Summer Internship in Objects Conservation (Cincinnati, OH, USA)

The Cincinnati Art Museum seeks a conservation training program student this summer to assist in preparing our collection of Nabatean works of art for exhibit. Under the supervision of the Associate Objects Conservator the intern will survey, condition and treat archaeological objects from the ancient city of Petra.

Cincinnati is located in the scenic Ohio River valley at the intersection of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Founded in 1881, the Cincinnati Art Museum has an encyclopedic collection that spans over 6000 years. Our Conservation Department is an integral part of the CAM team and includes conservators specializing in paintings, objects, paper and textiles.

The applicant should be a student in a recognized conservation training program, with a specialization in objects conservation. An interest in archaeological objects is preferred. The successful candidate will possess good hand skills, a basic understanding of the field of archaeological conservation and a willingness to learn about museum practice.

The internship is 10 weeks during the summer of 2018. The start date is negotiable. The successful candidate must arrange her/his housing. In the past, accommodation has been available at two local universities. The stipend is $8,000.00, paid bi-weekly. The application deadline in March 1, 2018.

To apply, please send a letter of interest along with curriculum vitae, a list of coursework and if available, a sample treatment report. Please include the contact information for one or two references. Send the application to:

Cincinnati Art Museum
ATTN: Human Resources
953 Eden Park Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45202-1596
Fax: (513) 639-2932

Pre-program Internship with stipend (Charlottesville, VA, USA)

The University of Virginia Library is pleased to offer the opportunity of a six-week internship for the summer of 2018 in their Preservation Services Department, working with the two Book Conservators on staff.  The purpose of the internship is to perform conservation treatment on a selection of plates from the “Moon Atlas” and also a possible rehousing project involving the Virginia Gazette

The intern will develop treatment plans in collaboration with the Book Conservators and maintain the written documentation throughout the treatment process.  Likely flat paper treatments include dry cleaning; adhesive and pressure sensitive tape removal; paper mending; and humidification and flattening. Book treatments could include board tacketing and other binding stabilization techniques. Pre-treatment photo documentation will be performed by the Library’s Digital Services Department prior to the intern’s arrival. It is expected that the intern will participate in the after-treatment photo-doc at the end of the six week internship. The intern will be required to give a presentation to library staff at the end of the internship, describing the project overall and highlighting a few specific details from the treatments.

Treatment will be performed in the UVa Library Conservation lab, a small but well-equipped facility with a 4’x6’ treatment sink, de-ionized water system, fume trunk, suction platen, and the usual tools. The treatment will be performed under the supervision of the Book Conservators for Library Collections and in consultation with Librarians from the Small Special Collections Library.

The Library is offering a $4000 stipend to support the internship. The internship can be scheduled for any consecutive six-week period between June 11, 2018 and August 24, 2018 (the Fall semester at UVA begins August 28, 2018). We will be accepting applications until the position is filled but priority will be given to applications received prior to March 9, 2018. The ideal candidate will have some prior treatment experience and be working toward a career in library conservation.

Applicants should send a resume, letter of interest and the contact information for three professional references via email to Eliza Gilligan, Book Conservator for University Library Collections at emg3b@virginia.eduApplicants must be a US citizen.

The Preservation Services Department is grateful to Margery Lee for her continued support of this internship.

The Mary and Samuel Somit Preservation Internship (Chicago, IL, USA)

2018 Summer Internship – University of Chicago Library

The University of Chicago Library is accepting applications for the 2018 Mary and Samuel Somit Preservation Internship. This Internship, established in 2006, has been made possible through the generosity of Dr. Albert Somit (AB ’41, PhD ’47), University of Chicago alumnus and past president of Southern Illinois University. Dr. Somit has established the Internship to honor his parents’ legacy, serve the needs of the Library’s collection, and prepare individuals for important work to preserve library materials and other scholarly works in all formats so that they are available for research and teaching.

The six-week Internship is intended to provide firsthand experience and a broader understanding of the care, treatment, and accessibility of library and archives materials in a large research library. The intern will work with the Preservation Librarian and other Department managers to learn about the operations, issues, and challenges of a comprehensive preservation and access program. Technical Services, the Digital Library Development Center, and the Special Collections Research Center are all partners in the Library’s preservation initiatives.  Under the guidance of the Preservation Librarian and other professional staff, the intern will undertake a project and prepare a final report.  During the internship, the intern will have the opportunity to collaborate with other library staff and give a presentation about the project and its findings.

