Associate Conservator of Photographs

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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA)
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US dollars per annum
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Monday, 7 February, 2022 - 11:45

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has an exciting opportunity for an Associate Conservator of Photographs to join the team at the Susan and David Goode Center for Advanced Study in Art Conservation. The Goode Center is a vibrant research and training center dedicated to advancing the field of conservation, art history, and science through joint study with conservators, curators, scholars, and scientists. Opened in 2010, the Goode Center is the largest conservation facility in the southeast and is outfitted with advanced analytical and examination capabilities including hyperspectral imaging, scanning and portable x-ray fluorescence, FT-IR and FT-Raman spectroscopy, polarized light microscopy, microfade testing, and computed x-radiography.

Job description:
Reporting to the Head of Paper Conservation, the primary objective of this position is the long-term conservation and preservation of the VMFA's collection of photographic materials. The collection numbers more than 8,000 works that span the history of the medium and include a wide range of processes, from salted paper prints and daguerreotypes to large-scale contemporary inkjet prints. The collection boasts particular strengths in twentieth-century American photographs, including rich holdings of civil rights photographs, a wide range of work by artists in the Kamoinge Workshop, a stellar "key set" of more than 4,000 prints by Aaron Siskind and growing holdings of photographs and video by contemporary Black artists. Additional strengths include an exquisite collection of photographs by Man Ray and expansive holdings of work by Hungarian-born American photographers, including André Kertész, György Kepes, and Andre de Dienes, among others. Additionally, the VMFA's archives hold rich archival collections of photographs, work prints, negatives and contact sheets related to the photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop, and holdings of individual photographer's archives is expected to grow significantly in coming years.

Working collaboratively with other departments across the museum, the Associate Conservator will be involved in all operations related to the examination, documentation, treatment, display, technical analysis, and conservation research of the photographic works in the permanent collection. The Associate Conservator will employ the highest conservation standards and ethics in order to preserve the integrity as well as the aesthetic and historic significance of each work. They will work in collaboration with other conservation specialists as needed and advise on maintenance and preventive care of the collection including environmental control, storage, packing, handling, and requirements for exhibition. The Associate Conservator will train, supervise, and mentor staff and interns as needed. They will also have public engagement and educational responsibilities such as leading laboratory tours, speaking to visiting groups, responding to public inquiries, and presenting conservation projects and activities to museum visitors.

This salaried, exempt position offers Commonwealth of Virginia employee benefits such as 12 paid holidays, health benefits and more. The annual salary range for this position is $60,000 to $65,000, commensurate with experience. This position also offers various VMFA employee benefits such as free admission to special exhibitions, previews of special exhibitions, employee pricing for select museum programs and classes, as well as discounts in Amuse Restaurant, the Best Café and the VMFA shop.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is a state-supported, privately endowed educational institution created for the benefit of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art, to encourage the study of the arts, and thus to enrich the lives of all. As one of the world's finest museums and one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the United States, the VMFA is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission.

Minimum Qualifications:
• Knowledge of currently acceptable conservation methods for treatment and housing of a wide variety of photographic materials.
• Knowledge of art history and historic methods of fabrication for photographic materials.
• Demonstrated ability to perform historic and materials research.
• Demonstrated ability to perform process identification, condition assessments, develop conservation treatment proposals, and execute treatments to a high degree of competency and efficiency.
• Demonstrated ability to convey information in a clear, succinct, and accurate manner.
• Demonstrated ability to perform analytical and examination techniques frequently used in conservation. Experience in interpreting test results.
• Demonstrated ability to work well both independently and in concert with others, and to be professional, diplomatic, and discreet.
• Experience in supervising staff and interns.
• Experience with common computer software programs.
• Knowledge of safe methods for handling chemicals and hazardous materials based on OSHA standards.
• Ability to wear a respirator.

Preferred Qualifications:
• Graduate level degree in art conservation from a recognized conservation training program with a demonstrated concentration in the conservation of photographic materials or the equivalent combination of experience, training, and education.
• Minimum of 5 years of postgraduate experience or equivalent experience, education, and training.

Special Requirements:
Selected candidates must pass a criminal history background check.

VMFA Agency Directive requires:
All staff, volunteers, and contractors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except for cases of approved medical or religious accommodation.

All staff, volunteers, and contractors are required to wear masks for all indoor and outdoor events.

While outside on campus grounds, all VMFA employees must wear masks when a social distance of six (6) feet cannot be maintained.

Special Instructions for Applicants:
Please submit three (3) references. Provide full name, phone number and email address. References may be attached in a separate document in the "other" field in the portal; or they may be included with the resume or cover letter.

Professional references are preferred. Other reference types will also receive consideration. References should be able to attest to your knowledge, skills, and abilities, especially qualifications relevant to the position for which you are applying.

Interested individuals must submit an online application. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 pm on February 7, 2022.

Please contact the HR office at if you need assistance.

VMFA is an EEO/AA and Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Certified Employer. Diverse and inclusive hiring practices are at the heart of what we do at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

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