Art transforms lives. It provokes us to think, to express, to explore our own creativity, to envision new possibilities. SFMOMA expanded the museum to provide a better experience for our visitors and a better home for our expanding collections, including the SFMOMA collection and the Fisher Collection, one of the finest collections of contemporary art in the world. The new SFMOMA, designed in collaboration with the architecture firm Snøhetta, opened May 14th 2016. With this project, we are transforming not just the museum's physical presence, but also our contributions to the community, enhancing SFMOMA's role as a place for learning, inspiration, and interaction for visitors from the Bay Area and beyond. We are making SFMOMA a magnet for contemporary art and for the audiences who will engage with it.
Under the supervision of the Head of Conservation, the Associate Objects Conservator is responsible for all aspects of conservation treatment of sculpture and works of architecture and design in the collection. As a testament to the art of our time, they work collaboratively with other departmental conservators on the care of objects of mixed media. The Associate Objects Conservator contributes successful exhibition programming and maintains productive relationships with artists, scholars, collectors, students, donors, the public, and staff from other museums.
Successful candidates will have graduated from a recognized conservation training program with a specialization in modern and contemporary objects, experience working with living artists, and a minimum of three to five years work history. They will have knowledge of modern and contemporary art and an ability to apply the philosophies of modern and contemporary art aesthetics to the procedures of conservation. The ability to collaborate creatively and communicate clearly in writing and conversation with other conservators, museum staff, colleagues, donors, trustees, and the public is essential.
- Examine and treat works of art, including review prior to accession, exhibitions, and loans.
- Document object condition and treatment through written and photographic records.
- Perform outdoor sculpture maintenance, gallery dusting, and other exhibition support as needed.
- Advise on handling and installation procedures for complex or fragile works.
- Make recommendations related to seismic mounts and object housing/crating for storage and transit.
- Engage with artists, their studio assistants or estates in documenting and caring for their artwork in the collection.
- Model highly collaborative modes of operating through fluid communication with staff and respect for the diverse expertise essential to an art museum.
- Advise SFMOMA staff, other museum professionals, artists, scholars, collectors, donors and the public on the care of modern and contemporary art. Lead occasional educational tours.
- Participate in the training and supervision of the Fellow in the Conservation of Contemporary Art. Assist in the instruction and supervision of staff interns, students, and volunteers.
- Maintain work areas in the conservation studio, including ordering supplies and equipment, with the support of the Conservation Technician.
- Travels for museum business and on-site conservation work or study as needed.
- Performs other related duties as assigned.
Education and Training: Possession of Master's degree or equivalent experience in conservation, with specialty in objects.
Work Experience: Three to five years of postgraduate work experience is preferred. Museum experience is strongly preferred.
Skills and Abilities: Familiarity with and understanding of the properties of art and conservation materials and instrumentation. Knowledge of modern and contemporary art and an ability to apply the philosophies of modern and contemporary art aesthetics to the procedures of conservation. Familiarity with photography and digital processing. Understanding of standard conservation terminology and ability to communicate clearly in writing and conversation. Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet deadlines. Ability to communicate effectively with donors, artists, Museum staff, colleagues, and the general public, whether in person, on the telephone, or in writing. Ability to work cooperatively with supervisor and fellow staff members. Ability to supervise staff and to prioritize workload effectively.
Physical Demands: The conservators are regularly required to perform physically active treatments, particularly for outdoor sculpture, and undertake treatments requiring repetitive movements.
Special Environmental Factors: The Conservation Studio contains hazardous organic solvents, acids and bases, as well as some known carcinogenic materials (powdered chromium and cadmium pigments). Sharp tools and mechanical equipment are also in use. Conservators should be aware of the dangers inherent in the use of such equipment and materials. Particle masks, solvent masks and gloves are provided as protection from such environmental factors. First-aid kits, an emergency shower and eyewash are provided in the department.
This is a seven-month temporary position from April 29, 2019 to December 6, 2019
POSITION: Term Associate Conservator, Objects
SUPERVISOR: Head of Conservation
SCHEDULE: Full time
We are an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity.