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Subject: Salaries


From: Pete Sixbey <pete.sixbey>
Date: Friday, April 25, 2003
Ramon Duncan-Huse wrote that "it has been very difficult to get
pre-program or graduate students to consider internships in Midwest
conservation labs" and similarly Pete Lundskow wrote that he has
found it difficult to fill a permanent conservation position at the
Indiana State Museum. My experience has been similar working in the
Midwest and West the past 25 years. I don't fault a recent graduate
student for seeking a job at a prestigious institution,but as the
job market continues to over-saturate, I think it would be prudent to
at least consider smaller museums and state institutions. On the
flip side, generally, if these places want to attract quality
conservators,more resources should be allocated to the cause. It is
very discouraging and frustrating--I speak from experience--working
in a place where even though the salary may be adequate or even
great, getting equipment,supplies etc., is difficult, if not

In summary, I believe an attitude adjustment may be needed in many
cases, especially among the uninitiated recent program graduates
(there are treasures to be conserved outside the hallowed galleries
of art museums nationwide) and the smaller museums and institutions
need to recognize (even more) the need for conservation and dip into
their institutional pockets a little deeper.

I would be interested in knowing about any studies done on comparing
the cost of conservation for a museum who has staff conservators
versus the cost of contracting the same work to private conservators
or regional labs. I think a strong case could be made for good
salaries and in-house conservation departments based on this.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:64
                  Distributed: Friday, April 25, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-64-002
Received on Friday, 25 April, 2003

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