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Cantor Arts Center
Stanford University

Position: Associate Conservator, Paper
Job Code: 4121
Grade: H
Exemption: Exempt

Note: Not all unique aspects of the job are covered by this job description

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Cantor Arts Center is committed to developing a diverse candidate pool.

Job Purpose
The Cantor Arts Center seeks an Associate Conservator of Paper to join the Museum’s Conservation Department. The Associate Conservator of Paper will be responsible for conservation assessment, treatment, and documentation of the Cantor’s paper-based fine art collections, including prints, drawings, and photographs. The Associate Conservator should have advanced knowledge of profession-wide principles and methods used in the preservation, restoration and conservation of paper-based objects.

Duties in this full-time position include treatment, examination and preventative care of the permanent PDP (Prints, Drawings, and Photographs) collections as well as participation in the planning and installation of exhibitions and loans. The Associate Conservator of Paper will provide input into exhibition and acquisition processes; is expected to research and work toward the development of improved understanding of the collection and methodologies for its long-term preservation; is required to remain current with research and advances in the conservation field. The position will work closely and collaboratively with colleagues across the Museum. The ability to work on several projects simultaneously is essential.

About us:
Cantor Arts Center boasts a proud and venerable history. Conceived with the founding of Stanford University in 1891, the museum opened in 1894, serving the University and the broader community. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the museum, necessitating its closure to the public. In 1995 groundbreaking for a major new wing and restoration of the historic building began in earnest with the revitalized museum opening in 1999 as the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts. The Cantor offers approximately 50,000 square feet of exhibition space, as well as classrooms and other study spaces for students and faculty. The Cantor’s collection spans 5,000 years and includes more than 38,000 works of art from around the globe. Collections include art from Europe and America, both historical and contemporary; Asia, primarily Japan and China; Africa; Oceania; historical works from Mexico, Central America, and South America; the Stanford Family Collection; and public sculpture on the Stanford campus.

Core Duties:
  • Examination, study, and treatment of artworks in the Museum’s PDP collections
  • Performance of conservation treatments to highest current standards including development and research toward best practices
  • Preparation of comprehensive conservation documentation of objects’ condition and conservation activities
  • Development and maintenance of standards for handling, storage, installation, packing and shipping of collections, including loans
  • Advise on preventative care and storage solutions
  • Participation in the planning and installation of exhibitions; management of complex projects
  • May advise the curators and other staff on technical issues related to collections and potential acquisitions
  • Collaboration with department colleagues, curators, and other departments on complex projects
  • Communication with professional colleagues on a regular basis and participation in professional organizations; remains current in conservation practices
  • Develop and maintain collaborations with other institutions and professionals
  • May assist in the administration of the department
  • May hire and oversee contract conservators 
Other duties as assigned.

  • MA in conservation or equivalent degree
  • 4-6 years of practical experience in conservation

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
  • Demonstrated abilities in the examination, analysis, documentation and treatment of paper-based objects
  • Advanced knowledge of chemical and physical properties of paper and photographic materials, conservation materials and deterioration processes
  • Expert hand skills including manual dexterity, color acuity, and sensitivity for objects
  • Familiarity and experience with institutional preventative conservation practices for collections and exhibition conservation are required
  • Advanced knowledge of analytical techniques and a record of successful conservation treatments
  • Strong organizational skills including the ability to prioritize and meet deadlines
  • Strong interpersonal skills including written, verbal and listening skills
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate and direct teams across disciplines and to build long‐term relationships
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe Creative Suite
  • Knowledge of EmbARK desirable
  • Advanced knowledge of preservation issues in cultural institutions preferred 
  • Demonstrated accomplishment in conservation research and writing preferred 
  • Experience with emerging technologies in conservation practice preferred 
  • Knowledge of art history preferred

Physical Requirements*
  • Frequently perform desk based computer tasks, seated work and use light/ fine grasping. 
  • Frequently stand, walk, and write by hand, lift, carry, push pull objects that weigh up to 10 pounds
  • Occasionally lift/carry/push/pull objects that weigh 11-20 pounds.
* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.

Working Conditions:
  • May work extended or non-standard hours, weekends and holidays based on business needs.
  • Occasional local and overnight travel may be required.
  • May work in areas with exposure to dust, paint, chemicals and other toxins.

Work Standards:
  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide, http://adminguide.stanford.edu.
  • Stanford is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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