Audio Recordings Description Project
Under the direction of the Preservation Librarian and the Metadata Analyst Librarian, the Intern will focus on a review and analysis of descriptive and administrative metadata for sound recordings held by the University of Chicago’s Digital Media Archive (DMA).  The DMA holds an extensive collection of audio and some video recordings primarily created by University of Chicago faculty in the course of their research.  The collection includes over 180 languages and dialects as well as ethnographic music recordings.  Collections reflect the teaching and scholarly interests of faculty and researchers who have worked at the University of Chicago over the past eighty years, and are of great research interest to linguists, anthropologists, and ethnomusicologists.  One of the Archive’s distinctive collections is the Mesoamerican Collection which includes field recordings from the 1930 – 1990s of the many dialects and endangered languages throughout Central America.  The University of Chicago Library also holds several paper-based archival collections that are closely related to the DMA’s Mesoamerican Collection of recordings.  The majority of recordings in the Digital Media Archive have been converted to digital form and some are available on the web (see for a fuller description and catalog of the DMA materials).

The goal of the project is to perform a critical assessment of the existing descriptive metadata that has been created for these language recordings.  Work will contribute to development of metadata guidelines for media collections that will enable the Library to ingest the collection into the Library’s Digital Repository, provide online access, and ensure its integration into and compatibility with the discovery systems for digital collections of other types and formats.  This project will support future planning for the delivery of both public and restricted media collections and the ability to share standardized metadata more broadly.

Tasks during the internship may include:

  • Examining current metadata and controlled vocabulary used in the Archive
  • Reviewing of metadata schemas in use for the Library’s existing digital collections and for similar collections at selected other institutions
  • Making recommendations for the use of existing metadata, methods for crosswalking to other schemas, enhancement of metadata with additional data (such as ISO language codes), or adoption of additional standards
  • Preparing a final report about the work of the project and recommendations
  • To the extent possible, making some desired changes or enhancements to metadata; identifying relationships and ways to connect the DMA collections to related Library collections; providing inventories of other media collections for digital conversion
  • During the project, the intern will have the opportunity to collaborate with Preservation, Technical Services, and IT and Digital Scholarship staff.

Eligibility and Requirements
The Internship is open to recent graduates and currently enrolled students of a recognized library school of information or related program; or students with equivalent experience and training in preservation, digital collections and metadata.  Whether through coursework or previous practical application, the Somit intern must be familiar with preservation principles, and the creation and management of metadata for media collections. The applicant should possess the ability to work collaboratively and independently to accomplish project goals. Familiarity with spreadsheets, databases, and metadata schemas for media collections is highly desirable.  Background in linguistics or anthropology is a plus, but language expertise is not required.

The 2018 Internship provides a $4,000 stipend.

To apply for the Internship, individuals should electronically submit a letter of application, resume, list of completed relevant coursework or training, and contact information (name and email address) for two professional references. To be considered, individuals must currently be authorized to work permanently in the US and be able to commit to six consecutive weeks of full-time work between approximately June 4 and August 31.

The deadline for applications is Monday, March 5, 2018. Submit electronic applications to:

For more information please see our Somit Preservation Internship website ( or contact: Sherry Byrne, Preservation Librarian, University of Chicago Library,

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity/ Disabled / Veterans Employer.

Graduate Conservation Intern (Potomac, MD, USA)

Glenstone is an art museum located on more than 200 acres of rolling hills and unspoiled woodland in Potomac, Maryland. Conceived by founders Mitchell and Emily Rales on their deeply held belief that art is essential to life, it has already become one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world. In addition to the current museum, when its new museum building opens to the public in 2018, Glenstone will become the largest private museum in America welcoming 100,000 visitors every year free of charge. By thoughtfully integrating the power of art, the energy of architecture and the serenity of landscape, Glenstone is both a distinctive idea and a unique place.

