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Icon Internship in Preventive Conservation

Icon and the Fitzwilliam Museum are offering an Internship in Preventive Conservation

This internship has been made possible by the generous support of the Fitzwilliam Museum Marlay Group.

The Fitzwilliam Museum, founded in 1816 and opened to the public in 1848, cares for more than half a million internationally important works of art and antiquities held within five curatorial departments: Paintings, Drawings and Prints, Antiquities, Applied Arts, Coins and Medals, Manuscripts and Printed Books. As well as being the principal museum of the University of Cambridge and a centre and resource for research and teaching within the University, it is the largest cultural venue in the East of England region, welcoming around 500,000 visitors a year. It is the lead partner of the University of Cambridge Museums (UCM), a partnership of eight University Museums and the Botanic Garden.

Within the Museum there are ten conservators and a research scientist. The Hamilton Kerr Institute (HKI) at Whittlesford, which specialises in the conservation of paintings and training of paintings’ conservators, is a department of the Fitzwilliam. The Museum conservators and the staff and students of the HKI together make up the Fitzwilliam’s Conservation Division.

The Museum is a large and complex Grade I listed structure, built in several phases from the mid-19th to early 21st centuries. It therefore presents both numerous collections’ care challenges and exciting opportunities for the development of preventive conservation research and practice. The intern will work with the Assistant Conservator (Collections Care) alongside the wider conservation and technician teams and will also undertake a special project that has been identified within our current priorities.

In recent years, there have been many developments in the monitoring and management of light in museums. There are also new approaches to how light damage can be predicted and assessed. We need to produce updated guidance and procedures that will help the Museum use both the special qualities of natural light in our galleries and the flexibility of electric light to best advantage within safe parameters for different types of collection. The intern will have a key role in helping review our current practice and developing a plan to improve it.

The intern will also engage with routine collections care activities including environmental monitoring and control, pest management and housekeeping and will learn how these are managed and evaluated within a large heritage institution. The intern will be encouraged to contribute to education and outreach activities such as in-house and public talks and writing for the Conservation & Collections Care blog.

The successful applicant will have a recognised conservation qualification or equivalent experience and will actively be seeking a career in preventive conservation. The applicant must be highly motivated, reliable and with strong communication and IT skills. The successful applicant will be required to complete security checks prior to the commencement of the internship. 

For further information and to apply for this role, please visit the Icon Internships page.