Staff Photo: February 2013Employment

Paper Conservator, ICA – Art Conservation

September 8, 2017

ICA seeks a full time mid- to senior-level paper conservator to head its expanding paper conservation laboratory. The ICA facility is housed in a restored 1920’s commercial building along Detroit Street in a revitalized area near downtown Cleveland, Ohio. With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ICA will be enlarging and improving its paper conservation laboratory and adding capacity in the treatment of Asian works. The incumbent will head the paper lab and supervise two to four conservators and/or technicians.

ICA is the oldest regional conservation center in the US and conserves a wide range of works of art on paper and archival materials for public, private, and corporate clients. The center has an active education and outreach program and includes paintings, objects, textiles, and paper laboratories with a strong program of conservation-related support service offerings.

The Paper Conservator will have responsibilities in the examination and treatment of artwork at the ICA facility and on site and will participate in the implementation and oversight of conservation projects which involve coordinating staff and subcontractors. The conservator will interact professionally with board members, community leaders, clients, and the general public. This position reports to the new Executive Director, Julie A. Reilly.

The Cleveland area is experiencing a renaissance of development with active revitalization of the downtown core and many unique neighborhoods, including area around the ICA. This revitalization, and a long history of community and public investment, support very active arts and culture, sports and entertainment, parks and nature, food and music, and education and medical sectors. Cleveland is an excellent place to live with a high quality of life and a low cost of living.

Principle duties and responsibilities of this paper conservation position include:

  • Carrying out examinations and conservation treatments on artwork from private and public collections
  • Conducting research to determine appropriate interpretation of the object and to support the recommended treatment
  • Preparing cost and time estimates for conservation projects and preservation assessments. Assembling bids for Request for Proposals (RFPs). Coordinating with the registrar to communicate with clients
  • Preparing documentation for grant applications and reviewing grant applications
  • Performing on site field work which may involve collections surveys, examination, and treatment
  • Participating in interdepartmental projects and acting as lead conservator when needed
  • Supervising conservation support staff (assistants, preparators, interns, volunteers). Managing and overseeing subcontractors for commercial and industrial processes involved in treatments, shipping, and installations
  • Staying current with theoretical discourse and best practices in the field through literature review and attending presentations, conferences and mid-career training
  • Interacting professionally with a broad range of clients concerning conservation and preservation projects, both in person and over the phone/email
  • Actively participating in the ICA’s educational programs, including teaching classes, giving lectures and leading tours
  • Participating in board and staff committee work and in hiring new staff
  • Representing ICA in meetings with potential clients, donors and other professionals


  • Masters degree from a recognized training program in conservation or equivalent experience is required
  • Substantial experience in treating works of art on paper of all periods including contemporary art is required
  • Experience working in the field of conservation in an institutional or private practice setting
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Adobe Photoshop
  • Ability to travel to onsite projects in surrounding region and beyond required

Title and salary will be commensurate with experience. An excellent benefits package is available. The position will remain open until filled. Applicants that are not US citizens must have a valid work visa. All applicants must have a valid driver’s license.

Please send letter of interest and CV to:

Julie A. Reilly, Executive Director

ICA-Art Conservation

2915 Detroit Road

Cleveland, OH  44113


Pre-Program Internships

Internships of this type are required before students can apply to one of the three graduate programs in fine arts conservation in the United States.  The ICA periodically, and as appropriate projects allow, accepts a pre-program intern. Please note: the ICA does not offer full-time pre-program internships.  Interns generally work only a few hours each week in one of the conservation departments.  No stipends or relocation assistance monies are available. There are no pre-program internships currently available.

Final-Year Graduate Conservation Internships

Final year students in fine arts conservation graduate programs are required to complete an internship. The ICA periodically, and as appropriate projects allow, accepts final year graduate interns. To inquire if a final year internship is currently available, contact us.

Two-Year Advanced Training Fellowships

As funding permits, the ICA accepts recent graduates of conservation programs in the fields of paper, paintings, and object conservation. This type of post-graduate work experience is required of a conservator before s/he assumes a professional placement. Positions are highly competitive and applications are accepted from the United States and abroad. There are no two-year fellowships currently available.

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