Glenstone is proud to foster a professional environment in which people can do interesting, fulfilling and enjoyable work. Not only do its founders develop and oversee all acquisitions and exhibitions, but Emily Rales also serves as director of the Museum and curator of the collection. This provides all associates an unusually high degree of access and interaction with the spirit and vision of Glenstone. To work at Glenstone is to be a part of something bigger, something more meaningful, and something truly special. It is a chance to do a job to the highest standard, with the resources and support available of a founder-led and endowed organization. It is an invitation to be engaged, challenged and stimulated, to help fulfill a powerful mission, and to contribute to a noble purpose.

We are incredibly proud of what Glenstone offers to those who create, appreciate, study, and otherwise participate in the world of art; and we are equally proud of what Glenstone offers to those who choose to join us in doing so. There is no better time than now to become a part of Glenstone.

The internship will provide a unique opportunity to work with Glenstone’s superlative collection of post-World War II artworks. A major focus of the internship will be assisting with the movement of the collection into the Pavilions, Glenstone’s second museum building, which measures 170,000 square feet and was designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners. In addition, the intern will have the opportunity to maintain and treat Glenstone’s outdoor sculpture collection, as well as contribute to the Museum’s preventive conservation activities. Applicants with experience in time-based media would have the opportunity to document video and sound installations, as well as contribute to ongoing migration projects. Due to the distinct challenges posed by contemporary art, Glenstone’s conservation program is collaborative in nature. As such, there will be occasions to work with other conservators, museum professionals, galleries, artists, and their studios or foundations.

Required Skills & Experience: Candidates should be enrolled in a recognized conservation training program or have equivalent training. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in the following areas: objects/sculpture, time-based media, modern and contemporary art, and preventive conservation.  Strong problem-solving and communication skills are essential.

Salary & Benefits: The internship includes a stipend of $20/hour. The internship will begin in the spring/summer of 2018 and run for a minimum of 8 weeks. The start date is flexible and the internship may extend into the fall if the applicant is available.

To promote collaboration and show appreciation to associates, Glenstone provides a weekly staff lunch, on-site health and wellness classes and volunteer opportunities.

Application Process: Submit a cover letter and resume to our Glenstone Jobs Portal:

We are an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Icon Internship: Ceramics Conservation (Liverpool, UK)

  • 6-month Internship starting April 2018
  • Location: Little Crosby Village, Liverpool, L23 4TS
  • Supervisor: Lynne Edge ACR
  • Educational Stipend: GBP8,500

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the internship forms part of the joint project, Galkoff’s and the Secret Life of Pembroke Place, between Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and the Museum of Liverpool (MoL) which began in July 2016.

EDGE Conservation-Restoration Services is private sector conservation workshop, working with Cunningham Brown Ltd., to conserve and re-display tiles from the shop facade of the Galkoff’s Family Butchers in Liverpool. This internship will provide a unique opportunity to gain practical experience in the conservation of faience tiles and the mounting and presentation of these tiles for display in the Museum of Liverpool of the National Museums Liverpool.

The building that housed the shop facade is a Grade II listed Georgian building, principally listed for the survival of a nationally unique Jewish butcher’s shop front: the explicit display of Hebrew lettering of the facade in such a context is very unusual and is an expressive reflection of Jewish identity in Liverpool at this time. This is an exciting tile conservation project that will preserve an iconic legacy of Liverpool’s Jewish history.

The tileworks started December 2017 with their removal from the shop front by EDGE Conservation-Restoration Services. From March – September 2018 these tiles will be conserved, missing tiles replicated, and the tiles mounted to mimic the original shop frontage, forming a major element of the Secret Life of Pembroke Place display at the Museum of Liverpool due to open in October 2018.

Under the guidance of Lynne Edge ACR, the successful intern will be involved with all elements of related conservation work and will learn about historic and contemporary conservation techniques and approaches. There is also the opportunity to work alongside professional mount makers and engineers to gain experience in the display of tiles in a museum context. An important element of the project is outreach and as such, the intern will be asked to record their experiences to produce a report and write a blog for the Museum of Liverpool.

Requirements: Applicants should be able to demonstrate a clear interest and experience that is relevant to this opportunity. There isn’t a set requirement however it would be expected that this may be an undergraduate or post graduate qualification in Conservation or related experience and training in a relevant subject such as Ceramic Design.

Please apply using the application form on the Icon website only.

