What is an art curator? The important role of the curator


The role of the art curator requires technical and management knowledge but also creativity and boldness.

By Rute Ferreira, author of the online course Art Curating – Exhibition

The curatorial activity

The words curatorship, curation, curating, art curator are known to those who work with the assembly of exhibitions, or even by those who recognize the routines of a museum.

It refers to the supervision, protection and preservation of an art exhibition, from its conceptualization to its implementation and consequent management (Castillo, 2008).

The role of the art curator

The role of the art curator is much more than choosing objects to display.

The curator prepares the exhibition locations; he communicates with the artists and the public; he performs a whole process of cultural mediation.

art curator tasks


The origin of art curation

The curatorial process is not recent. This activity had its beginning – didactically speaking – in the cabinets of curiosities, places that preceded the museums in the collection of a countless number of objects, such as natural finds (like stones or animals) or human creations (like works of art).

Cabinet of curiosities Frans II Francken in 1636

Cabinet of curiosities Frans II Francken in 1636, Credits – Wikipedia


Collecting has become a common habit. To compose a collection, it was necessary to select the objects and arrange them in the cabinet, as it happens nowadays in museums and other exhibition places, through the curatorial process.

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The art curator tasks

Although its definition as we understand it today is recent, the activity of art curatorship itself has already traced a long way.

According to Maria Bruno, the curatorial actions consist in:

  •     Observing
  •     Collecting
  •     Keeping

Actions that are not separate from others, of a more technical and administrative nature, which would be:

  •     Control
  •     Organization
  •     Management

When we analyze these aspects of art curatorial work, we understand that it is a collective task.

The work of the curator must be cooperative, so that actions can be carried out interdependently and tasks can be delegated by the curator in charge.

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Rute Ferreira

I am an art teacher with a background in theater, art history and museology. I’m also specialized in Distance Education and I work in basic education. I write regularly on the Citaliarestauro.com blog and the Dailyartmagazine.com. I firmly believe that the history of art is the true history of humanity.

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Claire Masters
    19/01/2022 16:34

    It’s interesting to know that an art curator is really the one who manages the artistic contents of a museum or gallery. Now I realized that an exhibition’s success can depend on the ability of this individual to put together the right art pieces. It would be a pleasure to enter a gallery that has been expertly curated by a professional. https://www.mashgallery.com/artworks/

  • www.xmc.pl
    23/06/2022 22:07

    I envy your piece of work, regards for all the informative articles . I like this one here


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