Collections Care


£29,816 - £32,645

Contract type:

Contract Contract


Full time


0131 624 6281

Paintings Conservator

Job Summary

This is a specialist conservator role, delivering paintings conservation across the collection. It is based within the Directorate of Conservation and Collections Management, reporting to one of the Senior Paintings Conservators. It sits alongside and compliments the other conservation specialisms of paper, sculpture, time-based media, preventive conservation and heritage science.

Key Responsibilities
Paintings conservation and research (80%)
• Assist colleagues with the planning and programming of the paintings conservation work required to deliver the loans, displays, exhibitions, acquisitions and collections care activities which are scheduled.
• Keep records of work undertaken over the course of the year and liaise with colleagues to flag up any anticipated issues with the delivery of the work programme and to advise on whether additional requests can be accommodated.
• Undertake the conservation work required for exhibitions and displays of paintings, both within NGS and at non-NGS sites, including advising on the suitability of works of art for transport and display, condition checking, conservation treatments and application of preventive conservation measures.
• Undertake paintings conservation work required to improve standards of collections care, such as condition surveys of targeted parts of the collection and remedial treatments of objects in poor condition.
• Carry out a range of written and electronic documentation, including requesting photography, communicating findings and providing data for entry onto the NGS collections management database (Multi Mimsy) and NGS website.
• With colleagues, respond to any incident reports which relate to paintings.
• Liaise with conservation technicians and art handling technicians to ensure that works are safely packed and installed, which may involve designing specialist storage and display cases.
• Where appropriate, undertake art historical research relating to parts of the NGS paintings collection, and conservation research relating to modes of deterioration and conservation materials and techniques.

Common Areas of Responsibility (20%)
These areas of responsibility are common across all the conservator roles, although some of the specifics will vary depending on the conservator’s specialism.
• Commission and supervise work by freelance conservators and specialists.
• Undertake courier duties of relevance to the conservation specialism on behalf of NGS.
• Devise work programmes for and supervise interns, placement students and volunteers.
• Provide specialist advice and training for colleagues, both within and outside the Conservation Department.
• Work with the budget holder to create, review, manage and maintain the budget for areas of responsibility.
• Maintain relevant conservation and analytical equipment, advise on purchases of new equipment, monitor levels of conservation materials and request additional stock as appropriate.
• Publicise and promote the activity of the specialist role and of the Conservation Department as a whole, both internally and externally, by giving talks, tours, and presentations and writing content for traditional publications and social media.
• Develop and participate in relevant external networks and collaborations, both nationally and internationally.
• Maintain and develop skills and knowledge in conservation and the cultural heritage sector through continuing professional development and training.
• Undertake and disseminate research within the areas covered by the role.
• Comply with NGS and departmental guidelines on health and safety and contribute to the development of good health and safety practices within the areas covered by the specialism.
• Participate in regular departmental and divisional meetings, and in other meetings related to particular activities and projects as necessary.
• Meet regularly with the role’s line manager to review personal performance and progress and provide updates for other internal stakeholders when requested.

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