Mellon Fellow In Photography Conservation

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is accepting applications for a full-time two-year advanced fellowship, renewable for a third year, in the conservation of photographic materials beginning in the fall of 2019.

The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879, is a world-renowned art museum housing one of the largest permanent collections in the United States. An encyclopedic museum, the Art Institute collects, preserves, and interprets works in every medium from all cultures and historical periods. With a collection of approximately 300,000 art works and artifacts, the museum has particularly strong holdings in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting, contemporary art, early 20th century European painting and sculpture, Japanese prints, and photography. The museum’s 2009 addition, the Modern Wing, features the latest in green museum technology and 264,000 square feet dedicated to modern and contemporary art, photography, architecture and design, and new museum education facilities. In addition to displaying its permanent collection, the Art Institute mounts more than 30 special exhibitions per year and features lectures, gallery tours, and special performances on a daily basis.


Under the supervision of the Head of Photograph Conservation, the Fellow will participate in a wide range of activities in the Department of Conservation and Science and will gain experience in all aspects of caring for photographic objects while working in a large museum setting. The Fellowship will provide excellent hands-on experience on the examination, documentation, analysis, and treatment of a wide range of contemporary and historic photographs as they are prepared for loans, exhibitions, and storage. Opportunities also exist for long-term research, with publishable results expected; additional professional development activities will be supported.


A successful candidate will be a graduate of a recognized conservation-training program with a clear specialization in photographic materials, or have equivalent education and work/life experience.

The Fellow will receive an annual salary with an additional allowance for travel and research, plus benefits including health, dental and vacation leave.

How to Apply

Candidates should submit their resume, two letters of recommendation, and a cover letter detailing the candidate’s interest in applying for the fellowship. An electronic portfolio of treatments and research projects will be required of applicants selected for interview.

Interested candidates may apply online.

Posted on January 2