This position is located in Smithsonian Institution, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The employee provides monitoring the condition of the works of art; creating and maintaining documentation relating to their condition, installation, and display; and carrying out conservation treatments.

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As a Conservator (Works on Paper and Photographs), the incumbent would perform the following duties:

  • Performs technical examination of works of art to determine their condition, including the kind and extent of deterioration and treatment needed, if any.
  • Examines works considered for purchase and/or loan to determine state of preservation and treatment that would be required to make the artwork exhibitable.
  • Works with living artists or artists' studios, galleries, and/or artists' estates to document fabrication methods and materials and to explore the long-term preservation considerations of the individual artworks.
  • Initiates reports on variations in temperature and humidity that could be detrimental to works of art in the building, and follows through to ensure appropriate corrective actions are taken.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Requires career/career-conditional status or eligibility.
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service.

Qualification requirements, including one year time-in-grade at the next lower grade level for promotion candidates, must be met within 30 days of the job announcement closing date.

For information on qualification requirements, see Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at http: www.opm.gov/qualifications.


Experience: You qualify for this position if you have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-X level in the Federal Service or comparable pay band system. For this position Specialized experience is defined as monitoring the condition of the works of art; creating and maintaining documentation relating to art condition, installation, display, and conservation treatments; and providing instructions on climate control, light exposure, storage, and handling.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.


Additional information

Flexible Spending Accounts – https: www.fsafeds.com/
Health Insurance – http: www.opm.gov/insure/health/index.asp
Leave – http: www.opm.gov/oca/leave/index.asp
Life Insurance – http: www.opm.gov/insure/life/index.asp
Long Term Care Insurance – http: www.ltcfeds.com
Retirement Program – https: www.opm.gov/retirement-services/

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Your application will be evaluated first for the basic qualifications described above. The applications that meet the basic qualifications will be evaluated further against the following criteria:

  • Knowledge of conservation methods and techniques in order to implement procedures for the conservation and preservation of works of art.
  • Knowledge of treatments on contemporary works on paper and familiarity with treating works on paper and a wide range of art making materials from the late 20th and early 21st century.
  • Ability to communicate orally to consult and advise on conservation issues, give lab tours, carry out artist interviews, and develop and present educational materials.
  • Ability to communicate in writing in order to prepare written reports, treatment proposals, policies and guidelines related to handling art collections.
  • Important Note:

    Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience. Your resume should provide detailed information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

    To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Noncritical-Sensitive (NCS)/Moderate Risk

    Trust determination process

    Required Documents

    Your application package should include the following documents:

    • Resume – Your resume can be uploaded and attached to your application or created using the USA Jobs on-line resume builder. If you want to receive full credit for relevant experience your resume MUST contain the job title (including the occupational series and grade if it is Federal), duties, starting and ending dates (month and year), hours worked per week, and salary.

      USAJOBS has guidance on how to ensure that you submit a complete resume: If you have not written a Federal resume before, you may watch this Resume Writing Tutorial video on the USAJOBS YouTube channel , or read through a helpful Resume Writing FAQ article on the USAJOBS Help Site to learn what details you should, and should not, include in your resume. If any of the above information is not included in your resume we may not be able to fully credit you for your experience.

    • A copy of your most recent SF-50 which shows your position title, series, grade, step, salary, position occupied, and tenure to verify Time-in-Grade/competitive status. If you have previously held a higher grade and are applying based on that grade you must provide a copy of the SF-50 showing you held the higher grade and/or have promotion potential to the grade being advertised. Do NOT submit award SF-50s.
    • Unofficial school transcripts, if the position has an education requirement or if you are using education to qualify. If selected for the position, you must provide an official transcript before appointment.
    • Proof of U.S. accreditation for foreign study, if applicable.
    • Most current Performance Appraisal.

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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