Objects Conservator

Reports to: Director of Collections & Exhibitions
Status: Full time


The Museum seeks a skilled, team-oriented and experienced Objects Conservator to oversee assessments, treatments, and overall collections care for the Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA) in Birmingham, Alabama. This person will have professional conservation duties related to the examination, preservation, restoration, exhibition, handling, crating, and storage of primarily three-dimensional works of art, including decorative arts, sculpture, and frames of both organic and inorganic materials. A working knowledge of basic treatment techniques for paintings, works on paper, photography, and multimedia is a plus.

The ideal candidate will be excited to collaborate with regional, national, and international conservation teams and have the reputation and skills to build partnerships. This colleague should place a great value on diverse yet inclusive understanding of BMA’s collection as well as their preservation, presentation, inclusivity, and public reception.

Specific duties include:

  • Knowledge of the environmental requirements and controls for handling, storage, and exhibition of museum objects, paintings, works on paper, sculpture, photography, as well as organic and inorganic materials.
  • Manage the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program for the collections, act as point-person for questions regarding flora allowed in the museum.
  • Use sling psychrometers, light meters, and other monitoring equipment to maintain a collection-sensitive environment.
  • Demonstrable knowledge of the technology and materials of three-dimensional art and artifacts, of their chemical and physical processes of deterioration, and of the procedures relating to their examination, preventative, and corrective treatments.
  • Document conservation research and treatments with methodical written commentary and photographs, and enter them into the BMA collections management database (TMS). Documentation may include the use of a microscope, UV digital imaging, and sampling to determine original material.
  • Advise as part of a team on standards to mitigate risks such as decibel levels, lighting, plantlife, and proximity to works of art during public events and rentals .
  • Be a member of the emergency preparedness team.
  • Work with the Collections & Exhibitions team to share condition reporting for works coming in on loan, going out on loan, exhibition objects, and new acquisitions.
  • Travel as needed to courier collection works and serve as a tour conservator for traveling exhibitions.
  • Order supplies for the Conservation Lab, and other special projects.
  • Contract knowledgeably with consultants and conservators for services outside of the Museum Conservator’s area of expertise.
  • Coordinate with museum colleagues to determine project budgets and adhere to a Conservation Department budget.
  • Adhere to ethical standards practiced in museums (AAM & AIC).
  • Participate in professional organizations and other professional development to remain current to advances in research and treatment of three-dimensional objects.
  • Supervise and mentor fellows, interns, and paid staff as needed.
  • Other activities as required to meet the mission of the Museum.


  • M.A. in conservation from a recognized college or university, or Certificate from a recognized Conservation Training Program.
  • Minimum three years of post-degree conservation experience, either in a museum setting or private practice.
  • Record of successful treatments
  • Knowledge of varied materials and ability to advise on collections care and treatment strategies.
  • Resourcefulness with creative problem solving skills, a thoughtful decision maker, the ability to work with deadlines, and prioritize workflow.
  • Strong record of supporting a collaborative work environment with colleagues, especially with regard to object treatments, gallery installations, crating, and programming.
  • Experience with contract conservators.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and respect for cultural differences and knowledge of DEAI practices, and other culturally specific guidelines and invested in building a diverse working environment and inclusion in all aspects of work.
  • Knowledge of The Museum System database (TMS) is preferred.

About the Museum

Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art is deeply invested in education and engagement and serves as a resource for communities locally, nationally, and internationally. It houses one of the finest collections in the Southeast of the United States. Nearly 29,000 objects displayed and housed within the Museum represent a rich panorama of cultures, including those from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe including work by both Pre-Columbian and Native North American artists. Highlights include the Museum’s collection of the arts of Asia, Vietnamese ceramics, the Kress collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the late 13th century to the 1750s, and the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Wedgwood, the largest outside of England.


Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience ($56,000-$61,000) and includes an excellent benefits package.

To apply

Please submit a letter of interest; curriculum vitae; names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references; and a writing sample

No phone calls, please

Review of applications will be ongoing until the position is filled, with preference for candidates who submit applications prior to December 15, 2023.

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