Curators are professionals who oversee and manage a collection of some kind, typically related to art or science. They are often employed by museums, galleries, and universities but may be employed by any organization that has a valuable collection requiring care by someone with expertise in a particular field. They are expected to have at least a basic knowledge of the collection, as well as the ability to determine the best way to care for the pieces in it.
Duties may include daily physical care of items with the purpose of preserving their quality and integrity. They may also keep inventory of items, storing them and preparing them for display or transport. Curators will typically be responsible for researching the history of pieces and cataloging them. They may have to collaborate with other agencies and professionals to accomplish this. Curators are really the keeper of a collection, and they are expected to take personal pride and interest in the collection and its future. They will often give tours and presentations with the purpose of garnering interest in and funding for the collection or the organization that possesses it.
They are usually required to have a bachelors degree in a related field, typically art, history, or science. Curators are expected to have at least a general knowledge of museum or gallery practices and experience caring for a collection or managing others in doing so. Sometimes a higher degree may be preferred, as well as years of experience and extensive knowledge about a specific collection, era, or subject.
Oversee the operation of the museum and off-site area storage.
Build rapport with donors and potential donors, and negotiate to acquire specific collections or individual items.
Assist in developing programs and special events.
Assist in developing a long-term plan for rotating exhibits with the goal of reaching new and diverse audiences.
Coordinate with the collections committee to ensure additions follow the museum's collection philosophy.