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Preventive Conservation Technician I

Pay Type: 
Hourly Rate
Job Status: 
Minimum Salary/Hourly Rate: 
Maximum Salary/Hourly Rate: 

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library comprises an outstanding naturalistic garden, the premier collection of American decorative and fine arts, and a nationally renowned research library, all in a historic Brandywine Valley landscape of nearly 1,000 acres. 

Winterthur considers our employees and volunteers to be among its greatest assets and provides them with the chance to develop their love of the arts and horticulture while contributing to the mission of the institution.

Working at Winterthur is a unique and rewarding opportunity, offering a variety of career paths in a beautiful setting. At Winterthur employment is more than just work. Employees enjoy an environment that is rich in culture and natural beauty while contributing specific skills and upholding the core values of the organization.


The Preventive Conservation Technician I is primarily responsible for implementing preventive conservation practices in collection spaces and areas adjacent under the guidance of the Manager of Preventive Conservation and the Preventive Conservation Technicians. These practices include but are not necessarily limited to: preventive maintenance and cleaning of objects, historic architecture, and associated exhibition furniture; cleaning of public spaces within collection areas; pest monitoring; environmental monitoring; collection emergency preparedness and response; conservation lighting; a general awareness or all activity in collection areas. The Technician works as part of a team under the supervision of the Manager of Preventive Conservation.


  1. Observe, monitor, and address (as appropriate) general conditions, environmental conditions, pest activity, security concerns, lighting conditions, and other conditions which put collection objects at risk within assigned areas of the museum, galleries, and storage. Carry out preventive conservation cleaning of these collections and spaces.
  2. Under the guidance of the Manager of Preventive Conservation and of the Preventive Conservation Technician II, support all collection emergency preparedness and response efforts. Participate in team activities and trainings as assigned. Be a first responder while on duty in collection areas. Be an on-call responder one weekend a month. Maintain collection emergency response supplies monthly and after any incident.
  3. Assisting the Conservation and Lighting Design Coordinator with maintenance of lighting and lighting systems in the museum, galleries, and storage areas.
  4. The Preventive Conservation Technicians are assigned additional responsibilities throughout the year and as projects come and go. Including but not limited to:
  5. Assisting the Conservation and Lighting Design Coordinator with implementation of lighting plans for rotating exhibits in the galleries and museum.
  6. Assisting conservators, curators, and registrars with collections related projects.
  7. Candle bulb creation, replacement, and maintenance.
  8. Block maintenance, deep cleaning of collection spaces both of objects and maintenance of the lighting system
  9. Support rotating exhibition, tour, and teaching activities in the museum and galleries.
  10. After care and handling training, object movement and handling as it relates to daily work activities and in service to special exhibits within collection rooms.
  11. Maintain equipment used in collection spaces: lighting track plates, stanchions, exhibition case glass and acrylic exhibit bonnets, as well as museum window acrylics used in collection rooms for visible light filtration.
  12. Maintain bathrooms, closets, and other public/workspaces within collection boundaries and assigned spaces.
  13. Maintain equipment in good working order and bring all needed repairs to the attention of the Manager of Preventive Conservation.
  14. Maintain open communication for coordinated activities with multiple departments.

Compensation: $16.00/hour

Benefits: Including, but not limited to, medical, dental, and vision insurance; generous paid time off plan; 403b with employer match for eligible employees. 


Minimum Experience: High school diploma or GED with 1 year of museum or another collection care experience, e.g. auction house, historic house or gallery setting. Retail experience in display making and maintenance may also be applicable.

Preferred Experience: BA, BFA or BS in Museum Studies, Art Conservation, or Collections Care with previously held position in museum collection care. An interest in the field of art conservation or preventive conservation as a discipline or study and growth.


  1. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively
  2. After training, ability to work with relative humidity, temperature, and light monitoring equipment
  3. Organized and Detail oriented
  4. Basic computer skills and familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite
  5. Basic understanding of collections care practices, providing care and maintenance for spaces and objects.

Essential Functions:

  1. Must obtain and retain object handling and moving privileges.
  2. Must attend all safety and security training.
  3. Must be able to maneuver and work in small spaces.
  4. Must be able to work safely at heights, using a ladder or lift.
  5. Must be able to lift 50 lbs.
  6. Able to use hand and motorized tools and equipment necessary for collection care in a museum setting.
  7. Specialized surface cleaning tasks under the direction of supervisor in conjunction with conservators.
  8. Must be able to utilize and maintain provided PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

Work Schedule: M-F, 7-3; One weekend per month on-call