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Subject: Position at Bowes Museum

Position at Bowes Museum

From: Diana de Bellaigue <ddebellaigue>
Date: Friday, July 14, 2006
Paintings Conservator
The Bowes Museum

The Bowes Museum has one of the finest collections of paintings in
the North of England, representing many of the major European
artists from  the 15th to the 19th centuries.

The Bowes Museum is a charitable trust and is pursuing a challenging
and exciting programme of development through its exhibitions and
education programme and visitor services facilities. The museum is
awaiting the results of an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund
which will lead to physical improvements in the building, for
example the refurbishment of a store to house the fine art
collection and large textiles, the development of new galleries and
the reorganisation of visitor services on the ground floor to
provide a more welcoming and exciting environment.

There is potential for refurbishment of the conservation studios.
This is part of the museum's plans for the future in which the
incoming postholder will have the opportunity to play a part and
make small alterations and additions in the meantime.

In 2003 the museum became one of the partners in the North East
Regional Museums Hub and one of its priorities through this is to
raise standards and awareness of conservation within the museum as
well as within the North East museums region at large.

The Bowes Museum is a partner in the Museums Network, led by The
Wallace Collection.  In addition, over the last eighteen months it
has collaborated with The National Portrait Gallery and The British
Museum. These partnerships have opened up opportunities to expand
the museum's exhibition programme and also professional development
opportunities for staff. The museum has links with universities in
the region, most notably with the conservation department at
Northumbria University, and also with Sunderland University and
Newcastle University Museum  Studies department.

The post of Paintings Conservator is a long-established one at The
Bowes Museum. The postholder will be part of the curatorial and
conservation team. His or her primary duties will be the
conservation of paintings in the museum's collection but the
postholder should also have a flexible approach to the demands of
the post as it relates to the aspirations of the museum and be
willing to play as full a part as possible in the developing
programme of access and interpretation. For example, the postholder
must be willing to give talks to groups to explain the work of a
conservator and where possible, lead 'behind the scenes' tours to
stores and conservation studios.

The museum has won an award from the Woodmansterne Trust to
undertake work on a painting by Francisco Pacheco with the
assistance of The National Gallery. The postholder will be
responsible for seeing the conservation of this painting through to
its conclusion.

Responsible to: The Principal Keeper

Liaison with:

    The Director
    Assistant Keeper of Art
    Textiles Conservator
    Preventive Conservator

Salary:  UKP18,000 - UKP20,000

Main Responsibilities of the Post:

    *   Carry out work of the highest standard on the fine art
        collections within the limitations of available technology

    *   Maintain accurate documentation of treatments used

    *   Implement suitable strategies for preventative conservation
        treatments on the collection and carry out risk assessments

    *   Carry out surveys of the fine art collection and report on
        its conservation, storage and environmental needs

    *   Assist in planning a work programme  for the paintings
        collection, taking into account future exhibition

    *   Work with the Exhibitions Manager to oversee the
        installation and de-installation of exhibitions and advise
        curators and design and technical staff as necessary in the
        preparation of exhibitions. Prepare and check condition
        reports and liaise with couriers at the installation and
        de-installation of exhibitions

Other duties:

    *   Keep up to date with literature relevant to the field of
        paintings conservation and maintain an awareness of
        innovative techniques, materials and ideas, in order to
        advise how the museum could apply them, where appropriate

    *   Oversee the movement of paintings in and out of the museum,
        including gifts, loans and purchases

    *   Act as a courier for paintings travelling to and from
        exhibitions in this country and abroad where necessary.
        (This is a shared responsibility with other curators and

    *   Assist education staff and curators to help plan appropriate
        activities for schools and lifelong learners, to raise
        awareness of conservation requirements and practices in the
        museum in an engaging way

    *   Supervise students and interns where required

    *   Liaise with colleagues in other museum services and within
        the Hub to keep abreast of conservation standards and to
        ensure that The Bowes Museum is at the leading edge of
        service delivery in this field

    *   Give talks where appropriate, about Bowes Museum related
        projects and the work of the conservation studio

    *   As part of the Hub Conservation Framework, and through the
        Collections Care Scheme, advise non-Hub museums where
        appropriate, on basic conservation matters of fine art

    *   Answer public enquiries

    *   Demonstrate a commitment to Health and Safety issues and
        ensure that the museum's health and safety policies are
        upheld in the practise of conservation

    *   Ensure that the museum's security policies and procedures
        are maintained and at all times be mindful of the security
        of colleagues and visitors in the museum

    *   Undertake any other duties as required, commensurate with
        the post and as directed

Person Specification

Skills, Knowledge and Abilities


    Good communication skills, written and verbal

    A high level of interpersonal skills

    An ability to work as part of a team

    Knowledge of current conservation processes and practices in the
    field of conservation of art

    An interest in exploring new ideas and techniques

    A proven ability to organise tasks in an efficient and effective
    way and to work alone

    An ability to communicate procedures and ideas to a wide

    An ability to produce a high standard of work quickly and meet

    An ability to produce concise and accurate written and
    photographic reports on conservation projects

    A flexible attitude to work


    An ability to advise on conservation needs across a wide
    spectrum of collections



    A recognised qualification in art conservation and a minimum of
    two years' practical studio experience



    An interest in the museum's wide ranging collections
    Commitment to the development aims of the museum
    Interest / ability to work with / refine new conservation
    Interest in liaising with other museum services

The closing date for applications is 21 July 2006

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:3
                  Distributed: Saturday, July 15, 2006
                        Message Id: cdl-20-3-015
Received on Friday, 14 July, 2006

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