Objects Conservation Fellow

Job Summary

Harvard Art Museums Straus Centre for Conservation and Technical Studies
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America
Contract Type
55000 USD - 55000 USD
Closing date

Job Details

Job Summary

The Conservation Fellowship Program at the Harvard Art Museums is designed to broaden the experience of conservators embarking on professional careers in museum conservation through work with our global collection. The fellow is an integral member of the conservation staff, whose work serves the museum’s mission.

Position Description


  • The focus for the Objects Conservation Fellow will be the examination and treatment of works of art from the Harvard Art Museums’ broad and diverse collections as driven by exhibition, loans, and research needs. A collaborative technical research project focusing on a work(s) of art from the Harvard Art Museums’ collections will comprise approximately 15% of the first year of the fellowship.
  • Under the supervision of the Head of Objects Lab, the fellow carries out a broad range of activities, including treatment, preventative conservation, preparation of accompanying written and photographic documentation, estimates, correspondence, and condition reports for exhibitions, loans, and acquisitions; presentation of research and other projects; lab maintenance; leading or participating in lab tours, and organizing an event or workshop.
  • Foregrounding the museum’s teaching and research mission, the fellow also helps provide content expertise and support for teaching in the galleries and the Museums’ Art Study Center, including staffing Art Study Center sessions approximately three hours a week, participates in a series of art handling workshops, and contributes to a rich offering of public and academic interpretive programs across various platforms.
  • The Objects Conservation Fellow will be an active member of the Fellows’ cohort and will participate in regular cohort meetings and in the annual Fellows symposium at the end of the spring semester.
  • The Objects Conservation Fellow may supervise students and temporary employees.

PLEASE NOTE: This position works on-site at both the museum in Cambridge, MA, and a second facility in Somerville, MA.  
The Harvard Art Museums are committed to equity and inclusion in its staff and to engaging with a wide range of audiences and constituents, and welcome applications from candidates of diverse backgrounds who share these interests and commitments.

Basic Qualifications

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications to be considered for this role:
Master’s degree or equivalent in conservation or related field.

Additional Qualifications and Skills


  • Demonstrated record of treatment and research
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills; ability to work independently as well as collaboratively as part of a team
  • Flexible team player who thrives in environments requiring the ability to effectively prioritize and juggle multiple concurrent projects
  • Familiarity with state-of-the-art imaging tools used for conservation documentation, including digital photography and x-radiography
  • Proficiency with computer software, including image processing software

Additional Information

Application Procedures
Please apply online via the Harvard Careers posting with a letter of interest and a résumé or curriculum vitae.  Complete applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, starting January 31, 2024 and continuing until the position is filled.

Upon review of initial applications, successful candidates will be notified to submit two letters of recommendation. Other supporting documents may include transcripts and writing samples.

Additional Information
The term of this fellowship is September 3, 2024-June 26, 2026.  In addition to $55,000 annual compensation, the fellowship has an allocated travel budget and is eligible to participate in Harvard’s fringe benefits program.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up to date on CDC-recommended vaccines.   

  • Discover Harvard Art Museums and Harvard University Benefits
  • A creative, high- energy, collaborative environment
  • Generous Vacation, Sick, Personal, and Holiday pay
  • Medical, Dental and Vision benefits starting on your first day
  • Tuition Assistance Program
  • Transportation benefits to help with your daily commute
  • Health and wellness discounts, memberships and programs
  • Additional benefits can be found at https://hr.harvard.edu/totalrewards

Work Format Details

This position is based primarily on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.