Conservator, Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants | Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences Job at Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, MA

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  • Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Cambridge, MA

Job Description

Job Summary

The Harvard University Herbaria seeks a full-time conservator to continue the comprehensive conservation program and conservation lab for the Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants. The conservator will expand the conservation plan for the collection and will examine, preserve, and treat approximately 4,300 glass models in all states of preservation. In addition, this position may help to inform students of conservation alongside the conservator by offering training opportunities through conservation internships. More information about the HUH and the Ware Collection is available at .

Position Description

The conservator will specifically:

  • Set program priorities in conjunction with the collection's Executive Committee.
  • Conduct surveys to establish treatment priorities and advise on treatment plans and storage and exhibition upgrades.
  • Perform technical examinations, analysis, research, and treatments. Remain abreast of current conservation and analytical techniques. Consult and collaborate with other conservators, curators, and staff as needed. Perform duties in accordance with the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.
  • Document treatments and the condition of artifacts using online collections management system and digital photography.
  • Determine preventive conservation treatments of collections; develop preventive conservation measures and advise on handling, storage packing, loans, and exhibition of collections to ensure safety and care. Advise on temperature, humidity, and light levels for gallery and storage. Assist with exhibit installations and de-installations and collection moves.
  • Inspect and determine condition of objects considered for exhibit and loan; prepare objects for exhibit and loan.
  • In conjunction with Collections Manager, understand the importance of integrated pest management: document materials involved in making the glass flowers and document which pests may be attracted to them. Understand how microclimate changes affect materials and pests. Also with Collections Manager, communicate with facilities if issues arise regarding the environmental monitoring program.
  • Develop and administer Emergency Management and Response Plans with Collections Manager and Director of Collections and affiliated Museum staff as needed.
  • Ensure that the conservation lab is maintained in a clean, organized, and secure condition to ensure the safety of both collection and staff.
  • Contribute to the development of grant proposals, reports, research, and publications.
  • Represent the collection by presenting research and conservation knowledge within the museums and externally. Perform educational outreach as requested.
  • Train and supervise staff, interns, and HMSC (Harvard Museums of Science & Culture) volunteers working with and educating about the collection. Ensure that work is conducted in a safe manner. Manage laboratory, work areas, and budgets.
  • Assist in data integration into online collections management system and its upgrades.

Basic Qualifications

MA, MS, or Certificate in Conservation from a recognized university program with at least 5 years of post-graduate experience in conservation, stabilization, and restoration required.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

6+ years of experience preferred. Demonstrated excellence in performing complex treatments of glass; working knowledge of chemistry and materials science; familiarity with historic and current treatment practices and materials; knowledge of current best practices in storage, handling, exhibition, and environmental standards and controls; competency with basic scientific instrumentation, computers, and digital media; proficiency with collections management software. Proficiency in both written and spoken English required. Strong organizational skills, including the ability to establish priorities, make decisions, and achieve goals; ability to initiate and adapt to change, analyze and solve problems, be flexible with working occasionally off hours, and work collaboratively; excellent oral and written communication skills. Must be able to negotiate and collaborate with colleagues in peer institutions. Previous supervisory experience preferred.

Physical Requirements

Fine motor skills to conduct detailed conservation treatments, the ability to lift, and occasionally carry, up to 40 pounds; may be subject to standing, sitting, reaching, balancing, and bending and other physical motions in the course of normal activity; vision sufficient to perform essential tasks is required. Requires the use of various hand tools and equipment, exposure to paints, solvents, resins and other chemicals in a lab environment. Must be comfortable working with multiple people in communal office or lab environment.

Working Conditions

Requires the use of various hand tools and equipment, exposure to paints, solvents, resins and other chemicals in a lab environment. Must be comfortable working with multiple people in communal office or lab environment.

Additional Information

In order to be considered for this position, a cover letter and resume must be submitted.

Harvard University will not provide visa sponsorship for this position.

***All formal offers issued by FAS Human Resources.

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Job Tags

Full time, Internship, Flexible hours,

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