Meaning and Definition of Art Curator
An art curator manages the collections of museums, libraries, and sites of historical importance. Professionals are often tasked with supervising the acquisition of new objects, conducting research on them, and displaying them for public or private viewing. Many curators take on additional administrative duties, such as organizing and promoting special events.
In order to fulfill the variety of important duties of the job, an art curator typically must have extensive experience and education in his or her field of specialty.
Most museum curators earn at least a bachelor’s degree in art, history, or museum studies.
Many curators work in museums devoted to specific themes, such as art, natural history, engineering, and the aerospace industry. In most settings, conservators research, acquire, authenticate, and display interesting and significant pieces.
An art curator, for example, may be interested in starting a collection of modernist paintings. He will research the movement, identify his favorite pieces and find out where he can acquire them permanently or lend them as part of a cooperation between other museums.
Art curators decide where and how to display the pieces, and what educational information to provide to visitors in the form of descriptive signs, programs, and tour scripts.
The art curators of a museum may be responsible for only one section of the museum.
Curators in natural history museums specialize in the research and preservation of fossils , artifacts, rocks, and biological specimens. Many curators are experts in paleontology and biological anthropology, and can use their extensive knowledge to confirm that certain pieces are authentic.
Curators often work with field researchers to study new discoveries and display important finds for the public to see. They make models and plaster casts from real fossils to build realistic skeletons and replicas.
Large museums often have several curators on staff to manage the different departments. For example, a natural history museum may employ a paleontologist, an evolutionary biologist, an anthropologist, and a geologist.
It is common for a smaller institution, such as a historic house or a local library, to be owned and operated by a single person. Curators are often involved in fundraising and public awareness activities to help promote and protect collections.
They frequently write grant proposals, organize educational materials, and submit research articles to science, literary, or art journals.
In most cases, a master’s or doctorate degree is required to become a curator. In addition, professionals often gain years of experience in other positions such as field researchers, archivists, and professors before becoming conservators.
When starting a new curator job, one person often acts as an assistant to an experienced professional.
You may be required to spend several months studying the museum’s contents to learn as much as possible about the different collections before assuming the responsibilities of chief curator.