Junior Conservator ships model and scale models

As the National Museum of Art and History of the Netherlands, the Rijksmuseum holds canonical collections of Netherlandish fine and applied arts and historical artefacts from the Middle Ages onwards, supplemented by important holdings of other European and Asian arts. Its principal function is to study, enhance and augment these collections and to present them for the enjoyment and benefit of a broad national and international audience. The Rijksmuseum, which is staffed by some 600 employees, was reopened on 13th April 2013 after an intensive refurbishment, and is attracting over two million visitors per year.

The Conservation Department’s ship model studio is looking for a

Junior Conservator ships model and scale models
*36 hours per week*

The Rijksmuseum’s model ship and scale-model collection is one of the most prominent maritime collections in the world. The heart of the collection consists of technical scale models constructed during the 19th century by order of the Ministry of the Navy. Such models were tools in the process of designing and constructing new naval vessels. These models were initially kept in the Marinemodellenkamer (Naval Models Room) in The Hague. This collection was soon expanded to include unique model ships from the 17th and 18th centuries, technical tools, weapons and captured standards. With the reopening of the Rijksmuseum, a significant part of this collection is once again on show to the general public, for the first time in almost a century. Over the past thirty years, intensive efforts have been made to fully treat and describe the approximately 1600 objects that make up this collection. In 2014, this work will culminate in the publication of a catalogue of the entire collection. The next few years will be devoted to research into the production process used to create these exceptional scale models. This project will focus mainly on the model makers themselves, and on the materials and methods that they used.

Job description

The essence of this position is to efficiently and effectively maintain model ships in optimal condition. The key task of the Junior Conservator ships model and scale models is the conservation of the model ship and scale-model collection. This will involve close collaboration with the Curator of Maritime Collections. The Junior Conservator works in the Furniture conservation department, and reports to the Head of Furniture Conservation. The Junior Conservator can also be assigned duties in the wider context of the work carried out in this department.
The main activities of this position are:

  • Helping to monitor the physical condition of the model ship and scale-model collection in close consultation with, and subject to the instructions of, the Curator of Maritime Collections, such that imminent or actual deterioration is identified at a sufficiently early stage for corrective action to be taken;
  • Performing conservation and restoration treatment, and the associated research, as directed and instructed, also in the context of any general work that needs to be carried out in the Furniture department;
  • Contributing to the development of methods of research and conservation;
  • Participating in development projects (including scientific projects) and conducting targeted research in the area of conservation;
  • Taking part in project-based activities, including participation in consultative bodies and the implementation of substantive and administrative project-related work.


  • University degree in Conservation, with a specialization in the conservation of model ships, wood or furniture, or a comparable qualification from another country that is relevant to this specialism;
  • Knowledge of, or affinity with, the function and construction of ships and model ships down through the ages;
  • Knowledge of, and proficiency in, carrying out conservation treatments appropriate to the objects in the collection;
  • Knowledge of, and proficiency in, preserving the various materials from which the objects are made;
  • Proficiency in reporting the procedures followed and the results obtained;
  • Knowledge of international developments in the field of conservation, as well as of new methods and concepts;
  • Ambition to ultimately make a personal scientific contribution, by means of publications in this field;
  • In addition to a good command of spoken and written Dutch, candidates must also have a command of modern languages, especially with regard to the specialism in question;
  • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office applications and Collection Management Systems (Adlib);
  • Proficiency in technical drawing (analogue and/or digital).


  • Integrity with regard to the ethical aspects of conservation and to aesthetic considerations;
  • An ability to reflect on personal practices;
  • Possesses social (including working in groups) and communication skills;
  • Analytical, and focused on problem solving;
  • Development-oriented approach;
  • Service-oriented and flexible.

Terms and conditions of employment

The appointment is for a period of one year, after which there is the option of a maximum of two one-year extensions. The salary will depend on your education and experience; gross monthly salary will be at least €2.542,- up to a maximum of €3.328,- (scale 9), based on a full working week of 36 hours, excluding holiday allowance and year-end bonus. The collective agreement for independent national museums will apply.

Further information

For further details about the position, please contact Paul van Duin, Head of Furniture Conservation, tel. +31 (0)20-6747105. For any questions regarding the application procedure, please contact Bart Schindeler, HR department, tel. +31 (0)20 6747324.


Send your application (including cover letter, CV and list of published works) by e-mail to vacatures@rijksmuseum.nl with the title of the position in the subject line, no later than April 18th.