Paper Conservator

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Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art
Job location: 
Washington DC
Salary Start: 
Salary End: 
US Dollars
Contract type: 
Application deadline: 
Friday, 8 October, 2021 - 00:00

The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art, is located on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Committed to preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting exemplary works of art, the Freer and Sackler houses exceptional collections of Asian art, with more than 44,000 objects dating from the Neolithic period to today. Renowned and iconic objects originate from China, Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, the ancient Near East, and the Islamic world. The Freer Gallery also holds a significant group of American works of art largely dating to the late nineteenth century. It boasts the world's largest collection of diverse works by James McNeill Whistler, including the famed Peacock Room.

The Paper Conservator, under the supervision of the Head of Conservation & Scientific Research, is responsible for the conservation of art on paper, photographs, parchment, and books in the Islamic, South and Southeast Asian, American, and Contemporary departments of the National Museum of Asian Art. This Federal GS-11 position is responsible for researching, assessing, monitoring, documenting, and treating the collections which include prints, drawings, paintings, bound manuscripts, book covers, photographs, papyrus, parchment and library and archives materials. With the Head of Conservation & Scientific Research, the incumbent plans and implements programs and sets policies affecting the collections.

In addition to other duties, the incumbent:
• designs treatment plans, procedures, and methods for the conservation of the paper and book collections and documents treatments and findings.
• prepares artworks for exhibition and loan and for potential acquisition, in connection with the Museum's and Smithsonian goals and objectives.
• provides advice and consultation with staff in other departments including curatorial, collections, exhibitions, archives, and library.
• develops procedures or guidelines for testing, handling, documenting, conserving, and storing of art on paper and books.
• conducts research or tests on materials, procedures, and techniques, collaborating with department conservation scientists and conservators.
• prepares articles or blog posts, gives tours, or makes presentations on topics related to conservation for public outreach, education, and professional development.
• supervises and educates Fellows, interns, volunteers, and staff on various aspects of the treatment, care, and handling of art of paper and books.
• writes grant proposals to support the preservation of the collections, including soliciting bids for contract conservation work.

Applicants must apply through the USAJobs website to be considered:
Applications will be accepted through October 8, 2021.

The Smithsonian is an equal opportunity employer.

Job Type: Full-time, Federal GS-11, Museum Specialist (Paper Conservator)

Experience required:
• Knowledge of concepts, principles and methodologies associated with the conservation of art on paper and books, based on extensive experience.
• Highly skilled in applying concepts, principles, and methodologies to examine, analyze, study, evaluate, treat, and preserve art on paper and books.
• Demonstrated ability to perform high-quality conservation treatments on book and paper materials with high level of independence.
• Extensive knowledge of the materials and technology of papermaking and the deterioration processes of paper and related materials.
• Practical knowledge of materials science and technology, and organic and inorganic chemistry, to understand the physical and chemical reactions between materials.
• Familiarity with the tools and methods used to analyze the materials of art on paper and books, including related components such inks, dyes, cloth, parchment, leather, adhesives, sizings, etc.
• Demonstrated manual dexterity and excellent judgement in applying conservation treatment techniques to art on paper and books.
• Attention to detail, efficiency, and ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced work environment
• Ability to communicate effectively in oral and written form and to maintain the good interpersonal relationships integral to the collaboration with staff and the public.
• Work requires physical exertion such as sitting or standing for long periods, bending, lifting, and carrying moderate weight (up to 20 lbs.) and working at a binocular microscope.

• Health insurance
• Vision, dental and life insurance available
• Retirement plan

Salary range: $72,750 - $94,581

Schedule: Monday to Friday