International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
2021 Mellon Fellowship in Paper…

2021 Mellon Fellowship in Paper Conservation

Organizing institution(s): The Balboa Art Conservation Center (BACC)
Location of fellowship: San Diego

The Balboa Art Conservation Center (BACC) is pleased to offer a full-time, one-year advanced Mellon Fellowship in the conservation of paper-based materials. The fellowship provides an opportunity to acquire advanced-level training in the preservation, conservation, and restoration of a wide range of works on paper, including photographic and bound materials.

The paper conservation fellow will work closely with the conservation staff. The Balboa Art Conservation Center is not a collecting institution; its mandate is to serve non-profit collecting institutions such as museums, historic societies, and cultural collections. Because of this, the fellow will have an opportunity to work on a wide variety of conservation projects from a wide range of collections. In addition to working on conservation, the fellow will also have the opportunity to explore and contribute to BACC's IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, & Access) initiatives, making access to conservation and cultural preservation more equitable and inclusive. The 2021 Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Paper Conservation is supported in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Conrad Prebys Foundation.

The Balboa Art Conservation Center was founded in the '70s as part of a national movement to create regional conservation centers that would serve collecting institutions within a certain geography. The goal was to centralize conservation and preservation services, bringing relief to museums,historical centers, libraries, etc., fulfilling their conservation needs without having to replicate the administrative, equipment, staffing and resources needed to run an entire conservation lab at every single institution. There are fewer than a dozen of these regional conservation centers in the country and BACC is the only regional conservation center on the west coast. Our center is located in San Diego, CA on the ancestral homelands of the Kumeyaay Nation and our geographic area includes California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska. We are currently a mighty eight-member team, in a 2,000 square foot facility on the second floor of a historical building in beautiful Balboa Park.

For more than 45 years, BACC has been fulfilling its mission as a conservation lab to provide conservation and preservation services for cultural institutions and private collectors for their works of art, cultural objects, and historic artifacts. In accordance with the American Institute of Conservation's Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice, its highly trained conservators offer a rigorous and scientific approach to the preservation, examination, and treatment of cultural heritage objects. BACC has various scientific and technological equipment to aid in the examination of works including Infrared Reflectograph, X-radiography, and X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (XRF).

As a nonprofit organization, BACC is also committed to benefiting the public good by supporting training and education opportunities and partnering with stewards of community cultural collections. BACC is expanding access to the field of conservation to historically underrepresented communities by expanding the existing knowledge base to include culturally conscious and responsive methods of conservation. In turn, BACC is committed to learning from and dialoguing with artists and caretakers of diverse cultural heritage and ancestral collections.

•Assists the Paper Conservation team as necessary in the provision of research and conservation services
•Performs authorized conservation services in examination, treatment, analysis, and on-site services, as assigned by the supervising conservator
•Adheres to the AIC Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice
•Maintains records of all work performed, including photographic documentation and detailed treatment notes
•Participates in research into artists and materials, collection surveys and disaster remediation
•Assists in the provision of engagement services such as surveys, workshop development and teaching, and responds to technical inquiries as requested
•Participates in community cultural preservation engagement initiatives as appropriate
•Assists in supervising seasonal interns as requested
•Supports BACC in its commitment to creating a diverse,inclusive, and equitable institution by promoting equity in the workplace and fostering an environment that is welcoming, inclusive, and representative of ALL people. Commits to expanding engagement and education programs to demystify the field of art conservation and supporting training for emerging conservation professionals from BIPOC communities. Also commits to supporting access to conservation, preservation, and collections care services for institutionally underrepresented communities, expanding its knowledge base to include culturally conscious and responsive methods of conservation and stewardship, and centering the voices, experiences, and narratives of BIPOC communities in the preservation of their cultural resources, intellectual property, and cultural heritage
•Performs any other duties reasonably related to the functions described above

•Master of art or science degree or advanced certificate from a recognized art conservation program, with a demonstrated concentration in conservation of paper materials or have equivalent training in the methods and ethics of paper conservation
•The candidate must be eligible to legally work in the United States for the duration of the program

•Preference will be given to those candidates who have additional experience with treatment for Asian art, photographic and/or bound materials
•Preference will be given to those candidates with a demonstrated understanding and commitment to honoring BACC's vision for equity and inclusion

Position Reports to:
Associate Conservator of Paper, Sara Bisi

The Mellon Fellowship is compensated with a stipend of $40,000 for a period of one year. The fellowship lasts a maximum of 12 months, traditionally beginning in September and ending in August. The start date is flexible but must be completed on or before August 31, 2022. Stipends and benefits are prorated for periods of less than twelve months.

Benefits Include:
•Four weeks of paid research leave (+ $3,000 travel allowance)
•10 paid vacation days
•6 days of paid sick leave
•14 paid holidays
•AIC membership
•Health benefits

Application Process:
Applicants should submit the following no later than April 20, 2021:
1.A statement of interest
2.A writing sample (such as a technical exam or researchpaper)
3.A current CV
4.Three (3) letters of recommendation (please have these sent directly to same email as listed below,, by the application deadline of April 20, 2021)
5.A portfolio containing three (3) treatments (can be submitted in digital or paper format)

By email to with the subject line: "2021 Mellon Fellowship in Paper Conservation"


By US Mail to:
Leticia Gomez Franco, Executive Director
Balboa Art Conservation Center
PO Box 3755
San Diego, CA 92136

Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

The Balboa Art Conservation Center is an equal opportunity employer and considers all candidates for employment regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, creed, disability, marital status, sexual orientation or political affiliation. Applicants from historically underrepresented communities are encouraged to apply.

Application deadline: