Head of Conservation and Preservation (Los Angeles, CA, USA)


The Getty Research Institute (GRI) seeks an experienced conservator to lead conservation and preservation for the Research Library. The Head of Conservation and Preservation will be responsible for the care and treatment of the library’s special and general collections. In collaboration with colleagues at the Getty and in the broader conservation community, the Head will assume a vital role in institutional initiatives and research projects. In addition to strategic and administrative leadership, the Head will provide expert conservation of collection materials with a focus on books and paper and/or photographs.

The Head will supervise a staff of 6 FTE responsible for a broad range of activities including conservation assessment and treatment of collections, support for ambitious exhibition, loan and digitization programs, disaster planning and response, and environmental monitoring. Reporting to the Head, Special Collections Management within the Research Library, the Head of Conservation and Preservation will work closely with staff throughout the GRI to ensure the smooth integration and timely completion of conservation and preservation activities.

Located at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Getty Research Institute is dedicated to furthering knowledge and advancing understanding of the visual arts and their histories. Serving an international community of scholars, the Research Library is one of the largest art and architecture libraries in the world, with holdings of more than one million books and periodicals. Special collections consist of rare and unique materials documenting art history and visual culture: rare books and journals, rare photographs, prints dating from the 15th century to the present, architectural drawings and models, audiovisual recordings, and extensive manuscript collections and archives.


  • With a focus on special collections, plan, perform and document conservation treatments for a broad range of materials
  • Supervise the activities of the unit, set goals, foster staff development and review performance
  • Establish priorities in consultation with curators, registrars, archivists, librarians, and exhibition coordinators
  • Coordinate workflows and manage daily operation of the conservation laboratory
  • Prepare condition assessments of items and collections; advise on conservation needs and options
  • Make recommendations regarding objects proposed for exhibition and loan, including review of facilities reports from borrowing institutions
  • Train and provide guidance for GRI staff in materials handling, preservation decision-making and physical care workflow
  • Coordinate preventive care, including IPM and environmental monitoring programs
  • Maintain an effective disaster/emergency response and recovery plan; may lead recovery activities
  • Ensure compliance with industry standards and best practices
  • Maintain program metrics, prepare reports, and contribute to funding applications
  • Oversee research, evaluation, recommendation and procurement of specialized equipment, supplies and services
  • Contribute to space planning and collection storage initiatives
  • Remain current in conservation practices and trends in the profession
  • Perform advanced scholarly research in the conservation field
  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with local, national, and international colleagues
  • Serve as a member of the library management team and as a resource for the GRI


  • MA in conservation or equivalent degree
  • 7 years of experience in conservation
  • 2 years of lead or supervisory experience

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and direct teams
  • Advanced knowledge of chemical and physical properties of conservation materials and deterioration processes
  • Expert knowledge of conservation history, ethics and methodology
  • Advanced knowledge and demonstrated experience with complex conservation treatment of paper, photographs and/or three-dimensional objects
  • Advanced knowledge of preservation issues in cultural institutions preferred
  • Demonstrated accomplishment in conservation research and writing preferred
  • Expert knowledge of emergency preparedness and emergency response procedures
  • Experience with emerging technologies in conservation practice preferred
  • Knowledge of art history preferred

Position Status: Regular Full-Time
Targeted Hiring Range: $85,145 – $110,695 annually
Salary commensurate with experience and internal equity

To Apply: https://jobs-getty.icims.com/jobs/3026/head-of-conservation-and-preservation/job.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Applications received on or before June 8, 2018 will receive priority consideration.