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Be a Museum Curator

PICTURE THIS

Have you ever wondered who gets to choose the works that a museum will put on display? Who decides how an exhibit of artworks should be shown to the public, or what particular style should be highlighted? Such important and creative decisions are made by the museum curator. The curator is responsible for selecting the artwork to be featured and arranging it in displays that are both appealing and informative. The job is as challenging as it is fun. Consider the choices a curator faces. Art shows and exhibits are usually organized around themes. Here are some common ones:

Subject Matter
animals
portraits
landscapes
still lifes
flowers

Style or Genre
Abstract
Impressionism
Expressionism
Pop Art

Content
Social Protest
Environmentalism
Religion
Labor

Media
sculpture
watercolors
drawings
prints
photographs

Time Period
Ancient
Classical
Renaissance
Contemporary

Culture
American
European
African
Native American

These are just a few examples of the possible choices a curator can make when organizing an exhibit or show. As you can imagine, the job of a curator requires a knowledge of art as well as a creative outlook. You might even say that curating is an art in itself!

Try This

Imagine that you have been named Fine Arts Curator of the Glencoe Cyberspace Museum. Your task is to plan your first art show. First, click on the button that will print out your worksheet. Print enough copies for each museum site you visit. Next, view the artworks at the sites listed in the Artist's Passport. Then, decide on a theme. Choose five or six works that will suit your theme. Gather information about each work and organize the details you will need to complete your worksheet. You are ready to begin your job as curator. Print Worksheet

Artist's Passport Web Links

Monet

Bierstadt

O'Keeffe

Cassatt

Latin American Art

Morisot

Egypt

Petroglyphs

Greece

Mexico

Africa

Miró

Picasso

 
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