They say that to become a gallery curator, you need to know an awful lot about a lot of useless things. That definition could be a mite unkind, but is not far from the unvarnished truth. Talking the talk, if not, quite, walking the walk, is the name of the game. Art knowledge is carried like a large tray of expensive drinks, doled out at regular intervals and intermissions. Throw in a liberal dollop or two of philosophy, cultural studies, history and political economics. A gallery curator is akin to an escort, for lovers of the arts and those who wish to hob knob with the rich and famous.
A Day In The Life Of A Gallery Curator
Gallery curators are fast on their feet, multi-tasking dancers adept at the quick step. Passionate and enthusiastic people, who are not afraid to share their obsessions with the near and far. Communication in all its various forms are their instruments, with which to play upon their listeners’ heart strings. Keeping multiple balls in the air at the circus of public art consumption is their metier. They must be attractive individuals to sell the game to the punters in all their varied guises. Used car salesmen, who have stepped up to a far more sophisticated, and, sometimes, sinister level.
Gallery security can be an issue, that they must be up to speed on, as well. There are as many shonks at a gallery exhibition opening, as there at the races. They must abide by a strict health routine if they are to avoid untimely illnesses and injuries. For these super salespeople are always on call, mediating between the various parties and stakeholders. A day in the life of a gallery curator is hardly ever boring, with unceasing demands upon their time no unremarkable occurrence.
Often unremunerated for these extra calls upon their skills, they must be devoted to the cause. That cause being Art, with a capital A. The word ‘curator’ comes from the Latin, meaning to ‘take care’, and that sums it up pretty well. Caring for the collection within a museum or gallery, and managing the many parts that go into these institutions and organisations, are what a curator must do best. So, if you can talk up a storm about Art and life, life and Art, the chicken and the egg, you may just cut it. If you care passionately about Art and the artists who make it, this may just be the profession for you.