Advertising & Arts

Museum or Art Gallery Curator

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

  • Entry-level education

    Bachelor’s degree

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Museum or Art Gallery Curator do?

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

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Work activities

As a museum or art gallery curator, you would:

  • select, acquire or borrow items or collections
  • catalogue acquisitions and keep records
  • make sure items in the collection and exhibits are stored under the right conditions
  • arrange conservation and restoration
  • plan and set up displays and exhibitions
  • display objects or collections in a way that makes them accessible and engaging
  • organise publicity
  • secure sponsorship for events, publications and development projects
  • handle enquiries from researchers and the public
  • liaise with staff in other museums or art galleries
  • giving talks to groups
  • manage budgets and security issues, and supervise staff
  • liaise with management boards, governors, trustees, government and community groups to secure the future of the museum or art gallery
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Key skills and interests

To become a museum or art gallery curator, you would need:

  • a keen interest in art or history, possibly in a specialist area
  • 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.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

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

Conditions

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

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How to become an Museum or Art Gallery Curator?

Entry Level Education

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.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

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.

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