Duties & Responsibilities
Reports to the Head of Paintings Lab at the Straus Center for Conservation.
• Performs conservation surveys, examinations, and treatments for paintings, murals, and certain polychromed objects for the Harvard Art Museums and occasional outside clients. Collections span a broad range of cultures, focusing on European and American, and time periods from ancient to contemporary.
• Prepares accompanying written and photographic documentation, estimates, correspondence, and condition reports for exhibitions, loans, and acquisitions.
• Manages and executes preventive care for paintings, including light level monitoring and environmental needs.
• Manages and executes treatment and care of University Loans and Portrait Collection.
• Accompanies artworks as courier when needed.
• Carries out minor treatment of frames.
• Participates in planning and preparing budgets for lab activities, exhibitions, and special projects.
• Manages special projects related to conservation and preservation as needed.
• Collaborates with and maintains good working relations with conservation scientists, conservators, curators, and other museum staff.
• Assists Conservator of Paintings with selection, supervision, and instruction of conservation fellow.
• Directs and instructs casual employees, contractors, or students as appropriate.
• Assists in the maintenance of the lab and photo studio, including supplies, records, and equipment.
• Serves as Paintings Lab point person for health and safety issues. Uses and monitors the safe use of certain controlled or hazardous substances.
• Practices and promotes the Guidelines for Practice and Code of Ethics as established by the AIC.
• Assists the Conservator of Paintings in teaching, including undergraduate and graduate courses on the materials and techniques, and the technical examination of art.
• Advises and trains museum staff in the best practices for the care, handling, display, storage, and packing and shipping of paintings.
• Responsible for staying current with professional philosophies, procedures, and practices in the conservation field through membership in professional organizations, publications, and attendance at meetings, workshops, and seminars.
• Conducts technical research relevant to the collection as assigned and is strongly encouraged to publish and present findings at national and international conferences.
• Works with and provides content for Communications and other museum departments.
• Prepares and presents content for museum departments including Division of Academic and Public Programs, Curatorial, and Institutional Advancement.
• Supports Collections Management’s operation of Art Study Centers and Curricular Galleries.
• Leads and participates in tours for various interest groups.
Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications in order to be considered for this role:
• MA, MS, or Certificate in Conservation from a university program.
• A minimum of 5 years’ museum or other professional experience with skilled examination and treatment of paintings and painted surfaces from a broad range of cultures and time periods.
• Demonstrated experience with state-of-the-art imaging tools used for conservation documentation including: digital photography, x-radiography, infrared reflectography (IRR).
• Excellent computer skills, including image editing and management; high level of proficiency/expertise using Adobe PhotoShop and other software.
• Excellent communication, writing, interpersonal, project management, and leadership skills.
• Publications and presentations in professional forums.
• Proficiency with the Museum System (TMS).
• Has or is eligible for Professional Associate or Fellow membership status in AIC.
• Ability to lift up to 50 lbs and work while standing, and on occasion in non-studio, on-site locations. Ability to climb and work on a ladder and scaffolding.
• Precise attention to detail and manual dexterity.
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