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Job Listing: Conservation Fellowship

Job Postings ,

Chrysler Museum of Art and the Hampton University Museum - Norfolk and Hampton, VA

Closes - June 1, 2021, at 5 PM

Position Title – The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Conservation Fellow

Salary - $45,000/year

Job Type - Full-Time

The Chrysler Museum of Art (CMA) and the Hampton University Museum (HUM) are pleased to announce a joint graduate conservation fellowship, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, focused on modern African painting. This three-year pilot fellowship is available to an outstanding recent MA or MS graduate specializing in paintings conservation and interested in a museum career. The Conservation Fellowship is an opportunity to work with two unique collections of African art in two very special museum collections and environments.

Project Background and Goals

The Fellow’s project will focus on conserving works of art in the HUM’s Harmon Foundation Collection.  The conservation fellow will be mentored by CMA’s painting conservator, Mark Lewis, for the three-year period and will be supervised by Dr. Kimberli Gant, (CMA) and Dr. Vanessa Thaxton-Ward (HUM). The Fellow will be based at the Chrysler Museum of Art and will make regular visits to the Hampton University Museum.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Support the program managers in the execution of the three-year pilot project’s mission as well as the mission of both institutions
  • Work in two different museum settings in a professional manner
  • Identify 20 – 30 works that will need conservation in HUM's Harmon collection in consultation with the curatorial fellow and Mark Lewis
  • Develop a conservation treatment plan for these objects and conduct treatments in CMA's well equipped conservation lab
  • Document treatments through written reports, photography and videography
  • Publish findings in HUM’s IRAAA journal, project website, CMA’S Member’s Magazine, and curatorial fellow’s exhibition catalogue
  • Conduct demonstrations to visitors in galleries as possible
  • Present virtual public talks to both CMA and HUM patrons and University students
  • Participate in scholarly conferences and seminars to present research in progress
  • Participate in bi-weekly meetings with Dr. Gant and Dr. Thaxton-Ward for project updates
  • Participate in HUM and CMA regularly scheduled dept meetings
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications

Degree in conservation, within the past five years, (M.A. or M.S required) and at least one-year of professional museum work experience. (this can be a combination of internships and employment)

Skills Required

  • Experience conducting or working on a collections review (ideal)
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills to effectively connect and engage constituents through public speaking and writing
  • Ability to develop and maintain a wide variety of working relationships with many different colleagues at the two sites and including the general public
  • Ability to proactively manage peaks and flows of workload and complete multiple tasks on time

Application Process

The Applications deadline is June 1, 2021. 5:00 p.m.  No applications will be reviewed after that date. 

Please email the following to

Kimberli Gant, McKinnon, Ph.D.  Curator of Contemporary Art, Chrysler Museum of Art, –

Vanessa Thaxton-Ward, Ph. D.  Director and Chief Curator, Hampton University Museum – 

  • Cover letter, not to exceed one-page, explaining the applicant’s interest in the fellowship
  • Three examples of conservation projects
  • A CV of education, employment, honors, awards, and publications
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Two writing samples (scholarly article/research paper/catalogue essay, etc.)

Additional Details

CMA is located in Norfolk and HUM is located in Hampton, Virginia. The Fellow will receive a stipend of $45,000 per year, with full benefits, including relocation, funding for travel, and memberships. The term is September 2021 to August 2024. Hours will be M-F, 9am-5pm with some evenings and weekends as needed. A background check will be required for this position.

The Chrysler Museum and Hampton University Museum are an Equal Opportunity Employers of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.

Hampton University Museum

Founded in 1868, the Hampton University Museum is the oldest African American museum in the U.S., and, one of the oldest museums in Virginia. Hampton’s collection consists of 10,000 objects including traditional art from Africa, Asia, Oceania, Native America, as well as African American art, such as works by Henry O. Tanner. The Harmon Foundation collection includes African American art, and an extensive collection of modern African art; 200+ paintings, prints and sculpture by more than 40 African artists. The modern African art includes Nigerian artists Ben Enwonwu, Akinola Laskean, and Bruce Onobrakpeya; South African artists Peter Clarke; Sudanese artist Ibrahim El Salahi, and many others. 

Chrysler Museum of Art

The Chrysler Museum, founded in 1933, is the largest encyclopedic institution in Hampton Roads. It has over fifty galleries with a growing collection of over 30,000 objects. It acquires, preserves, exhibits, and promotes works of art from ancient Greco-Roman sculpture to contemporary video. The Museum’s African art collection has approximately 100 objects from central and western Africa, predominately from the late nineteenth-to-early twentieth centuries. There is also a budding collection of modern and contemporary art by artists from the African continent.