The J. Paul Getty Trust : Associate Conservator

Job Summary

The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks an Associate Conservator of Paintings to join the department of Paintings at the Getty Center. With the department conservators, this position shares responsibility for the care and study of the Museum’s holding of paintings with an active exhibition, publication, and loan program. The Paintings collection encompasses over 400 notable European paintings produced before 1900. While its parameters reflect J. Paul Getty’s own interests, in the decades following his death in 1976 the collection expanded considerably beyond his predilection for Italian Renaissance and seventeenth–century Dutch and Flemish painting to include major examples of early Italian and Netherlandish painting, eighteenth– and nineteenth–century French painting, and the Spanish and German schools. 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, technical study, 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 paintings collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, as well as from other institutions.
  • 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 supervise graduate interns
  • 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 paintings
  • Advanced knowledge of chemical and physical properties of 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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