• Application Deadline: 02/26/2020
  • Company: Ford House
  • Location: Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan

As a member of the Material Culture team reporting to the Director of Material Culture, the Conservation Manager is the primary person responsible for the care, preservation, and conservation of Ford House’s collections, which include furnishings, decorative arts, textiles, paintings, outdoor sculptures, vehicles, and architectural features and historic finishes both interior and exterior.

The Conservation Manager leads the conservation staff by performing a wide range of advanced conservation and administrative duties requiring specialized knowledge of the collection. As leader of the conservation team, s/he provides both strategic guidance and practical experience about the collections’ long-term preservation and oversees the day-to-day workload of the collections care team. S/he will also work with the Archives and Collections teams to assist in their conservation needs.


Considering the unique needs and challenges of Ford House, whose collections are housed in historical buildings with features and finishes that are part of the historic fabric of the site, the Conservation Manager will be involved in the conservation and preservation of the collections.

  • Manage all aspects of Ford House’s conservation program including implementation of a cyclical maintenance program for all collections, monitoring environmental conditions, overseeing the Integrated Preventative Pest Management program, etc. Works closely with Collections Manager & Registrar on these projects.
  • Perform preservation cleaning and conservation treatments of collections and built interiors according to professional standards.
  • Solicit proposals for conservation treatment(s) by contractors.
  • Participate in disaster preparedness planning and any recovery efforts.
  • Assess and prioritize the objects within the collection for conservation treatment.
  • Create conservation proposals/treatment options for objects in need of conservation.
  • Conserve collections items, adhering to the standards and practices set out by the American Institute of Conservation.
  • Maintain all conservation and maintenance-related documentation.
  • Develop, review, and manage the long-term conservation plan.
  • Conduct object handing and collections-related safety training for staff.
  • Maintain conservation supply inventory.
  • Report on past and future conservation projects to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Work with Historic Resources team members (Landscape, Facilities & Maintenance, Security, and Education) to ensure care and preservation of institution-wide collections elements, including but not limited to outdoor sculptures, historic buildings and structures, and use/hands-on objects.
  • Maintain confidentiality of museum information.
  • Assist in annual budget preparation for conservation activities and facilities.
  • ·Work with Collections Manager and Archivist to ensure collections and archival items are documented and preserved according to institutional policies and museum standards.
  • Assist with institution-wide projects, programs and events as needed.
  • Represent Ford House at relevant professional forums and establish and maintain collaborations with appropriate institutions. 
  • Other duties as assigned.
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