Pre-Program Conservation Intern

Open to Students in the Monterey Bay Area

Under the supervision of the Conservator, the intern performs a variety of tasks related to the conservation/restoration of paintings, frames, and polychrome objects. This position is available only to students intending upon applying to graduate school in art conservation or related field. This is an unpaid quarterly/trimester position which is subject to extension. 8 to 10 hours per week and can be modified to fit school schedules.

  • The student gains knowledge and experience in:
  • The American Institute for Conservation Code of Ethics.
  • Basic technical laboratory and bench skills.
  • Material identification and testing.
  • Diagnosis and treatment recommendations for incoming projects.
  • Preparing treatment proposals and post treatment reports.
  • Photographic documentation.
  • Basic surface cleaning strategies of paintings, frames and various objects.
  • Mixing of organic solvents, gels, and aqueous based cleaning solutions.
  • Paint consolidation, applying fills, toning areas of loss, inpainting.
  • Research and administrative tasks.
  • Business principles and client relations.
  • The student is responsible for outside reading and discussion of technical subjects.


  • Some knowledge of the field of conservation/restoration of art and antiquities.
  • Must have visited our website.
  • 3 years college minimum.
  • 3 references from professors and/or employers.
  • Excellent written and oral skills.
  • Detail oriented and works with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Highly organized and flexible.
  • Must be self-directed and able to complete projects with limited supervision.
  • Excellent PC skills and proficient with Microsoft Office programs.
  • 2 years art history classes.
  • 2 years studio art classes.
  • 1 year college chemistry or equivalent laboratory experience, can be concurrent.
  • Digital photography and Photoshop skills (or other related programs).
  • Has an art portfolio for review on CD and/or examples of art work.
  • Able to work with hand tools and power tools.
  • Good color vision and color matching skills.
  • Good eye/hand skills, coordination, and ability to pick up 30 lb. objects.
  • Must live in the Santa Cruz, Monterey, or San Jose area.
  • Must be congenial, reliable, and punctual.
  • Must have health insurance.
  • Not sensitive to cleaning solutions, art materials or mild organic solvents or any allergies that would limit their ability to work in an art conservation studio/lab.

Preference is given to those with the following skills:

  • A background in the sciences.
  • Previous art internship experience.
  • Administrative and/or clerical skills or experience.
  • Marketing skills and/or experience including social media.
  • Custom picture framer experience is desirable.
  • Art gallery experience as a preparator.


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