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Associate Conservator of Photographs

The J. Paul Getty Trust
vision insurance, paid holidays, 403(b), retirement plan
United States, California, Los Angeles
1200 Getty Center Drive (Show on map)
September 08, 2023

Associate Conservator of Photographs
Job Family


Regular Full-Time
Position Status

Getty Center
Workplace Type

Hybrid/Partially Remote

Hiring Pay Scale

$78,941 - $104,590 Annually

Commensurate with experience and internal equity

Museum - 0318-Paper Conservation
Requisition Number

ERRP Eligible


Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion at Getty

Getty believes diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion are essential to our excellence and to the execution of our mission. The Getty community values differences in the pursuit of inquiry and knowledge, mutual understanding, respect, trust, transparency, and cooperation. We are committed to creating a diverse and welcoming workplace that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve and includes individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Individuals of color, women, LGBTQIA+, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Job Summary

Our Mission

The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks to inspire curiosity about, and enjoyment and understanding of, the visual arts by collecting, conserving, exhibiting, and interpreting works of art of outstanding quality and historical importance and is one of four programs of the J. Paul Getty Trust. The Museum operates two sites, the Getty Villa in Malibu, which exhibits its collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, and the Getty Center in Brentwood, which displays its collections of European art: Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, drawings to 1900, and photography to the present day (including non-European works). The Museum mounts approximately 25 temporary exhibitions a year across its two sites; maintains an annual permanent gallery improvement program and offers wide-ranging and ambitious programming for its visitors.

The Opportunity

The J. Paul Getty Museum seeks an Associate Conservator of Photographs to join the Department of Paper Conservation at the Getty Center. With the Department Conservators and Mountmakers, this position shares responsibility for the care and study of the Museum's large holding of fine art photographs with an active exhibition, publication, and loan program. Located in Los Angeles, California, the J. Paul Getty Museum is dedicated to the acquisition, conservation, exhibition and interpretation of works of art. Conservation is an integral part of the core activities of the museum and the broader J. Paul Getty Trust.

Duties in this full-time position include treatment, examination and preventative care of the permanent collections as well as participation in the planning and installation of exhibitions and loans. The Associate Conservator 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 report to the Senior Conservator and work closely and collaboratively with colleagues across the Museum and other Trust programs, including direct involvement with the scientific staff of the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI). The ability to work on several projects simultaneously is essential. Experience working with modern and contemporary photography is desirable. In addition, a general knowledge of paper conservation is required.

Major Job Responsibilities

    Demonstrated abilities in the examination, analysis, documentation, and treatment of photographs and general knowledge of works on paper.
  • Performance of conservation treatments to highest current standards and preparation of comprehensive documentation of objects' condition and conservation activities.
  • Participation in the planning and installation of exhibitions, and management of complex projects.
  • Development and maintenance of standards for handling, storage, installation, packing and shipping of collections, including loans and courier responsibilities.
  • Advise the curators and other staff on technical issues related to collections including acquisitions, loans, exhibition labels, and publications.
  • Collaboration with department colleagues, scientists, curators, exhibitions, preparations, and other departments on complex projects.
  • Assessment and prioritization of the long-term needs and preventative care of the collection including environment and light exposure monitoring, maintenance and planning of cold storage, integrated pest management, and emergency response.
  • Publication and presentation of research, including contributions to exhibitions, collection catalogues, and online content.
  • Contributes to the day-to-day workflows of the Department of Paper Conservation including administrative activities and assisting the Manuscripts and Drawings laboratories with conservation needs.
  • Supervision of interns. Providing training to staff, professionals, and the general public as needed.
  • Communication with professional colleagues on a regular basis and participation in professional organizations; remains current in conservation practices.


  • MA in conservation or equivalent degree
  • 5-7 years experience in conservation

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Demonstrated abilities in the examination, analysis, documentation, and treatment of photographs and works on paper in general
  • Advanced knowledge of chemical and physical properties of photographic materials, conservation materials, and deterioration processes
  • Expert hand skills including manual dexterity, color acuity, and sensitivity for objects
  • Experience with exhibitions planning and preparations
  • Familiarity and experience with institutional preventative conservation practices for collections and exhibitions conservation
  • Accomplished in art historical, scientific and conservation research and writing with an interest in disseminating to the field and the public
  • Knowledge of analytical techniques and scientific instrumentation with the ability to operate analytical and technical equipment
  • Interest in training and mentoring
  • Dedicated to furthering DEAI
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe Creative Suite. Knowledge of TMS desirable
  • Strong organization 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
  • Creative thinking and solutions-based problem-solving abilities
  • Proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Knowledge of personal safety equipment and standards

Benefits and Perks

Here are just some examples that Getty offers/provides for full-time employees:

  • Medical, Dental and Vision insurance coverage, starting on date of hire. Getty pays 75%-95% of the premium, depending on the plan selected.
  • 403(b) Employee Investment retirement plan - with up to 5% Getty Match
  • Getty contribution of 6%, on behalf of employee, to 401(a) retirement account
  • Educational Assistance and professional development
  • Paid Vacation, Sick and Personal Days
  • 12 Paid Holidays
  • Many positions have bi-weekly Off-Fridays
  • On-Site Fitness Center at Getty Center
  • Community service opportunities

To learn more about our comprehensive benefits and long list of perks, go to Getty HR.

Equal Opportunity Employer

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, citizenship or immigration status, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other protected status.