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How to become an Art Gallery Curator

art gallery curator careers

What does a Art Gallery Curator do?

Art gallery curators are responsible for managing collections of objects of artistic, historical and general interest. In a large gallery they might specialise, for example in art history, while in a smaller gallery they would have a broader role. Much of the job involves acquiring objects, researching and identifying them, and cataloguing them, often on computer. Curators are also responsible for ensuring correct storage conditions.

Providing information is an important part of the job - organising displays, writing descriptions of objects, answering visitors’ questions and giving talks to local groups or school parties. Attracting visitors is crucial. A curator in a larger gallery or museum may have responsibility for a specific area of the programme, for example attracting young people, or ensuring that the exhibitions are accessible to disabled visitors. Other duties might include attending to staff issues, security and insurance, and making decisions on policy.

What's the working environment like working as a Art Gallery Curator?

Work is usually 36-37 hours a week on a rota, probably with some weekend work. There could be the opportunity to work part-time.

The environment depends on the type of gallery, but work is usually indoors. There is some lifting and carrying involved, moving crates and boxes of exhibits or paintings. A driving licence is often necessary.

What does it take to become a Art Gallery Curator?

To be an art gallery curator you will need:

  • a keen interest in art, and possibly in a specialist area
  • good organisational skills, and the ability to run a department or establishment
  • attention to detail
  • computer skills
  • decision-making and numerical skills for planning, administration and handling budgets
  • creative flair for devising displays and exhibitions
  • strong communication skills for dealing with the public, giving talks and producing information.

Art Gallery Curator Career Opportunities

Employers include national galleries, local authorities, universities and independent companies.There may be opportunities to work overseas.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Art Gallery Curator that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

UK Art Place

Museums Association
24 Calvin St
E1 6NW


Sotheby's Institute of Art

Creative and Cultural Skills
Tel: 0800 093 0444

Creative and Cultural Skills
11 Southwark St

Courses to help you become a Art Gallery Curator