  • Closing date: February 15, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
  • Interviews will be held on: March 1, 2018
  • Internship will commence: April 3, 2018


Firearms Conservation Technician 2018 Summer Internship (Harpers Ferry, WV, USA)

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the staff at the National Park Service’s Museum Conservation Services facility in Charles Town, WV is seeking a graduate student — who is currently enrolled in a recognized U.S. or Canadian conservation training program — for a paid summer internship assisting MCS staff conservators with the preservation of forty late 19th and early 20th century firearms from the Scotty’s Castle collections in Death Valley National Park.

This opportunity will benefit a first or second-year graduate student attending a master’s level program in art conservation who is looking to expand his or her existing skills in the conservation of historic objects.

This internship focuses on the unique problems associated with preserving composite mechanical-arts objects. Although this is a treatment-oriented internship, there will also be time allotted for relevant lab visits and research.

Location: Charles Town is just a few miles from historic Harpers Ferry, West Virginia at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. The area offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation plus easy access to both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD.


  • Pay Rate: $17.00/hour
  • Benefits: Paid holidays, Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance


  • 8-week summer internship with flexible starting date in 2018.
  • Full-time, up to 40 hours per week


  • Be currently enrolled in a U.S. or Canadian graduate-level museum conservation program.
  • Successfully complete a routine Department of Interior background investigation.
  • Must provide own transportation and have a valid state-issued driver’s license.
  • Must provide own laptop computer.
  • Eligible applicants must be a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident alien of the United States.

How to Apply: Qualified applicants should submit a cover letter, including a statement of interest, resume or CV, and list of three academic or professional references to Augustine Sughrua, GBI Recruitment Coordinator. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. No phone inquiries, please.

The Great Basin Institute conforms to all laws, statutes, and regulations concerning equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, age, disability status, genetic information & testing, family and medical leave, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We prohibit retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or participate in the investigation of any complaint or otherwise oppose discrimination.

Graduate conservation/preservation internship (Ames, IA, USA)

 Iowa State University (ISU) Library Preservation Department

With a generous gift from the Lennox Foundation, the Lennox Foundation Endowment for Preservation Education, Training and Outreach was established to fund graduate level internships in library and archives preservation administration and conservation, and to support the educational outreach activities of the Iowa State University (ISU) preservation staff. The internship is offered by the ISU Library Preservation Department to provide graduate students with practical experience and exposure to preservation in an academic library environment.

This internship is intended to give current graduate students and recent graduates of preservation and conservation programs the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge of care and treatment of library and archives materials in an academic library. Interns will work in the ISU Library Preservation Department with guidance from the Head of Preservation and the Library Conservator.

Interns will learn about the overall functioning and organization of the Preservation Department:

  • Workflow of materials through the various units and tracking of materials
  • Condition assessment and treatment decision-making
  • Inter- and intra-departmental workflows and collaboration
  • Operations in digital and audio visual reformatting

In addition to learning about general operations of the department, interns will undertake and complete projects selected based on their interests and skills, and the needs and capabilities of the Department. Projects may include, but are not limited to, aspects of:

  • Condition survey and assessment of a particular collection
  • Re-housing collection materials
  • Preparation of Special Collections materials for exhibits and digital reformatting projects
  • Conservation treatment (conservator students will have the opportunity to propose treatment options for Special Collections materials, perform agreed upon treatments, and document condition and treatment)
  • Issues in digital collections and digital preservation
  • Survey of audiovisual materials
  • Development of metadata and digital program best practices and workflows
  • Development of preservation education, training and outreach resources
  • Disaster planning and response

Eligibility and Requirements:

  • Applicants must currently be graduate students, in good standing, in a program of library and archives preservation administration or conservation; or a recent graduate of such a program;
  • Applicants must have completed at least four preservation or conservation courses before the anticipated start date of this internship;
  • Applicants must commit to full-time employment as interns for the duration of the internship;
  • Internship must be completed within the calendar year;
  • At the end of the internship, the intern will be required to submit a final report or project;
  • Applicants must have student or working visas if not U.S. citizens.

The duration of the Lennox Foundation Internship is 3 months. The intern will be provided with a stipend of $3,200  and a furnished university apartment.

