Conservation activities are performed by trained professionals with specific skills and experience in specializations such as paintings, paper, objects, textiles, etc. The website of the American Institute for Conservation provides information on "Becoming a Conservator". The Parsons Conservation lab offers opportunities to students considering a career in conservation or allied profession, including courses, internships, and research.
Semester-long courses related to the field of conservation are offered through the Art History department and/or in collaboration with other academic departments.
Volunteer or academic-credit internships may be arranged at the discretion of the conservator on a project-specific basis. The course Issues in the Conservation of Art and Cultural Property is generally considered a pre-requisite for lab internships. The Museum’s annual summer Mellon internship program may include positions or activities in the conservation lab. Advanced internships can also be arranged for graduate students currently enrolled in a conservation degree program.
Students from many academic disciplines may pursue object-based research, investigating materials, methods of manufacture, evidence of use, etc. These projects are supervised by the conservator and are developed in collaboration with the appropriate curator(s) and faculty collaborators.