Gallery or museum curator

What they do

Gallery or museum curators research, plan, organise and manage exhibitions of art, antiques, fossils and other cultural artefacts in art galleries, museums and other places that celebrate cultural heritage. They acquire and care for the items in their organisation's collection, examine them to determine their condition, authenticity and value, arrange them for display in exhibitions and showings, and maintain records about their collections. They also liaise with historians, conservators and other experts about the best way to preserve and maintain the pieces in their care.

Working conditions

Gallery and museum curators work in art spaces, galleries, museums, tourist attractions and community arts centres, and generally undertake a portion of their time working in the offices and storerooms of these facilities. Curators deal with artwork and antiques or other valuable items that need to be handled with care, and may require security. They work regular hours but may be required to work longer hours during exhibitions, or openings. Curators may travel locally, interstate or internationally to view and acquire pieces for their collections, or to attend conferences. Gallery and museum curators may find themselves working in small community historical museums, private museums and galleries in tourist regions, or in the State gallery or museum in Perth.

Tools and technologies

Gallery and museum curators handle and deal with artworks and other cultural materials and historical artefacts. They use reference materials such as books, slides and the Internet, and also need to know how to use computers and other office equipment such as phones, photocopiers, and faxes. Curators may also use audio-visual and multimedia equipment such as players, screens and computer programs in order to create interactive museum or gallery displays.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a gallery or museum curator you usually need to study a degree in arts or science majoring in a relevant area such as anthropology, sociology, archaeology or art history, followed by a postgraduate qualification in a relevant field and curatorial or museum studies.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses.

Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Learn more about your study options.


Required registration and licensing