BACC - Balboa Art Conservation Center
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Education

Internships
Since 1978, BACC has provided internships to thirty-six graduate and postgraduate students. More than 90 percent of our interns have gone on to work as professional conservators. Graduates of this program have held positions in major museums in the United States and Europe; several have entered private practice.

BACC internships are designed to build upon a student's solid theoretical knowledge of conservation. Students are afforded a broad range of supervised and guided treatment experiences designed to develop practical knowledge and skill. Through work/practice, the student gains greater proficiency and experience in the areas of examination, treatment, and analyses. The range of work and activities common to a regional center affords students unique opportunities to broaden conservation expertise through experience in surveys of collections and in offering collection care guidance to institutions as well as private collectors. A unique educational aspect of the internship is the opportunity for the intern to engage in an independent, self-initiated research project.

As a self-contained conservation center, BACC has an institutional structure and physical layout that encourage a high level of interaction among professional staff. The nature of internships, particularly with respect to supervision during all phases of a treatment, requires close and regular interaction between the intern and his or her supervisor. Students are encouraged to discuss treatments with other BACC conservators and to share in communal professional discussions as part of their learning experience. Written evaluations are produced on a semi-annual basis

BACC offers educational training at three levels: pre-program, graduate, and postgraduate.

Pre-program students normally work on a volunteer basis. To qualify for a pre-program internship, the candidate must have completed course work sufficient to placing the student within one year of qualifying for entrance into a conservation M.A. program.

Graduate students undertake a BACC internship as part of their course work. Graduate interns usually receive stipend support through their schools.

Postgraduate interns or fellows function as junior staff, and their duties and responsibilities are similar to those of an assistant conservator. However, work assignments, instruction, and research opportunities give the internship an educational focus. Postgraduate interns accepted into the program are awarded a fellowship by BACC.

Interns are selected based on the following criteria:

  1. assessment of the student’s level of experience and training and its appropriateness to the training BACC offers;
  2. identification of special study interests of the student and whether opportunities offered at BACC can accommodate them;
  3. assessment of the student’s ability to work well with department personnel;
  4. evaluation of the types of projects best suited to the student's needs and whether the projected work inventory will constitute a good project pool for the student.

Current internship positions can be found in Employment Opportunities.