Are your dreams coloured in fine art, objects of antiquity and stunning photography? We think a career as an art curator at a Fine Art Museum or contemporary gallery might be one of the coolest jobs on the whole planet, so here’s a few tips on how to make your dreams your profession.
Seeing and Being Seen
To be a great art curator you need see a lot of art. This is more than just studying your Gardner’s, you need to be out and about visiting galleries, art museums, exhibitions, art studios, auctions and fairs. As a curator you’ll have the exciting mission of acquiring single pieces of art, developing whole collections and creating public displays or exhibitions. So not only do you need to know what art is out there, you need to know what is selling, what new styles and techniques are emerging as well as the latest display innovations and technologies.
At the same time you’re checking out the latest and greatest you need to be seen yourself. It’s essential to be connecting with artists, academics, gallery officials, museum directors, art dealers and critics. You especially need strong relationships with art enthusiasts and collectors: the people who may loan you rare and otherwise unobtainable artworks, or financially support your institution. Networking is also the place to find out which galleries and art museums have openings for curators.
Writing and Articulating
As an Art Curator, you’ll do more than acquire art and put it on display. You also need to articulate a collection or exhibition to an audience. You might find yourself answering visitors’ questions, giving talks to groups or school parties as well as finding ways of attracting visitors to your gallery. So not only do you need excellent communication skills you’ll need to have an extensive knowledge of art history, artists, trends and techniques. You’ll be expected to be well read and able to easily express that knowledge.
Getting Started as an Art Curator
Paid or volunteer work experience in a gallery, museum or art studio is essential to landing your dream role as an Art Curator. Leading museums and large galleries often offer internships which is another entry point. You’re also going to need formal qualifications in Fine Art or Art History. Why not study a Diploma in Art Appreciation online? It’s an excellent pathway to a Bachelors Degree and would certainly complement a volunteer experience, internship or entry role as an art studio assistant. Ultimately all it takes is a little dedication, persistence and a willingness to work in an entry-level position to gain experience in the art world. As we suggested earlier build your relationships early and you’ll be more than ready when a role at your favourite gallery or art museum becomes available.