Senior Conservator of Paper (San Diego, CA, USA)

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The Balboa Art Conservation Center (BACC) seeks a senior conservator to head the Center’s paper conservation department. The position will lead the department into the future as BACC implements exciting new strategies and services thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation. The department is currently staffed by a Chief and Assistant Conservator of Paper, is supported by BACC administrative staff, and shares a conservation technician with the Center’s Paintings Conservation Department. The Center plans to transition the Senior Conservator position to the position of Chief Conservator of Paper.

BACC is an active, nonprofit regional conservation center located in the heart of the beautiful and historic Balboa Park in San Diego, California. The Park is home to a campus of cultural institutions such as the San Diego Museum of Art, Timken Museum of Art, and San Diego History Center. Since its founding in 1975, BACC has been devoted to the preservation of material culture held in both public and private collections in the West. The Center’s services cover a wide spectrum including the formulation and implementation of treatments for paintings, frames, and paper artifacts; technical examinations using microscopy, infrared reflectography, x-radiography, and other analytical techniques; preventive conservation assistance; and environmental, general, and collection specific surveys. The purchase of new equipment for the paper conservation department is one aspect of the support provided by the Mellon grant. The Senior Conservator will implement associated procedures and projects.

Types of paper artifacts treated by BACC reflect the broad range of collections served and are of all periods and constructed with a broad array of materials.  As the Center offers internships and fellowships on a regular basis, the working environment emphasizes an atmosphere of learning, collegiality, and cooperation.

The ideal candidate will have an excellent background in paper conservation with a minimum of 7 years of post graduate experience. They will have highly developed practical skills with ability to accurately assess deterioration and damage, formulate appropriate treatment protocols, and undertake treatments not only independently but as a team leader.  Other characteristics of the ideal candidate are that they are collaboratively-minded, conservation treatment-oriented, and prepared to be an integral part of the Center’s conservation staff.

Innovative thinking is required for challenging projects as are good analytical and problem solving capabilities. Strong attention to detail while working to project deadlines and sound project management experience are essential strengths sought. As the Senior Conservator will head the paper conservation department, they must have solid experience managing workflow, overseeing conservation treatments, managing and supervising staff, and supervising fellows or interns.

Position requirements include a Masters Degree from an accredited conservation program or its equivalent in paper conservation, excellent writing ability, and good communication and interpersonal skills. Compensation is commensurate with experience while benefits are excellent and comprehensive. Interested applicants should apply in writing with a letter of interest, resume, three letters of professional reference, and three examples of treatment experience. 

The position is open until filled.

Janet Ruggles
Executive Director
Balboa Art Conservation Center
PO Box 3755
San Diego, CA 92163

Digital applications should be submitted to info@bacc.org with the title “Senior Conservator of Paper Application.”

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