Head of Paper Conservation

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Art Institute of Chicago
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Application deadline: 
Friday, 17 January, 2020

The Art Institute of Chicago has an exciting opening for the position of Head of Paper Conservation.

The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879, is a world-renowned art museum housing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. An encyclopedic museum, the Art Institute collects, preserves, and interprets works in every medium from all cultures and historical periods. With a collection of approximately 300,000 art works and artifacts, the museum has particularly strong holdings in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, contemporary art, early 20th century European painting and sculpture, Japanese prints, and photography. The museum's 2009 addition, the Modern Wing, features the latest in green museum technology and 264,000 square feet dedicated to modern and contemporary art, photography, architecture and design, and new museum education facilities. In addition to displaying its permanent collection, the Art Institute mounts more than 30 special exhibitions per year and features lectures, gallery tours, and special performances on a daily basis

Position Summary
Reporting to the Grainger Executive Director of Conservation and Science, the Head of Paper Conservation plans and directs the work of the Paper Conservation Department. At the Art Institute of Chicago, Paper Conservation is part of the larger Conservation and Science department, counting over 32 specialists for objects, paintings, frames, works on paper, photographs, and books, other printed materials, textiles, time-based media and scientific research.

This position provides a unique opportunity to manage a talented team of 5 paper conservators and experts in preparation and framing of works of art on paper, focusing on the care, treatment, presentation and research of a distinguished collection of works on paper housed in the departments of Prints and Drawings, Asian Art, Architecture and Design, Modern and Contemporary Art, and American Art. This role also manages conservation documentation, workflows and recommendations pertaining to loans, exhibitions, storage, acquisition and deaccession of works of art on paper.

Building on a strong tradition of curatorial/ conservation/ scientific research collaboration, this role also provides leadership for engaging in research and publication on object-based scholarship for works of art on paper. Furthermore, the position engages with the public, scholars, students and peers to disseminate the research and activities of Paper Conservation.

Primary Responsibilities:
· Directs and plans the operations of Paper Conservation in consultation with the Executive Director of Conservation and Science.

· Supervises the activities of the Paper Conservation staff, as well as preparation and framing: assigns and supervises projects, tracks and documents activities to guide planning and generates annual reports.

· Works with the Grainger Executive Director of Conservation and Science to establish and manage the departmental budget.

· Coordinates Paper Conservation activities museum wide and establishes the museum's paper conservation policies in consultation with the Deputy Director, Executive Director of Conservation and Science, Curators and Registrars.

· Develops long range plans for the Paper Conservation department in regard to staffing, equipment and facilities to meet collection needs.

· Develops, prioritizes and manages short and long-term research projects focused on the treatment or study of the materials and techniques of works on paper.

· Is conversant with recent technologies in the field, supervises the use of in-depth examination methods, including x-ray, ultra-violet, infra-red imaging, microscopy, etc., and provides recommendations for equipment maintenance and upgrades.

· Oversees the examination of art on paper proposed for loan and makes recommendations based upon physical condition. Examines, writes condition reports and recommends environmental standards for objects in the permanent collection as they enter and leave the museum. Maintains communication with Curators, Registrars and consults with other AIC Conservators to coordinate activities related to loans.

The ideal candidate should be a graduate of a recognized conservation training program or possess commensurate experience. Minimum of 10 years of post-graduate experience is required. Proven expertise in the treatment of a wide range of drawing and printing media and papers including major and complex treatments is required. The candidate should have excellent verbal and written communication skills as demonstrated by a track record of publications and presentations. Should demonstrate proficiency with a variety of software platforms for administration, project management and image processing. Previous management experience preferred.

Candidates should submit their resume, two references, a cover letter detailing the candidate's interest in applying for the position, along with one sample of a relevant publication, and a portfolio with two or three examples of projects (please attach all as one document when uploading).

Application Deadline: January 17, 2020. Applications will continue to be reviewed until the position is filled. To apply go to: https://hrweb.artic.edu/psc/HRPRODE/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM_FL.HRS_CG_S...

For conservation – related questions about the position please contact:
Francesca Casadio, Grainger Executive Director of Conservation and Science fcasadio@artic.edu

The Art Institute of Chicago is an equal opportunity, equal access employer fully committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace.