Associate Textiles Conservator
BOSTON, MA Conservation
Job Type

Department: Conservation

Reports to: John L. and Susan K. Gardner Director of Conservation

Classification: Exempt, full-time with benefits

Salary range:  $70,000 - $77,000 depending on experience

Please include a cover letter with your application. This is an onsite, Boston-based position. No agencies, please.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Core Values

Isabella Stewart Gardner believed that art had the power to change lives and she built a beautiful, personal, and immersive Museum setting to do so. Today the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (ISGM) is a living embodiment of her bold vision; it’s a dynamic place where ideas and creativity in all its forms inspire visitors. Through exhibitions, music, programs, and performances we strive to tell new stories and challenge assumptions by engaging diverse voices and community members.

Our Core Values are:

  • Creativity is our Legacy
  • Community is our Purpose
  • The Collection is our Catalyst
  • Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion are our Commitments

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum seeks to connect past with present, develop and sustain mutually beneficial partnerships with our local communities and artists, expand and diversify our audiences, and generate opportunities for creativity. We are firmly committed to creating both an inclusive work culture and a welcoming visitor experience. Our five-year strategic plan outlines the Museum’s core values, goals, and initiatives that serve as a renewal of Isabella’s promise for the Museum to be a place for “the education and enjoyment of the public forever.”

Position Summary

The Associate Textiles Conservator will join the Conservation team, which is charged with preserving and protecting the rich collection of paintings, sculptures, textiles, furniture, manuscripts, decorative arts, architectural features, rare books, and archival materials at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. In addition, the Conservation team is tasked with the challenges of adhering to Gardner’s specific legacy that requires the Museum to exhibit the collection permanently according to its arrangement upon her death, while providing access and optimal visitor experience for the Museum’s audiences.  The Conservation department, established by George Stout in the 1930s, is now housed in the state-of-the-art Poorvu Family Conservation Center that opened in 2012.

The Associate Textiles Conservator is responsible for the conservation, preservation, and study of the textiles collection at the ISGM, which spans the fifteenth to early twentieth centuries, and includes tapestries, embroideries, vestments, laces, and furnishing fabrics. The Associate Textiles Conservator conducts treatment and research on textiles that are a part of the permanent display and manages refurbishment projects to replace or reproduce textile objects and upholstery that can no longer be displayed. The Associate Textiles Conservator will also help advance the goals of the ISGM strategic plan, Renewing the Promise: For the Public Forever, including outreach, programming, and a commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion. The successful candidate will be a keen collaborator and project manager who can multitask and innovate while upholding deadlines and processes that support the work of other staff and departments.

Essential Functions and Primary Responsibilities

  • Performs conservation examinations and treatments of the ISGM textiles and upholstery collection according to the highest standards.
  • Prepares accompanying written and photographic documentation, project plans, as well as condition reports for exhibitions and loans.
  • Manages and executes preventive care for textiles, including advising and training Museum staff in the best practices for the care, handling, display, storage, and packing and shipping of textiles. Accompanies artworks as a courier when needed.
  • Regularly surveys the textiles collection and, in collaboration with the Curator of the Collection and Director of Conservation, determines treatment and refurbishment project priorities.
  • Manages the reproduction and/or replacement of textiles and upholstery as needed. Proposes creative and appropriate options for refurbishment project design, scale, and scope. 
  • Conducts technical research relevant to the collection. Publishes and presents findings and other scholarly contributions in print publications, for exhibition content, and at national and international conferences.
  • Responsible for staying current with professional philosophies, procedures, and practices in the conservation field through membership in professional organizations, publications, and attendance at meetings, workshops, and seminars.
  • May supervise and/or mentor technicians, interns, fellows, or project conservators. 
  • Participates in departmental administration, planning, and fundraising. Helps create guidelines and maintains departmental practices, such as use of the collection database for documentation, health and safety protocols, disaster preparedness, etc. 
  • Works with and provides content for Collections, Marketing, Education, and other Museum departments. Regularly contributes to other areas of creativity and collaboration at the Museum.
  • Advances the Museum's diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility goals.
  • Practices and promotes the Guidelines for Practice and Code of Ethics as established by the American Institute for Conservation. 
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Graduate of a recognized conservation training program or equivalent.
  • Minimum of 5+ years’ experience with skilled examination and treatment of textiles from a broad range of cultures and time periods. Experience in a museum setting preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience with and knowledge of sewing techniques, weaving structure, dyes and colorants, and textile mounting techniques.
  • Demonstrated experience with standard analytical and imaging tools for conservation research and documentation of textiles, such as digital photography and microscopy.  
  • Demonstrated achievements in research through publications and presentations in professional forums and a commitment to research, publishing, and innovative approaches that reflect the latest advances in the field.
  • Commitment to advancing the ISGM’s diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) initiatives, and to supporting emerging conservation professionals.
  • Excellent computer skills, including Google Workspace; proficiency using Adobe PhotoShop and collections database software preferred.
  • Excellent communication, writing, interpersonal, project management, and leadership skills.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds and to work while standing. Ability to climb and work on a ladder and scaffolding.
  • Ability to travel as required.
  • Legal authorization to work in the United States.

COVID-19 Protocols

All employees of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum are required to provide their COVID-19 vaccination status. If you are not vaccinated, you will need to participate in an interactive process to request a religious or medical accommodation and to submit weekly test results, in addition to following other federal, state, and CDC recommendations.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion is one of the core values we hold close to our business practices. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is committed to affording equal opportunities to qualified individuals regardless of race, color, gender, gender identity, genetics, military/veteran status, pregnancy, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, or any other basis prohibited by applicable laws.

Request an Accommodation

Applicants with disabilities who are unable to fully access ISGM's online application system may contact us at for assistance with a reasonable accommodation.

Salary Description
$70,000 - $77,000 depending on experience