Assistant Conservator of Contemporary Art

Job Summary

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York
Contract Type
72000 U.S. Dollars - 76000 U.S. Dollars
Closing date

Job Details

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About the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in two iconic sites in New York City-The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online.

Since its founding in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. We are committed to fostering a collaborative and respectful work environment with a staff as diverse as the audiences we engage. Our staff members are art lovers who are passionate about working toward a common goal: creating the most dynamic and inspiring art museum in the world.

At The Met, every staff member – from security officers to researchers to scientists and beyond – lives by our core values of respect, inclusivity, collaboration, excellence, and integrity. 

Respect: Engage one another with collegiality, empathy, and kindness, always.

Inclusivity: Ensure that all are and feel welcome and valued.

Collaboration: Reach across boundaries to exchange ideas and work together toward our shared mission.

Excellence: Lead the cultural world in quality and expertise-and inspire curiosity and creativity.

Integrity: Hold ourselves to the highest moral standards, admit when we fall short, and then evolve. 

About the Department:

The Department of Photograph Conservation is dedicated to the preservation, conservation, technical study, research, and presentation of the Museum's collection of photographs, spanning from the invention of the medium to the present day, as well as the Met's growing time-based media art collection. The Department supports numerous exhibitions, loans, and acquisitions per year; works closely with curatorial departments on storage and preventive conservation measures; and actively engages in education, outreach, and advocacy initiatives. It sets and follows guidelines for documentation, care, handling, display, and storage of the artworks in its care and contributes to the professional communities of photograph and time-based media conservators globally. 


As an Assistant Conservator of Contemporary Art, you will play a crucial interdisciplinary role in the preservation and care of The Met's collection of modern and contemporary photographs as well as time-based media artworks. You will work closely with photograph and time-based media conservators in the department on acquisitions, exhibitions, loans, and preventive conservation efforts, as well as engage in research that is relevant to the Museum's collection and contributes to the field more broadly. You will also support the department's and the institution's commitment to education and outreach.


  • Conduct examinations of works being considered for acquisition, loan, or exhibition
  • Carry out and assist with conservation documentation and treatments, as appropriate, on photographs and time-based media artworks
  • Represent the conservation perspective during all stages of the exhibition planning process
  • Advocate for and advise on the preventive conservation of the permanent collection
  • Communicate with artists, their representatives, and other stakeholders about conservation of their artwork
  • Research new and unconventional materials and techniques used in contemporary artworks
  • Complete art historical, technical, and scientific investigation and share scholarly research through presentation and publication
  • Represent the Department of Photograph Conservation within the Museum at educational and public events and at national and international conferences
  • Support professional development of Fellows, interns, and students
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Master's level degree in the conservation of photographs, time-based media, or contemporary art; or commensurate experience. Regardless of specialization, you must have knowledge of and/or a strong interest in conservation of contemporary art, specifically photographs, time-based media, and their intersection.
  • Minimum of six months of experience in a museum conservation lab or private conservation practice
  • Strong knowledge of conservation methodologies, ethics, and techniques with demonstrated experience in conservation documentation and treatments
  • Demonstrated research skills and the dedication to staying current with developments in the field
  • Excellent attention to detail, problem-solving skills, and manual dexterity
  • Effective communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Ability to work independently, in a team-oriented environment, and in collaboration with other departments across the institution
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt and produce high-level results on multiple projects with shifting priorities and deadlines  
  • Professional competence with computer programs, such as Word, Excel, Outlook, Adobe Creative Cloud, and collection management systems, such as TMS, as well as an ability to learn and implement new software
  • Knowledge of a language other than English a plus, but not required
  • A continuous drive to gain new skills and knowledge

This is an interdisciplinary position with a broad range of responsibilities. We still encourage you to apply if you meet some but not all the qualifications listed above.


  • Pay Range : $72,000 - 76,000 Annually   
  • The advertised pay scale reflects the good faith minimum and maximum salary range for this role. The advertised pay scale is not a promise of a particular wage for any specific employee. The specific compensation offered to a candidate may be dependent on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, the candidate's experience, education, special licensing or qualifications, and other factors.

Location Requirements

At time of employment, employees are expected to be located within commuting distance of the Museum. "Commuting distance" means that they are located in one of following states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania (the "Tri-state and PA" areas), and be able to commute to and from the Museum in a single day.

Benefits Offerings

The Museum provides competitive compensation, and generous benefits and perks for all eligible employees. Note: Benefits Offering may differ based on Employee Status.

  • Medical, dental, vision and life insurance
  • 403(b) basic retirement plan and optional matching retirement plan with an outstanding employer match
  • Considerable paid time off, including annual leave, sick leave, and 13 Museum holidays
  • Long-term disability coverage
  • Flexible Spending Accounts & Health Savings Account (pre-tax income for eligible health care expenses)
  • Commuter benefits (pre-tax income for parking or mass transit expenses)
  • Free financial-planning services
  • Financial assistance for relevant coursework, seminars, and training programs
  • 25% discount for staff in Museum shops
  • A subsidized staff cafeteria
  • Access to the Museums Council pass, which grants free admission to various museums and cultural institutions

Research shows that women and people from underrepresented groups often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that it is highly unlikely that someone meets 100% of the qualifications for a role. If much of this job description describes you, then please apply for this role.

The Met is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, The Met will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If reasonable accommodation is needed in this process, please contact  

The Metropolitan Museum of Art provides equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, alienage or citizenship status, marital status or domestic partner status, genetic information, genetic predisposition or carrier status, gender identity, HIV status, military status and any other category protected by law in all employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, lay-off and termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment.