of a broad range of conservation methods to formulate appropriate treatments with full consideration of practical and ethical issues.
  • Demonstrable analytical and problem-solving skills where complex conservation challenges arise.
  • Understanding of the long-term care issues within Painting Conservation and ability to provide expert advice for their preservation.
  • Proven experience providing advice for packing, storage, transport, installation of paintings.
  • Effective interpersonal and communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Demonstrable organisational, time-management and planning skills with the ability to work well under pressure and prioritise workload to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work effectively within a large and complex organisation, as part of a team or alone.
  • Good end-user IT skills, including image processing and database software to document artworks.
  • An understanding of the principles of equality and diversity in relation to conservation and the ability to apply these in practice at work.
  • An interest in and commitment to the work of Tate.


  • Experience working in a museum or gallery.
  • Experience working with historic and contemporary artworks.
  • Willingness to travel and work out of hours.

Summary of Terms and Conditions of Employment

Type of Contract
This appointment is offered on a permanent contract.

Working Hours
This post is offered on a full-time contract working 36 hours per week – Monday to Friday.

This post is graded on Band 3L of the Tate pay scales.

An appointment to this post will be made at the minimum of the band at £31,120 per annum.

A review of pay is undertaken annually at Tate through negotiation with the recognized trade unions.  Any increases to individual salaries, will be subject to the terms of Tate’s annual pay settlement and will be applied from April 1st.

Annual Leave and Public Holidays
Annual leave is 25 working days per annum rising to 27 working days per annum after three years’ service.  In addition, we offer paid time off for the 8 public holidays and 1 Tate day (on December 24 when the galleries are closed).

Pension Benefits
An important part of the pay and reward package Tate offers employees is the option to join the Civil Service Pension arrangements.  These arrangements currently offer a choice of two types of pension:

  • Alpha. This is a defined benefit occupational pension scheme that currently has a member contribution rate which ranges from 4.6%-8.05% dependent on your salary. As your employer we meet the rest of the cost of the scheme. Further information about this can be found at
  • Partnership pension account.  This is a stakeholder pension with a contribution from ourselves. How much we pay is based on your age. We pay this regardless of whether you choose to contribute anything. You do not have to contribute but, if you do, we will also match your contributions up to 3% of your pensionable earnings. The contributions are in addition to the age-related contribution mentioned above.

 If you have previously worked for an employer who participated in the Civil Service Pension scheme or other Public Service pension schemes different conditions may apply.

Other Discretionary Benefits

  • Interest-free Season Ticket Loan.
  • Cycle to Work scheme – enabling you to buy a bike in a tax efficient way, for travelling to and from work.
  • Rental deposit scheme – an interest free advance to help towards the cost of a deposit for privately rented accommodation
  • Subsidised staff catering arrangements and discounts in the Tate Restaurants and Cafes.
  • Childcare Vouchers Scheme – offering savings on tax and national insurance.
  • Access to Tate Benefits which offers access to discounts in high street stores.
  • Access to a 24/7 Employee Assistance Program to support you with any work, personal or family issues. This includes telephone-based support, as well as comprehensive online resources.
  • Free entry to paying exhibitions at Tate Galleries. Opportunities for family and friends to visit the major exhibitions out–of-hours.
  • Discounts on items purchased in the Tate shops.
  • Free access to a number of other galleries and museums throughout the UK on production of a valid staff pass.

Safer Recruitment
Tate is committed to providing a safe environment for all those who work at Tate and all those who come into contact with Tate as visitors to the galleries, as participants in Tate activities, and online.  The safe recruitment of all those who undertake work on behalf of Tate is the first step to ensuring that we are fulfilling this commitment.

All positions at Tate are offered subject to the following conditions:

  • Receipt of satisfactory references covering the last 3 years of your employment or education.
  • Health clearance
  • A satisfactory Disclosure Check.
  • Proof that you are legally entitled to work in the UK

You can find out more information about our pre-employment checks and what they mean for you in our ‘Guidance Notes for Applicants’ document.

Diversity and Inclusion
Our aim is to become a truly inclusive organisation with a workforce and audience as diverse as the communities we serve. This is fundamental to Tate’s future success and our ability to continue to contribute to culture and society in the UK.

We want our workforce to be more representative of all sections of society at all levels in the organisation. The range of perspectives and experience diversity brings is an asset to our organisation and we want to create an inclusive, welcoming environment for visitors, artists and all those who work at Tate. Tate expects all employees to contribute to this aim as part of their role. More information about diversity and inclusion at Tate can be found on our website.

How to apply
Our opportunities are open for you to apply online – please visit For all opportunities, we ask candidates to complete an online application form for the vacancy they are interested in.  If you need an application form in an alternative format, please call us on 020 7887 4997.

The closing date for the submission of completed application forms is February 22, 2018 at midnight.

Our jobs are like our galleries, open to all.

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