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Assistant Objects Conservator
Detroit, MI, United States (on-site)
10 days ago
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Assistant Objects Conservator
Detroit, Michigan, United States (on-site)
10 days ago


JOB TITLE: Assistant Objects Conservator

DEPARTMENT: Conservation

REPORTS TO: Director of Conversation




Under the supervision of the Conservator of Objects section head, the Assistant Objects Conservator performs activities associated with the care, preservation, and conservation of the DIA’s collections, including but not limited to examination, documentation, research, and treatment of works of art. 


  • Conduct preservation and restoration treatments on art works in adherence to the American Institute for Conservation Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice. 
  • Carry out examination and technical research of artworks, providing documentation of structure and condition through written reports and photographic documentation in support of acquisitions, treatments, curatorial/art-historical inquiries, and exhibitions.
  • Conduct original research on materials and techniques for the advancement of preservation and restoration processes. Present treatment and research results at conferences, symposia and in peer-reviewed professional publications. Create conservation related content for in-house exhibitions and gallery didactics.
  • Assess, prepare, and write condition reports, oversee packing of incoming and outgoing loans. Travel as a courier accompanying DIA artwork, loans, and traveling exhibitions. Supervise handling at airports, truck shipments, packing and installation/de-installation at borrowing institutions.
  • Monitor environmental conditions, including temperature, relative humidity, visible and UV light levels, in galleries and storage areas, monitor display and storage materials in contact with or in proximity to artworks (e.g. display cases, storage units), and monitor and maintain artworks in galleries and storage.
  • Participate in the planning and installation of permanent collection galleries and special exhibitions.  Provide guidelines for environmental conditions, safety, handling and mounting of art works. 
  • Seek out and participate in ongoing professional development to remain up-to-date on the newest materials, techniques and advances in the field by reading professional publications, attending conferences and workshops, and through personal contacts with Conservators at other institutions.
  • Collaborate with other Conservators, Imaging Specialist, Mount Designer/Fabricator, and Research Scientist and collaborate with departments across the museum including Curatorial, Learning and Audience Engagement, Registrars, Collections Management, Exhibitions and Design, Collections Information, IT, PR and Marketing, and Development, to achieve departmental and museum-wide strategic goals.
  • Assist in the supervision and instruction of post-graduate conservation students, graduate conservation interns, staff, and volunteers in the handling, care, and treatment of artwork as required.
  • Participate in public outreach and advocacy through exhibitions, lectures, lab tours, teaching (undergraduate, graduate, and primary/secondary school students), digital media, and print that support the museum’s Tri-County and Statewide strategic goals.
  • Collaborate with Development in fundraising activities including donor cultivation, endowment-building, and in-kind relationships with tech, industry, and university partners. Assist with writing grant applications.
  • Perform other duties as assigned. 




Master’s degree in Art Conservation from a recognized conservation training program with a specialization in objects conservation.    


  • Ability to work occasional weekend and evening hours for special events (If needed), and in case of emergencies. 
  • Must be proficient in latest version of Office 365. 
  • Must have proficiency in the use of remote work technology such as scheduling with, connecting to, and using digital collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams.
  • Key areas of demonstrated knowledge and expertise include adherence to the American Institute of Conservation's Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.
  • Knowledge of artist materials and fabrication techniques as pertinent to the specialty and art history and ethnography as pertinent to specialty,
  • Knowledge of analytical techniques (e.g. microscopy, X-ray fluorescence analysis, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, fiber optic reflectance spectroscopy, gas/liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy), digital photography and other imaging techniques.
  • Proficiency with Windows, Microsoft Office, SharePoint, photo-editing software, and digital database systems such as TMS (The Museum System).
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Open mindedness
  • Pragmatism
  • Patience
  • Knowing one’s limits
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision
  • Research skills
  • Interpersonal/communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Leadership/supervisory skills
  • Team player
  • Creativity
  • Self-starter
  • Flexibility
  • Attention to detail 
  • Ability to manage work pressures
  • Ability to work with distractions
  • Organizational skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Ability to work with sensitive material and maintain confidentiality
  • Must be able to establish and maintain professional, productive and courteous interactions that promote positive teamwork.  This encompasses going beyond giving and receiving instructions and includes but is not limited to (a) performing work activities requiring interacting or speaking with others; and (b) responding appropriately to constructive feedback or suggestions for improvement from a supervisor.   
  • Position requires the ability to effectively exchange information using various methods to include email, telephone, written and oral communication. Position may involve travel and irregular work hours



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Upon receiving notice, reasonable accommodations may be made, if possible, to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

Position requires occasional heavy work, excellent hand-eye coordination and precise use of tools and materials. Position also requires the ability to independently lift, carry, hold and balance materials and fragile art objects weighing up to 35 lbs. A high level of visual acuity is required in order to evaluate materials and object requirements, and to operate tools, machinery and equipment. 

Job Information

  • Job ID: 65652213
  • Workplace Type: On-Site
  • Location:
    Detroit, Michigan, United States
  • Position Title: Assistant Objects Conservator
  • Company Name For Job: Assistant Objects Conservator
  • Job Function: Objects

Please refer to the company's website or job descriptions to learn more about them.

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