Assistant/Associate Conservator - Objects Conservation

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Job location: 
New York City
Contract type: 
Application deadline: 
Thursday, 8 April, 2021 - 23:00

This is an end-dated position for 3/15/2023 (with a possibility of extension)

About The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art collects, studies, conserves, and presents significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas.

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. Since it was founded in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum's galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is renovating its Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, which houses preeminent collections from three distinct areas: sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania, and the ancient Americas (AAOA). These collections consist of over 12,000 archaeological and historic works of art, in a range of organic and inorganic media including wood sculptures with complex surface designs, composite fiber objects, fragile archaeological metals, and numerous objects with historic repairs.

The architectural firm wHY in collaboration with AAOA staff has developed a dynamic design to display approximately 2,000 works of art within the newly renovated 40,000 square foot gallery space. This project requires a complete gallery deinstallation, a renovation and reorganization of permanent storage locations, updates to structural and mechanical features, and reinstallation in the renovated space. The project will include the temporary and permanent relocation of approximately 5,000 works of art within the institution.

The Assistant/Associate Conservator will work under the supervision of the Associate or Assistant Conservator for AAOA. They will begin by working closely with collections staff, preparators, and riggers to oversee the safe deinstallation of art from the galleries. They will also participate in the setup of temporary conservation workspaces. They will work with other conservators on the project in examining, treating, and documenting the three-dimensional works within the collection. They will perform technical study and analysis on select objects in collaboration with colleagues in the Department of Scientific Research.

• Undertake conservation of the organic and inorganic three-dimensional objects in the collection of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas including examination, documentation, condition assessment and treatment as needed
• Assist with the development and set-up of temporary conservation workspaces
• Liaise with conservation preparators as needed on the design and production of mounts
• Liaise with conservators, curators, technicians, riggers, Buildings staff, Exhibitions staff, and Registrars throughout the project
• Work with external contractors on the deinstallation and reinstallation of large-scale artworks
• Prepare visual and written documentation and ensure all documentation is appropriately archived by departmental protocol
• Conduct technical examination of objects for materials ID and manufacture, including the use of analytical instrumentation such as x-radiography, microscopy, and portable x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy
• Collaborate with colleagues in the Department of Scientific Research for analytical research
• Supervise graduate students and pre-program interns as needed
• Participate in departmental promotional activities
• Other duties as assigned


• Ability to work as a member of a diverse team of conservation and curatorial specialists required
• Experience with the examination and treatment of complex composite objects required. Experience with indigenous cultural materials preferred
• Excellent hand skills, attention to detail, and ability to produce consistent results required
• Excellent organizational, written, verbal, and interpersonal skills required
• Demonstrable photography and computer skills required
• Skill using state-of-the-art conservation documentation tools including broadband multispectral imaging, and Reflectance Transformation Imaging preferred
• Familiarity with The Museum System (TMS) collection management software, Adobe Photoshop, and standard office software preferred
• Ability to work at a height; rig training will be provided


• Master's degree from an internationally recognized graduate conservation program required

The title and salary of the Assistant/Associate Conservator position will depend on years of experience:
Assistant Conservator minimum salary $64,000
Associate Conservator minimum salary $75,000
Benefits Include:
Health, Dental, Vision, FSA, 403(b) w/match, vacation, sick time, etc.

Application Instructions:
Candidates interested in applying, should submit cover letter, CV and 3 references (including name, affiliation, phone number and e-mail address) to: Please put the following in the subject line of the e-mail: Dept-Objects Conservation-Assistant/Associate Conservator.

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.