The Metropolitan Museum of Art is seeking a Conservator

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met Fifth Avenue

Job type
Permanent, Full-time 

$95,000.00-$105,000.00 USD

Posted on

End date



Position Title:



The Met Fifth Avenue


The Costume Institute

Reports to:

Curator in Charge

Salary Grade:


Employee Classification:

Exempt, Full-time

Effective Date:

July 1, 2021

End Date:




About the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art collects, studies, conserves, and presents significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas.

The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in three iconic sites in New York City—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters. Since it was founded in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum's galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.

About the Department

The Costume Institute's collection represents almost 35,000 examples of fashionable dress and accessories for women, men, and children, from the fifteenth century to the present. The goals of The Costume Institute’s collection are to represent and maintain a comprehensive timeline of costume from the eighteenth century forward, and to be a collection of “masterworks,” examples of dress of the highest technical artistry with an exemplary aesthetic, and, if after 1850, by a designer of lasting significance.



The Conservator has the overall responsibility to ensure the proper care, preservation, and treatment of The Costume Institute’s encyclopedic collection and coordinate flexible conservation support to the department’s ongoing commitments (exhibitions and installations, loans and acquisitions, assessments) and special projects. Conservator is relied upon to establish and recommend conservation guidelines, oversee condition reports, packing and storage, object treatments, and provide project management of departmental conservation and installation activities, while collaborating closely with the curatorial and collections management staff and other institutions in a fast-paced environment. Conservator supervises The CI Conservation Lab and staff.



  • Coordinate and establish conservation initiatives, maintenance, and treatments related to The Costume Institute Collection in consultation with departmental curators.
  • Oversee and coordinate all object installations and de-installations, both loans and in-house exhibitions, oversee and participate in exhibition maintenance.
  • Manage conservation treatment and condition reports for all objects, incoming/outgoing loans, and acquisitions.
  • Survey collections and evaluate environmental conditions to provide recommendations for proper and safe storage and exhibition.
  • Supervise Conservation staff (Conservator, Associate Conservator, and Assistant Conservators), contract conservators, and interns to ensure the highest quality work is performed in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Assist Collections Manager with conservation planning, and advise on storage and object issues.
  • Oversee CI Conservation Laboratory activities, upkeep, and maintenance.
  • Other duties as assigned



Fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine (or approved for an exemption as a reasonable accommodation due to a disability, sincerely held religious belief, or pregnancy, or because you are a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sex offenses).


Experience and Skills:

  • Demonstrated experience and advanced knowledge in the treatment and preservation of historic costumes, textiles, and accessories, and established textile conservation procedures and protocols
  • Knowledge of sewing techniques and garment construction; sewing, object dressing, and hand skills
  • Knowledge of dyes, microscopy, instrumental and other analytical tools for the investigation of objects
  • Excellent prioritization, planning, and organizational skills, and project management experience; attention to detail with dedicated follow-up
  • Ability to work and manage the team in an efficient manner in order to fulfill a heavy exhibition, loan, and acquisitions schedule along with permanent collection needs
  • Experience and commitment to working in a collaborative environment
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
  • Comfort with public speaking


Knowledge and Education:

  • Required, minimum of ten years as a practicing conservator; museum experience preferred
  • Required, minimum of five years conservation laboratory management and administrative experience
  • Required, advanced degree in Textile Conservation
  • Preferred, graduate level degree in Costume Studies
  • Knowledge of fashion history

Application Instructions
Please reference position "Costume Institute-Conservator“ in the subject line of the email. Apply with your resume in addition to a cover letter expressing your interest in the position to: [email protected] Alternatively, feel free to apply through LinkedIn, and please include a cover letter with submission.