Duties and responsibilities
A photography curator is a curator who is responsible for collecting, preserving, restoring, and educating visitors about the collections specifically related to photography. They may work in institutions dedicated to photography, or just one one exhibit in a larger institutions. Regardless, they have key duties and responsibilities such as:
- Acquiring, storing and exhibiting photography collections
- Selecting the theme and design of photography exhibits
- Designing, organizing, and conducting tours and workshops for the public
- Directing and supervising curatorial, technical, and student staff
- Planning and conducting special research projects
Generally, most institutions require that a photography curator has an undergraduate degree in a related field, such as art or photography. on top of this, they will most likely need a masters degree.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as the relevant education, photography curators will need skills such as:
- Attention to detail, because photography curators must notice even the smallest of details in photographs
- Customer service skills, as photography curators will work with the general public to educate, inspire and teach them
- Organization skills, as photography curators will need to ensure they can manage themselves and stick to deadlines
- Analytical skills, as photography curators must explore minutiae to determine the origin, history and importance of the objects they work with
Many photography curators will work normal full time hours. On occasion, they may have to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines. They may also have to travel extensively to source photographs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for curators in the United States was $54,570 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $28,330 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $87,760.
Photography curators may progress to become collection managers. They will then be responsible for the preservation of full collections.