pre-program conservation internships

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The Museum of Fine Arts
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Application deadline: 
Friday, 9 April, 2021 - 23:00

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston seeks two pre-program conservation interns for summer 2021.

Conservation and Collections Management is an integral part of the Museum's stated purpose to hold its collections in trust for future generations. Members of the department promote the long-term preservation of artworks through development of conservation treatments, study of materials and techniques, scholarly research and documentation. The department follows internationally established standards to document and maintain the aesthetic and physical integrity of works of art through six conservation disciplines, an analytical facility, and a collections management division responsible for safe exhibition, storage, transport, as well as the collections database.

Intern will assist with the maintenance of outdoor sculpture and the consolidation of Japanese lacquer. The care and treatment of outdoor sculpture around the MFA campus will include examination, washing, waxing, buffing, and written and photographic documentation (including 3D scanning) of objects before and after treatment. Intern will be introduced to conservation issues particular to outdoor sculpture, including deterioration mechanisms, maintenance needs, and treatment protocols. Intern will also assist conservators working on the stabilization of Japanese lacquer on sculpture. These activities will take place outside or in a public conservation studio. Intern will learn basic skills of photographic documentation, conservation principles, and condition reporting. Intern may also have opportunity to participate in other activities that offer hands-on experience and valuable insight into the day-to-day operations of a conservation lab. Intern will be expected to perform tasks in support of collections care and conservation procedures. Interns will be paid at a rate of $16.00 an hour.

Responsibilities may include:
• assisting conservators with examination, condition reporting, and written and photographic documentation
• assisting conservators in the treatment of works of art in the MFA's collections
• undertaking research necessary to support conservation treatments
• engaging with visitors in the public Conservation in Action studio
• performing other duties as appropriate

• currently enrolled undergraduate student (or very recent graduate) pursuing a career in art conservation and seeking to gain experience with a pre-program internship before enrollment in a conservation graduate program
• previous museum experience desirable
• must be able to work in an outdoor environment under summer weather conditions
• must be able to climb ladders, work on scaffolding, and carry equipment weighing 15-20lbs
• must be comfortable working in public view
• must work well in a team environment focused on learning conservation skills and techniques
• attention to detail
• good hand skills
• facility with Microsoft Word, Excel, and database programs (training in use of the Museum's database system will be provided)
• ability to perform tasks in professional manner and with discretion when working with confidential records
• ability to commit 4 days per week for 8 weeks between June and August 2021

Applications are due on April 9, 2021. For consideration, please submit cover letter and resume for the Pre-Program Conservation Internship listed here:
One letter of recommendation should be sent to