Job Posting: Conservation Technician, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

Under supervision, the Conservation Technician assists the professional conservation staff in a variety of duties relating to the preservation and restoration of works of art. The Technician assists with art movement, storage, and handling; preparation of conservation materials; photography; mat-cutting; hinging, framing, and displaying art works. He/she also assists with the monitoring of environmental conditions and pest management.

The nature of this highly skilled work requires manual dexterity, intense concentration, and aesthetic sensibility in addition to excellent organizational skills and meticulous work habits and a strong interest in conservation.


  • Carries out mat-cutting, hinging, matting, and framing; assists with attachment of other hanging systems; constructs backing boards and surfaces for gallery display of artworks, including large metal and magnetic supports. Prepares mounts and magnet strips for installation.
  • Assists with the handling of works of art, including oversized and/or weighted objects, and with putting artworks away in storage. Creates storage receptacles for artworks when required.
  • Prepares materials for treatment including adhesives, consolidants, toned papers, toned powders, and Japanese paper strips.
  • Carries out materials testing (Oddy tests or other) for materials to be considered in display cases or in direct contact with works of art.
  • Inspects incoming plants for insects; performs other pest management duties, including placement and monitoring of pest traps and detectors.
  • Photographs objects for condition documentation, before and after treatment condition; maintains image archives; prints images when requested.
  • Performs other duties related to preventive conservation, including regular dusting of uncovered artworks on view in the permanent galleries and other activities as requested by conservators.
  • Participates in artwork installations and rotations of light sensitive materials.
  • Under direct supervision of conservation staff, occasionally performs minor conservation procedures including consolidation and stabilization as directed.
  • Prepares silica gel or other environmental stabilizing materials for display cases when required. Monitors display cases for fluctuations in relative humidity and temperature.
  • Organizes supplies and supply storage spaces. Inventories and organizes dry chemical storage, adhering to any and all health and safety practices for handling hazardous materials.


  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Art, Art History, or closely related field from a recognized college or university or a combination of education and experience.
  • Ability to handle artworks in all media, delicate scientific instruments, and hazardous materials with extreme care.
  • One year of related experience handling art objects; or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
  • Basic knowledge of the equipment, materials, and techniques used in matting and framing art objects.
  • Basic knowledge of the equipment, materials, and techniques used in the documentation of conservation treatments, including photography and digital imaging equipment.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Word. Experience with Photoshop and Lightroom. Experience with TMS or other collections management software desirable.
  • Ability to use hand tools and artist’s materials.
  • Ability to acquire the knowledge and techniques used in the conservation of Asian art, including lab equipment and devices used in environmental monitoring and technical examination. Position may involve on-the-job training with analytical equipment as well as databases and software.
  • Ability to follow specific instructions and to work effectively with departmental staff.
  • Good judgment and flexibility.
  • Ability to lift up to 40 pounds.

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