The J. Paul Getty Trust : Associate Conservator


The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks an Associate Conservator of Photographs to join the Department of Paper Conservation at the Getty Center. With the Department Conservators and Mountmakers, this position shares responsibility for the care and study of the Museum’s large holding of fine art photographs with an active exhibition, publication, and loan program. Located in Los Angeles, California, the J. Paul Getty Museum is dedicated to the acquisition, conservation, exhibition and interpretation of works of art. Conservation is an integral part of the core activities of the museum and the broader J. Paul Getty Trust.


Duties in this full-time position include treatment, examination and preventative care of the permanent collections as well as participation in the planning and installation of exhibitions and loans. The Associate Conservator will provide input into exhibition and acquisition processes; is expected to research and work toward the development of improved understanding of the collection and methodologies for its long-term preservation; is required to remain current with research and advances in the conservation field. The position will report to the Senior Conservator and work closely and collaboratively with colleagues across the Museum and other Trust programs, including direct involvement with the scientific staff of the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI). The ability to work on several projects simultaneously is essential.

Major Job Responsibilities

  • Examination, study, and treatment of artworks in the large photographs collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum
  • Performance of conservation treatments to highest current standards including development and research towards best practices
  • Preparation of comprehensive conservation documentation of objects’ condition and conservation activities
  • Development and maintenance of standards for handling, storage, installation, packing and shipping of collections, including loans
  • Participation in the planning and installation of exhibitions; management of complex projects
  • May advise the curators and other staff on technical issues related to collections and potential acquisitions
  • Collaboration with department colleagues, scientists, curators and other departments on complex projects
  • Publication and presentation of research, including contributions to exhibition and collection catalogues
  • Communication with professional colleagues on a regular basis and participation in professional organizations; remains current in conservation practices
  • Develop and maintains collaborations with other institutions and professionals
  • May assist in the administration of the department
  • Guides assistants and technical staff


    • MA in conservation or equivalent degree
    • 5-7 years experience in conservation

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated abilities in the examination, analysis, documentation and treatment of photographs
  • Advanced knowledge of chemical and physical properties of photographic materials, conservation materials and deterioration processes
  • Expert hand skills including manual dexterity, color acuity, and sensitivity for objects
  • Familiarity and experience with institutional preventative conservation practices for collections and exhibition conservation are required.
  • Accomplished in art historical, scientific and conservation research and writing
  • Advanced knowledge of analytical techniques and a record of successful conservation treatments
  • Advanced knowledge of scientific instrumentation and ability to operate analytical and technical imaging equipment
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe Creative Suite. Knowledge of TMS desirable
  • Strong organizational skills including the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
  • Strong interpersonal skills including written, verbal and listening skills
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and direct teams across disciplines and to build long‐term relationships
  • Creative thinking and solutions-based problem-solving abilities
  • Proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Knowledge of personal safety equipment and standards


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