(Gallery Curator, Exhibitions Officer)
Studying anthropologic artifacts
Museum curators look after, manage, organise, display and develop museum collections, and conduct related research.
Duties and Tasks
Museum curators may perform the following tasks:
- acquire items for the collections in their care
- examine items to determine condition and authenticity
- identify and classify specimens, and arrange conservation and restoration work
- keep and maintain records about all items in the collection
- organise and participate in display teams, which may involve travelling or arranging for loan exhibitions or overseeing the organisation of in-house temporary exhibitions or displays
- initiate and maintain research and publication programs
- establish networks and assist other professionals on request
- lecture and write about the collections and answer public enquiries
- supervise support staff and organise administrative duties associated with the use and care of the collection.
Museum curators usually specialise in a broad discipline, such as anthropology, art, decorative arts, natural history, social history, science or technology. Within that discipline they are generally recognised as authorities on one or more specific subject areas.
A museum education officer initiates, develops and administers special programs to inform and educate visiting school classes and other sections of the public about the collections and exhibitions. Education officers may also organise and travel with mobile exhibitions to suburban or country areas. Education officers often combine previous career experience in education, learning or community development work with a career in museums.
School subjects that include some aspect of ART provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases an art-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspects of CHEMISTRY provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a chemistry-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspect of HISTORY provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a history-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
These jobs require you to be able to see clearly to examine items close-up. It covers jobs where poor vision e.g. tunnel vision, could make the work place unsafe or the job difficult to undertake, e.g. draftsperson working with detailed drawings; checkout operator reading dockets; work requiring good hand-eye co-ordination for working with precision or semi-precision tools.
Workers performing these jobs would usually be expected to spend more than three-quarters of their day indoors, in an office, factory or other enclosed area protected from the weather.
These jobs require moderate or better reading and writing skills. Workers may be expected to prepare, understand or act on written materials, such as letters or reports. People may wish to avoid these jobs if their reading or writing English skills are limited to a small range of words or phrases and symbols. Jobs remaining may still require very basic reading or writing skills.
Included are jobs in the visual and graphic arts, in the crafts and in the performing arts, such as music, theatre, radio, film & television, as well as general entertainment and sporting jobs.
Included are jobs involved in the preparation and publication of printed materials, jobs involved in the study of society and the relationships between people, and jobs concerned with the preservation of items of significance to society.
Included are jobs involved in the investigation of animal, human and natural conditions, as well as those which apply mathematical principles to solve problems in science, engineering, management and other fields.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH IDEAS to investigate or seek solutions to scientific, technical, social or other issues. Activities include observing, researching, analysing and interpreting results. The ability to develop theories, apply logic and explore abstract ideas in a specialist area of knowledge is important.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH IDEAS, to creatively express, present or perform them. An appreciation of design, style, form, beauty or related concepts used to develop or interpret an idea are important. Activities include writing, painting, singing, dancing, decorating, designing and performing.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH THINGS, using the hands, or special tools or equipment to make, fix, install or adjust them. Activities include doing practical and physical tasks, and may require an understanding of how equipment or machinery works.
Jobs in this group usually require completion of a recognised Bachelor Degree, or extensive relevant experience. Some jobs also require post-graduate study, such as a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Master Degree.
Museum curators work mainly indoors in museums and art galleries, but they may be required to travel extensively on field study. In small museums, one curator may be responsible for the management of the entire institution and its collections.
- appreciation of the history of science, the environment or the arts
- able to pay attention to detail
- an objective, methodical approach to work
- good oral and written communication skills
- a good imagination
- demonstrated ability for scholarly work.
Researching masks from the South Pacific
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Assistant museum curator
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