Museum or Art Gallery Curator

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Museum or Art Gallery Curators manage, organise and develop museum collections, and conduct related research. Decline

Gallery or Museum Curators plan and organise gallery or museum collections by drafting collection policies and arranging acquisitions of pieces.

Museum or art gallery curators oversee and manage public or private collections of artwork or historic items.

Specialisations: Museum curators usually specialise in a broad discipline, including anthropology, art, decorative arts, natural history, social history, science or technology, and within that discipline they are generally recognised as authorities on one or more specific subject areas.

 

Knowledge, skills and attributes  Museum Curator cleaning statue

  • appreciation of the history of science, the environment or the arts
  • patience
  • able to pay attention to detail
  • an objective, methodical approach to work
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • a good imagination
  • good research skills
  • the ability to organise and manage people and resources
  • a detail-oriented and methodical approach to your work
  • computer skills
  • creative flair for devising displays and exhibitions.
  • demonstrated ability for scholarly work

 

Duties and Tasks Museum Curator

Museum curators may perform the following tasks:

  • acquire items for the collections in their care
  • examine items to determine condition and authenticity
  • identify and classify specimens, and arrange conservation and restoration work
  • keep and maintain records about all items in the collection
  • organise and participate in display teams which may involve travelling or arranging for loan exhibitions
  • Plans and organises the acquisition and display of material.
  • Arranges the layout and lighting of historical, scientific or art displays.
  • Researches items in displays and produces publications, delivers public lecturers and initiates exhibitions.
  • Identifies and classifies specimens and objects, and arranges restoration work.
  • Examines items and arranges examinations to determine condition and authenticity.
  • Manages organisations' central records systems.
  • initiate and maintain research and publication programs, and establish networks and assist other professionals on request
  • lecture and write about the collections, and answer public enquiries
  • supervise support staff and organise administrative duties associated with the use and care of the collection.

Working conditions

Museum curators work mainly indoors, but they may be required to travel extensively on field study. In small museums, one curator may be responsible for the entire management of the institution and its collections.

You would usually work a standard number of hours per week, probably with some weekend and evening work. Part-time work may be available.

You may have to do some lifting and carrying such as moving crates and boxes of exhibits or artefacts.


Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a museum or art gallery curator you generally need an arts or science degree at university with a major in a relevant area, such as anthropology, archaeology, fine arts, history, or cultural studies. To get into degree courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent.

Additionally, you may also need a postgraduate qualification in museum studies, curatorship or cultural heritage management. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree and some course may require relevant work experience in a museum or gallery.

Employment of curators is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Museums and art galleries receive millions of visitors every year and the number of visits has been increasing steadily. Continued public interest in these cultural centres will lead to demand for curators and the collections they manage.

Did You Know?

Smithsonian website

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities.

There are 30 million visits to the Smithsonian museum and National Zoo.

188 million website visits!

137 million objects, artworks and specimens!

6.4 million digitized objects available online.

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Mathematician

Scientist

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Environmental Scientist

Marine Biologist

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Biochemist

Entomologist

Conservator

Microbiologist

Agricultural Scientist

Industrial Designer

Inventor

Geneticist

Biotechnologist

Criminologist

Botantist

Agronomist

Historian

Geologist

Soil Scientist

Immunologist

Hydrologist

Anthropologist

Cartographer

Zoologist

Geophysicist

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Astronomer

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Physicist

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Haematologist

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