To apply for the Lennox Foundation Preservation and Conservation Internship please submit the following items:

  • Cover letter
  • Current resume
  • Contact information for two professional references (include address, phone number and e-mail address)
  • Statement of interest (include projects of interest)
  • Graduate program description including requirements and course descriptions. Please include an unofficial transcript indicating the courses you have completed.

The application materials can be emailed to:

To guarantee consideration, apply by March 1, 2018

Information about Iowa State University

For information about the Ames community, see Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries can be directed to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 3680 Beardshear Hall, 515 294-7612.

Pre-Program Internship in Rare Book and Library Materials Conservation (Seattle, WA, USA)

The University of Washington Libraries is offering a pre-program internship for an individual with a demonstrated interest in conservation.  Applicants are expected to be preparing for or enrolled in a graduate level conservation program in the United States.

This is a full-time (40 hours per week) summer program.  Duration is 10 weeks, with exact dates to be arranged between June and September 2018.  The University of Washington Libraries provides a $6,000 stipend.

Working under the supervision of the Senior Conservator, the intern will have the opportunity to perform a broad range of conservation treatments on rare books, manuscripts, prints, drawings, maps, and other unbound archival and special collections materials on paper and vellum.  The intern will develop skills in treatment decision-making, prepare condition and treatment reports with appropriate photo documentation, and gain additional experience in conservation treatment.

For additional information or to apply, see:

To ensure consideration, applications should be received no later than Monday, February 19, 2018.

For all other questions, please contact Justin Johnson, Senior Conservator,

Pre-program internship in Conservation (Washington DC, USA)

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art is the only facility in the United States dedicated exclusively to the exhibition and preservation of Africa’s traditional and contemporary arts.  With generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the NMAfA is offering a paid pre-program internship for individuals preparing to apply to a graduate-level training program in art conservation.  As part of an initiative to promote diversity in the field and conservation training, the program will offer the opportunity to gain broad experience in multiple specialties, which may include objects, textiles, paper or paintings.

Learning objectives for interns include:

  • Learn to perform condition exams, carry out written and photographic documentation, treat artworks
  • Participate in preventive conservation activities
  • Gain: an understanding of materials and techniques; an introduction to treatment problem-solving; hands-on experience.
  • Develop a portfolio for application to graduate programs.

Desired Prerequisites: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with demonstrable academic commitment to fulfilling the pre-requisites in art history, studio art and chemistry for application to a conservation graduate program.

  • Term(s):  The 6-month, 40 hours/week internship will commence in Fall 2018
  • Stipend:  $600/week stipend plus additional funds to help defray the cost of travel to Washington DC.
  • Deadline:  March 1, 2018
  • Contact Information: Dana Moffett,

Apply Through: Applicants must register and submit an online application via the Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment system (SOLAA). After registering, sign onto the SOLAA system.  At the top of the screen, select “Start your Application”; Select “Internship” and “National Museum of African Art” from the drop-down program lists; choose “Pre-program Internship.”

Application requirements via SOLAA:

  • Short essay (no more than three pages total)
  1. A statement of your interest in this internship at the NMAfA and what you hope to gain from the experience.
  2. Please discuss the impact that a funded internship would have on you and your education.
  3. Provide a short biography describing your background, personal history, and interests.
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Undergraduate transcripts (unofficial)
  • Two letters of reference

For more details, visit:

ECPN Interviews: Electronic Media Conservation with Christine Frohnert

To promote awareness and a clearer understanding of different pathways into specializations that require particular training, The Emerging Conservation Professionals Network (ECPN) is conducting a series of interviews with conservation professionals in these specialties. We kicked off the series with Chinese and Japanese Painting conservation, and now we are focusing on Electronic Media Conservation (EMG). These conservators work with time-based media, which is characterized by artwork with durational elements, such as slide, film, and video, analog or born-digital materials, performance, light or kinetic art, sound or software-based art. We’ve asked our interviewees to share some thoughts about their career paths, which we hope will inspire new conservation professionals and provide valuable insight into these areas of our professional field.

