Career Opportunities

Conservator, Head of Paintings Conservation Lab


The Gerald R. Ford Conservation Center is looking for a dynamic conservator to run its paintings conservation lab. As the leader of the painting’s conservation lab, the conservator will treat works from a broad range of public and private clients throughout the region. The conservator will examine paintings, prepare treatment proposals – including time and cost estimates – and conserve artifacts and collections. The conservator will provide preservation expertise and outreach, participate in the Center’s educational activities, and supervise technicians, interns and volunteers on painting conservation projects.

Annual compensation range is $75,000-$95,000, commensurate with education and experience, if approved.

History Nebraska is a statewide educational institution that connects people to the past through the conservation center, a library and research center, interpretive sites, and the state archeology and historic preservation offices.

Omaha, Nebraska, where the Ford Conservation Center is located, is a vibrant community that is consistently rated as one of the top cities to live in America. Along with its food and music scene, it’s home to the world-renowned Henry Doorly Zoo, and is known for its top schools and affordable housing.

In addition to a comfortable and safe community with generally short commutes, we are able to offer:

  • A wide array of opportunities for professional growth, including membership to professional organizations, access to LinkedIn Learning, conference attendance, and more;
  • A flexible work environment;
  • Medical, dental, and vision health plans;
  • 13 paid holidays a year, plus 12 paid vacation days and 12 paid sick leave days (both of which increase with tenure);
  • Competitive retirement plan with 156% state match for every dollar you contribute;
  • Paid term life insurance;
  • Employee Wellness and Discount programs;
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness eligibility; and
  • So much more!

Examples of Work

  • Establishes and sets priorities for the treatment of paintings, including all aspects of maintaining the Painting Conservation Laboratory at the Ford Center.
  • Examines, analyzes, researches, documents, and conserves paintings from art museums, galleries, libraries, historical societies, government agencies, and private and corporate clients throughout the region.
  • Creates written and photographic documentation for conservation examinations, treatments and other activities; Maintains conservation documentation in accordance with the highest archival and digital preservation standards.
  • Develops public and private client base for contractual conservation projects; Establishes and maintains good client relationships.
  • Advises History Nebraska, other regional organizations, and individuals on issues relating to the long-term preservation of paintings and paintings collections.
  • Builds regional understanding and awareness of conservation and preservation of cultural materials through networking and participation in educational outreach activities; Represents History Nebraska and the Ford Center at regional and national professional meetings.
  • Supervises assigned staff, interns, and volunteers by providing training and guidance on all conservation-related matters; Mentors conservation technicians and actively fosters a diverse, inclusive, and equitable work environment.
  • Keeps current with developments in the field through reading, conferences, online discussions, and professional contacts; Researches new applications of materials, equipment, and techniques to carry out specialized tasks that contribute to improving the care of paintings.
  • Other duties as assigned, including but not limited to: helping other departments, participating in interdepartmental committees and working groups, assisting colleagues with conservation treatments and collaborative projects, and participating in community outreach events.


Our five core values are:

  • We Do It Better Every Time. We are always looking to improve. When we fail, we know why and learn from it.
  • We Have Each Other’s Back. We work in groups. We candidly support one another for the betterment of the organization.
  • We Own It. If we say we are going to do something, we do our best to get it done.
  • We Are Curious. We never stop learning, and we encourage curiosity in others.
  • We Are Inclusive. We seek multiple perspectives and value the uniqueness of each individual.
**History Nebraska collects, preserves, and opens to all, the histories we share. We believe a diverse and inclusive workforce is an essential element in making Nebraska’s rich history available to everyone. History Nebraska is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage and welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds. Our work is meaningful and challenging, and we believe diverse perspectives will make it better.

Qualifications / Requirements

REQUIREMENTS: Master's degree/certificate from a recognized conservation training program, with a minimum of 5-8 years post-graduate practical experience at progressively advanced levels - as supported by a portfolio of work; OR an equivalent combination of qualifications and experience.

OTHER: Must have acute hand-eye coordination necessary to perform delicate conservation activities and ability to lift and move 30 pounds. Must possess a valid driver’s license and be able to provide independent authorized transportation.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of conservation treatment methods for a variety of paintings ranging from traditional to modern and contemporary.
  • Familiarity with state-of-the-art preservation and conservation principles and methodology; materials science, chemistry, history of technology, art history, and fine art.
  • Demonstrated use of logic and reasoning to determine appropriate courses of action, or alternative solutions for a variety of conservation problems.
  • Experience with the development of accurate project proposals, cost estimates, and reports.
  • Ability to interact professionally with a wide range of individuals including colleagues, allied professionals, and clients; Skilled at soliciting conservation work from outside sources.
  • Capable of coordinating and managing competing projects to meet deadlines in a fast paced environment while adhering to the requirements of the American Institute for Conservation’s Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.
  • Must be committed to the organization’s core values and demonstrates them regularly in their work.
About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
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