General Information for the CONSERVATOR position at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
- Classification: Exempt
- Reports to: Deputy Director, Collections and Curatorial Affairs
- Date: Job description updated October 15, 2019
The Vizcaya Conservator is the primary person responsible for the care, preservation, and conservation of the site’s collections which include furnishings, decorative arts, textiles, paintings, outdoor sculpture, and architectural features and historic finishes both interior and exterior.
The Conservator supervises a team of collections care professionals, interns, and volunteers, including the Collections Care Specialist (one FT employee), Collections Care Technician (one FT employee), and interns (two FT for 8 weeks/year anticipated and/or one FT or PT for up to a year).
Considering the unique needs and challenges of Vizcaya, whose collections are housed in historic buildings with features and finishes that are part of the historic fabric of the estate, the conservator will be involved in the conservation of the collection as well as historic preservation of the estate.
Duties will primarily focus on the following:
- As member of the Collections and Curatorial Division, provide support to the Capital Projects team in the planning and execution of all phases of capital projects (most immediately including Main House roof replacement, Main House window and door restoration, HVAC and MEP upgrades in Main House, post-hurricane damage to waterfront features)
- Advance the conservation of the Robert Winthrop Chanler ceiling mural in the Swimming Pool Grotto
- Advance the conservation of other objects and finishes within the Grotto
- Advance maintenance and conservation of various stone objects (sculpture and statuary) and masonry surfaces throughout the property
Additional duties include but are not limited to:
- Manage all aspects of Vizcaya’s preventive conservation program including implementing cyclic maintenance program for collections, monitoring environmental conditions, overseeing the Integrated Preventive Pest Management program
- Solicit proposals for conservation treatment by contractors
- Coordinate and supervise conservation projects by outside contractors
- Participate in disaster preparedness and recovery efforts; participate in the Alliance for Response Miami
- Examine and treat objects and finishes
- Maintain all conservation and maintenance related documentation
- Review and manage the long-range conservation plan
- Coordinate and oversee the conservation internship program
- Conduct object handling and collections-related safety training for allied staff
- Participate in the Preservation and Maintenance Committee
- Collaborate with colleagues to develop funding requests and grant applications
- Maintain supply inventory for the conservation studio and collections care staff
- Report on past and future conservation projects to internal as well as external stakeholders
- (Re)present Vizcaya at professional conferences and meetings
Competency or position requirements
- Considerable knowledge of the theories, principles, and practices of conservation.
- Considerable knowledge of the techniques, tools, and equipment used in practical conservation of objects and historic finishes.
- Considerable knowledge of materials and current scientific processes used in conservation and restoration.
- Ability to identify and assess preservation needs for a variety of objects, architectural features, and historic finishes.
- Ability to plan future conservation and maintenance projects, and manage projects.
- Ability to clearly communicate with colleagues in Capital Projects and other departments, contractors, and stakeholders.
- Ability to write accurate, clear, and concise proposals and reports detailing activities of said projects.
- Ability to train and supervise subordinate personnel engaged in preservation activities.
- Ability to work in a variety of mediums.
Work Environment/Physical Demands
The Conservator conducts both managerial and administrative in-office tasks as well as hands-on work both inside and outdoors. The job requires certain physical demands. Employee should possess the ability to lift 50 lbs., safely bend/crouch to lift and handle collection objects, and stand for potentially long periods of time.
Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
Full-time 40-hour per week (M-F) position. Occasional evening and weekend work required as job duties demand.
Occasional travel required.
Job Requirements (Education, Experience, Certification)
Education and Experience
Required – Master’s degree in Conservation, Historic Preservation, or related field. Two years of experience in the conservation of decorative or fine arts objects or historic preservation.
Preferred – Professional Associate status with the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
Please submit a cover letter and resume to: HRVizcaya@vizcaya.org.
Position open until filled.
No telephone calls please. Thanks
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, status as a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, protected veteran status or other characteristics protected by law.