In the first interviews for this series, we spoke with emerging conservators starting in the early stages of their careers working in time-based media, which included Alexandra Nichols, Nicholas Kaplan, Brian Castriota and Yasmin Desssem. In this interview, we hear from Christine Frohnert, a conservator who graduated in 2003 from the University of Arts in Berne, Switzerland, where she majored in the Conservation of Modern Materials and Media. Prior to establishing a private practice for Time-based Media (TBM) with colleague Reinhard Bek, Christine served as chief conservator at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany for twelve years and as chair of the AIC Electronic Media Group from 2008-2012. In 2012, she was named the inaugural Judith Praska Distinguished Visiting Professor in Conservation and Technical Studies at the Conservation Center at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (CC/IFA/NYU), where she now serves as the Time-based Media Art Conservation Curriculum Development Program Coordinator.


Christine Frohnert and Reinhard Bek [Photo: Reinhard Bek]
Christine Frohnert and Reinhard Bek [Photo: Reinhard Bek]
ECPN: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your current position.

Christine Frohnert (CF): I am a conservator of contemporary art with a specific focus on technology-based art. Reinhard Bek and I founded Bek & Frohnert LLC in NYC in 2012- a conservation studio in private practice specializing in the conservation of time-based media (TBM). We are both German, have been trained in Europe, worked in leading positions in museums, and have been involved in international research projects.

Bek and I focus on the conservation of artworks with a durational element in our practice—such as sound, moving image, performance, light, or movement, that unfolds to the viewer over time via slide, film, video, software, or the internet. Since the studio’s inauguration, we have responded to individual needs for both TBM conservation treatments and consulting requests. However, over the last several years, we have experienced a rising demand to serve as consultants for different U.S. institutions without time-based media conservators on staff, as well as for collectors and artists. As many TBM art collecting institutions are facing rapidly increasing needs to adequately acquire, preserve, exhibit and store TBM works, we are responding to this development and our work is more geared towards long-term collection care and the development of preservation plans, as well as education.

ECPN: How were you first introduced to conservation, what contributed to your decision to specialize in time-based media, and why has been your training pathway?

CF: As with most of my colleagues, I started conservation being exposed to more traditional media such as paintings and sculpture. About 20 years ago, I realized that technology-based artworks can be seriously harmed or lost without a new conservation specialty being established. I became fascinated with TBM, and I learned about the newly established program ‘Conservation of Modern Materials and Media’ at the University of Arts, Berne, Switzerland. I graduated from there in 2003.

ECPN: Are there any particular skills that you feel are important or unique to your discipline?

Christine Frohnert [Photo: Marlies Peller]
Christine Frohnert [Photo: Marlies Peller]
CF: A complex range of skill sets are needed, which should be solidly grounded in the conceptual framework of contemporary art conservation as a whole. It requires knowledge in electrics/electronics and programming, and an in-depth understanding of each media category, technology and its preservation, documentation and digital preservation needs. As our profession is highly collaborative by nature, soft skills are equally important to collaborate with all the stakeholders in the institutions involved, as well as with affiliated external professionals such as engineers, computer scientists, and technicians. This is important when defining, communicating, and verifying goals with vendors.

As many museums recently formed or are currently forming ‘Media Teams’ in their respective institutions to tackle their individual TBM collections needs, we have witnessed a rapidly increasing need for skilled labor, dedicated TBM lab space, equipment, and the trustworthy storage and management of huge amounts of born-digital or digitized artworks.

ECPN: What are some of your current projects, research, or interests?

CF: Currently our recent projects include consultation with several institutions to analyze their TBM collections and develop custom-designed conservation strategies according to their individual collections needs and skill sets of staff. These consultations may include surveys, assistance with media acquisitions, exhibitions and artwork documentation, storage, and migration. Bringing in external expertise often provides the bridge that many museums and their TBM stakeholders do not find in-house or do not have the capacity to coordinate. This work helps to identify and structure these needs more clearly and often provides the basis for institutional development and the implementation of larger collection care projects.

Recent and current treatment-based activities range from analyzing the ‘mechanical’ programming of a light-based work, the conservation of a seven channel-video wall from 1998 consisting of 207 Cathode Ray Tube monitors, digitization of analog video, and  the reverse engineering of custom-designed large format slide projectors, to name a few.

Cathode Ray Tube monitor [Photo: Marlies Peller
Cathode Ray Tube monitor [Photo: Marlies Peller]
ECPN: In your opinion, what is an important need in your specialization?

