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Job Listing: Preservation Conservator

Job Postings ,

George Washington's Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon, VA

Closes - Open until filled. 

Position Title – Preservation Conservator

Salary - $50,000-55,000/Annually

Job Type - Full-Time

To learn more and apply, click here

George Washington’s Mount Vernon seeks a highly motivated Preservation Conservator. This individual will manage the conservation of the historic structures, archaeological resources and architectural and archaeological collections at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, an 18th-century plantation and the home of the first President of the United States. This is a full-time position with an expected salary range of $50,000 - $55,000, dependent on skills and experience.

  • The Preservation Conservator is part of Mount Vernon’s preservation program, supervised by the Curator of Preservation Collections (“Preservation Curator”).
  • Conserves Mount Vernon’s:
    • historic architectural fabric utilizing the latest scientific methods coordinating as needed with outside consultants and contractors
    • archaeological resources during excavation and in preparation for long-term preservation after backfilling excavated sites
    • architectural and archaeological collections for long-term preservation and, in some cases, for museum display; assists in determining the prioritization of object conservation needs, developing long-term collections storage protocols, and developing related budgets
  • Collects and analyzes data on the Mansion environment and the effects of HVAC on the building fabric, making recommendations for system settings
  • Oversees the work of contract conservation work, both on and off site. Prepares “Requests for Proposals” (RFPs), identifies qualified bidders, develops scopes of work
  • Conducts primary and secondary research on Mount Vernon’s built environment as needed to support project planning and reporting. This includes physical examination of structures, architectural collection objects, archaeological features and archaeological collection items
  • Conducts and oversees proper sampling of materials for laboratory identification and/or analysis, and cohesively synthesizes findings
  • Assists in planning architectural conservation and restoration projects, working with the Director to secure funding and manage budgets, and collaborating with colleagues throughout the department and in the field to achieve the greatest level of scientific analyses, best practices, communication and effective implementation possible
  • Works with the Preservation Curator and Director of Preservation ("Director") to develop and execute a comprehensive long-range plan for conserving, restoring and maintaining the Estate’s historic structures
  • Collaborates with architectural preservation team on bi-annual inspections of the historic buildings, resulting in written recommendations for their care
  • Assists in the execution of routine maintenance of the historic structures working closely with the Architectural Historian, Preservation Specialist, Preservation Technician, other Mount Vernon staff, and outside contractors. Identifies ways to improve issues with ongoing maintenance issues
  • Supports the architectural preservation team with research on and recommendations about materials and supplies to use in cleaning and maintenance routines, including conducting experiments to ascertain effectiveness and maintaining metrics to track effectiveness and consider ways to improve the cleaning regime
  • Works with the Director and Preservation Curator to develop and supervise internships for graduate students and young conservation professionals
  • Represents Mount Vernon at conferences and committees concerning architectural conservation and care and management of Mount Vernon’s built environment
  • Undertakes other duties as assigned
  • MA or MS degree in conservation, historic preservation, architectural history, architecture or a closely related field with course work in materials conservation required
  • Three-years professional experience require
  • Familiarity with the conservation of wood, glass, metals, plaster, brick and stone masonry, and bone and other organic materials. Ability to identify and conduct conservation procedures, historic building maintenance and repairs in situ or in the laboratory
  • Ability to document research findings and to assist in recording structures and field conditions as well as produce basic measured drawings
  • Sound knowledge of philosophy and fundamental principles of conservation and historic preservation, including the identification, evaluation, documentation and treatment of historic architecture and archaeologically recovered materials
  • Ability to develop and implement short-term conservation goals designed to realize comprehensive long-term conservation strategies to achieve the preservation of 18th-century fabric
  • Knowledge of 18th-century building materials and technologies
  • Familiarity with portable x-ray fluorescence (pXRF) and conservation science technologies
  • Excellent communication, project management, and diplomatic skills and the ability to multi-task and work collaboratively within a team structure
  • Flexibility, reliability, and the ability to work beyond a normal work day
Mount Vernon is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we are committed to building and retaining a team that represents a variety of skills, experiences and perspectives. All employment decisions are based on business needs, job requirements, performance, and qualifications without regard to race, religion or belief, national or ethnic origin, gender/sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital or domestic partnership status, veteran and military status, family or parental status, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law. Mount Vernon will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics