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Conservator, Preventive Conservation


Tate’s vision is to serve as artistically adventurous and culturally inclusive art museums for the UK and the world. We deliver this through activities in our four galleries across the UK (Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives, Tate Britain and Tate Modern), our digital platforms and collaborations with our national and international partners. At the heart of Tate is our collection of art, which includes British art from the 16th century to the present day, and international modern art from 1900 to the present day.

Collection Care

Collection Care’s mission is to manage, preserve and enable access to Tate’s collections in both physical and digital format. The division carries out Tate’s legal responsibilities for the care of its collections, for the benefit of the public, now and in the future. Its operations embrace the management and care of Tate’s art, archive and library collections and the facilitation of Tate’s programmes of acquisitions, exhibitions, displays, loans and international touring. Collection Care comprises three departments: Collection Management, Conservation, and Library, Archive & Collections Access. It manages storage facilities at Millbank and Southwark (London) and Dean Hill (Wiltshire) and provides access to art works held in storage, by appointment, and to the Library, Archive and Prints & Drawings collections through its Reading Rooms’ services at Tate Britain.


The Conservation department brings excellence and innovation to the care of Tate’s collections, preventing damage and deterioration and ensuring that the objects in its care are available for future generations to enjoy. The department provides specialist conservation services to support the programme across Tate and the long-term care of the collection. Specialist areas include: Paintings, Frames and Workshop; Sculpture and Installation; Paper and Photographs; Time-based Media; and Conservation Science and Preventive Conservation.

Purpose of the Job

To provide preventive conservation support for the Collection, including displays and exhibitions programme across sites, new acquisitions and supporting loans out and international touring, with a primary focus on environmental and IPM monitoring across Tate Britain and Tate St Ives, liaising with the Estates team, and advising on light levels across historic, modern and contemporary artworks.

Main Activities/Responsibilities

Collections Care and Preventive Conservation Activity

  •  Environmental monitoring including temperature, relative humidity and light.
  • Comparative data analysis of environmental monitoring and building management data and report writing pertaining to Tate sites.
  • Contributing to Tate’s Sustainability agenda and increased energy efficiency.
  • Undertake preventive conservation of all collections.
  • Active involvement in the design, development and implementation of long-term collection care procedures.
  • Support risk analysis and mitigation within Collections Care.
  • Support the development of BCP plans at Tate sites. 

Support for Tate’s Programmes

  • Participate in programme teams for Tate sites, providing advice and recommendations on all aspects of care and use of the collection, including costs.
  • Co-ordinate related projects, organising and delivering conservation input on time and within budget.
  •  Provide recommendations for safe transport, handling, installation and display of works of art for Tate sites and loans programmes as required.
  • Provide environmental data and mid- to long- term analysis as required across Tate sites, including programme displays & exhibitions and acquisitions.

Leadership and Support

  • Contribute to related programmes of training and development for Tate staff, interns and others as required.
  •  Supervise staff, including planning and supervising the work and quantifying the required resources.
  • Support the Conservation Management Team in reviewing, improving and implementing related procedures and policies.
  •  Liaise and work collaboratively with colleagues in Conservation, Estates and across Tate to ensure a consistent service.
  • Contribute positively to a working culture that supports and enables colleagues to achieve agreed objectives.

Public and Professional Activities

  •  Share knowledge and expertise with others across the Conservation department.
  • Liaise with counterparts in other institutions to ensure Tate is at the forefront of setting international standards for the conservation profession and collections care.
  • Represent Tate within the field of own specialism nationally and internationally.
  • Contribute to raising the profile of conservation at Tate.
  • Support learning activities and initiatives; contributing to public lectures, tours and publications.

Person Specification


  •  Professional qualification in Preventive Conservation or equivalent experience.
  •  Significant experience of environmental monitoring systems and building management systems.
  • Experience of data analysis, risk assessment and report writing, including mid- to long- term assessments.
  • Significant experience with Integrated Pest Management and knowledge of recent developments in museum lighting.
  • Demonstrable analytical and problem-solving skills where novel or complex preventive conservation problems arise.
  •  Understanding of the long-term care issues in your specialist area and ability to provide expert advice.
  •  Proven experience of providing specialist advice for storage, transport and display of works of art.
  • Proven interpersonal and influencing skills, as well as oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrable organisational, time-management and planning skills with the ability to work well under pressure and prioritise workload to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work effectively within a large, dynamic and complex organisation, as part of a team or alone.
  • Good end-user IT skills.
  • An understanding of the principles of equality and diversity in relation to conservation and the ability to apply these in practice at work. 
  •  Ability and willingness to travel and to attend out of hours functions, as required, to meet Tate’s objectives.
  • An interest in and commitment to the work of Tate.

Full job description is available below. 

How to apply

Our opportunities are open for you to apply online. Please visit Tate's website to create an account by registering your details or if you are an existing user, log into your account. For all opportunities, we ask candidates to complete an online application form for the vacancy they are interested in. If you need an application form in an alternative format, please call us on 020 7887 4997. Once you have submitted your application, you can keep track of its progress by logging in to your account. 





Job Description