Assistant Conservator, NEH Fellow (Faculty, Exempt)

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is pleased to announce this one-year position in support of the Susan and David Goode Center for Advanced Study in Art Conservation’s education and professional development goal. It is funded completely through the 2021 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Preservation and Access Education and Training grant awarded to VMFA, and will directly support the study, conservation, and preservation of VMFA’s collection.

Working collaboratively with other departments across the museum, the NEH Fellow will have the opportunity to expand professional skills as a Conservator and will be involved in all operations related to the examination, documentation, treatment, display, technical analysis, and conservation research, focusing specifically on paintings in the permanent collection. The NEH Fellow will employ the highest conservation standards and ethics in order to preserve the integrity as well as the aesthetic and historic significance of each work. The NEH Fellow will work in collaboration with other conservation specialists as needed and advise on maintenance and preventive care of the collection including environmental control, storage, packing, handling, and requirements for exhibition.

The NEH Fellow will be expected to undertake an in-depth, multifaceted research project that results in either a publication or presentation at a professional conference. The NEH Fellow will also have public engagement and educational responsibilities such as leading laboratory tours, speaking to visiting groups, responding to public inquiries, and presenting conservation projects and activities to museum visitors.

Minimum Qualifications:

Graduate level degree in art conservation specializing in paintings from a recognized conservation training program or the equivalent combination of experience, training, and education.

The successful candidate will also have:

  • Knowledge of currently acceptable conservation methods for treatment of a wide variety of paintings.
  • Knowledge of art history and historic methods of fabrication of a wide range of American, European, and Contemporary paintings.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform historic and materials research.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform condition assessments, develop conservation treatment proposals, and execute treatments to a high degree of competency and efficiency.
  • Demonstrated ability to convey information in a clear, succinct, and accurate manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform analytical and examination techniques frequently used in conservation, and experience in interpreting test results.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well both independently and in concert with others, and to be professional, diplomatic, and discreet.
  • Experience with common computer software programs.
  • Knowledge of safe methods for handling chemicals and hazardous materials based on OSHA standards.
  • Ability to wear a respirator.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in supervising interns.

Additional Information:

The selected candidate must pass a criminal history background check.

This position is grant funded for one year at $45,000/year.

The deadline for on-line applications has been extended until 11:59 PM on Friday, August 26, 2022.  Applicants who met the initial deadline date will still be considered without having to resubmit an application.
Please submit contact information for three (3) references.  Provide full name, phone number, and e-mail address. Reference information may be included with the résumé or cover letter; or it may be attached in a separate document in the “other” field in the portal.

Professional and educational references are preferred.  References should be able to attest to your knowledge, skills, and abilities, especially qualifications relevant to this position.

Please contact the HR office at if you need assistance.

VMFA is an EEO/AA and Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Certified Employer. Diverse and inclusive hiring practices are at the heart of what we do at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  Read more.
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