Conservation Specialist, Jackson Home Project (PT) - The Henry Ford

Posted on 2/12/24                                                                    

TITLE:                                  Conservation Specialist (Jackson Home Project)

TEAM:                                 Conservation

BUS/SUPPORT:                 Historical Resources

DATE:                                  11/28/2023

SALARY:                             $20.00/hr

The Henry Ford is a nonprofit organization, an internationally recognized cultural destination, and a one-of-a-kind workplace. Our team is inspired daily by one another as well as the authentic stories of innovation that we share across our four venues. We want you to be part of this legacy and take it forward.

The Collections Specialist position is part of a project to process and care for objects associated with the home and contents of Dr. Sullivan and Richie Jean Jackson of Selma, Alabama (Jackson Home Project).  The Jackson home and contents were recently acquired by The Henry Ford and relocated to Dearborn, Michigan.

This part-time position will be responsible for the execution of artifact conservation activities related to the preservation and conservation of objects associated with the home and contents of Dr. Sullivan and Richie Jean Jackson of Selma, Alabama (Jackson Home Project), which were recently relocated to Dearborn, Michigan. Conservation activities support institutional priorities related to the preparation of exhibitions, condition surveys and the general care of the collections and are carried out under the direction of a conservator.  The specialist works with a variety of teams to accomplish departmental and unit goals in service of the institutional mission. Responsibilities include preservation, presentative care, and documentation all activities and observations via the museum’s collections management system or CMS. Serves as conservation and/or preservation liaison on assigned project including condition surveys, storage upgrades, artifact loans, IAT tours, exhibitions, and programs. 

This is a two-and-a-half-year project.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Carries out examination, survey and conservation treatment activities under the direction of a conservator. Provides timely reports on status of projects to supervisor.
  • Moves artifacts as required for conservation, loans, condition evaluation and imaging. Must be conversant in current collection management protocols and able to carry out work in careful manner following established procedures and practices to ensure that artifacts are not damaged during movement.
  • Documents the condition of artifacts and applied treatments using the established format for an CMS and digital photography.
  • Conducts regular condition assessments of assigned village, museum or storage areas or objects to identify condition or operational problems. Notifies conservator of problematic findings.
  • Accurately records location changes for moved artifacts via e-mail and/or location change forms for entry into the CMS.
  • Carries out research on conservation projects as assigned.
  • Routinely maintains assigned lab areas in a clean and uncluttered condition. Assists in the maintenance of supplies, chemicals, and tools.  Prepares adhesives, detergents and solvent mixtures for assigned areas.
  • Coordinates assigned projects including interaction with offsite contractors and oversight of technicians and volunteers as assigned.
  • Assists imaging specialist and photographer with the movement, handling, and general set-up of artifacts for scanning or photography as requested.
  • Performs other activities as necessary.

Your Qualifications

  • BA in art, history, art history or equivalent experience.
  • Experience using windows-based computer software including Microsoft Word and Excel, proficient in conducting research (Including internet research).
  • Experience using a database such as Access or collection management software desired.

Special Skills

  • Good hand-eye coordination and basic, demonstrated art and craft skills.
  • Good oral and written communication skills.
  • The ability to carefully move and pack a variety of artifacts.
  • Advanced skill in art and crafts such as: sewing, molding casting, carpentry, painting, photography, color matching, ceramics, sculpture, metal working, matting, or framing.
  • Ability to follow instructions and established procedures for movement, conservation and documentation of conservation and collection management activities

This job description is subject to change at any time.

It is the policy of The Henry Ford to prohibit discrimination in any employment, donor or volunteering opportunity (including but not limited to recruitment, hire, employment, program participation, promotion, salary, benefits, termination and all other terms and conditions of employment or service as a volunteer) based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, genetic information, pregnancy, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, age, physical/mental disability. Marital/domestic partner status, military and veteran status, height, weight or any other such characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. This Policy applies to all of our employees, donors and volunteers to ensure that they are treated without discrimination.                                      


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Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721      lcbrisson@michiganmuseums.org

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