What Are The Duties Of A Museum Curator?

A museum curator has a variety of responsibilities within a museum setting, such as obtaining objects or artifacts, inventory management, exhibit creation, and grant writing. Typically, a museum curator works as the manager within historical museums, zoos, art museums, aquariums, botanical gardens, or galleries. The museum curator is responsible for the overall layout, flow, and design set up of an exhibit within a museum or gallery setting. The museum curator oversees all aspects of the museum events, such as educational tours, fundraising, lectures, and museum workshops.

The museum curator is responsible for authorizing and negotiating the exchange, purchase, and sale of objects for the collection. Many curators loan objects within the collection to other museums, institutions, or traveling exhibits. A museum curator can also be involved within the collection’s research projects, educational programs, and promotional events.

As a museum curator, you will attend many meetings, exhibits, and conventions to build upon your network and knowledge base. When you are studying to become a museum curator, it may be in your best interest to think of a specialization. For example, many large museum institutions have countless collections of specimens or objects, such as mammals, reptiles, fish, textiles, art, and furniture.

Many of these institutions have separate curators for each area of specialization, so it is important to think about what may specifically interest you. Museum curators often take the time to research objects within their collection, while directing the overall events and look of the institution in which they manage.

Besides the acquisition, storage, and exhibition of objects within the collection, museum curators also choose the overall design and theme of the exhibits. Museum curators design tour plans, organize and conduct group tours, and provide workshops for both the public and employees of the cultural institution. Curators often partake in the cleaning and preservation of the objects within the collection. As a museum curator, you are responsible for the protection and proper arrangement of the objects within the collection.

Museum curators are also required to use their computer skills by utilizing and managing the museum’s database system. As a museum curator, you are usually obligated to promote the collection by performing publicity, grant writing, and fundraising events.

A vital aspect to becoming a museum curator is to properly keep track of the inventory of the collection. Labeling specimens and objects, appraising, and dating tests may be a part of your job as well. Additional facets of a museum curator’s career are to inform and educate the public about the objects within the collection or cultural institution. Grant writing is essential to a museum curator’s job, as it is allows for the continuation of funding or research in order to expand the museum or institution.

A museum curator works with many other individuals of the collection; assistant curators, archivists, conservationists, and museum technicians make up the large array of employees. As a museum curator, you are in charge of each individual, in addition to interns and volunteers. Time management, a strong work ethic, and a positive attitude are vital when coordinating with other team members.

Career Spotlight: Curator



A curator is responsible for the overall care and maintenance of a collection. Collections can consist of books, artwork, music, coins, plants, insects, and a variety of animals. Maintenance includes [...]

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