The Barnes Foundation : Assistant Conservator of Paintings
Description: The Assistant Conservator of Paintings is a temporary full-time position in the Conservation department that will report to the Senior Director of Conservation and Chief Conservator of Paintings and additionally work under the guidance of the Conservator of Paintings. The Assistant Conservator of Paintings will carry out technical research and documentation that will be focused upon the collection of Amedeo Modigliani (12), Chaim Soutine (21), and Pablo Picasso (22); s/he will coordinate and disseminate the technical studies with the conservation, curatorial, and research staff, and contract conservation scientists. Treatment of selected paintings will be undertaken. S/he will work as a team member in the Conservation Department and may be requested to assist with additional preventive conservation and special exhibition assignments, as needed. The duties of the temporary full-time position will be based primarily at the Philadelphia campus. S/he will participate as a member of the Collections and Exhibitions division under the direction of the Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions and Gund Family Chief Curator.
We’re committed to diversity and equal opportunity in our recruitment and hiring. Highly qualified candidates of all backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to apply for this position.
Established in 1922 as an educational institution, the Barnes Foundation carries out its mission by promoting appreciation of the arts and horticultural science, through the preservation, presentation, and interpretation of the collections of Albert C. and Laura L. Barnes.
The Barnes is home to one of the world’s greatest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist paintings, with especially deep holdings in Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso. Assembled by Dr. Albert C. Barnes between 1912 and 1951, the collection also includes important examples of African art, Native American pottery and jewelry, Pennsylvania German furniture, American avant-garde painting, and wrought-iron metalwork.
The Barnes Foundation engages diverse audiences through its exceptional collections and high-quality programs that reflect a broad range of periods and cultures and build on the founders’ innovative educational vision of transforming lives through the arts and horticulture.
Job Specific Competencies:
- Completes the examination and technical study of the materials and techniques of the paintings of Chaim Soutine, Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso in the Barnes Foundation collection for a multi-year grant funded research project using photographic documentation techniques including, but not limited to x-ray radiography, infrared reflectography, and ultraviolet illumination photography. Works with the Senior Conservation Coordinator in the cataloguing and preparation of digital treatment documentation images for attachment to the collections management database, TMS. Participates in the scholarly studies of the collection by collections, research, and education staff and by scholars and/or conservation scientists.
- Performs elemental analysis produced by x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) for selected paintings for the project and prepares accompanying documentation, according to department guidelines. Coordinates scientific analysis with contract scientists and determines questions to be investigated on selected works by Chaim Soutine, Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso.
- Prepares overview papers that discuss the materials and techniques of the works by Chaim Soutine, Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso in the Barnes Foundation collection.
- Review paintings that have been designated as requiring stabilization treatment and determine a work plan for the treatment of these paintings with the Senior Director of Conservation and Chief Conservator of Paintings and the Conservator of Paintings.
- Performs the examination and treatment of selected paintings as approved by the Senior Director of Conservation and Chief Conservator of Paintings, and in consultation with the Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions and Gund Family Chief Curator.
- Produces written and photographic documentation of treatments; completes data entry of written conservation examination, treatment proposal, and treatment documentation in the collections management database, TMS; works with the Senior Conservation Coordinator in the cataloguing and preparation of digital treatment documentation images for attachment to the collections management database, TMS.
- Prepares condition reports for incoming and outgoing loans of Barnes Foundation study and lending collection paintings for temporary exhibition loans, as requested.
- Assists with condition reporting incoming loans for the temporary exhibition program.
- Works with the conservation department to accomplish preventive conservation tasks, such as collections housekeeping, by performing routine dusting of collection objects, as needed; observes and reports signs of deterioration and damage; monitors collections for theft, loss, or misplacement of items.
- Assists the Senior Director of Conservation and Chief Conservator of Paintings and the Conservator of Paintings in the supervision of department interns and volunteers.
- As a team member of the conservation department, assists in the research and maintenance of supplies and equipment in the conservation department, as requested.
- Assists in the ongoing education of Barnes Foundation staff, contract conservation staff, and interns on the basics of conservation and art handling; participates in both written and verbal presentations on conservation to staff, students, docents, or public constituents of the Barnes Foundation, as requested.
- Lectures on conservation issues or studies of materials and techniques to staff, students, docents, or public constituents of the Barnes Foundation, as requested.
- Stays abreast of the field by attending conferences as funding permits, reading professional journals, and conferring with colleagues.
- Delivers research papers at professional meetings and/or publishes in professional journals as departmental funding and time permits.
- Maintains a safe and professional workspace.
- Prepares monthly reports to the Senior Director of Conservation and Chief Conservator of Paintings.
- Performs other duties, as requested.
Skills and Knowledge:
- Master’s degree in art conservation, or equivalent, with a minimum of one year of post-graduate experience in painting conservation.
- Knowledge of, and willingness to abide by, the American Institute for Conservation Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.
- Excellent hand skills and knowledge of current conservation treatment practices.
- Experience with digital imaging for conservation documentation.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Ability to work well with others as well as to work independently.
- Capacity to manage deadlines.
- Experience with collections management databases, especially Gallery System’s, The Museum System (TMS), highly desirable.
Competitive Benefits Include: Group health, dental and vision insurance; flexible spending accounts; short- and long-term disability and group life insurance; 403(b) with matching contributions; Employee Assistance Program; voluntary benefits; as well as paid vacation, personal time, sick time and holidays.
Please include a cover letter and an updated resume with your application.
The Barnes Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and we’re committed to diversity and equal opportunity in our recruitment and hiring. Qualified candidates of all backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to apply for this position. Employees have rights under other laws including, but not limited to, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act. We participate in E-Verify.