Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Objects Conservation

Job Summary

The Art Institute of Chicago
Contract Type
50000 US - 50000 US
Closing date

Job Details

The Art Institute of Chicago shares its singular collections with our city and the world. We collect, care for, and interpret works of art across time, cultures, geographies, and identities, centering the vision of artists and makers. We recognize that all art is made in a particular context, demanding continual, dynamic reconsideration in the present. We are a place of gathering; we foster the exchange of ideas and inspire an expansive, inclusive understanding of human creativity.

We offer a competitive, comprehensive benefits package:
Generous paid time off
Paid holidays (up to 14 days)
Medical, dental, and vision insurance
Generous parental, caregiver, and medical leave benefits
Competitive retirement plan (up to 9% matching contribution)
Tuition remission and Tuition Exchange Program
Great employee discounts
Complimentary general admission to participating cultural institutions
All staff members are expected to embrace the museum’s commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable institution and to adhere to the museum’s shared values.
Our museum reflects and deepens our collective humanity; the arts are integral to an inspired and just society
We respect and acknowledge each of our colleagues’ contributions and expertise across all roles within our organization
We share in the responsibility to create an antiracist culture built on equity, inclusion, and justice for all, acknowledging that these efforts are intersectional and ongoing
We encourage and advance a culture of hospitality, empathy, and gratitude for each visitor, supporter, and member of our staff
We embrace innovation and foster change with a progressive understanding of—and obligation to reconsider—our past
We sustain an open and dynamic civic platform, inviting and advancing the diverse perspectives of our city, staff, visitors, and supporters
Responsible for the treatment, research, and long-term preservation of over 300,000 works of art in the Art Institute’s collections, the Department of Conservation and Science is integral to the museum’s mission to safeguard the world’s artistic and cultural legacy for future generations. Founded in 1956 with a single paintings conservator, the department has grown to a staff of over 30 specializing in nine disciplines organized in five divisions:
Objects and Textiles
Paintings and Frames
Paper and Books
Photography and Media
Scientific Research
Members of the department contribute to the advancement of the field and the broader awareness of conservation issues through multiple avenues of specialized and societal dissemination, are involved in object-based teaching and scientific research, and actively support the education of future conservation and museum professionals.
Under the supervision of the Director of Objects and Textiles Conservation, the Fellow participates in a wide range of activities in the Department of Conservation and Science and gains experience in all aspects of caring for three-dimensional works while working in a large museum setting. The Fellowship provides excellent hands-on experience on the examination, documentation, analysis, and treatment of a wide range of historic and contemporary objects and materials as they are prepared for loans, exhibitions, and storage. Opportunities also exist for research and additional professional development activities. This is a 2-year position, offering a salary of $50,000 /annually and benefits.
With mentorship from the Director of Objects and Textiles Conservation, designs and carries out basic to advanced treatment strategies for in-house exhibitions, loans and on-going care of the collection
Completes written and photographic documentation on objects for treatment and general conservation documentation and shares copies in the museum's collection management database and digital asset management system in accordance with the highest archival and digital preservation standards
Completes incoming and outgoing examinations and condition reports on objects entering the museum for loan or acquisition consideration
Works with Conservation Scientists on scientific analysis of collection items
Conducts publishable long-term research projects
Helps train staff and interns in proper handling of three dimensional works
Helps maintain supplies and equipment in conservation laboratory
Supports the museum in its commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable institution; treats colleagues and visitors fairly and respectfully, recognizing the value that diverse backgrounds and perspectives bring to our organization
Maintains confidentiality
A successful candidate will be a graduate of a recognized conservation-training program with a clear specialization in objects conservation materials, or have equivalent education and work/life experience.
Grade level 6 - Union

The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace. We believe in a staff culture that benefits from a wide range of experience, backgrounds, and career paths, and we encourage nontraditional candidates to apply.