JOB TITLE: Senior Paintings Conservator
PRIMARY LOCATION: Hartmann Fine Art Conservation Services, Inc. conservation facility in Carlisle, PA
REPORTS TO: Chief of Conservation
APPLICATION PERIOD: Will remain open until filled
Hartmann Conservation is seeking a driven, self-motivated professionally trained Paintings Conservator with strong management, leadership, oral and written communication, artifact assessment, and advanced conservation treatment skills. Primary job responsibilities will include personally undertaking complicated conservation treatments; completing conservation reports; and overseeing the daily operations of junior staff, project work; and deadline scheduling at our conservation facility. This position will primarily be based at our conservation facility in Carlisle, but may occasionally require travel for on-site work assignments. This demanding position will require the ability to communicate effectively with clients, meet scheduled work deadlines, maintain strong ethical standards, and work cooperatively in a fast-paced team environment. Preferred candidates should: have a master’s degree in art conservation; and training in current conservation practices, material, and cleaning techniques; and be a Professional Associate or Fellow member in good standing with the American Institute for Conservation. We welcome the contribution of ideas and seek a positive, productive, and ambitious team member with a positive work ethic to assist the Chief of Conservation in directing and executing all conservation and preservation services regarding painted materials and frames.
SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Completion of documentary artifact reports, including Condition Reports, Treatment Proposals, and Treatment Reports .
- Skilled examination and treatment of historic and artistic paintings, painted surfaces, and artifacts in both the Hartmann Conservation studio and on-site for nationwide clientele, including artifacts and murals that are extremely large, visually damaged, and/or have severe structural damage
- Project Manager responsibility, including supervision of Assistant Conservators, Conservation Technicians, and Conservation Interns in our Carlisle, PA conservation facility, or as assigned for temporary on-site projects for nationwide clientele
- Familiarity and adherence to the American Institution of Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice and current museum-quality standards in all proposal development and treatment execution
- Ability to handle large works of art, including regular lifting and carrying of up to 50lbs., as well as long periods of standing, sitting, and working on scaffolding, ladders, or lifts.
- Observance of all building security, storage, reporting, and safety protocols and regulations
- Active participation in periodic training sessions, conferences, and professional meetings
- Frequent collaboration with museum curators, conservation scientists, conservation colleagues, artisan specialists, and client representatives to discuss curatorial issues and manage treatment expectations
- EDUCATION: Master’s degree in Art Conservation, or commensurate conservation apprentice training and experience. In-depth working knowledge of art history, chemistry, studio art technique, and AIC conservation standards are a must.
- EXPERIENCE: 7-10 years of professional paintings and painted surface conservation experience. 3-5 years of direct conservation project, deadline, team, and scheduling management.
CONSERVATION SKILLS REQUIRED:
- In depth familiarity with diverse bodies of art, art history, and artistic technique, including strong understanding of color theory
- Strong working knowledge of chemistry as it relates to conservation, including intimate familiarity with the chemical properties, solubility, and long-term degradation of oil, acrylic, casein, tempura, gouache, fresco, and encaustic mediums. In-depth understanding of the chemical, biological, and physical processes and principles that contribute to long-term deterioration and/or preservation
- In depth knowledge of appropriate current treatments for paintings and murals on panel, canvas, board, paper, metal, composite materials, hide, and synthetic supports. Includes demonstrated ability to repair complex tears, dents, flaking paint, cracked or warped supports, or delamination. Also includes demonstrated ability to complete difficult filling, lining, stretching, inpainting and visual reconstruction with reversible and minimally intrusive techniques. Must have the ability to accurately match colors, paint application appearance, and technics of artists where compensation or inpainting is required.
- Experience in the safe surface cleaning and removal of the most difficult varnish layers, embedded dirt/soot/nicotine, and previous restorers’ overpaint using traditional organic and modern aqueous-based solvent systems, mixtures, gels, detergents, and/or enzymes.
- Advanced triage skills regarding emergency conservation and proper responses to fire or water damage, mold, and hazardous materials abatement/containment. Experience in this area strongly preferred.
- Comprehensive understanding of safe and museum quality procedures for handling, storing, transporting, framing, crating, shipping, installing, and exhibiting fine art
- Practice of proper safety and chemical storage procedures, including training and work on scaffolding, in secure buildings, and with hazardous materials
- Skilled working knowledge and experience in carpentry, woodworking, safety, and use of power equipment
ADDITIONAL PROFESSIONAL SKILLS REQUIRED:
- Management experience and competence in independently leading a conservation team, including strong interpersonal skills and ability to provide performance feedback and develop staff members
- Strong work ethic and commitment to meeting deadlines, solving complex treatment issues, working effectively and productively under pressure, and upholding confidentiality and ethical standards
- Competency with collections management systems, including knowledge of Microsoft, iOS operating systems, Adobe and other software suites required for documentary conservation reports
- Demonstrated sound judgment, risk management, and perception to details and artistic subtleties
- Excellent communication and organizational skills
- Working knowledge of historic frame conservation and gilding techniques
- Professional conservation experience at a major fine art institution, museum or collection
- Fluency in secondary language(s), both in conversation and in writing
- Interest and ability to research and adapt technical written material for publication or lecture
COMPENSATION & BENEFITS: Commensurate with experience, including paid time off and 401(k) match.
Qualified candidates for this job shall be considered for long-term succession to the Chief of Conservation. Final candidates for this position may be required to undergo a background check as evidence of their ability to secure federal government security clearance or other security clearances, as required by project specifications. To apply for this position, please send a cover letter, resume and curriculum vitae, three professional or academic references, available start date, salary requirements, and a sample Condition Report and Treatment Report example to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hartmann Fine Art Conservation Services, Inc. is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer.
About Hartmann Conservation
Hartmann Conservation has performed fine art conservation project management, assessment, treatment, emergency response, environmental monitoring, handling, transportation, and cyclic collection maintenance services of the highest quality since 1985. Our mission is to provide the highest-quality professional conservation services to our clients and their artwork based on experience, knowledge, resourcefulness, and sound ethics. Our company is a Pennsylvania registered small business enterprise specializing in the conservation of historic paintings, modern paintings, murals, frames, historic furniture, and painted decorative or historic objects. We provide hands-on conservation services to local, state and federal governments; historic sites and preservation organizations; public, private and religious institutions; museums; corporate collections; and private clients both in studio and on site for clientele nationwide. Our company prides itself on the ability to handle the most complex and difficult of treatments on projects both large and small in accordance with the American Institute for Conservation’s Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Treatment.