CF: the most pressing need is education. Technology-based art is considered to be very sensitive to damage, loss, misinterpretation, and incorrect installation, due to its very specific and sensitive relationship to time, space, and concept. Damage or loss of a TBM work cannot be seen by simply examining the physical material and may not be immediately apparent unless the individual has received specialized training.

TBM conservation has been identified as a priority by many museums, collectors, and funding agencies. However, the educational opportunities are still limited, and there is currently no U.S. graduate program offering a degree in this specialty (but this will change soon!). As a result, a huge amount of our most recent cultural heritage is at risk, in an unknown condition, and/or not sufficiently integrated into museums’ missions of collecting, exhibition, conservation, research, and education.

However, thanks to the generous funding provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Conservation Center at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, started the TBM art conservation curriculum planning project in 2016.The new TBM specialization will be integrated within its current curriculum starting in fall 2018. This will be the first conservation program offering this specialty in the U.S. and the graduates will receive a dual degree: an MS in the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and an MA in the History of Art and Archaeology.

ECPN: Have you been involved in any advocacy, outreach, teaching or professional service roles in your specialization?

CF: During my time as EMG (Electronic Media Group) board Chair from 2008-2012, we received numerous request from the membership to offer continuing education opportunities, and in response EMG launched the conference series entitled TechFocus in 2010. The series is designed to provide hands-on guidance and systematic education on different media categories (TechFocus I: Caring for Video Art, Guggenheim Museum, NY, in 2010; TechFocus II: Caring for Film and Slide Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, 2012; TechFocus III: Caring for Software-based Art, Guggenheim Museum, NY, in 2015). In addition, the first periodical worldwide that focuses on TBM art conservation was launched by the EMG in 2012, The Electronic Media Review.

At the (CC/IFA/NYU) I have offered instruction in TBM conservation art in different capacities, including the course Art With A Plug: The Conservation of Artwork Containing Motion, Sound, Light, Moving Images and Interactivity (Fall 2012 and Spring 2015).

Several professional organizations and initiatives have created additional targeted educational opportunities and collaborations. However, despite all these good developments, further training is needed at the graduate level, as well as in continuing education for professionals, to address the fast-increasing demands of TBM conservation.

Under the leadership of Dr. Hannelore Roemich, Professor of Conservation Science and TBM program Director, I have also served as TBM Program Coordinator to assist in identifying skill sets and core competencies of TBM conservators that translate into the educational needs to develop a TBM curriculum. In the fall of 2016 the Conservation Center offered the course and public lecture series Topics in Time-based Media Art Conservation, which included ten lectures by leading art historians, artists, computer scientists, and conservators. These events were an important outreach component of the curriculum development project, and they created the opportunity to promote the field, foster the dialogue between TBM professionals, and build a community.

We are now organizing the upcoming symposium It’s About Time! Building a New Discipline: Time-based Media Art Conservation to be held in May 2018. The two-day symposium will provide a forum for educators, artists, art historians, museum curators and directors, collectors, gallerists, engineers, computer scientists, and conservators to promote TBM art conservation as a discipline on an international level and will conclude the TBM curriculum planning phase.

ECPN: Do you have any advice for prospective emerging conservators who would like to pursue this specialization?

Cathode Ray Tube monitor [Photo: Christine Frohnert]
Cathode Ray Tube monitor [Photo: Christine Frohnert]
CF: While I am not comfortable issuing general advice, I can say that I personally appreciate working with students and colleagues in our field, and that this has shaped and enriched my professional life. If you are a strong communicator who is interested in the intersection of art and technology, art conservation, and art history– and maybe you even have a background in one or more of the related media fields–why don’t you join the EMG sessions at the AIC annual meetings and/or attend the upcoming NYU symposium to engage with the TBM community and find out if this specialty may be just the right fit for you?

ECPN:  Please share any last thoughts or reflections.

CF: We currently see an extremely high demand for trained TBM conservators. This can be measured by the exponentially increasing job offers worldwide and the challenges many institutions face to find qualified candidates. So, it is safe to say that this is the best moment in time for becoming a TBM conservator in this country. If you are interested in pursuing a career in TBM conservation- check out the new TBM curriculum page at the Conservation Center, Institute of Fine Arts at NYU.